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Cinderella coach pumpkin. Because J doesn’t do anything that doesn’t relate back to princesses.

Right before Halloween I stumbled across this pin on Pinterest and knew instantly that was how J would want to make her pumpkin this year.  Unsurprisingly I was correct.  She was stoked when I showed it to her.  The only thing I regret is that I showed it to her the first week of October and had to listen to her ask me every single day for the next three weeks (sometimes several times a day) “Can we carve our pumpkins today?!”  Needless to say I think I was the most excited when the time finally came to make the darn thing just so I wouldn’t have to listen to her talk about it anymore!

I followed the pin to Let’s Go Fly a Kite‘s blog, which then linked me to the original tutorial on The Fairfield House.  The pumpkin was pretty self-explanatory but I scrolled through really quickly just to make sure there wasn’t anything unexpected.

First we gutted the pumpkin.  Usually J hates anything gross and refuses to help with this part.  To my total surprise she got really into it this year! cinderella-coach-pumpkin-6Hubby cut out a rectangle for the door and two small squares for windows. While at Target a few weeks before I saw small jars of paint for $1 in the Halloween section.  I had J pick a color out for her coach.  She went with red.  cinderella-coach-pumpkin-8cinderella-coach-pumpkin-7While the paint was still wet she sprinkled some confetti glitter all over it.  The child has no idea just how lucky she is that although that stuff drives me insane, I let her use it anyway.  It’s banned in most households!  J’s best friends who come over for play dates quite frequently are in heaven here 😉
cinderella-coach-pumpkin-2The next night, after the paint was dry, we hotglued some red glitter hearts all around the door, followed by curtains from her Barbie Dreamhouse onto the sides.  cinderella-coach-pumpkin-5It rained the next few nights so I left the pumpkin inside so all of the paint wouldn’t wash off.  Since it was just sitting there J got the hankering to add stickers all around it. cinderella-coach-pumpkin-1And then a tiara resting on top (I didn’t attach it at all, just set it right on the stem.  Which C loved because every time we walked past the pumpkin he would swipe the tiara and put it on.  Priceless). cinderella-coach-pumpkin-3I didn’t bother attaching the wheels either.  J picked out four different colored mini pumpkins from the pumpkin patch and I merely leaned them against the pumpkin.  Voila, finished! cinderella-coach-pumpkin-4C also had to get into the pumpkin decorating spirit.  And by that I mean I took off his shirt, put him in his high chair with some paint, a pumpkin and a paint brush.  He spent approximately 15 seconds painting his pumpkin and the rest of the time painting himself.  And eating the paint. IMGP2653 IMGP2664We tried again the next night.  This time I mixed up some homemade paint…the flour/water/food coloring recipe.  It went slightly better–he did not enjoy the taste of the paint so instead he just painted himself and the dog.  Although I do have to give him credit–he did paint the actual pumpkin this time too! IMGP2677 IMGP2673 IMGP2679 IMGP2681Happy Halloween!

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The Flying Monkey. Best Costume Ever.

After J decided on Glinda the Good Witch from Wizard of Oz for Halloween, I knew C had to fit in the theme as well.  Last year J was Snow White, so myself, C, Hubby and our dog Jack were all Dwarfs.  I’m going to continue the family theme until the kids are old enough to express their own opinion for what they want to be–it’s so much fun!  This year, though, I decided to check myself, Hubby and Roman out of the family costume and just force C.

You can read about J’s Glinda dress here and here.

I  knew immediately that I wanted to make him a Flying Monkey.  Although it would go better if J was the Wicked Witch of the West instead, I didn’t care.  I checked Pinterest and Google for some DIY Flying Monkey costume ideas and found the perfect tutorial on ehow.com.  I made just a few changes…namely using grey felt instead of brown.  The monkeys are grey in the movie!!!  And the example child is even dressed in grey sweatpants under his costume, so why would the tail and wings be BROWN?!  I found that quite odd.

I spent $0 on this costume!  See, this is why it pays to stock up on felt when a fabric store is going out of business.  I have about a yard each of grey, blue, red and white felt just laying around, waiting to be used.

As instructed, I started with the wings.  J has about 6 sets of fairy wings in her dress up closet so I just picked the shabbiest looking pair and cut the bottom half off. I laid out my yard of grey felt and (very sloppily) cut around the wings, leaving about an inch border.diy-flying-monkey-costume-8Then I went about cutting out a billion feathers. I think this is how many I put on one of the wings.diy-flying-monkey-costume-11I placed them on the wings to make sure I cut enough before gluing anything down. diy-flying-monkey-costume-10I also decided to use the straps that came with the wings originally to attach them to the costume instead of hot gluing them to the vest.  Seemed much easier and more comfortable.  I cut the strap off of the half of the wings I wasn’t using, slid it to the middle and knotted it in place.  Then I folded the grey felt wing outline all around the edge of the wings, hot gluing it as I went.  I glued the feathers on one by one, making sure to cover all of the wings.  Finally I glued the strap down just to make sure it wasn’t going anywhere.diy-flying-monkey-costume-9

Easy peasy!

I moved onto the vest next.  I took one of C’s shirts, folded it in half, folded some dark blue felt in half, placed the fold on top of the fold and cut around it (minus the sleeves)–no need for a template.  I repeated to make a front piece.  I did make a template for the zigzag design because I think that would’ve gone horribly wrong otherwise, haha.  I  drew half of it on a piece of random construction paper, folded some red felt in half, placed the straight edge on the fold and cut around it.  Then I placed the red piece right on the white piece and cut around it, leaving about 1/2 inch border on the white.diy-flying-monkey-costume-7I went back to the following the tutorial.  I pinned the front and back pieces of the vest together at the shoulders and sides and sewed them together.  And then instead of hot gluing the red and white zig zag pieces together, I actually sewed them.  I’m not really sure why…just didn’t feel like wasting the glue I guess?diy-flying-monkey-costume-6And then I attached the zig zag design to the front of the vest, this time using glue.  Don’t ask my reasons, okay?!  I then cut the front in half, as instructed.  Once I did that though, I discovered the downside to having sewn it–it wasn’t connected where I cut, haha.diy-flying-monkey-costume-5I remedied that by glueing the red to the white along the two lines.  Ta-da, vest is finished!diy-flying-monkey-costume-4Tail was next.  I folded the grey felt in half and cut a tail shape out free handed.  It was 13 inches, about the length of C’s butt to the floor.diy-flying-monkey-costume-3I sewed it together around the edges, leaving just the end open, and then pulled it through so the seams were hidden.diy-flying-monkey-costume-1No, you’re not going crazy, that’s a different tail.  After I sewed the original one together I got stuck trying to flip it–I hadn’t made it wide enough and had a rough time pulling it through.  Surprise surprise.  Instead of fighting with it I decided just to cut a second one out.  This one is longer and fatter than the original.

After I pulled the tail through I snuck into J’s room and stole some of her fluff (I mentioned before that she’s obsessed with a bag of polyfil I bought awhile back.  She calls it her “fluff” and sleeps with it at night.  I either have to sneak some when she’s not looking or endure a ten minute long cry fest after asking her permission to have some.  I took the easy way out this time).  I shoved it inside, pushing it all the way to the bottom, until it was nice and full.diy-flying-monkey-costume-2

I flipped the vest over to the back, found the approximate halfway point and sewed the open end of the tail to the underside of the back of the vest (so you can’t see the end of the tail).  Bam, finished!  Seriously, this costume FLEW!  Hahaha, and that was totally not intention right there.diy-flying-monkey-costume-12

Last but not least:  the hat.  The piece de resistance!  I had a container of sour cream that’s been sitting in the fridge for about a month too long, so I dumped the remainder out and washed it.  I varied the tutorial instructions in one way–I used my hole punch to put holes in each side of the container and then tied my cord through the holes before doing any gluing.diy-flying-monkey-costume-15

Then I followed the tutorial instructions–traced the bottom of the container on some blue felt, measured the circumference and width, added an inch and cut the correct size rectangle out of blue felt.  I notched the top, although I don’t think I made my triangles big enough because my felt didn’t go on straight around the container.  Oh well.  I made half a zig zag shape on a folded piece of construction paper that was about 6 inches long.  I cut it out, folded the red felt in half, lined the fold of the template with the fold of the felt and cut it out.  I repeated the same steps for the white, once again leaving about 1/4 inch border around it.diy-flying-monkey-costume-14

I glued the blue felt around the sour cream container, covering it as best (and straight) as I could.  Good enough.  I glued the red onto the white, then the white onto the blue and voila!  The whole thing was finished!diy-flying-monkey-costume-16diy-flying-monkey-costume-13

Turned out I didn’t make the cord quite long enough to go around his fat little head.  He was not cooperating when I was trying it on him to measure so I must’ve made it a bit too short.  Luckily Hubby came up with a great idea that worked like a charm–even better than going under the chin I think.  Instead we put the cord around the back of his head.  It actually makes it a little bit harder for him to get off…at least for now.  Until he gets the hang of it, that is.

C hates the whole costume, hahahahaha.  Which I think makes it even better.  He doesn’t even like wearing the vest, which I can’t figure out for the life of me why that matters.  I think he’s the cutest flying monkey ever though!diy-flying-monkey-costume-19diy-flying-monkey-costume-18diy-flying-monkey-costume-19diy-glinda-dress-and-flying-monkey-costume-3diy-flying-monkey-costume-17j-and-c-diy-wizard-of-oz-costumes

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The Glinda Dress: Part Two

So as you found out here, J decided on Glinda the Good Witch for Halloween and I decided to make her costume myself.  Hey, why not?!  Check out Part One to see how I made the hoop skirt, crown and wand for the costume.

I relied very heavily on Make It & Love It‘s Glinda dress tutorial.  That’s the only reason I decided to tackle this project myself instead of buying one–because she had such a clear and easy to follow tutorial on exactly what to do.  It looked like a piece of cake!  And surprisingly enough (for me) it actually wasn’t too bad.  It was time consuming but I made sure to take my time for once.  And I didn’t majorly mess it up until the very end, which is huge for me.  Just goes to show how awesome and amazing Make It & Love It is!!!  All the credit goes to her.

So, materials.  This is what I used.

  • Pink fabric.  I bought plain pink costume fabric from Walmart.  I was waiting for it to go on sale at Joann’s but then just happened to spy an amazing deal at Walmart–only $2/yard!!!!  I didn’t have my list with me at the time and couldn’t remember if Make It & Love It said 3 or 5 yards so I purchased 5.  Turned out 3 was the correct answer…whoops.  I can’t complain with that price though!  One thing I do wish, however, is that I would’ve just spent more money and purchased something that was already sparkly.  That would have saved hours of sewing.  I think it turned out absolutely awesome the way it is, but I do wish I would’ve just paid the extra money for the sparkles already built in.
  • Pink sparkly tulle.  This is something else I waited for 3 weeks to buy to see if Joann’s would put it on sale.  They did not.  I was running out of time–we were headed to Jamaica for a week and the costume needed to be finished before we left.  I checked out Michaels and found this tulle in their sewing section.  Using a 40% off coupon that dropped the price down to $4 and some change for 2 yards…sold!  I bought two packages at two separate times so I could use the coupon both times.  I will say this–it sheds like there’s no tomorrow.  I’ve never sewn with glitter tulle before so I have no idea if that’s all brands, but just a heads up!
  • 12 inch pink zipper.  I could’ve gone with something shorter, like a 9 in, but oh well.  I bought it from Joann’s with a 40% off coupon.
  • Pink thread.
  • Rhinestones.  I just used the same ones as the wand and crown; these

I spent $22 on this portion of the costume.  Technically it should’ve only been $18 since I bought too much pink costume fabric.  But let’s face it, with how obsessed J is with dressing up I’m sure I can find a use for the leftovers sometime…

So!  I started off by tracing one of J’s shirts to make the bodice template.  I cut out 4 pieces in the costume fabric and cut two of those pieces in half for the back.   I cut out two bodice pieces out of the tulle and split one of those in half.  Then I sewed the three tulle pieces onto three of the costume fabric pieces.  I left one front and two back pieces without tulle–that’s the bodice lining.diy-glinda-dress-1diy-glinda-dress-3diy-glinda-dress-2This is why I wish I would’ve just spent the extra money on sparkly fabric.  First I had to cut the separate pieces.  And then pin them together.  And then sew the tulle to the lining.  Times 3.  And then trim the edges.  And then zigzag around all three pieces to finish the edges so they won’t fray or scratch J.  Doing just that took me one nap time itself.

I connected the front and back bodice pieces together, sewing just along the neckline like Make It & Love It instructs.

Next I cut out my sleeves.  I had absolutely no idea what size to make them.  I took a long sleeve shirt of J’s and measured how long the sleeve was to get an idea.  I should’ve made them 1-2 inches longer and 1-2 inches wider.  They ended up fitting her…perfectly.  Fortunately she’s a skinny kid and I don’t see her arms getting any fatter in the next few months so the costume should still fit her for quite awhile.

My sleeves were . I cut out two upper sleeves and two lower sleeves each in the costume fabric and the tulle.  And then I sewed the tulle onto each costume fabric piece in the same way as above–see what I’m talking about with it being time consuming?? Another nap time spent just sewing four pieces…diy-glinda-dress-4Then I worked on the puffy tulle part.  I understood the first part of Make It & Love It’s instructions no problem–I cut out the pieces and basted and gathered along the bottom line.diy-glinda-dress-5I would just like to point out that something else that I can’t do is gather.  So I always have to use the cheater’s way–I put my tension and stitch length both as high as they will go and then lightly pull on the top thread while I sew.  This creates the gather for me.  In my defense I tried it the regular way for the sleeves four times but just could not get it to work.  So I used the cheaters method instead.  And honestly I don’t notice a difference!
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I attached the sleeves to the bodice.diy-glinda-dress-7And then this is the part that Make It & Love It lost me.  I still don’t understand what exactly I was supposed to do with the tulle and sewing down the middle.  I ended up pushing about two inches of tulle towards the neckline and leaving the rest of it on the side of the sleeve.  And then I sewed down the middle, pretty much on top of where the sleeve and bodice connect.  I thought that was what Make It & Love It meant, but later I realized my sleeves look different than hers.  Mine turned out just fine though so I’m good with it!

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All of the tulle pushed to the sleeve side before sewing some down on the side of the neckline.

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Line sewn down on top of where the sleeve and bodice connect. There’s about two inches of tulle on the left side of the line, towards the neckline. The rest is on the shoulder.

The only part that turned out strange is that my tulle isn’t connected under the arm pit.  Now I could connect it by hand sewing it shut but I definitely don’t care that much.  It’s not going to fray and the rest of it sticks up so much that you don’t even notice it’s not connected.  And it’s on the bottom, pretty much in her armpit.  Yep, definitely not doing any hand sewing.diy-glinda-dress-21diy-glinda-dress-24I gathered my sleeve pieces (using my trusted cheating method) and attached them together.diy-glinda-dress-10diy-glinda-dress-9diy-glinda-dress-11

Then I pinned everything and sewed the sleeve closed.diy-glinda-dress-12Where I discovered a giant overlook on my part…I didn’t include the lining when I sewed the sleeves on!!  Whoops.diy-glinda-dress-14

The problem was super simple to fix.  I just ripped out the seam I had just sewn, from the wrist to the bottom of the bodice, attached the lining around the sleeve, trimmed and zigzagged it and then repined and resewed the sleeve and sides.  I’ve definitely made bigger mistakes before (and will make a giant one here in just a few steps…).  At least I realized it before I sewed both sides so I was able to hurry up and sew the lining in on the opposite side before sewing the armhole and side closed.

And I had a bodice!  diy-glinda-dress-15diy-glinda-dress-13Well, mostly.  It still needed a zipper.diy-glinda-dress-16I know this is going to shock you, but something else I never really got the hang of was sewing in a zipper.  I just don’t see the point of sewing it closed, adding the zipper and then ripping the seam open.  Just seems like extra work.  I always just fold the raw edge in about 1/4 of an inch, pin it to the top of the zipper and sew straight down.  I repeat for the other side.  I dunno, my method seems to work.

I’d just like to take a moment to point out that I’m dead serious when I say that I can’t cut in a straight line to save my life.  There is absolutely no reason why the right side of my bodice should be 4 inches shorter than the left side.  Absolutely none.  And yet it is.  Fortunately my zipper was exactly the correct size for that side.

Now I have a bodice!  I tried it on J and was pleasantly surprised.  I was a bit worried about the sleeves being wide enough to fit her arms, but they’re perfect.  I realized when she was wearing it that I never finished the sleeve edges.  Since they were already about 1/2 an inch too short as it was I didn’t want to fold them in to hide the raw edges.  I simply zigzagged them instead.diy-glinda-dress-26And now the skirt.  I did the tulle first, as instructed.  Instead of measuring the hoop skirt I simply had J put the bodice top and hoop skirt on and then wrapped the tulle around her.  I folded the tulle in half so the open edges were at the bottom of the hoop.  The length seemed perfect–covered all of the hoop skirt and only hung down past it a little–so I didn’t have to do any cutting.  What I did was cut off the uneven edges from where I had cut the bodice and sleeve pieces out of the tulle previously and then used all of that leftover stuff, plus my unopened 2 yard package.  It was about 3 yards total.  I sewed the two pieces of folded up tulle together along the sides, making one giant skirt.  I sewed it up one way and down another since I overlapped them about an inch and I wanted to make sure it was all connected.diy-glinda-dress-20Then I (cheat) gathered all along the top folded edge of the tulle.  I pinned it to the bodice, making sure to pull the bodice up through the tulle skirt, right side facing me.  It was a perfect gathering–exactly the right size.  I sewed the tulle to the bodice, trimmed as close to the seam as possible to get rid of some of the bulk, and zigzagged the whole way around to finish the seam.  I had J try it on to make sure everything was A-Ok.  And it was!!!!!

I was so close to being finished that I could taste it.  Which is probably why I made this last mistake.

I “measured” the costume fabric the same way that I did the tulle–merely wrapped it around J’s waist while she was wearing the bodice, the tulle and the hoop skirt.  Since I had 8 billion yards of fabric I actually had to cut my rectangle out this time.  I sewed the two ends together and clipped and zigzagged my seam.  I gathered the top.  I pinned the costume fabric skirt inside the waistline right on top of the tulle, connecting it to the bodice.  I sewed it all, then clipped and zigzagged the extra waist bulk.  All excited, I called J over so she could try her finished costume on!!!!!

Except it wasn’t.  The costume fabric skirt wasn’t big enough to fit over the hoop.  I almost started crying.  Dejected, I had her take it off and then I went to town ripping seams.  Then I had her put everything back on and I wrapped the costume fabric around her again, snipping the rectangle edges very carefully.  She removed everything while I sewed the new rectangle together, clipped the seam, zigzagged it, gathered the top, pinned the skirt to the bodice, sewed it, trimmed the edges and zigzagged.  I called J over again to put it back on.

And it still didn’t go over the f*cking hoop.  It was bigger, I’ll give myself that, but still not big enough.  That’s what I said some choice words and decided to stop for the day.  I was done.

The next day while J was at school and C was sleeping I decided to try again.  I ripped the costume lining out of the skirt and then cut it open where I had sewn the two pieces together.  I cut about an inch off of the side to get rid of the bulky seam.  I took the other costume fabric skirt, the first one, and cut it open along the two seams.  Then I cut a piece about a foot wide from the first skirt and pinned it to the second skirt.  I knew it was too much fabric but at this point I wasn’t taking any risks.  I sewed the three pieces together to form one really gigantic skirt, finished the three seams by clipping and zigzagging, gathered it at the top and pinned it to the dress.  Of course since this one was ridiculously wide the skirt was too wide for the bodice.  I didn’t care–I just gathered some more as I sewed them together.  See, this is where the cheating method comes in handy!!!  This time I didn’t finish the seam–I wanted to wait for J to come home from school so I could make sure it was big enough.

And it was.  Plenty of room to spare.  So I trimmed the seam and zigzagged it closed.  diy-glinda-dress-17diy-glinda-dress-18

I went through the whole dress looking for any holes or gaps and made sure to sew anything I found shut.  I trimmed everything.  And then I was done sewing.  Just in time too…I think someone would’ve been murdered (or something…like a giant poofy sparkly piece of clothing…) if I had to do any more.diy-glinda-dress-25

J strategically placed rhinestones on the bodice and I hot glued them on.  After looking at a picture of Glinda she decided she wanted some on the skirt itself and I said, sure, why not! diy-glinda-dress-22

And that’s it.  It was finished.  And with two weeks to spare before Halloween.diy-glinda-dress-28j-diy-glinda-dressTune in next week to see C’s fantastic and amazing and ridiculously simple almost-no-sew Flying Monkey costume!  Here’s a bit of a sneak peek.  It really shows C’s admiration and love for it.diy-glinda-and-flying-monkey-costumes-1

UPDATE:  See how long the tulle is in the pictures above?  Fortunately we went to a few Halloween events around town before trick or treating and I realized that the tulle is waaaaay too long.  Poor J kept on tripping on it and falling flat on her stomach.  How she didn’t rip the dress is still beyond me!  So I went ahead and folded the tulle under the costume fabric so they were the same length and then sewed it all around.  diy-glinda-dress-29diy-glinda-dress-30We’ll see if that solves the tripping problem…

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The costume to end all costumes: Glinda the Good Witch. Part One.

In mid-September J and I started talking about Halloween and what she might want to dress up as.  Obviously her immediate response was “Elsa!!”.  I’ll let her do the princess thing, sure, but let’s try to be at least a little creative for Halloween!  I got out of it by telling her that she can be Elsa if she wants to, but really Halloween is a great reason to get a NEW costume and not just wear something she wears all the time anyway.  She was thrilled with that concept and I was happy to not have one of a million Elsas on the street.

Since she already owns most of the Disney Princess dresses this was a problem for her.  The only ones she doesn’t have are the princesses she doesn’t really like anyway (Mulan, Pocahontas and Jasmine are it I think…).  She loves to play this “Good Witch” game at home.  Simple concept:  she puts on an old witch’s hat, grabs the broom and “rings” the doorbell by saying “ding dong!”  I then have to answer the door, act all surprised when it’s the “good witch” and invite her in.  And then she pretends she’s the good witch and joins C and I with whatever we’re doing.  Ridiculously simple and yet it manages to get on my nerves after the billionth time we play it.  But it’s one of her favorite pretend games so that got me thinking…what if she was a good witch?  And the only good witch that came to mind was Glinda.  Who was PERFECT.  Long poofy dress that covers her feet and is super sparkly, plus she has a crown and a wand.  Could she be any more up J’s alley??

The only problem was that J hadn’t seen the Wizard of Oz yet.  Which wasn’t really an issue at all.  I simply googled Glinda, showed her the pictures and she immediately fell in love.  I mentioned to a friend the following week what J’s costume was going to be but that we hadn’t watched the movie yet.  J went over for a playdate and the friend was “kind enough” to show her the movie.  Which actually made me really upset.  One–she’s at a playdate.  I don’t want her sitting around watching TV…that defeats the purpose.  She should be playing.  And two–I wanted to show her the movie!  I may despise that movie, but it’s still a rite of passage to see it for the first time and I was absurdly upset over the fact that she watched it without me.  Plus J is really sensitive when she watches new movies so I always watch things with her for the first time.  She asks a million questions and needs to know about the “bad parts” in detail before they happen, while they’re happening and while they’re over.  So that didn’t sit well with me at all.

But I digress.  Majorly.

So after we deceided on Glinda I searched for a DIY version.  And I found not only the perfect tutorial but the most amazing blog ever.  If you haven’t seen Make It & Love It you have to check her out.  Like right now.  I’ll wait.  She is so amazing.  I’ve done a couple of projects off of her website since making the Glinda dress and I love them all.

So the Glinda dress.  Last year Make It & Love It’s daughter decided to be Glinda and so she tackled the giant project and put up a clear and easy to follow tutorial on her website, which you can find here.  I’ll show you what I did but you’ll need to refer to her for the specifics if you decide to do one yourself.

I’m going to break this down into several posts since there was a lot of work that went into it.  And just the introduction on how we decided on the dress was really long, haha, so I can only imagine what this post would look like if I did it all in one.

In this post I’ll explain how I made the hoop skirt, the crown and the wand.  In Part Two, next week, I’ll go into detail about the dress.  And then Part Three will be C’s costume, which is…wait for it…a Flying Monkey.  Which honestly I love even more than the Glinda dress.

So, the hoop skirt.  This isn’t something I would normally even think about J having, let alone tackling it myself.  But Make It & Love It has a fantastic tutorial, of course, and it really does add a lot to the Glinda dress.  I think it ended up being just as important as the crown or wand.  Plus J loves wearing it under other dress up dresses.  Every pretend princess needs a hoop skirt!

So this is what I picked up:

  • 3 yards of white muslin.  That’s the fabric I use for my quiet books and I love it–cheap, light, easy to sew.  It just so happened to be on sale at Joann’s while I was there (for the first time for this project…) so I only paid 99 cents/yard.  I didn’t actually need 3 yards, but I always like to buy extra.  Especially since I have plenty of use for this in the future.
  • 2 spools of grosgrain ribbon.  Go to Walmart for this!  I got 2 spools of 7/8 inch ribbon, each with 3 yards, for $2 a piece.  Bargain!!
  • 1/4″ plastic Pex Pipe tubing.  I bought this one from Lowes.  I made it super simple by just adding this item and the next one (the rods) for store pickup at Lowes.  No need to ask an employee or wonder around for 5 hours or anything!  I bought 5 and ended up using 4.
  • 1/4″ threaded rods.  Here’s the one I ordered from Lowes.  It was cheaper to purchase a 24″ one and then cut it into pieces than buy smaller pieces, so that’s the route I went.  I ordered 1 and then asked Hubby to cut it into 8 pieces for me.
  • 3/4″ elastic.  I used a 40% off coupon at Joann’s, but realized when I bought the ribbon that it’s actually cheaper at Walmart.  Something to keep in mind for next time!

I spent $22 total on the materials for the hoop skirt.  Just in case you were wondering.

To give you an idea of my daughter’s size, she has a 22 inch waist and her length from her waist to the floor is 20 inches.

The first measurement was simple:  I cut a 22 x 91 inch rectangle out of white muslin.  I followed the tutorial and sewed the short ends together to make one giant skirt.  I ironed the seams open.

Figuring out the ribbon was a lot more difficult.  Here’s a photo of my trial and error sheet.  I think it took me about 5 tries before I found measurements that made sense.  diy-hoop-skirt-6I sewed the first line of ribbon the whole way across the skirt two inches from the bottom.  I used the selvaged edge just like Make It & Love It so I didn’t have to worry about hemming along there.  That saved me a bunch of time.  When pinning the ribbon down I made sure to follow along with the tape measure and check that I was still the same distance every time I placed a pin to help keep it in line.

I added the next line of ribbon 4 inches above the bottom one.  Turned out that I still don’t know how to sew in a straight line, hahaha, so even though I was really careful about pinning it straight, that didn’t translate quite as well as I had hoped while sewing.  The lines are all a little bit off but surprisingly not too bad.  I made sure to continue to follow along with the tape measure for each pin.

And then I realized after I sewed the first two lines on that they still weren’t spaced out correctly.  I did some on-the-fly math and figured out where to space the last two ribbons.  Here’s a photo of exactly where my ribbon ended up going in case that helps you.  Math just isn’t my strong suit.diy-hoop-skirt-1

I sewed on my last two lines of ribbon.  For each set I left about 2-3 inches of overlap along each opening just like Make It & Love It recommends.  I also stayed as close to each edge as possible.

Since I was running out of room at the top I made the top hem for the elastic as small as possible.  To keep the raw edges at bay I folded it in a tiny bit and then folded it over again, this time about 3/4 inch, to form the casing.  I found that it really helps to iron the fold down first and then pin–helps it stay so much better when sewing.  I threaded the elastic through, tried it around J’s waist to make sure it was a good size, sewed the two elastic ends together and then stitched the opening closed.

Then the pipe.  I followed Make It & Love It’s instructions for the bottom one:  threaded my piping into the bottom ribbon until I ran out, added a threaded rod, connected a second piece of piping and then fed it through until I reached the end of ribbon.  I cut off the excess pipe, added another threaded rod and connected the two end pieces.  This is the part that was a bitch to do–I actually had to have Hubby do it for me.  I just couldn’t connect the two pieces together and shove them inside!  Not enough brute strength I guess…

I did the second row.  And this is where I went wrong, although I didn’t realize it quite yet.  Because I’m a complete and total moron I was thinking that each hoop would automatically revert to a smaller size.  So when I threaded my second hoop in I did the exact same thing as I did the first time around…so it was exactly the same size.  And this where the problem was compounded even more–I had absolutely no idea that this wrong.  So I did the third hoop the same way.  And then when I was threading the fourth hoop and saw that it looked funky I knew something was amiss….

Fortunately the one thing I did do correctly was to not connect the third tier together.  I had to keep asking for Hubby’s help and he was doing something else, so I figured I’d just wait until I was completely finished and then ask him to push the remaining two together.  I decided to try it on J before pushing the top one through.  That was my saving grace.

I wish I had a picture of how ridiculous it looked.  Unfortunately I was on the verge of tears and taking a photo of my complete and utter failure was the furthest thing on my mind.  It was one giant square.  And about 8 times too big around J’s waist.  I almost lost it.

After some thinking I came to the realization that I was supposed to trim the tubes.  DUH.  And then I was irritated because I didn’t understand why Make It & Love It didn’t say that in her post.  After rereading it I realized she does say it and, in fact, gives the measurements she used for each tier on her daughter.  My bad.

I fixed it as best I could.  It was impossible to dig out the second tier since I had already connected the two tubes.  Well I’m sure it’s not impossible but I decided to focus on the other two rows first and see if I had to fight with it.  I chopped off about 6 inches from the third row and tried that.  It wasn’t enough, so I chopped off another 6 inches.  And then I threaded the top tier through.  I only used one of the 5′ sections of pipe, even though it didn’t go the whole way around.  I was afraid that if I connected another piece it wouldn’t fit around J’s waist.

As you can see in this photo, about 1/3 of the top row doesn’t have a pipe.  But I already had to cinch the waist a ton to make it fit with that much tubing in it and there’s no way I could pull it any tighter.  In fact, it’s still a bit too large around the waist and falls down a bit.  So it was just going to stay that way.diy-hoop-skirt-4diy-hoop-skirt-3The second row needs to be trimmed more so I can trim the third row even more and then finish off the pipe in the top row.  However, getting to the piping in the second row was going to be a giant pain in the tuchus so I decided to wait until the Glinda dress was finished and then I would see how it looked under that.  It really irritated me that it didn’t turn out well.
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Oh and I should mention that I didn’t end up closing the ribbon pieces.  Although I determined that once the Glinda dress was on only I could tell that something was off (since I knew to look for it) so I wasn’t going to mess with any of the tiers but there doesn’t seem to be any reason to worry about closing the ribbon.  That piping isn’t going anywhere…trust me.  And it’s on the inside so I’m really not concerned with fraying.  Like I said, I don’t know why I sew.  I really don’t have the patience for it.

So let’s switch over and talk about something that I did like:  the crown and wand!  Of course the star shape turned out a bit funky and they’re both shedding glitter like there’s no tomorrow (I wish I would’ve done them differently), but at least they fit.

I did mine very differently from Make It & Love It (you can find her tutorial here, in the same post as the rest of the Glinda dress).  This is what I used:

  • Grey felt.  I have a ton of felt on hand.  When we lived in Canada a local fabric store was going out of business and I went insane, buying yards of felt at a deeply discounted price.  So I decided to use felt for both the crown and wand instead of foam like Make It & Love It.
  • Heat n Bond.  I use this for quiet books all of the time so I took some and ironed it onto the back of the crown to give it some heft.
  • Dowel rod.  I picked one up at Joann’s that was about shoulder height on my daughter.  It was only 79 cents, but then I discovered a week later they were only 29 cents at Walmart!  Man!!!
  • Hot glue & gun.
  • Rhinestones.  J picked out this tub from Michael’s.  There are A TON of rhinestones in there.  Her costume is finished and we didn’t even end up using a quarter of them.
  • Spray paint.  For the dowel rod.
  • Glitter paint.  For the dowel rod and, originally, for the crown.
  • Grey Acrylic Paint.  For the crown and wand to help the glitter stick.
  • Glitter.  My original thinking was to have J just paint over the felt with some acrylic grey glitter paint I have leftover from another project, but I didn’t have much left and that stuff is expensive, plus it wasn’t turning out as glittery as I had hoped.  So I found a huge container of large white iridescent glitter at Walmart for a couple of bucks.  I figured she could paint it grey and then sprinkle the glitter on top.  FYI I do not recommend this method!  We made the crown and wand over a month ago and I’m still finding glitter all over the craft area.  And they’re both still shedding like mad.  So don’t do it!!!!  The acrylic glitter paint would’ve been a much better option even if it wouldn’t have turned out as nicely…
  • Poly-fil.  Just a tiny bit to fill the star.  I always have some on hand.  J calls it her “fluff” and sleeps with it at night.  And then has a huge meltdown anytime I need to use it.  I don’t understand my child…

$9 total spent on the materials for the crown and wand.  Since I already had just about everything already the majority of that was on the rhinestones.

Crown first.  I started off by taking my grey felt and wrapping it around J’s head to get the right size.  I cut it with about an inch overlap to make sure there was room to close it.  And then I cut it at the top so it was about a foot and a half high.  Next I freehanded a tree shape onto a spare piece of card stock like Make It & Love It.  diy-glinda-crown-2

I placed it on top of the felt and traced four of them.  Here’s the cutout on the felt since I didn’t take a picture of the crown itself… diy-glinda-crown-4Then I had J paint the felt with some acrylic glitter paint.  It just wasn’t glittery enough for either of us, plus it turned out kind of patchy (since I was letting her do it) so we switched over to regular grey acrylic paint and while she painted I sprinkled some white glitter on top and pressed it down to make it stick better. diy-glinda-crown-3The following day after it was all dried I tried it on her.  Still fit perfectly (which is impressive for me…I always cut things too small!) but the top points weren’t staying up.  I have a ton of Heat n Bond so I snipped it to the right shape(ish) and ironed it on the back, hoping that would make it stiff enough. diy-glinda-crown-1It’s not perfect but the points stay up a lot better now.  I had J paint it grey so it would (somewhat) match the rest of the crown.  It’s on the inside so it’s not very noticeable.

Finally we glued the jewels on!  I let her go to town, placing them wherever she wanted and then using my hot glue gun to attach them.
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Finished!

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The wand was really simple.  First I had Hubby spray paint the dowel rod with what I thought was grey, but was actually gold.  It had been sitting in the garage for awhile so either it had the wrong lid on (which indicated that it was grey) or it sat so long that it turned from grey to brown.  Not sure, but either way it wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for.  After it was dry I just had J paint it with the grey glitter paint and I decided it was close enough. diy-glitter-wand-1For the star I cut a template out of card stock, folded the grey felt in half, traced the star onto it and cut it out. diy-glitter-wand-6I had J paint it with grey paint and sprinkle more of the same glitter we used on the crown all over both sides. diy-glitter-wand-4The following day, after it was dry, I matched the right sides together and sewed it closed, leaving one of the sides open to stuff it and put the dowel rod inside. diy-glitter-wand-3I flipped it right side out, stuffed it with a handful of Poly-fil and added a few jingle bells that we had laying around so it would make some noise.  diy-glitter-wand-2We added more jewels, obviously. diy-glitter-wand-7Finally I shoved the dowel rod inside and used my hot glue gun to close the star up.  Finished! diy-glitter-wand-8j-diy-glinda-dress-crown-and-wand-1j-diy-glinda-dress-crown-and-wand-2So there’s the hoop skirt, crown and wand.  Check out next week’s post for the actual Glinda dress…and all my trials and tribulations making it.  Seriously, I don’t have the patience for sewing…