Halloween: Sewing Tips and Tricks

No one will know your sewing secrets unless you tell them.  I have been making costumes for a while now, it’s how I got interested in sewing. In the interest of saving time here are some of the sewing tips and tricks I have used in this season of the craft.

Infant Liger, Tiger romper with felt lion mane hot glued on.

JoAnn’s (any craft/fabric store really) is entering into it’s busiest and most stressful time of the year. Don’t take it personal if the employees seem uninterested in helping you figure out your project, they are a great resource but need to be treated gently and with respect a this time of the year. I spent a handful of years behind one of those cutting counters and know what it feels like on both sides.

Toddler Avatar Costume
Avatar toddler, painted unitard and tights that I cut into a shrug with thumb holes. Painted mask instead of face paint. Felt and feather accessories.

There are SO many ways to make a costume:

  • Thrift store finds in the regular clothing that you add on to or take away from.
  • Iron on things
  • Hot glue things onto a thrifted dress or shirt
  • Sponge on, splatter or paint with craft paint (for paint grab a fabric additive) or Rit Dye and remember to heat set in the dryer or with an iron
  • Don’t want to face paint? Grab a blank face mask from the crafts isle and paint it instead.
Wicked Witch of the West in Silky Solids fabric and McCalls MP436

If you MUST sew from scratch here are some tips on fabric choices:

  • Quilting cotton is the easiest to handle if you need to make a dress, choose that as a fabric.
  • You can glue, glitter, wrap in sparkle Tulle till your hearts content.
  • If you MUST use slippery satin type fabrics get out the needle and thread and baste them together. It’s faster than you think and wide stitches will hold it together as you finish it with the sewing machine.
  • There are hot glue sticks you can use to glue fabric together, it is a time saver use it if you can.
Mavis made with Leggings and Dress pattern from GoToPatterns

Using a pattern take heed:

  • If you use a pattern, know we all find that tissue difficult, like wrestling a wet cat without the scratches. Iron it into submission and when you fold it back up into the envelope it came in.
  • Always take measurements with a tape measure or a string that you then measure. Our clothing, even our kids clothing is vanity sized and what we wear in Ready To Wear might not be the size you need to cut out.
  • When using a tissue pattern you can trace it (put chalk transfer paper between the tissue pattern and the fabric) or you can cut the size out you need then weight it down or (gasp) pin it to the fabric and cut your fabric around it.
  • All of your supplies needed along with suggested fabrics will be listed on the back of the pattern envelope. Read it first before choosing your pattern.
Zombie bride: base dress is a Girls World pattern and then a stretch lace over shirt and apron with round leaf rosettes. Gray and red paint everywhere.

Boxes and cardboard not just for tissues:

  • For clean cuts use an xacto knife and multiple cuts (don’t try to go thru it in one pass) and go slow. Skin grows back but blood is hard to get out of cardboard.
  • All cardboard hot glues well but hot glue sometimes doesn’t take paint well, the more expensive acrylic paint should work as it has more elastic medium in it to adhere to the hot glue.
  • Same goes for using duct tape to tape together your cardboard. Use masking tape were you can, it’s surface adheres paint better.
  • Hoop skirts or large midsections can be made with a ring of cardboard (or a hula hoop) worn under clothing with duct tape suspenders or waist band.
Starbutterfly: rubber boots with paint and felt horns (glue did NOT want to adhere) purple and white tights dyed with orange Rit, Dress McCalls M7112 in teal quilting cotton with eyelet trim felt headband and Mom Made wand.

When all else fails a black cat is super easy and cute.


Happy Halloween!!

One thought on “Halloween: Sewing Tips and Tricks”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *