Sunday, 17 October 2010

Pumpkin Costume Tutorial

As promised, here is the tutorial for the pumpkin costume I've made for the school Halloween party on Friday.  Have tried to use a lot of photos to illustrate what I've done - let me know if there is anything that isn't clear.
I made this pattern for my daughter who is 6, but the height of a 9 year old!  Adjust the length for the size you need.

I used 2 yards of orange fabric & the same of firm interfacing as my fabric was quite flimsy, and I wanted it to hold its shape better.  If your fabric is quite thick then you may not need to use this. I also bought 4 yards of orange ribbon to gather the top and bottom, but you could use elastic if you felt like it.

You will also need some black felt for the features and some fabric glue or bondaweb to attach them to the costume.

Make your paper pattern:

Cut a piece of paper 36” long  and 10” wide and fold it in half length ways to make a piece 36” x 5” (this is just to make sure both sides of the pattern match)
The top of each pumpkin piece needs to be 5” in width, so measure 2.5” from the fold and make a mark

For the bottom of the pumpkin shape, make a mark 3.5” from fold as the bottom needs to be 7”


Find the centre (18” from each end)  make a mark at the outside edge.

Draw a curved line from the top mark, touching the centre line & down to where you’ve marked at the bottom.  I hope you can see what I mean from this photo.

Cut out the pattern along the drawn lines.  Open out the pattern & you should be left with a sort of leaf shape, but with the top & bottom chopped off.


Use the pattern to cut out 6 of these shapes from your orange fabric, then cut 6 from interfacing if you are using it. 

Iron the interfacing onto the reverse of each fabric shape.

Place 2 fabric shapes together, right sides together and sew along one edge.  Open out.  Sew the next shape on in the same way and continue until  you have sewn all 6 side by side. 


Do not sew the final seam yet.  Make a mark 2.5” down from each of the top panels & fold the top down to touch the mark.  Pin in place.  This is to make a channel for the ribbon to go through.


Sew along the bottom of the channel.  Repeat in the same way for the bottom of the pumpkin.
Using a safety pin, thread ribbon through the channels you’ve made.


Now sew the 2 ends of the pumpkin together to make a big circle – don’t sew through the channels though, just stop before them.  This will not notice when your child is wearing it.

Turn pumpkin in right way & try it on you/your child/your mother/your dog.  Mark where you need the arms to be & cut them out.  If your fabric frays, you will need to hem them or use a fray stopping liquid.  Luckily mine didn’t fray so I didn't bother.

Cut features out from black felt & glue, sew or bondaweb them to the front of the pumpkin.


Gather the top & bottom of the pumpkin by tying the ribbon. 


My daughter modelling the pumpkin costume:


I may yet pad it with cushions or add a wire inside it to make the costume puff out a bit more.  The bottom ribbon could also be tied around the waist to make more of a puffball shape:


If anyone makes one of these costumes, I'd love to see it.  Tomorrow I'm planning on making a hat to go with it.

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