Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Dashi from The Octonauts

What are The Octonauts, you ask?  Fantastic question!  I'm still not exactly sure, but my 4-year-old niece is in love with them, and can recite an entire book to me (word-for-word, and with inflection and definitions).  However, the simple fact that it's a British TV show gets my approval, so when I was asked to make an Octonauts Halloween costume for my niece, I readily agreed.  Plus, when you're paid in Bello Tea gift cards, it's just a win-win situation for everyone.

Here's the costume that I had to create: Dashi Dog.  She's pretty adorable!

I used Simplicity 1704 for the pattern, and it was nice and straightforward.  Have I mentioned how much I love being able to just make a pattern without modifying it?

I found almost all of the materials at Hobby Lobby.  I know, I know.  I'm boycotting them.  Except, it's hard to boycott a store when no one else in the area has the colors that you need!  Yay for 40% off coupons!

Skirt with interfacing

The skirt was a light pink broadcloth.  I originally was going to put interfacing on the entire dress, but after doing that, it was like HELLO SUPER STIFF NOT AWESOME.  I pulled it off of everything but the skirt, which definitely needed the extra structure.

For the top of the dress, I cut off the bottom of the tan fabric and added a pink strip.  I figured it was easier than trying to lengthen the skirt.

I reshaped the collar a little to give it rectangular corners instead of rounded corners.  I then penciled the design on and machine embroidered it.  I did mess up a little, but it's not very noticeable unless you're super close (like this photo!)

For the details, I simply whip-stitched some white ribbon to the bottom and added a big, white button.

For the hat, I molded some craft foam around a measuring cup, then cut out a band from the same foam.

Those got glued together, and my husband paint a dark blue stripe around the band and the Octonauts logo on the top of the hat.

I insisted on making the hair for Dashi as well.  I went through a lot of frustration over it, because it shouldn't be that hard!  I made the Fruity Oaty Bar Girl heads completely out of the same fleece material!  I finally ended up sewing two ears to a stretchy headband.  Of course, I forgot to take any photos of it, but check it out in the final photo.

The final piece of the costume (which I almost forgot about, because I didn't know how to do it!) was the boots.  My friend brought over a pair of winter boots, and I basically just covered them.  Again, I used the craft foam, and I actually whipped these together in about 45 minutes.

Here are the materials that I used: one winter boot, one large piece to wrap around the top of the boot, and one piece for the toe.  I figured out the shape by putting the foam around the boot and cutting until I had a basic shape, then trimming it up until it fit the way I wanted it to.  The cut-out bit of the larger piece is off-center so that the ends can overlap.  The pieces are designed to end right where the rubber sole starts.  I was concerned about them becoming a trip hazard if they covered any more than that.  The top of the covers also extend just a bit over the top of the boot.

I then put the toe piece on the boot, wrapped the large piece around, and tacked the corners of the toe piece with hot glue.  I removed it from the boot and reinforced the seam a bit more.

Next, I added some elastic to the bottom of the cover.  This is so that the boot can slip into the cover, but not move around once it's in place.

Finally, I added velcro so that the boots fasten on the inside of the ankles.  I did this so that they looked nice and smooth when viewed from the side.  Hopefully, they won't unfasten if she bumps one boot against the other.  I used red velcro for that WOW effect.  Okay, I used red velcro because that's all I had handy, and I didn't feel like running out to buy more when I needed a literal two inches.

Here are the finished boots!

Finally, here is a side-by-side of my niece with the original reference photo.  She was quite excited to get the finished costume; there was a fair bit of jumping up and down and squeaking.  I think she looks fantastic!