Friday, November 22, 2013

Rapunzel (Tangled) DIY Sewing Tutorial

For my daughter's 3rd birthday, she was in love with Tangled so we decided to throw her a Tangled birthday party. To go with the party, I made her a Rapunzel dress for her birthday present. It is definitely the best costume I've made so far. She absolutely loved it.

I used Simplicity pattern 2065.

Rapunzel Sewing Pattern

This pattern is perfect, but I like to keep the costumes looking similar to the original, so the light pink and purple weren't going to work. Plus, I figure those light colors will be quickly stained with how my kids play in their costumes. I went to downtown LA fabric district to get the supplies. I spent around $30 on everything. I choose a plum brocade for the underskirt and a matching lilac brocade for the bodice.

It was tricky finding a matching plum satin to use for the overskirt and sleeves. The one I used wasn't the easiest material to sew, but I made it work. It was a lighter weight than some others that I saw. This dress was fairly heavy once finished so I'm happy this fabric wasn't too heavy. I followed the pattern as directed.

I took these photos after the dress was complete, but the grommets didn't hold. I had to hand sew over the grommets to hold them in place. I haven't used grommets that often so I'm not sure if there is a better quality I could have purchased, but the ones I sewed were very strong.

I loved this light pink against the plum purple. I started with the middle ribbon and went outward. I didn't pin it that much at first and that was a mistake. It worked out better when I used a lot of pins. I remember in sewing class, my teacher really emphasized pinning. I sort of blew this off and lightly pinned on most projects. After many annoying mistakes, I've realized pinning is key. I now take the time to pin and it makes a huge difference in cleaner stitches.

I love this danty, cotton trim. I actually purchased this for $0.25 a yard in downtown LA! I attached it by hand since it needed extra attention and sleeve is delicate too.

These sleeves are beautiful and the material isn't scratchy. I think this dress could look amazing with the sheer sleeve and be a little more play friendly.

Here is the skirt liner attached to the mesh:

I was going to embroider the fabric but ended up buying iron-on pieces for the overskirt. They didn't stay on the satin material really well so a few pieces I had to stitch down. I found these at Joanne's and definitely a pricey addition. But, they looked great.

I found the trim in Joanne's $1 trim bin and got 2 packages.

The hair took a while to cut all that yarn! But it looked fantastic and was very sturdy. She loved having the yarn wig. We also had a purchased wig but she wouldn't wear it and it got "Tangled" really fast! This Rapunzel dress was definitely a hit.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Rapunzel Tangled Birthday Party

For my daughter's 3rd birthday, we threw a Rapunzel Tangled birthday party. I made her a Rapunzel dress for her birthday present and so she could wear it to the party. I will link to the tutorial once I post it.


I loved the idea of a cake tower but didn't want to put too much time into an actual cake. When I saw the donut cake idea on Disney's Spoonful website, it was the perfect fit. Aurora loved her donut cake. Some of the kids even ate the donuts! I made cupcakes for everyone in matching colors. I also included the figurines from the movie that I purchased at the Disney store.


The party was at the park, so decorations needed to be easy and wind resistant. I found the purple and yellow striped fabric in downtown LA for $5. This made a great tablecloth. I used frying pans to hold the cooked hot dogs.

I found yellow lanterns at Party City to hang from the trees. I used the Rapunzel Kingdom Sun Banners from Paging Supermom. These are free downloads that you print, cut out and string up.

The Flynn Rider wanted dead or alive posters were a must! We put them around the trees near our tables.


Get Tangled:

The Get Tangled game was a blast! I measured out even lengths of streamers so each child would have to unroll the same amount. Whoever finished wrapping their partner first won the game. We partnered the kids with one younger child (3-4) with one older child (5-7) and started with the little kids being tangled first. This way they could watch how the big kids wrapped them up. They absolutely loved this. Even when one set finished, they kept going until their partner was fully wrapped up.

Pascal Bean Bag Toss:

For the Pascal bean bag toss and the Snuggly Duckling ring toss, I used bean bag toss games. Two games came in the set and I covered both to match the theme. For the Pascal game, I used poster board and card stock to make it look like Pascal. The kids had 4 bean bag tosses to try to make it in.

Snuggly Duckling Ring Toss

For the ring toss, I covered the bean bag toss game with blue poster board to look like water. I got 5 rubber duckies and attached them. I already had rings, so we used these to try to make the rings around the duck. If I were to redo this game, I would put something under each duck to make it taller. It was really hard to get the rings to stay around the duck and they ofter bounced off. The kids had a great time trying!


As a family that loves art, I was excited about having watercolors as the favor. I bought the Rosa watercolors for $1 a set. The Crayola were $2-3 each which was a little too much for my budget and these looked just as good. I made a template in Word and designed this printout on cardstock. With glitter glue, I painted over the words "Rapunzel Paints" to add a little sparkle.

To go with the watercolors, I printed free Rapunzel downloads at the Disney website. I rolled them up and held them together with a strand of Rapunzel's hair (yellow yarn). I also found braided hair clips in many colors from the party section at Target and clipped those on. I told the kids when they arrived that they could go pick out their color and wear them if they wanted. Some of the kids opened their watercolors and started painting at the party!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mavis Dracula DIY Costume, Hotel Transylvania

My 3 year old wanted to be Mavis Dracula for Halloween this year. I thought this was a great idea for a costume and easier than the Belle costume I made last year. I made the matching Martha Dracula costume for myself to do the mom and me set.

Here's the photo from the movie:

For the dress, Aurora had a Carter's dress that she wears with legging that was almost an exact replica of the design. I used a black suit material that was very soft but durable. I only needed 1 yard for her dress. I folded the fabric in half and folded the dress. I then traced the dress and went back to add 1/2" around the outline. I cut a circle piece to match the collar that was 3" wide to add a collar and make it look more authentic.

The dress was just two pieces sewn together and the collar added on top. This was such an easy costume to put together. I bought the tights on Amazon for $4.50 plus $2.95 for shipping. I ordered the black and red to match the costume.

The red high top converse were definitely the most expensive part of the costume, but adorable and she will be able to wear them with a lot of clothes. I got these for $27 at Kid's Footlocker.

I also bought an $8 black wig with sparkly pieces. She wouldn't wear it, but maybe when she's a little older.

Although I normally wouldn't be inclined to put make-up on her, the black make-up with this costume is a must. I got black nail polish, eye liner and lipstick. She's too young for the cute vampire fangs but I think this would be an adorable addition for kids who will put them on. We had a melt down with the lipstick and she took it all off, but she still looked adorable!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Martha Dracula DIY Costume, Hotel Transylvania

My daughter decided to be Mavis Dracula from Hotel Transylvania and begged me to be Mavis's mom, Martha. This definitely seemed like a fun costume and I figured my time to do mom and me costumes is limited.

Here is what I was working with:

Fortunately, I had two patterns that work out nicely for this costume.  For the main part of the dress, I used dress B on McCall's 5499 pattern, with no belt. I used a 14" zipper down the back instead of the lace up back. The pattern flares at the bottom, so I had to modify the size when cutting the pattern. The neckline was a v-neck, so I made a change to this. I also needed to figure out how to add that trail at the end. Lots of fun modifications!

The arms on this pattern don't have the long, droopy look of Martha, so I used the arms from Simplicity 4940, dress A.

I bought a black suiting material that I also used for Mavis. Starting with the McCalls pattern, I used dress B. This dress has a lot of material in the skirt and the Martha skirt needs to be more fitted. Instead of wasting fabric to tailor the dress, I folded the pattern pieces to narrow the skirt. You can see below how the pattern is folded under. Don't forget to add the extra pattern pieces to make the skirt the correct length. I forgot to do this and had to improvise!

To add a train, I added 12" of length to the back pieces. I drew the white lines above to show how I sketched this onto the fabric.  On the side back pieces, I measured out 12" on one side of the side back piece to match up with the back pieces and made a curved line toward the other side, which would then match up with the front side pieces. When placed together, the side back and back pieces should make a semi-circle to create the train.

The v-neck was much easier to add then I expected. I placed my ruler on the fabric when folded in half, like the picture above. I cut off this piece of fabric and the neckline flowed nicely from the shoulder on down. I used bias tape to easily keep the v-neckline looking sharp. I used this tutorial to use bias tape on a v-neckline.

I sewed the rest of the dress like on the pattern, except I added a zipper instead of the lace up back. It fit great.

For the choker, I cut a piece of fabric 2.5" by 14", which should be more than enough extra material to do the velcro. I placed right sides together and sewed along raw edge. Using a safety pin, I turned it inside out. I ironed it flat and sewed along both long sides close to edge to keep it flat. For the short sides, I sewed them under so the raw edge is facing the neck.

I found this beautiful button at Joanne's for a few dollars. Instead of going for a sparkly jewel, I liked the antique look of this one.

I sewed the button on the center of the choker and added the velcro. The velcro was iron-on so it stayed pretty strong.

This was a very comfortable costume. Most people didn't know who I was but Aurora loved our mom and me, Mavis and Martha Dracula costumes, so that's all that mattered!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Obi Wan Kenobi Costume Sewing Tutorial

This will be my first of probably many Star Wars themed posts. Last year for Halloween, my son wanted to be Obi Wan Kenobi. I'm a huge fan of Obi Wan so I was very excited to sew this costume.

For the top, I used McCalls pattern 6184. There are two pieces to Obi Wan's top. The long sleeve karate top worked for the inner shirt and the karate outfit without the sleeves was perfect for his over shirt. I used gauze for the fabric to stay accurate to the movie. Even though it looked great at first, after a year of wear, there are several holes and it is really stretched out. I would probably still use gauze, but for those who might like a stronger fabric, you would use another natural cotton fabric or linen.

I made the costumes as stated in the directions. The gauze was also hard to sew because it does have stretch in it, so pin a lot!

For the cape, I used Simplicity pattern 5512, cape A. The fabric was a dark brown linen. It held up beautifully. I love sewing with linen. It is easy to sew, looks great and is long lasting. It is costly so I always buy with a coupon or on sale.

For the under belt, I used extra gauze fabric and added velcro. It was about 4" wide once completed. The outer belt was made out of a dark brown synthetic material I had used for another costume. It was about 2.5" wide. To make each belt, I put right sides together and sewed along both longs sides. I turned it inside out using a safety pin, ironed it flat and sewed along all four sides near the edge.  On the short sides, make sure you fold the edges inside so no raw edges are showing. The velco was strong and it held up his lightsaber without any problem.

We already had light brown pants and dark brown boots that matched the costume perfectly. We drew on the beard and he was all done. He lived in this Obi Wan costume for such a long time! It was a huge hit!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Halloween Ornament Tree

I bought a black Halloween tree to decorate our house without really thinking of what I wanted to do with it. I saw some fun ornaments but most were just too big for our little tree. A friend suggested I make ornaments with scary faces on them. I loved this idea but had a hard time finding good photos to download. Then the idea of a family Halloween tree hit me.

I found small black canvases at Michael's that came 8 in a pack. I picked photos from past Halloweens to include on the tree.

For the Belle costume ornament, I had a package of the Modge Podge metal necklace and ring kit. I used one of these for this ornament. The other pieces in that kit were really small, but this fit perfectly for the shape of her photo.

It was difficult cropping the photos for printing. I wanted to make sure the whole costume would fit but since they were small, I didn't want too much extra space around each kid. To get this right, I opened up the photo and enlarged the photo on my screen to the size of photo I would print. This way, I could hold up the canvas to see how the photo would fit. I could them crop the photo correctly.

I already had this string, so I cut 2-3 inch pieces for each ornament. I stapled them onto the canvases before adding the photos. This is key! I stapled one after adding the photo and it went straight through the photo.

To cut straight edges on the photos, I used a rotary trimmer and glued the photo onto the canvas. I then added the matte Modge Podge.

They turned out great! My friends and family loved seeing all the past costumes and pictures. I'm excited to make the ones from the pictures we took this year.