Monday, January 18, 2016

Robin Hood and Little John

I know Halloween was a couple months ago but since we typically keep costumes top secret until they are finished. So... my post is a bit late...OR let's think about it as early for next year. It gives you some time to plan.

Our kids have been all over the place with costume ideas which is why we keep them secret. At first it was a dog and robot, then it turned into Minecraft Steve and Creeper, then they started changing every day and I couldn't keep up. I only had a month, a little less before the first party, to figure out what they were going to be. It bothered me so much that I had a dream one night and started to put my plan in motion.

In school we had been reading about Robin Hood and his adventures. The boys were very interested in it and wanted to see movies and talked about it frequently. So as we were finishing up the book I pulled up some pictures of what they may have looked like and the weapons they used. My youngest was sold for being Robin Hood, now I had to convince my older to be Little John. We went back to the first encounter between Robin Hood and Little John and how they were equally matched throwing each other into the river and then realizing who the other was.

Robin Hood, Maid Marian, Little John  Friar Tuck set of 4 Postcards:

I may have also said he would get a bow and arrow too in order to persuade him to join in. He did but it is still in the package in the closet.

Now that I have them agreeing to what they will be it was time to figure out how to make it happen. Pinterest to the rescue. I didn't want to spend a bunch of money on something they wouldn't wear. Last years costumes were a huge success as they still put them on. This year I mainly used ideas from The Crafted Sparrow. My In-Laws had just bought the boys new dark khaki color jeans which was perfect for their pants, we found long underwear type shirts in the men's department at Wal-Mart, and I made their capes and hats. The belts were fabric belts I had in my closet that we also used for their pirate costumes a few years ago. Halloween to Remember I had planned to make boot coverings but I was already feeling overwhelmed and my youngest had cowboy boots that worked well enough. My oldest was the issue.

We had a garage sale the 2nd weekend in October and as I was packing up I found some old black rain boots that were my brother's. PERFECT! Maybe a little big but we made them work.

Now the capes were a bit tricky which is why I gave up on the boot coverings. Originally we purchased a pattern although it was for an adult so I knew we wouldn't need as much fabric as they called for but my husband convinced me to go ahead and get it for the extra items like the hat and boot coverings. As they were measuring it out I felt a little fear creep in.

That evening I spread everything out and started to lay out the pattern...fear took completely over. It has been about 10 years since I used a pattern and 15 since I made anything that mattered like a skirt. Reading patterns or at least this one was hard so I turned to Pinterest. First I found DIY Fashion for a cape and hood but I didn't care for the cape. I wanted something that would flow and feel like something they could throw around themselves to hide in the forest. I remember my grandma making us full skirts so when I discovered Stitched by Crystal I knew it was a perfect match. I added a few more inches since it was for a 7 and 4 year old. I went back to the DIY Fashion for the hood pattern because again I wanted it to be bulky easy to hide their faces. Let's face it, it was also an easier pattern. Using a kitchen towel as my guide I cut out a rectangular piece of fabric for each cape.

After getting the capes and hoods cut out I pulled out my sewing machine...Only to get Robin's bottom hem completed. The thread kept binding and I tried to fix it only to break the bobbin holder. Maybe I should mention that I thought I had only 3 days to pull these costumes together for their first party so I was freaking out. I turned to liquid stitch and hand sewing the rest of his costume. But since I didn't double the fabric (it is only a Halloween costume) It bled through and wasn't as nice looking as I wanted. My thumb was throbbing after hand stitching the hood on because I was pushing the needle through pleated fabric and I had liquid stitched the hem of the cape neck. I decided to go on a mission to find a replacement bobbin case hitting 3 stores. It wasn't until the last one just 15 minutes before they closed that we found the last one they had. It was like we were in a movie cutting it close each time. Then it was time for the moment of truth, would it solve the binding issue as well. We were successful and only took about 30 minutes to sew Little John's cape and hood. So much easier.

Now onto Robin's hat, I know they had hoods to their capes already but Robin Hood needed his feathered hat. The first one I made was to small for my 5 year old so I made the second one a little larger using the Peter Pan pattern from Sew In Harmony. I should have used her suggestion using felt or a stiffer fabric but I had so much fabric left I didn't want to spend more money.

Our homeschooling party was cancelled :( Luckily Hy-Vee was having kids come dressed up to decorate pumpkins and make cookies so it made up a little for me rushing around. My sister was in town for the weekend so she helped me track down feathers and she decorated the arrows with the help of my brother in law.

The boys spent most of the next week in costume with a party on Tuesday, Trick or Treating Down Town and a Halloween party back home, and finally trick or treating around my sister's neighborhood.

Most people recognized my younger son but my older was thought to be Friar Tuck which didn't bother him much. I think we should have used a bigger staff for him but I was afraid businesses would consider it a weapon. Although we did have a few ask if they were dressed up as Star Wars characters, I had never seen the movies but after seeing so many dressed up as the characters I could kind of see it.

Let me know what you think!

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