Thursday, May 31, 2012

Buggin' Out


Since my children are only a year apart in school (one is in kindergarten while the other is is preschool) I get to do back to back school classes, projects, field trips and parties. Seems like I get one year under my belt and then here comes the other one. That can be a good thing as the previous year is still fresh in my mind.

For both of my children, preschool involved the introduction of the zoophonics characters. Does anyone out there remember The Letter People? A totally retro, 70s/80s curriculum of letter-learning. That is how I learned my letters people, by psychedelic half human, half letter puppets in bright jumpers and blue hair. It was groovy!

Now we have the super cute, not quite as groovy zoophonics characters and my kids are singing their songs all the time. Anyway, towards the end of each preschool year, the children are encouraged to dress up as their favorite zoophonics character. Imagine my excitement when I came across this costume that would have been perfect for Jerry the Jellyfish. I mean, cool right? I was positive that no one else would show up as a jellyfish. I would start off conversations with "You know what would be cool? Dressing up as a jellyfish!" But no, my son insisted on going as Deedee Deer. I tried the same tactic on my daughter with no such luck. She knew right away that she would be Inny Inchworm.

Okay, an inchworm. How does one go about making a worm costume? Giant shirts of course! Giant shirts are great for so many costumes and also for just wearing around. My nightgown of choice growing up was a giant shirt (mom's or dad's, it didn't matter). But I digress.

I started with a men's medium green t-shirt. The $7 kind.

Plain green T

Then I cut off the sleeves with pinking shears and used this pattern to form the hat. I was a bit nervous making this hat as the sleeves only offered the exact amount of fabric. I am not a one-hit wonder with the sewing machine so I prayed as I sewed that I wouldn't mess up. I added a snap closure as I didn't have enough fabric to do long ties. I highly recommend the cap pattern to anyone interested in taking a costume from good to great!

Green T sleeve hat

Nothing else was done to the t-shirt itself in the way of cutting. I only had to figure out a way to make the segments of the inchworm's body. Hm, I'm no entomologist but inchworms have segments of some sort, right? Oh well, if they don't I made segments anyway so my daughter could look more like a bug rather than a girl in a giant sleeveless t-shirt.

All I needed was some stretchy elastic and I was in biz. I didn't use the thicker, stiffer elastic that is used in waistbands as it is difficult to stretch. I cut a length of elastic that was about three inches or so too short for the circumference of the shirt. Sewing slowly, I stretched the elastic but left the t-shirt alone, gently guiding both through the machine. It worked! I did three loops around the shirt, creating four separate segments.

To finish off the costume, we just hooked some green pipe cleaners to a headband and we were done! I have to say this costume is pretty cool. Maybe I'll let go of the jellyfish idea. Maybe.

Inchworm and Cat
 Inny Inchworm and Catina Cat

On the path...