Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Bee Costume

I kind of regret last years Halloween Costume. Not because it was lame but because it was so awesome and so adorable I can’t imagine how I could possibly improve it. But of course I had to try, and so I bring you…
Happy bee
I started by making an inner lining for the costume. I traced the outline of one of my son’s muscle shirts onto one of my old t-shirts. I did extend the length of the tank by about 6 inches to cover the butt. I also added an extra inch to the sides of the back piece below the waist to compensate for the diaper bulge.
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Then I did a four thread serge along the sides and the shoulder seams.
For the outer shell you need to make a yellow and black striped fabric. I used a super soft fleece-like material that shed like crazy when I cut it. I made 4 inch wide strips and then used a four thread serge to sew them together. I also did a 3 thread serge around the edges of created fabric. When I was finished making the fabric, I was covered with just as much fuzz as it was. I though it would be a pain to clean up but I took it outside and gave it a real good shake and 95% of the fuzz blew away in the wind.045
I love these stripes. I was almost sad to cut into it.
To cut the outer fabric I folded the inner shell in half and lined it up along a fold. I cut the neck, shoulder, and arm holes exactly the same. But then I cut a convex curve  for the side lengths. Don’t forget that the neckline is different but otherwise cut the same piece  a second time. Be mindful of the stripes. You want to line them up while cutting or they won’t match in the final costume. I also cut the bottom edge to be 3 inches longer than the inner shell.071
Before it had a chance to shed again I did a serge around the arm and necklines of both pieces.  Then I placed them right side to right side and did a 4 thread serge on both side seams and across the shoulder seam. If you need to, also serge the bottom.
With the inner shell right side out and the outer shell wrong side out place the inner piece inside and stretch pin and sew the bottom hems together
Turn the piece right-side out and put the lining inside. Cut a length of elastic based on your child’s waist. In the final costume it will actually rest mid thigh but the waist measurement should make it loose enough to walk around.  Place the loop between the 2 layers and sew a casing using the excess 3 inches of outer fabric. I basically used the bottom black strip as the casing and managed to stitch in the ditch on both sides.
Add stuffing between the 2 layers to puff up the body then use some ribbing or stretch material to bind off the neck and arm holes. If you live in a cold climate you could add some black sleeves.

No bee would be complete with out a stinger. I took some black fabric and cut a circle the size of a small plate. you will only need a third of it.
Fold right side to right side and sew the two straight edges together. Turn it right-side-out and stuff then hand stitch it to the back of the costume. I had my son try on the costume so I could place the stinger in the right place.


To make the wings get some 14 gauge wire from the hardware store, electrical tape, a pair of knee highs and some black straps of fabric.
Bend the wire into the shape you want  for the wings and wrap the center where the wire ends meet with electrical. Slip one knee high over each wing and tie them together. You may have to reposition the wire after the knee highs are in place.
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I used some leftover fabric to hand stitch a loop of fabric around the joint. Then I cut a length of jersey material to loop behind the back, under both armpits and behind the neck. I tied a knot and then fed the shoulder straps through the loop on the wings.
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For the Antennae I decided there was no way my kid wound keep on the regular headband variety so I picked up a black hat from Target for $1. For each antennae I folded a black and a yellow pipe cleaner in half and poked each end through the inside of the hat then I took the four ends and did a four strand braid. I hot glued a pom-pom on the end.
Add a pair of black leggings and watch as your baby bumble bee buzzes all around you.
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If you make your own we would love to see it. Please add it to our flickr group