Sunday, October 23, 2011

My wild animals

This weekend, we went to an “after dark adventure” at a local ecological preserve.  It was so fun!  It was a short hike on one of the trails, and along the way, there were “critters” (people--probably volunteers, judging by the range of acting ability, lol--dressed up as different animals that you might find on the trails) who told you a little about the animal they were representing and their role in the ecological system.  It was entertaining and educational, and I liked that it was a non-scary Halloween activity. 

When we signed up for the event, they told us children were encouraged to wear animal costumes.  None of the store-bought animal costumes really inspired me, so I took that as a challenge to make something.  I had bookmarked this blog post that had tips for making simple costumes.  I figured the owl was perfect for a night time hike in the woods.  A little bit of tracing, cutting and sewing, and here’s my version:

As promised, it was really easy to make.  There is a part of me that really likes taking on the challenge of an intricate sewing project, but there is also another part of me (the one that doesn’t have a lot of time!) that loves getting satisfying results with so little effort.  I got a few different colors of corduroy at Joann’s, for about $1 each.  I cut a bunch of ovals out of them while watching TV one evening.  I also used some of the leftover felt from the little guy’s birthday crown.  I think mixing the corduroy and felt gave it a little more texture.  I looked at Target and Old Navy for a long sleeve brown shirt, but couldn’t find one.  So, I went with a fleece pullover from Old Navy for $8.  The knit cap was $3 from Target.  I cut it and re-sewed it into the shape of an owl's head.  And I used some scrap felt for the eyes.  The buttons on the eyes cost $3.  A unique and cute costume for less than $20.  The cheap part of me finds that satisfying, too. 

The little guy could hardly stand still.  His newfound feathers made him want to fly:

This is when I told him to stand still:
The owl costume got lots of compliments on the trail, and even one lady who asked me how I manage to make costumes when I have two little ones.  I never really know how to respond to this line of questioning.  I mean, does that mean I’m neglecting my kids if I’m sewing?  It’s just something enjoyable to me, so I try to make time in the day, although I always feel like I have more plans of things to make than I actually end up making.  That lady needs to read the blogs of people with 3 or 4 kids who are sewing and blogging everyday!

Anyway, I also made a little animal something for the baby girl.  I didn’t quite have the time to make another costume in time for the hike, but I made this little bear hat.
The pattern is from the Little Things to Sew book.  I’m a total oliver+s groupie.  (I used their pattern for the baby girl’s first birthday dress.)  I pretty much love everything from them.  And this hat was no exception.  The instructions were very clear, and the hat came together so beautifully.  The only thing is I’m still not sure about the purple tweed.  It was a last minute project, so I had to buy fabric from Joann’s, and their selection is limited.  Sometimes, I think it has a bit of a vintage-y vibe that I like.  Other times, I’m not sure; it kind of challenges my minimalist aesthetic.

I actually headed back to Joann’s to try another fabric, but when I got there, on a Saturday afternoon, the line at the cut table was so long.  I pulled the number 86 out of the little dispenser, and they were just calling some number in the 50s.  Ok, nevermind.

Of course, all the angst about the bear hat was for naught.  Baby girl wore it for about 5 minutes, maybe less.  heh.
Now that the little guy already has an owl costume, I’m rethinking my plans for the Wizard of Oz costumes.  I already have the fabric for those costumes, but that doesn’t mean I can't change directions...

1 comment:

  1. I agree with your comment about simple projects...creativity doesn't have to be complex to be expressed. Sometimes the simplest of projects bring joy just in being able to celebrate quickly that it's done and it's beautiful.


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