Tuesday, October 8, 2013

In Which I Put My Nerdiness On Full Display

As a kid I think there were two reasons I watched Star Trek: to spend time with my sci-fi loving dad and because I was in love with Wil Wheaton.

As a grown up?  Well, I've become the sci-fi lover myself...and I'm still a little in love with Wil Wheaton. ;-)

I was a nerd before being a nerd was trendy, and I'm cool with that at this point in my life.

 This Halloween is going to be amazing.  Why?  Because my son is going as Captain Kirk.  Yep.  My 2 year-old is going to dress as a Star Trek character before he's old enough to tell me "no."  My daughter?  Heehee...Superman.  Errr...Supergirl, I suppose that would be.

Ignore the crooked emblem, I was short on time
and lacking safety pins :-)
In the past she's been fairy princesses, Disney princesses...lots of princesses.  This year I wanted to do something different, and I figured out that as long as her costume included a big, fluffy tutu she didn't really care what she went as :-)

I tried to make this costume relatively simple and also keep the parts separate so that they could all be used for dress-up (or maybe future costumes?) after Halloween.  I started with a royal blue leotard.  I found this one on Amazon that qualified for free Amazon Prime shipping.  It's soft and made of quality material- also, it's the perfect color :-)

My next stop was Hancock Fabrics for tulle and a few other supplies.  I bought 10 yards of tulle off of the bolt, but you could easily use a LOT less, I just wanted mine to be super-fluffy and the material was 50% off.  My cousin's wife made a similar tutu using 6 yards, and hers turned out absolutely beautiful!  If I were to attempt this project again I would most likely purchase spools of tulle in the wedding supply aisle of Michael's since they're smaller and would require much less cutting of fabric.  I cut the tulle into 6"x24" strips, and used this tutorial from Trisha at momdot.com as a basic guide for making the tutu.

Gathering the tulle to make the tutu full and fluffy
While I was at the fabric store I also picked up 1" elastic, 1 piece each of red and yellow felt, and a spool of wide yellow ribbon to coordinate with the yellow felt.  I used the elastic in two components of the costume- the waistband of the tutu and the belt.  I considered just using fabric glue to attach the ribbon to the top of the tutu, but I really wanted to be able to re-use these items later and wanted to keep them separate.  If you don't care about this, than by all means save yourself some time and attach the ribbon directly to the top of the tutu!  To make the belt, I cut the ribbon to the correct size.  To prevent fraying on either side of the ribbon, you could either use no-fray or fold the ends of the ribbon over and sew them down.  That's what I did, but that was mostly because I didn't feel like digging the no-fray out of my craft supplies. :-)

Ignore my messy stitches I'm certainly not a seamstress...
this is the elastic inside of the belt when it is not being pulled upon.
Once my ribbon was ready, I cut a 6" or so piece of elastic and pinned it in place so that 3" of it was centered on one end of the ribbon.  I used yellow thread to sew 1" of the elastic in place (the end side of the elastic).  I then repeated the process with the other half of the elastic on the other side of the ribbon, so that the ribbon was now a full circle with ends touching when the elastic was not being pulled, but with just enough stretch from the elastic to be able to put the belt on and take it off.  It sounds way more complicated than it was, I promise.

Demonstrating how the belt stretches with
the elastic.
The next step was the Superman symbol.  I started by Googling the symbol so I'd have it in front of me to work from.  Then I measured the area on my daughter's chest where the symbol would go so that I would know how large to make it.  I ended up making hers 7" across at the widest point.  I then (using a ruler to make straight lines) pretty much just freehanded the symbol on the red felt while looking at the image on the computer.  Once I was happy with my work, I took scissors and cut out the openings.  I placed the cut red felt on top of the sheet of yellow felt.  There are a couple of ways you could go here- I already had my sewing kit sitting next to me, so I pinned the red felt in place and stitched the red felt to the yellow to hold it in place.  You could just as easily use pretty much any glue to do the same job and save yourself some time :-)  Then I cut the excess yellow felt from the Superman symbol.
Can we agree to ignore the imperfections?

Personally, I chose to use safety pins to attach the emblem to my daughter's leotard- only going through the yellow backing so they wouldn't be visible.  you could just as easily use fabric glue, or fashion tape to attach it.  I just didn't have any fashion tape and- again- wanted her to be able to reuse the leotard after Halloween.  As far as under the tutu?  I plan on having her wear her little cartwheel shorts she normally wears under skirts because they won't show...unless it gets too cold, in which case we will add tights.  If you live somewhere with colder weather, you could easily use leggings underneath, also (or even a long-sleeve leotard).  That's it!  A SUPERgirly Superman (girl) costume!  My daughter loves it, it's all I can do it keep her out of it so it can stay in top shape till Halloween.  I'm sure she'll get plenty of use out of all of the elements of the costume for lots of play time to come.
Red tulle
1 piece of red felt
1 piece of yellow felt
Corresponding thread OR fabric glue
Wide yellow ribbon
Blue leotard


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