Zoey's Simple Jack-O-Lantern Costume From Store-Bought and Sewn Items

Zoey's Simple Jack-O-Lantern Costume From Store-Bought and Sewn Items

I considered sharing Zoey’s costume choice, an adorable jack-o’-lantern, with you last year but then decided that a rushed post right before Halloween wasn’t the best idea. I love the way Zoey’s costume turned out and I absolutely adore that over the last year Zoey was able to enjoy mixing and matching the hat, shirt, skirt, and leggings when she got dressed in the morning. Whatever your plans happen to be this year I hope this post helps you out whether you’re trying to decorate your little jack-o-lantern or doing something else this year.

Pinterest image showing a collage of four images of Zoey's final jack-o-lantern costume. All images can be found below. The image also includes a title, my main url, and several adorable Halloween clipart images.

Ever since the first time Zoey told us what her favorite color was, orange, it has never changed. Thus when Halloween approached, last year, I wasn’t too surprised when Zoey told me she wanted to be a pumpkin. Actually, at first she told me skeleton, since Ada had already told me what she wanted to be for Halloween, but once I got Zoey to stop fixating on Ada’s choice she immediately told me “pumpkin” and wouldn’t deviate away from it. I remembered Zoey refusing to wear her firetruck costume the previous year, thus creating Doc McStuffins, but when she didn’t budge on her choice I knew I’d end up making a pumpkin for her… now all I had to do was figure out how to make it happen.

While planning what to do I decided to start with the basics and head to the required sewing patterns. I knew the simplest option for the pants would be the Apostrophe Pattern’s MyFit Leggings but there was no point generating the pattern for Zoey until I knew the stretch of my fabric. With the pants figured out the next thing I needed was a pumpkin-y top. While looking online I came across the Tulip Tunic, through Ellie and Mac, and I knew that it would work to make an amazingly puffy pumpkin. I had some leftover orange woven fabric for the center of the top but I still had to purchase some bright orange knit fabric for the rest of the shirt and the matching leggings. I then bought the tulip tunic, sized Zoey, and cut out the fabric to make her a wearable muslin so I could check the fit. Before I could sew it up for Zoey; however, we went to Walmart and I found several different jack-o-lantern shirts and an adorable orange skirt. Zoey loved them and we went through both the girls and the boys clothing sections so she could chose her absolute favorite jack-o-lantern shirt out of all the ones offered. I ended up buying her favorite top and the matching skirt as I figured why sew a shirt when Zoey had already fallen in love with one of the store-bought ones and we could simply combine it with the me-made leggings I had already planned. Once I started the costume; however, I kept feeling like something was still missing until I found the Brighton Beanie through Peek-a-Boo Patterns to create the perfect stem for my little jack-o-lantern.

Image shows Zoey sitting in a shopping car at Walmart. She's holding up two shirts that, mostly, covers her up. The one on the left is a brighter orange, thinner fabric, with a cuter jack-o-lantern shapes and bow. The one on the right is slightly scarier with pumpkin curved vertical lines and a sticker letting you know it glows.
At Walmart (2019) we found one jack-o-lantern shirt in the girls section and several different ones in the boys section. The image on the right is the favorite boys version with a sticker saying it glows in the dark. Zoey went for the thinner and brighter shirt, on the left, from the girls section.
After we got home Zoey tried on the shirt and skirt, to confirm it fit, before we washed it and set it aside for Halloween costume wearing.

With the store-bought stuff figured out it was time to wait on the orange knit fabric to arrive so I could start sewing the leggings and, so far unplanned, beanie. I don’t remember where I got the orange knit fabric from but it was a lightweight polyester (96%) and spandex fabric that I later noticed was a bit see-through when stretched tight so I’m glad we ended up pairing the leggings with a skirt over top. Once the fabric came in I figured out the stretch, four-way with 50% one way and 20% the other, and generated the leggings pattern based on Zoey’s current measurements. The leggings came together quickly and, as I felt like something was still missing, I next focused on adding a stem to my pumpkin somehow. At this point I hadn’t chosen a beanie, yet, so I, again, went online to find inspiration and found an adorable crocheted pumpkin beanie, through HanJan Crochet, that I knew I didn’t have enough time to make; however, coming across it made me look at beanie sewing patterns so I then came across Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop’s Brighton Beanie. Since this was my first time using this sewing pattern I decided to sew it up, using the extra orange knit fabric, without worry about adding a stem so if it didn’t fit I didn’t waste any extra time and supplies. Once I finished the hat and found it fit Zoey perfectly it was time to now focus on adding a stem to my little jack-o-lantern. I figured I’d add the stem and leaves after the fact, rather than sew up another beanie, and went looking for some brown and green fabric in my stash. I couldn’t find those solid colors but I did find some leftover Walmart Thanksgiving fabric, last used in our trick or treating bags, in the right leaf-y colors. I then drew out the elements I wanted at the top of the hat, including the stem and some leaves, using my disappearing ink pen. I then doubled up the fabric, so it was double sided with the wrong sides together, and then topstitched where I had drawn earlier before cutting the items out with my pinking shears. For the pumpkin’s vines I took my excess fabric and sewed a zigzag stitch as I curved back and forth. Once done I trimmed the fabric off on either side of the stitches, using the pinking shears again, so I ended up with a wavy looking vine. I then stacked all the elements and sewed them to the top of the beanie. After sewing them down I folded them back, over the seam, and sewed once again hoping this would make the stem stand up better and make the elements more secure. With that I was done sewing the costume.

Image shows three leaves cut out, with a zigzag, to the right. There's a scrap, to the left, with a sewn on stem at the bottom and zigzagged stitched lines curving back and forth at the top for the vines.
I grabbed the scrap and drew onto them the elements I wanted, with a disappearing ink pen, then sewed two layers together, and cut it out with my pinking shears. I then used my iron to make the ink disappear but, looking back, I’ve since had the ink reappear on me so I’d use chalk if I were to do it again.
Image shows the flattened beanie on the table showing the leaves, vines, and stem on the top.
I stacked all the pieces together and stitched them on, laid flat, to the top and then folded them all over and stitched them on again, catching anything that wasn’t caught the first time, and making the stem more likely to stand up.
image shows the top of the beanie with the stem, leaves, and vines, mostly, drooping down. In the background is a white wall and the top of her body slightly blurred.
I loved how it looked once I put the beanie back onto Zoey’s head.

And with that the outfit was complete. I ended up only having to sew a simple pair of leggings and a slightly hacked beanie which made it so simple to put together yet looked great with the two store-bought items. I only wish they were all the same shade but at least the skirt matched the shirt and were then sandwiched between the two matching lighter items.

Flat lay of the leggings and beanie on the table beside each other.
The two finished items together.
Flat lay of the entire outfit on the table. Photo is taken at an angle from the bottom. The leggings are tucked into the skirt with the shirt laid slightly overlapping at the top. The beanie is the furthest away right above the shirt's neckline.
The entire garment all laid out together on the table.

Zoey loved the finished jack-o-lantern and I was able to snap photos of the costume out and about over the next several events we went to. The night of Halloween we paired the costume with a simple jack-o-lantern bucket for trick or treating that we’ve since gone on to use in the backyard for outdoor play and it’s somehow still held up so we’ll probably be using it again this year… if we need it.

View in the dark from the back of Zoey walking decked out in florescent orange.
The color was perfectly flashy in the dark.
View of a tree with Zoey sitting in the dip between two parts. Her arm is lifted hiding her eyes.
Just a simple jack-o-lantern sitting alone in a tree.
Image shows the back of Ada's skeleton in front of the tree. In front of her Zoey sits on the tree with the hat pulled down over her eyes.
The beanie was perfect as you could have the leaves and stem slouched over on the back or you could pull it down tight and fold the edges up so it fit perfectly…. or, like here, have room to be able to pull it over your eyes.
Photo taken a bit above and to the side of Zoey. She's sitting on the floor focused on putting some LEGO bricks together. Between her feet sits a bowl full of more LEGO bricks.
She loved the outfit and I got a kick out of her matching the bright orange LEGO bricks at Matt’s Halloween work party.
And the best part was that the outfit was comfy enough to wear to gymnastics class… meaning, after Halloween, all the pieces went into her dresser drawers to wear in whichever combination she wanted.
Image shows the back of Zoey's pumpkin costume as she twirls. To the right is Ada's swaying skeleton.
A jack-o-lantern and a skeleton dancing for photos before we headed out.
Back view of the girls holding hands and walking towards a house while holding their bags with the other hand.
While trick-or-treating Ada used a sewn bag I’d made for a previous Halloween while Zoey used her new and matching jack-o-lantern bucket. That bucket has surprisingly lasted through tons of water filled backyard play over the last year.

I love how simple this Halloween costume was to make; especially after all the details I needed to include on Ada’s skeleton that year too. I also love how bright the costume was and how we’ve used the hat, shirt, skirt, leggings, and even the bucket repeatedly over the last year. Overall it was an awesome costume.

I hope this helps you out whether you have a little pumpkin, jack-o-lantern, or some other creature you’re trying to create. Luckily pumpkins are a common autumn item so if you’re trying to combine elements there should be a related store-bought item available. I hope your research is going well and you create a fantastic costume. I hope you’re month is going well.

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