Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Angry, Angry...Birds!

So I am obviously a little behind with this post about Halloween, which seems like ages ago now, but life happens and things have been a bit crazy around here lately. It has become hard sharing our time between the house here in Georgia, the apartment in Tennessee, and several trips to Ohio thrown in there too! Unfortunately, we have not yet found a house in Tennessee yet, however, we did find a nice apartment that Josh will be moving in to next week - The Haven at Knob Creek. Luckily, we were able to secure a 3 bedroom unit on the first floor - the only one they had available! With two kids and a dog, I wasn't looking to do multiple flights of stairs all day long while trying to juggle a baby, hold a toddler's hand and a dog's leash. Whew! The rest of us have decided to join him after Christmas. By the time the moving company would be able to get us packed up and moved in, it would be getting very close to Christmas. So, we figured we might as well stay here and enjoy one last holiday here in Georgia, especially with it being Noah's first Christmas and all! We will be staying in the apartment until we either a) find a house we like or b) find a piece of property on which to build a house. Right now it is looking like option b will probably be the way we go. It makes more sense to us to build a house exactly the way we want it for the same price (or less) as buying a house that would need updated! Seeing as how we have done this now twice before, building wouldn't be so bad.

Ok, back to the original topic...Halloween. This year I hadn't given much thought to costumes and it was closing in on just a couple weeks until the big day. I started browsing the websites of the major stores late one night for ideas and came across the popular Angry Birds costumes. Ethan is obsessed with Angry Birds. Thanks Daddy. ;) The little addict starts chanting, "angry, angry," as he sneaks up to my iPad, covering the screen with one arm (does he think I don't realize what he is doing??) as he navigates with his other hand to the game. Yeah, I think he has a problem. haha! They had costumes for infants and adults online, but I couldn't find any that would fit Ethan. I also noted the outrageous price tag on them and decided there was no way I would pay that much for something they would wear just once! So, I started doing some more internet searching and brainstorming, and decided I would attempt to make the costumes myself. Yep, that's right. I hadn't touched a sewing machine in about 20 years, but you don't forget how to sew, right? ;) I found a few other blog posts (this one at Twin Dragonfly Designs was really good) describing how others had made their own costumes and went from there. I decided fleece and felt would be the easiest materials to work with and would be comfortable for the kids to wear too. We lucked out that it was a very chilly Halloween here in GA, instead of a hot one where fleece costumes would have been miserable!

In order to make the costumes, I needed to find a sewing machine first. I found a Singer that looked nice, at Target. Mom helped me get it all set up and I was ready to go. Unfortunately, I quickly discovered that the machine wasn't as great as I would have hoped. I had bought it on a whim without reading reviews first. Shame on me. The tension was way too tight and I ended up breaking 3 needles while trying to backstitch! Yikes! I ended up taking the machine back once I was all done because it was definitely not one I wanted to use again. Please avoid this machine if you are in the market for one!

Now to the costumes...following the instructions from Heather at Twin Dragonfly Designs, I started by cutting out two red circles for Ethan's red bird costume. I then cut out another circle on plain white broadcloth. I sewed this piece to one of the red pieces. This would be the front of the costume, which would get stuffed to make the bird nice and puffy. :) Then I sewed the right sides of the red together and turned it inside out. I was going to leave holes for his head and arms to go through, but decided it was easier to leave the entire top open, then sew two small pieces of velcro on either side of his neck, to fasten together to hold the costume up. This worked well for putting the costume on and taking it back off. After that was complete, I cut out the pieces for the face from felt, outlined them with a fabric marker and hot glued them on to the costume. Viola!

Unfortunately, I didn't get a lot of pictures of the entire process in order to make this a good tutorial, but here is the one shot I have of me sewing part of Ethan's costume. Yes, I am sitting at Ethan's kiddie-sized table to do this. I am hoping to have room at our new house to set-up a properly sized table for a sewing machine! ;)

For Noah's yellow bird costume, I followed the lead from the department store costumes to make it a full body bunting costume with a hole for his head. The yellow bird shape worked best for this concept, so that is why I went with that one. I cut out two big yellow triangles from the fleece. Then I cut one of the triangles in half, lengthwise. I thought the easiest way to do trick or treating with Noah would be to carry him in the Baby Bjorn, so I decided to drape the costume around the carrier, then fasten it in the back. I sewed the front to the back pieces and then attached velcro to the edges of the back so that it could be closed. After that was done, I cut out the pieces for the face from felt, outlined them with the fabric marker and hot glued them on to the costume. Another one done! Woo hoo!

Daisy loves dressing up for Halloween too. Ok, so the verdict is still out on that one, but she does love the attention she gets when she is out with us in costume! ;) Of course I needed to make her a costume too! I thought she would make a wonderful green pig. Fitting since the little birds (aka my crazy boys) are always "attacking" her! So, I cut out a green circle from the fleece for the pig's face. I added a couple ears and the facial features, from felt. To keep it secured to her, I made 3 sets of velcro straps (one around her neck, one for the chest and one for her tiny waist) to fasten it to her. Again, another pretty simple costume to make and I was done!! Yay!!

I didn't think that making the costumes would be too time consuming and I was right. I went shopping for all of the materials on the Monday before Halloween. I started cutting things out that Tuesday evening after the boys were in bed and worked on it during naptime and when they were sleeping at night that week. I had them finished up by Friday and ready for Trick or Treat on Saturday! :) Total time for the three costumes was under 10 hours for sure, maybe under 8? It was totally worth every dime and every minute when I saw these cuties all dressed up!!

We took everyone downtown the Saturday before Halloween for the Trick or Treat with the local businesses. It was fun hearing lots of the other kids excited about the Angry Birds costumes! haha! Surprisingly, we were the only birds there!

Here are the boys in their skeleton outfits later that evening. Too cute! :)

And finally, Happy Halloween from the tiny one! :)

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