Friday, October 31, 2014

Nemo and Bruce the Shark Costumes

I might be prejudiced but Nemo and Bruce are the cutest characters ever! Fish are friends, not food! No shark bait here. I made the Nemo costume adapting instructions from here.

On freezer paper I drafted a pattern from a size 2 shirt. Draft a front and a back adding enough length to have the costume cover the top of the legs - about the length of a short dress.  Draw a line 1/2 inch away for the seam allowance. Put the pattern pieces on orange fleece. Make sure that the stretch of the fabric is running width-wise and not length-wise. The front piece is cut on the fold as there is no seam there.

Next I sketched out an oval with a square bottom. This will be Nemo's face. I measured the front of the costume up and down and across to get an idea of how big to draw the face. Cut out.

 Out of white felt cut two eyes. Then cut 2 smaller orange felt eyes and 2 even smaller black felt eyes. Draw a mouth with a black Sharpie. I glued the eyes on using fleece glue. Center the face on the front section of the costume and stitch around 1/4 inch from the edges of the face on 3 sides. Leave the bottom open.

Cut 1 inch bias strips out of white fleece  and 1/2 inch bias strips out of black fleece. Not sure how to cut bias strips? Look here. The fleece glue I used is June Taylor. This glue works great for sticking fleece together, however, it is not sewable. I tried to reinforce some of the strips by me, not a good idea!

Make your fleece strips the desired length by placing two strips at right angles right sides together and then stitch diagonally across. When you open the strips you will have a continuous piece.

Glue your white and black bias strips around the face. From this picture you can see that I placed stuffing into the bottom (that is why you leave it open), however, I would recommend not stuffing the face until you have sewn the front and back together and put the binding on the neck and armholes. If you stuff it now, it makes too bulky to finish the rest of the sewing.

Draw a pattern for your side fins and tail fin. At the time that I made the costume, I did not know that Nemo actually has a smaller fin on one side. If you want to be more accurate, cut one pattern for one side fin and the tail fin larger and one side fin smaller. The fin I drew is 6 1/4 inches long and 5 and 3/4 inches wide at the top and 2 1/2 inches wide at the bottom.

Sew the fins right sides together with a 1/2 inch seam. Leave the bottom open. Turn right sides out and stuff. Then sew 3 lines of stitching vertically.

Using the black bias fleece measure around the widest part of each fin and cut a strip with the ends overlapping about 1/2 inch. Sew the ends together, then slip over the end of the fin and sew the bias in each of 3 lines of stitching you previously made. This secures the strip enough. You could also glue it on with the fleece glue.

Sew the two back pieces together at the center back with the back fin placed appropriately.  Have the raw edge of the fin even with the raw edge of the seam so it is sewn correctly. Stitch the zipper length using a long, basting stitch length then switch to the regular length to complete the seam. Sew in the zipper. After removing the basting stitches for the zipper, glue the white and black bias fleece into place along each of the sides. Stitch the top seams together using 1/2 inch seam allowance. Then stitch the side seams with the side fins placed about waist high. Make sure the fins are the same height on both sides.

Cut 1 inch bias strips from the orange fleece. Place a bias strip around the neck folding it in half to cover the raw edge. Stitch close to the edge. Do the same with the armhole.

Now is the time to add the stuffing to the face section. Make it as poofy as you desire.

Cut a 2 inch bias strip of orange fleece, fold it and sew it around the bottom leaving a 2 - 3 inch opening in the back. Cut 1/4 inch elastic to desired length and thread it through the bottom with a safety pin. Securely stitch ends of elastic together. Then stitch the opening shut.

Cut a pattern with two peaks for the top fin. I tried to make the fin not look like a rooster's comb but it kind of, sort of does. I think it works. Stitch the two fin pieces together leaving the bottom open, stuff and put in the center seam of the hood. I used Butterick pattern 6695 for the hood pattern but added bias tape around the face opening and ran some elastic through to give the hood a gathered appearance around the face.

Too cute!

Bruce the Shark costume is made using Butterick pattern 6695 for the body. I used a zipper in front instead of following the pattern and using a velcro closure in the back.

Taking the hood pattern I drafted a pattern and extended the top. I made a lining out of fleece and made the seams 1/8 inch bigger so the lining is smaller than the hood. Since the pattern called for 5/8 inch seams that meant the lining was sewn with 1 inch seams. I trimmed the seams. Before sewing the hood and lining together I added batting to that top extension. See how it stands a little higher and fuller? I also added eyes to each side of the hood. Then I cut red and white shark teeth strips out of felt. Those were placed inside with the flat edges even with the raw edges of the hood and lining and sewn in when the lining and hood were sewn together. The red felt teeth wouldn't lay flat so I put that handy dandy fleece glue to use again and glued the teeth down.

Since the costume was going to be worn to school I didn't sew the dorsal and tail fins to the costume. They would make sitting kind of hard and uncomfortable. I made them separately so they can be pinned on for trick-or-treating.

Following this tutorial I made pattern pieces for the dorsal fin and tail and then cut the pieces out of plastic canvas.

Then I cut two pieces of each fin out of the fleece.

Sew the fins together leaving the bottom open and clip the curves.

Turn right side out and insert the plastic screen fins. It was a little tricky getting the screen inside the fleece for the tail fin but it did work.

Add batting to each fin.

Hand sew the openings closed using the ladder stitch.

One year ago:  Tigger and Piglet
Two years ago:  Ewok

No comments:

Post a Comment