It’s that time of year again – Halloween! It’s always been one of my favorite holidays! And why not! Cute kids in costumes, a crisp fall evening, candy, road sodas when trick-or-treating. What’s not to love?!
The rules of Halloween for us are plain and simple:
1. I pick the costume. You want to be a spider? Nope, sorry, not happening – unless your brother is Charlotte the Pig. Which brings me to Rule #2.
2. Costumes must match or coordinate. This brings me so much joy! Just give it to me! My kids are lucky that I’m not being part of the costume. I’ll save that for when they are 12 and 10 – just so it will be extra embarrassing.
3. My mom is boss. My idea – her vision and execution. She is a magician. A costume master. Her rule – get out of her way and let her work!
4. The kids must participate in a 4 day photo shoot. The process involves me yelling to: stand still, smile, don’t move, stop touching him, stand still and saying their names over and over again. The result – 1,376 pictures with only 2 that I’ll be able to use.
5. The kids get candy for being sports.
6. We say, “We’re not doing this again next year.”
So without further ado:
Captain Hook: [watching as Peter Pan is coming] I’ve waited years for this.
Mr. Smee: That’s not countin’ the holidays, either.
Enjoy the makings of Captain Hook & Mr. Smee!
Again with the disclaimer:
If you have looked at the other costume posts you are very aware that I do not know how to sew. I have an 18 year old sewing machine from Walmart which has 5-8 different stitches. None of which I know how to use. I can sew a straight stitch and sometimes even that gives me trouble. Somehow, costumes happen.
Using a picture of the character to help guide you is key. For the Captain Hook costume you will need red fabric (we used velvet) and gold ribbon for his coat, a white long sleeve shirt (ours was from Old Navy), white cotton fabric for the shirt’s ascot and ruffles at the sleeve cuffs, white tights and purple leggings (again from Old Navy). A Captain Hook hat bought from Amazon. And, if you’re feeling adventurous – you’ll also need black faux leather to create the boots.
My mom used this pattern found on the internet as a guide. Although it does not include the sleeves, we improvised:
As we have described in another post, we made an actual pattern using tissue paper (disregard the “draw middle panel piece”). To get an approximate size to fit the costume wearer you could use a tee shirt for the bodice size then flare and lengthen the pattern to fall below the knee of the wearer.
Fold the material in half with the outside (in our case, the velvet) of the material facing each other. To make the back of the coat, pin the paper pattern so that the front of bodice (not the part of the pattern with the arm holes) is on the fold. DO NOT cut the fold! As this is the back of the coat, do not cut the scoop of the neck as shown in this pattern. To cut the back of the neck follow the line of a tee shirt as a guide. Cut the material an additional inch larger (or even larger- without an actual pattern it’s better to make a costume larger and adjust rather than make it to small) than the paper pattern to allow for the seam allowance. Because you did not cut the fold, once unpinned, the back will be one panel.
Repeat the above steps to make the front of the coat but this time, cut the fold as well. Once unpinned there will be two front panels.
Pin the shoulders and sides of the back panel with the two front panels making sure that the outside of the fabric is facing each other on the inside. Sew the shoulders and sides together.
To find the angle of the sleeves, a long sleeve shirt was paced under the body of the coat and used as a guide. Cut a rectangle of material wide enough to go around the arm holes and the correct length for the sleeve. Fold the material in half lengthwise and pin it to the shoulders with the open seams in the arm. Adjust the angle of the sleeves then cut off the excess material and re-pin the sleeve to the arm holes the correct way! Sew sleeves around the arm holes, hem the sleeves and then sew the length of the sleeves. Hem the bottom of the coat.
To finish the neck, we used red bias tape rather than a strip of the same material used for the coat. I don’t know why. I guess it seemed easier.. Prior to sewing the gold ribbon onto the coat, the material at the neck line and chest area was rounded so the ascot would show.
The gold ribbon used for the front of the coat was purchased at JoAnn fabrics. This “by the yard” ribbon is much stiffer and more metallic looking than regular ribbon. Once the ribbon was attached, velcro was stitched to the ribbon at the chest area to keep the coat closed while worn. Two 4″ by 18″ pieces of white fabric were folded in half lengthwise, gathered and stitched to the sleeves of the coat to make the ruffles.
To make the ascot – cut a 10 inch square using white fabric. Fold the square like a fan then fold 1/3 of the “fan” onto the bottom half.
Sew the ascot to the front collar of the white shirt.
The purple legging were cropped and sewn to fall slightly below the knee. White girls tights (Walmart) are worn under the cropped legging to give the appearance of long white socks.
Now for the boots! The way that my mom makes them is genius! The boot is built around my son’s shoes so he’s still able to wear comfortable shoes while looting the neighborhood.
Start by folding the faux leather in half to the same height as your child’s shoe with the fold at the top of the shoe. The bottom of the material will be stitched together later.
Wrap the folded leather around the entire shoe. Cut the material and pin the back of the “boot” and the top of the “boot” as shown.
Remove the material from the shoe and stitch the heel of boot and the top of the boot where it was pinned. Trim excess leather with scissors and turn rightside out.
Sew two elastic straps to the bottom of the boot, along with the entire perimeter of the bottom of the boot.
Attach the “tongue” of the boot by placing it on the inside, angling it forward, sewing it in place and then cutting of the excess material inside the boot.
The buckles were cut from cardboard and spray painted gold. As you can see, there was a trial run before the picture was taken!
The hat was an actual Disney Captain Hook Hat – which you can purchase on Amazon. This adult hat was too large /tall for this little Hook so the sides of the hat were detached, lowered and then reattached. The wig and pirate hook were also from Amazon.
Ta-da! This kid seems to hate being Captain Hook! 🙂
With every good villain there is an equally good sidekick! Mr. Smee may seem like an easy, no thrills costume – but it’s all in the details! You’ll need a pair of navy blue shorts, and because a white shirt with blue stripes is no where to be found on the internet, a white t-shirt, blue ribbon (or blue material cut into strips) and a red snow cap. Too easy – right? Well that’s not my mom’s style. She then needed to kick it up a notch by creating a faux belly using foam and flesh colored fabric, sideburns using white faux fur material and over-sized feet and sandals (you’ll see).
Crop the white t-shirt to your child’s belly button. White bias tape was use to finish the bottom of the shirt so it would lay flat. A strip of velcro was attached to that bias tape inside of the bottom of the shirt which secures the shirt to the belly. Blue ribbon was sewn onto the shirt to create the stripes.
The faux belly is one of those details I told you about. You want to crop the shirt and call it a day? No problem! But – here are the faux belly instructions in case you’re looking for them.
You’ll need a piece of 1.5 inch thick foam trimmed lengthwise and widthwise to fit the belly of the wearer. Cut the foam into a half moon shape – the curve will be the top of the belly. This little Smee’s belly was 12″ long by 6″ in height. Using flesh colored material, cut the material lengthwise to accommodate the belly as well as what is needed to wrap completely around the back of the wearer. Place the foam in the middle of the material. Pin the material in the area of the center of the foam so the seam will not show when sewn. Pull the ends of the material together to make the foam pucker into a “pot belly” then pin. Remove the foam and stitch the entire length of the material. Squeeze the foam to reinsert it into the pocket of the belly.
Stitch up the ends and attach elastic bands. A piece of velcro was hand stitched to the belly which adhered to it’s mate which was sewn on the underside of the shirt.
We couldn’t find a red hat with a ball so we used some red felt to create the ball on top. White faux fur was stitched to the hat to create sideburns and hair.
The picture on the left is the entire outfit. The picture to the right is in case it’s cold on Halloween night. The long sleeve shirt and knit tights were dyed using teabags and can be wore under the costume. You think I’m going to let my kids wear a jacket and cover up all this hard work? Think again.
And now for the pièce de résistance! The over-sized feet and sandals! Using the same “belly” foam – traced your child’s shoe. Cut foam to size and cut a hole at the shoe opening (see pictures below).
Place one foam shape on top of two pieces of fabric which have been pinned together. Trace the outline of the foam foot (we used painters tape) and cut the material 1/4 inch larger than the traced line. Place two more pieces of fabric together and pin, trace the foam foot BUT THIS TIME cut the fabric an inch larger than the first time. You will now have two smaller size “feet” and two larger size “feet”. Place one larger foot shape on top of a smaller foot shape and pin the edges together. Repeat with the other small and large size shapes. The excess material on the top of the foot will accommodate the foam and the seam, when sewn, will be on the bottom of the foot rather than the side. Sew around the perimeter leaving about an inch or so un-sewn at the heel so it can first be turned right side out and then so you can insert the foam.
Pin and stitch the back and the inside of the foot hole area then remove that material by cutting it away. As with most of my experiences sewing costumes, ideas are modified. The shoes first used as a template were smaller than the shoes used for halloween so the backs of the “feet” were cut to accommodate the larger shoes. As it happened, it worked out better this way.
Create “toes” by hand stitching.
Brown faux leather was used to create the sandal. Wrap leather around the actual shoe to determine the height of the strip. Velcro was used to close the back. The foam foot was hand stitched to the top of the “leather” strip. Once the foam foot was in place another “leather” strip was sewn from one side of the shoe to the other to create the strap. The foam”foot” sits on top of actual shoes and the leather wraps around the shoe. Elastic band are sewn to the bottom of the sandal to keep them in place while walking. So again, as you can see, a trial run before the pics were taken!
And there you have it – an adorable Mr. Smee!
Watch out Halloween – Captain Hook and Mr. Smee are on the look out for candy…and a ticking crocodile!