Monday, October 21, 2013

Confessions of a Wannabe Seamstress: DIY Toy Story Costumes

I like to pretend that I'm crafty. Sit me in front of a computer with a design program and I can whip up something as quick as a hiccup (or as quick as a pop-tart, as one of my middle school students said). Sit me in front of a sewing machine and I have flashbacks from my 7th grade home economics class where I accidently sewed the two legs of the boxer shorts I was making together. That made for several unpleasant days of unpicking the seams. But with pinterest and blogging, there are so many cute sewing projects out there! I keep wishing that I knew how to sew so I could make this stuff for my kids instead of spending money to buy it. 

Fast forward to a month ago when I decided that I wanted my kids to be Jessie and Woody from Toy Story. I researched costumes online and the money they wanted for these cheap little costumes was ridiculous! Finally, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and sew my own costumes.

First, I sought out my materials. Jessie and Woody make great DIY costumes because you probably have most of the materials already. Jessie and Woody both wear blue jeans (check) and I found a white collared shirt for Jessie at the second-hand store for $2. Woody's yellow shirt was a lucky find at Wal-Mart. I saw the yellow shirt (it has a picture on the front) and decided Woody could just wear it inside out and no one would know--plus then he could wear it after Halloween too. I think the shirt was around $4. Then, I bought cheap cowboy/girl hats online from Amazon. A trip to the fabric store and I found the cowprint fabric and fake leather material. I also needed velcro, ribbon, and red glitter glue. I also bought heat-bond hemming tape as a crutch--just in case the sewing got a little too intense for me--but I'm proud to say I didn't have to use it at all!

I bought a half yard of cowprint and a quarter yard of leather (mistake, I ended up needed a bit more), and I think a quarter yard of yellow as well.
I tackled Jessie's outfit first. I used yellow fabric and a pencil to trace the outline of the shirt. Then I used a pair of jeans to trace the cowprint fabric for the chaps.

Using the pencil, I drew a little detail to the bottom so it would look more like a cowgirl shirt. Then scissors to cut along the lines I drew.
 I realized that sewing onto a shirt was going to result in me messing up big time, so I opted to use velcro to secure the yellow piece to the front. I used the red glitter glue to add more western details to the front of the shirt.
 I also didn't think I could sew shirt cuffs onto the sleeves without majorly messing it up, so I made the cuffs with elastic that just slip over the existing shirt. I used white felt for the fringe.
I also added white fringe to the chaps. This is also where I got into my first problem. I didn't have enough fabric to hem the pants properly. So, I did do a quick seam up the sides so they wouldn't completely unraveled, but they do have a rough edge on them. I am just going to say they look more rugged/western that way ;)
 I didn't want to ruin a pair of jeans by permanently attaching a pair of chaps. So I found this idea there you use a piece of the leater to make a belt that just loops through the jeans beltloops, then use velcro to secure it in the front. I will probably add a belt buckle made from cardboard and spraypaint too.

Woody doesn't need as much for his costume (just a vest), but this part took me the longest. I used this pattern/tutorial for the vest. As a non-sewer I stared at the pattern and reread the directions multiple times, not understanding what I was supposed to to (it wasn't the tutorials fault, it was mine!). Apparently, cutting out 3 pieces of fabric was like brain surgery for me. Finally, I just went for it and started cutting and figured it out. Now, the pattern makes complete sense.

The original pattern uses felt for the vest, but Woody's vest is cowprint. I decided to line it with the leather and instead of hemming the cowprint, I folded over the leather to make an edge. It turned out pretty nice, I'd say (don't look to closely at my crooked lines! Also, I didn't buy enough of the leather so that's the back leather in two pieces instead of one like it should be--oh well)

Finally, after a day of sewing, I was done!

And you know what, I actually really liked this project! It was fun. This might not be the last sewing tutorial you see from me!