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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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