Monday, August 1, 2016

Kangaroo & Koala Costumes - DIM'd

If you're looking for a tutorial this is NOT the place, but if you're looking for a bunch of text that probably goes in circles, then I've got you covered!

My oldest got to be a Kangaroo and my youngest was a Koala for Halloween last year! I haven't done very much sewing in the past, so I was nervited (nervous/excited. it's my word.) to try and make the costumes.

Originally I wanted it to be as simple as possible. A solid sweatsuit with some ears and a tail, done. As most projects go, it became much more complex, quickly. It appears that most stores that I looked at don't sell plain tan/grey sweatsuits in  12 months and 2T. Weird.

I hunted Gap, Target, Walmart, Shopko, and Kohl's. Nothing from what I could tell. I then browsed our local Value Village for anything, and again, nothing. When I was done hunting in their clothing section I decided to look at their 'home goods' area in hopes of some scrap material, and I didn't see any material, but I did find the perfect colored fleece blankets.

I purchased one in tan (it was crochet on the edges but I just took out the wool before washing it) and one in grey. I headed to Walmart for some matching thread and a zipper, and I picked up some stuffing from JoAnn Fabrics (wishing I'd used a coupon, but you win some you lose some).

For the kangaroo, I was planning on making a pouch, but after deciding to do a zipper in front, I justified going without one because male Kangaroos do not have pouches (and I didn't have enough material leftover). I was also concerned about making it too complicated to get out of, because my son is newly potty-trained and he waits too long some times.

For the main body I followed this video.
For the hood I found this video helpful.

Instead of cutting 4 pieces for the body I just cut 2 and cut the front piece in half to insert the zipper. It's cause I'm lazy, and I don't...not recommend it, but I also will tell you that it does make that ankle smaller, so maybe cut the leg your putting the zipper into slightly bigger to account for that (assuming you're going to be lazy like me...).

The tail I totally free handed, sewed up both sides,and stuffed with fluff (like Pooh Bear - YWIA for getting that stuck in your head). Once it was very firm (I didn't want it floppy) it was hand sewn onto the buh-tooshky. It sagged a little because I made the bottom half of the body wider (ended up looking like drop-crotch pants with the narrow ankles - a fashionable kangaroo!)

I bounced (you see what I did there?) back and forth on making the costume footed or non-footed, and finally decided that if he was going to walk around in it outside (which is what you do on Halloween) that I'd make shoe covers instead. This allowed me to make his feet 'look' like long kangaroo feet, which was an added bonus. I also free-handed the foot pattern according to the former video but excluded the bottom of the cover and stuffed the long toes with more fluff. After my son walked in them I noticed the shoe covers shifted around a bunch, so I added an elastic strap under the covers to hold them onto the shoes.

The ears. I free handed the shape of them and cut 4 pieces. My aunt had some iron on felt that I used to make the ears stiff and she ironed it on each side for me before sewing. Then I sewed up all but about an inch - right sides together - and turned them inside out and whip stitched (is that the right term??) the hole. I poured over Kangaroo ear pictures and decided to tack each side in - the one side only a little bit, and the other side more - then hand sewed them to the hood.

I free handed the ears and made them similarly to the second video, but I sewed the front and back pieces to a 1 inch wide piece of fluffy trim so that the top of the ears would be...fluffy. :) I stuffed them, sewed them together, and then hand-stitched them to the hood.

I cut out two little circles and an oval (it's actually a little wider at the top than the bottom) for the eyes and nose and hand-stitched them onto the hood.

For the feet I used the second video's idea but cut a 'claw' piece out of black felt and sewed it between the top and the bottom of the foot. I cut the bottom of the foot out of white felt.

For the tummy I cut a large (but not large enough it turns out) oval shape out of white felt and sewed it on. I made the mistake of adding the belly before adding the zipper, so in true lazy Morgan fashion, I just installed the zipper to go around the tummy.

I also sewed on the hood too soon, so I ended up having to put my son's head in first, then his legs, then his arms, and finally zip it up. Chalk it up to experience, I say. :S

My husband and I went as 'Australia' characters. I tried to pull off the Nicole Kidman look, but it was raining and my hair fell. We found my husband's Genuine Australian hat at the Value village as well.

If you're wanting to attempt Kangaroo or Koala costumes this year (or really any animal) I highly suggest it! You can totally do it if I can!

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