With Halloween just around the corner, what better excuse can you get to break out your sewing machine and put your craft skills to good use (no matter how good they are!). But if you’re struggling to decide what to sew and you’re running out of time, we’ve put together some critter costume idea prompts that should be quick and easy regardless of how new you are to sewing. These costumes are all classic eerie beasties that are instantly recognisable, and should be manageable even with only minor changes to clothing you might already have. So here are our top four ideas for cute, creepy creature costumes that won’t break the bank (or your sewing machine).
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Jellyfish: First, find your favourite floaty maxi dress. Then cut some long strips of lightweight fabrics – such as organza, thin cottons or silk – in colours that match your chosen dress. Ruffle some of the strips for more authentic tentacle look! Pin the strips of fabric just underneath the bust of your dress, the whole way around (overlap as many strips as you like until it looks good to you) and then secure them with a straight stitch. For the body of the jellyfish, use a transparent umbrella (a children’s umbrella works well if you don’t want to take up too much space!). Glue your leftover fabric strips to the inside edge of the umbrella. Daub some glow in the dark paint on the umbrella and some of the tentacles if you want to go full jellyfish spectacle!
Bat: Take a large black poncho, and put it on yourself inside out. Stretching your arms out one at a time, pin the front and back side of the poncho together underneath your wrist, and again by the side of your torso (make sure you leave a gap big enough to get out of!) Take the poncho off, and stitch the front and back together along the edges, between those two pinned points (leaving you with a torso hole and two holes). Flip the poncho back to be the right way around, hiding the seam – this now forms your bat wings! Wear your new wings over a black top, trousers, and fingerless gloves. Finish of the look with a bat mask, or a headband with ears and some fake fangs.
Owl: This may be a little more time consuming, but looks great finished. Find a tunic or dress to form the base of your costume – a brown or grey works well, and you’ll need something with sleeves. Cut felt ovals in a number of shades (browns, whites and greys, but you can throw in some other muted tones if you like). Starting from the bottom of your tunic or dress, lay them out a row at a time and straight stitch a line through the tops of them. Lay out the next row so the new feathers overlap the ones underneath by a few inches. Sew feathers on row by row until you reach the neckline. Add a single line of feathers from shoulder to wrist on each arm. Take any extra felt feathers and glue them across a headband. Wear with leggings and boots, and top off with an owl mask or a pair of big round glasses!
Cat: Finally, what’s more Halloween than the iconic black cat? Use a leotard, jumpsuit or top/trouser combo for your base. With some black felt or fluffy material, cut out some triangular ears and sew them onto a headband. Use the same material to make a tail by cutting a long rectangle and sewing the two longest opposite edges together to form a tube – scrunch the end up and sew through for the tip, then flip it inside out to hide the stitching! Pin the tail to your waistline, or straight stitch it on to what you’re wearing for more security. You can even go all out and make yourself some paws by sewing a pair of gloves then appliquéing pink felt footpads to the palms (some white felt claws on to the fingers!)
So if you’ve been struggling for a last minute costume ideas hopefully one of these quick crafts can help you out (or at least inspire you to something even greater!). But don’t worry if you’re still floundering for fancy dress – why not check out our Halloween Inspiration pinterest board for some extra help? We’ll be updating it until the big day!
Finally, when you’ve finished your Halloween projects – costumes, decorations and all, why not share them with us and the community on our facebook page (or tweet us a photo) and let everyone see your best spooky sewing of the year!