Life Sew Beautiful

my little handmade corner of the world

Harry Potter Costume December 5, 2014

Filed under: costumes — faithandfamily @ 7:04 pm

My son and his best bud are all about Harry Potter right now. My friend and I made our sons a couple of great Harry Potter costumes for Halloween, but it’s taken me a while to get it up here on the blog.

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The hardest part was figuring out how to make the robe. I didn’t find any tutorials online, but I did find this image, which helped a ton:


I used the ideas from this image to create my own pattern. My friend had gobs black fabric given to her that was perfect for the robes. I used a loose fitting oxford shirt of my son’s to make a a pattern for the robe, and I just extended the sides down, letting them flare out. For the sleeves, after I traced the oxford’s arm holes, I just free-handed the length and tapered bottoms, making the long part of the sleeve extend approximately to the fingertips and the shorter side (top) more wrist-length. For the hood, I traced a hood from a sweatshirt, but he really wanted a pointy tip, so on the crown part of the hood I drew it pointy, rather than the way this pattern shows.

I had thought that I would just find a gold or maroon-colored tie and use colored duct tape to make stripes, but I didn’t have any success finding a discarded solid-colored tie. Instead, I found this reasonably priced, perfect tie at I thought it was a great deal at $7.95, and it’s a very nice tie.

The Gryffindor patch was just $2 plus shipping, from an online seller.

I didn’t want to spend a lot on the glasses, and we have a quirky little store around here called Wilson’s 5 and 10 (an old dime store), where I found gold “Santa glasses.” They were round and looked about right, so I bought them for a dollar or two and used a black permanent marker to make them black rather than gold.

The wand? Just a stick from the yard made fabulous after a few moments with an orbital sander.

My son dressed as Harry, and his best bud decided to be Neville Longbottom. Those two were absolutely adorable and had a fabulous time. Time and money well spent, I’d say.

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Indian Costume #5 March 31, 2013

Filed under: costumes,kids' stuff — faithandfamily @ 9:27 pm

Well, if there’s one thing I’m good for, it’s making American-Indian costumes for my kids and their cousins. I suppose on my tombstone someday the epitaph might say something like, “She was a great maker of American-Indian costumes for her beloved family.” It all started a few years ago when my oldest daughter really wanted to be an Indian for Halloween. And since that costume went so well, and because my kids and their cousins love to play dress-up, last year for my niece’s birthday, I made her a similar costume. And then this past October, one of my nephews said, “Will you please make me an Indian costume for my birthday?” So, Aunt Addy did her best and managed to draft a pattern and come up with a boy’s American-Indian costume. And then when my son saw it, he wanted one too, so he got a matching one. And then, most recently, my other nephew said, “Aunt Addy, will you make me a costume too?” So, he got his AddyMade Indian costume yesterday for his birthday.


All the cousins wore their costumes both yesterday and today and have been having an awesome time in their imaginary world of teepees and pow-wows. And Great-Grandpa was having so much fun watching the little papooses play that he gave me a wad of cash to buy them all moccasins to wear. Those will be a nice treat when they come in the mail in a week or so.



Halloween Costumes October 30, 2012

Filed under: costumes — faithandfamily @ 1:34 pm

Here are our family Halloween costumes this year! (Hubby chose to go as himself this year….)

Susan Pevensie from Narnia, Squanto the Indian, Princess J, and Jessie.

Click here to see the post I wrote about the Susan dress.

Click here to read about the Indian costume.

Click here to read about the princess dress. I made it last year for my then-7-y-o, and I just temporarily hemmed it up about 10 inches this year, because my 3 y-o REALLY wanted to wear it.

For the Jessie outfit, I used this idea, but I made several changes: I used felt for the yellow parts instead of fabric and heat-n-bond, and I used a tube of fabric paint for the red detail on the shirt. And, yes, I used red hairspray to make my hair red!


Susan (Narnia) Costume October 22, 2012

Filed under: costumes,girls' clothes — faithandfamily @ 11:47 pm

My daughter loves all things Narnia, and Queen Susan is her favorite character. When she told me she wanted to be Susan for Halloween/ our church’s Fall Festival, I wasn’t sure I could pull it off, but I was determined to explore the possibilities and see if I might be able to come up with something. We ended up using this dress as our inspiration:

And here is our version:

It’s a little different from Susan’s dress in the movie, but it’s pretty close. And I forgot to take a picture of my daughter with her quiver that she wears across her body, which I think adds to the “Susan effect.”

I was pretty proud of myself, because I didn’t use a pattern, and instead traced the bodice of one of my daughter’s dresses and then improvised the skirt part based on some directions I had seen online for making a medieval dress. Here are the directions, fyi. So, I made a very high-waisted bodice, and then the main front and back of the skirt were basically a big rectangle, and then I sewed the triangular shapes into the sides, adding the loops too, for the lacing. I used a zipper in the back too, so that it could be more fitted and wouldn’t have to go over her head. I hope this makes sense….

Anyway, I’m really happy with this dress, and my daughter is too. Every year I tell myself that I am NOT sewing costumes this year–that we have plenty of dress-up clothes in the dress up bins already. But every year I find such satisfaction in working with my children’s ideas and seeing their excitement over something I lovingly made for them. It might just be a tradition that I wouldn’t dare stop.


American-Indian Costume for Boys October 12, 2012

Filed under: costumes — faithandfamily @ 2:34 pm

You may remember the American-Indian costumes I’ve made for girls here and here. I made the second one for one of my nieces for her birthday last year. Well, about a week ago, her almost-8-year-old brother was at my house, with his birthday about 10 days away, and he said, “Aunt Addy, I’d like an Indian costume for my birthday.” So I got busy right away, looking for ideas online and planning the costume. I am so happy with how it turned out. In fact, my son, who is the same age as my nephew, was so impressed that he asked me to make him one for Halloween. So, I’ve already got another one in the works. Here are some pictures, and then I’ll give some details about how I made it:

For the tunic, I traced the basic shape of an oxford shirt that fits my son well. I wanted the tunic to be blousy and wide, so that it would fit over his head and fit loosely, so I figured that an oxford, dress-type shirt had the kind of fit I was looking for. I drew the neck shape myself, trying to make it wide enough to fit over his head easily. I had to fit it over my son’s head a few times and cut a bit more until I got it just right. I also made a facing for the inside to finish off the neck edge. I used fringe and ribbon to dress up the tunic front, and I used fringe around the sleeves.

For the pants, I used Dana’s basic boy pants tutorial and I traced a pair of pajama pants that fit my son well. I added fringe to the outside pants seam.

For the headband, I just used a scrap piece of the ribbon trim and added a piece of elastic to the back so that it will fit well, and then I just stuck a feather in the back.

I can’t wait to give it to my nephew! I think he’ll be pleased!




American-Indian Costume #2 February 21, 2012

Filed under: costumes — faithandfamily @ 5:26 pm

In a post I wrote about a year and a half ago, I shared about the American-Indian costume I made my daughter. When I made my daughter’s costume, I bought twice as much fabric as I needed, so I figured that, at some point, I’d make another one. A lady at church asked me several months ago if I could use some fringe trim, and I told her I’d love to have it to make my niece, Hanna, a costume. I knew I couldn’t pull it off in time for Christmas, so my new goal was to make it in time for her 4th birthday, which is in late May. I bought some ribbon trim the last time I was in JoAnn’s, and I finished the costume last night.

I’ll add a few feathers that she can tuck into her hair, a bow and arrow set from Amazon, and this beautiful picture book about Sacagawea. Hopefully it will be a fun birthday gift!


The Wizard of Oz Family Costumes October 30, 2011

Filed under: costumes — faithandfamily @ 11:15 pm

Our family dressed up in the Wizard of Oz theme for our church’s Fall Festival on Friday night. We had such a great time planning and preparing these costumes!

In previous posts I showed you the Glenda costume I made my daughter and the Dorothy costume I made myself. The tin man costume was a great find on half-price day at a consignment sale.

I felt like my husband’s scarecrow costume came together really well. We used borrowed overalls and a shirt from his closet. I duct-taped raffia into his sleeves and we stuffed it into his pockets so that it was spilling out. The brown paint on his nose really helped the look too. Here’s how I made his hat:

I cut 4 triangles out of black felt with a base of 9 inches and a height of 14 inches. I sewed the 14″ sides of the triangles together to make a cone shape, and voila! I tied a piece of raffia to the hat to finish it off. It was really cute. And, by the way, I think those dimensions are kind of a one-size-fits all. The hat fit my husband, myself, and my 6-year-old looked cute in it too.

And my poor 2-year-old….I didn’t think she’d have an opinion about her costume this year, but as we were getting ready, she kept saying “No lion! I princess!” She had a brown sweat suit, and I had bought lion ears and a tail from Target. I had intended on painting a nose and whiskers on her face, but she really wasn’t interested, so I didn’t push it. My sweet older daughter let her hold onto her star wand for most of the evening to make her feel more princess-y.

We had a great time working together as a family, and my kids (and husband too!) were proud of my efforts, and that made it all worth it for me.