Saturday, October 17, 2015

Halloween tip: stay warm

There is something marvelous about this time of year...when it's crisp in the morning and new China Airmail packets are waiting for me daily. 

When you realize that your costumes aren't much warmer than going naked, and last Halloween had realize that trick or treating could be rough.  Leggings and underarmour can be layered in, but perhaps some festive coats would be preferable.

I know not everyone is a dressing as a circus performer, but this super simple coat could be used for anything. The pattern is stupid-simple, but it works.  And it is super soft and snuggly--like a bathrobe you can glue sequins on. 

Yeah, these pics are a little bootleg, but otherwise you'd get this advice in December :)  Since it takes under an hour (if you have a friend to trace you), I figured there was time enough to pass it along.  

Check it:

Double up some standard fleece from the fabric store.  I can only vouch for fleece--it is easy to sew, and it doesn't fray so no hemming necessary.  Plus it is warm, which is the point.

Lay on top with shoulder a little below the fold.  

Then trace the arms and torso--I did it with a Crayola marker, which was annoying because it rubbed off on my hands and the girls, so be warned.  Add some extra around the rib cage (if you want to be precise, measure the rib cage).  

First, I cut along the blue lines.  Then I sewed the white lines.  Then I cut along the black dotted line and had them try it on.  It seemed to be working, so I sewed along the yellow lines next.  


One note--you do have to make some allowance for the neck--I couldn't show it on the pic above, but the cut line is really a "T".  

I had the girls try it on just cutting the straight line and then cut the top line while they were wearing it, but that is mostly because I had no idea if this was going to work.  But it does.  Also, you will have to use a few pins.  I was lazy, so I scrounged up 6 pins or so but general advice is the more the merrier.

Here it is at this point in the instructions:

Then you can cut it to the right length and finish it.  The notches make a slight collar shape (Char liked them), but I'd probably trim them off.  You'll see the back sleeve isn't pretty....but this is Halloween, not an heirloom.  And this whole process, including figuring it out, pausing the TV so people would stay still while I traced them, and sewing 2 coats, took about 2.5 hours.  So I bet you could kill one coat in 45 minutes.  

Devil?  Witch?  Princess?  Jedi?  Elizabeth Bennett?  Everyone can use a long coat :)  Fleece comes in every color and pattern imaginable (well, some nuanced solids may be hard to find...but the basic colors are there).  Buys some boas, ermine, sequins...or keep it plain.  

Also, I made the back fuller but that is unnecessary and hard to explain...if you care:  when you are pinning the yellow lines in the above instructions, match the layers of fleece up so that the bottom hem of the back is wider than the bottom of the top (and smooth it out so there are no folds along the yellow lines).  Just think about making the circumference of the hem larger....

I added a collar  and lapel's to Molly's coat so it fully closes (I'm not too happy with the collar at this point...I looked at this tutorial on attaching collars, which was good).  I hand-tacked some sequin netting onto Molly's anticipating no one seeing the sparkly creation underneath.  I'm planning on tacking a lame cape to Char's (cutting slits in the cape so the arms can go through), provided it arrives in time.  We bought this one after the gold isis cape arrived in a shiny mustard yellow.....

I bought this for Henry.  It is as cute as you think it is.  


  1. This is great. I remember Halloween costumes hidden under big winter coats because we were cold. It was so sad to have all that glory hidden. This is brilliant!

  2. Gorgeous models! Yay for Halloween! :)