DIY Dragon Costume

The idea, to make a dragon costume for our one year old son, came from his big brother (4,5). He was going to be a knight for carnival and I guess he needed a dragon that he could defeat. But at the same time he got a new book about a dragon who is called “Süsü” in Hungarian. He is the main character of a puppet show, very famous in Hungary and everybody loves Süsü.

His story goes like this:

He lives in dragonland with his parents who are the king and queen there. The dragons in dragonland are dangerous and mean creatures except Süsü: he is kind and loving. One time he event tries to cure the wounded enemy of his father and because of that he is forced to leave dragonland. After leaving, he is chasing butterflies and searching for his favorite food (wild pears) and meats a prince. They become very good friends and their exciting and sweet adventure goes on.

Here is the intro of the puppet show:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07MZjctmv7A

So after all, we decided to make a costume for our son nr2. just like Süsü. Check out how I made it!

Last year I made a few very cute bonnet hats and I wanted to combine that pattern with a sweater and make a hoody. So I started this project with the hood and added the dragon-ears to the seam.

DSC_1825Cutting out the parts: I added a 3cm wide collar, so I could attach the hood later to the sweater.

DSC_1831When I turned the hood inside out, it looked like this:

DSC_1838As you can see, I sewed one more seam on the right side with a 1cm seam allowance to make the hood look even more beautiful.

Then I made the head of the dragon separately and I attached it later to the hood by hand-stitching.

DSC_1835These two green pieces were cut out for  the head and the white ones for the teeth. (For which I used felt)

DSC_1839Then I used some white cotton fabric, batting and unused bobbins to make the eyes of the dragon:

DSC_1865Finished them up with black felt and more green fleece around the eyes and finally attached them to the head like this:

DSC_1866When the eyes were done, I hand-stitched again the nose and some yellow felt to make his hear:

DSC_1867When its face was done, I pinned together the two green fleece right sides facing together with the teeth and sewed them together but not completely:

DSC_1868I left a hole on the back of the head so I could turn it inside out and to add the filling:

DSC_1874After stuffing the head with the filling, I closed the seams on the back once again by hand-stitching it. As the head of Süsü was done, I only needed to attach it to the hood! But first I made the sweater. For that I used one of his existing hoody as pattern. I added a short zipper on front and a couple of yellow and green dots on the back and sides:

DSC_2014Adding those dots was pretty time-consuming but it was worth the effort at the end! There was one more thing missing: the wings! I had beautiful dark green felt left from my advent calendar project and I was glad to use it again! I added those yellow seams to make the wings look like the original ones and they turned out to be very beautiful!

DSC_2016The hoody was done so I added the head of the dragon on top of the hood:

DSC_2194And here is the back:

DSC_2192I was already very happy with what I had done but I did not stop here because I made matching pants and even a dragon tail which had a belt with velcro on it:

DSC_2195And when this one week project was done, I realized that my son is going to wear it only for a couple of hours but if you take a look at him, you’ll most likely agree with me when I say: It was totally worth it!

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DSC_2057He was so cute in this dragon costume! When he first tried it on, he started to chase his tail like a dog, it was hilarious…

And here is one more picture with his dad, the king:

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Thanks for the picture to kissadri!

What do you think? Do you celebrate carnival in your country or do you rather dress up for Halloween? What was you favorite costume so far? Mine were definitely these!

 

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DIY Knight Costume

Carnival season is already over but I promised you to show how our diy costumes turned out. Today I’m going to share pictures and a step-by-step description of my older son’s knight costume.
As some of you might remember, last year he was totally crazy about firefighters, so I had to make him a firefighter costume. This year was more about knights and his wish was of course a knight costume. But he can be quiet picky sometimes and he usually knows exactly what he wants, so I sat down with him one day at the computer to check out costumes online and to gather ideas. Finally I made a drawing of a knight looking how he imagined it and he even wanted to color the picture. While we were searching, he had the idea, that his little brother could be a dragon, my husband the king and I could be the princess. “All right then, let’s make four costume instead of just one…”-that was my first thought.

Anyway, I said yes and the next step was to buy all the fabric we needed. I think I did not spend more then 50€ for all four costumes which I consider a good price. Although I spent hours (if not days) making them all and at the end my mother sent me two old dresses of mine for my princess costume because I didn’t have the time to make a new dress.
Back to the knight costume. I started with a cotton long sleeved T-Shirt: I added some shiny fabric to the sleeves to make it look like an armor.

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I made the pattern for it using the same T-Shirt: I cut out the fabric 2cm bigger on all sides in order to have enough room for the seams. The T-Shirt looked like this:

DSC_1795For the next step I was going to make the knight’s vest or top. I was using a plain grey cotton fabric and this is how I made the armholes and the neckline:

DSC_1798I cut out the hole for the head and neck.

DSC_1801Then I cut out the armholes and a 3cm wide piece in the same shape (twice, for both sides).

DSC_1804I sewed those on, facing the right sides, turned inside out and added one more seam which is visible on the right side. Finally I made a bias for the neckline.

DSC_1807Then I made a cardboard sample for the red bottom line and cut out four pieces from a plane red cotton fabric.

DSC_1810I took two of them and sewed together along the edges. Then turned it inside out and made one more seam on the right side, as well.

DSC_1815I repeated this step with the other two pieces, then press ironed both.

As the next step, I sewed them onto the bottom of the vest, sewed together the sides and I added one more golden ribbon to it, to make it look even more beautiful. So far the T-Shirt and the vest were done.

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For the “neck-protecting piece” (does anyone know what’s it called?) I used the same silver fabric that I used for the sleeves and a white jersey for the inside. This is how I made the pattern:

DSC_1818I made two of them, then sewed them together on one side and used velcro on the other side.

DSC_1819Using one of his pants as a pattern, I made a new pair from an other shiny silver fabric:

DSC_1821I used rubber band for the waist, made the pants a bit longer and added the same golden ribbon to the bottom.

And with this, my job was actually done because I made a cool knight cape for him last year which he wanted to wear with this costume, he had a plastic helmet (his dad bought it for him last summer), and of course he already had a shield (also made by me using cardboard) and a belt.

DSC_1858I think he looks total bad-ass in his costume, very cool.

DSC_1856Here is a closer picture of the belt with the sword-holder:

DSC_1862One more thing: did you notice the castle in the background? When we moved in my son got a loft bed which he loves! The bed is quiet big and there is lot of space underneath for playing or for toy-storage. After moving in we had lots of empty boxes and I used some of them to make a castle under his bed. The walls run on two sides, I added a few windows and the gate is made out of duck-tape. If you are interested in the details how I made it, please leave a comment.

I had enough left over fabric to make a similar vest for the king (my husband) and using yellow felt and a little velcro he also got his crown! Here we are with the little dragon: me in the blond wig and my proud king! (The description of the little one’s dragon costume is coming soon!)

12628440_10153606492274039_425936819598706097_o(Thanks for the picture kissadri!)

But back to the knight costume, what do you think? Do you celebrate carnival or dress up at Halloween? And do you prefer to buy or make your own costume? I think I would always make my/our costumes because the whole process from the idea to finishing it gives me great pleasure, perhaps as much as wearing it.

DIY Firefighter Costume

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Halloween is around the corner, so I thought why not share my son’s latest costume with you. As I mentioned before we don’t celebrate Halloween but we do have carnival in the city where we live and we dress up in costumes but at the beginning of the year, not in October. This firefighter costume was made in February for my son and he wore it not just in the Kindergarten but on the city’s carnival and at home for many-many times. He still plays with it!

If you are looking for a cheep solution for your child’s costume and you are willing to work on it a little bit, then this is definitely something for you! Not to mention that I made this costume because all the new ones are made from polyester and my son is allergic to that fabric and I wanted him to wear something made from cotton.
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I bought the helmet, the mask and the ax but I made pretty much everything else.
I took one of his T-Shirts as a template and sewed a similar top in red. Then I taped the lines on the arms of the top with a yellow tape.
I used the same yellow tape to make his pants.
Then I took an old belt of mine, punched a few more holes onto it to fit his size. I sewed on a few hooks and even added a carabiner.
What you can see on his shoulder is a spare hose from our washing machine.
His fire extinguisher is actually made from a coke bottle with a spray top and covered with red and black tape. He can even use this and spray water with it.
And voila! Wasn’t that hard, was it?

Alaaf!

Excuse me, what did you say? Alaaf! I still don’t understand you…

Karneval 20141Well, “Alaaf” is something that people would shout at the carnival in Aachen and other parts of the region. I tried to look up its meaning but it is still not quiet clear. According to one explanation it has something to do with laughing, the other one says to ‘get out of the way’. Anyway, people were shouting “Alaaf!” at the carnival on the last weekend in Aachen and after a while we did too because it seemed easier to get more sweets by doing so. Even our son shouted it which was quiet funny to see.

The whole party started on Thursday (Fett Donnerstag=”Fet Thursday”) at 11:11am when everybody had some kind of a party at their workplace (or school or kindergarten). Usually men have to wear a tie and women would cut them with scissors. I don’t understand exactly why but they say if you don’t wear a tie they would cut something else off… And women are allowed to cut ties on the streets, as well. Most people dress up and wear costumes and there are always “carnival donuts” at the parties called Berliner: filled with jam and covered with lots of sugar. After the party at work usually everybody gets home early this day.

The party goes on as the weekend approaches. Many private parties take place in the city along with huge balls. In Köln (Cologne) there is a great carnival on Friday.

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On Sunday (Tulpen Sonntag=”Tulip Sunday”) There is a big carnival in the city center of Aachen organized mostly by schools and more for children. But it is huge. There are tractors pulling big vehicles called “Züge” (=trains) especially made for this carnival and they would build a new one with an other theme every year! People come dressed up and wait for this really nice trains (most of them come with music on) along the streets, everybody shouts “Alaaf” here and there, and candies and other sweets are thrown from these trains to the crowd to collect them. The real “hunters” go home with at least one full bag of sweets.

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The whole carnival reminds me of the Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit where we previously lived. Both are great parties and lots of fun. Except that this year the weather was much-much warmer in Aachen then it is usually in Detroit at the end of November.

Karneval 20142The next day comes “Rosenmontag” which means “Monday of Roses” and the whole thing with the trains is repeated. Well, not exactly the same because instead of trains representing schools, now there are trains representing associations, clubs and work places. It’s a bit more grown up. But the candy-throwing and the music is the same.

The lucky ones who live on these streets can even collects the sweets in their own window. Some might even use an umbrella or hammock for this reason…

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Well, we were blessed with the weather this year and with our two and a half years old son it was a lot more fun then previously. I am glad that we could be there and finally had some fun because we needed it. And for the last time before the lent starts: ALAAF!

Karneval 2014

Frog costume for the little one

Although the holiday’s roots go back to the Celtic culture (Great Britain and Ireland), traditionally there is no Halloween celebrated in most of Europe. At least not in Hungary. But after Christmas time and before the lent starts (ash-Wednesday) there is a period when we celebrate carnival and it’s time to get dressed in costumes.  And it is the same in Germany where we currently live. 

As many people around us know, our son is in love with frogs. I think each kid has his/her own little toy that he/she is in love with. It can be a teddy bear, a doll, some kind of a soft toy and in our case it’s a frog. Our son wasn’t even one year old when he first got a soft toy frog. Not just any frog, for him it’s THE FROG. He still has it, sleeps with it, plays with it, we can’t travel without it. We even bought an other frog (the same kind) just in case if he loses his beloved frog.

The funniest thing happened when we were told that he will be in a group at the kindergarten called “Frog Group”. I couldn’t stop laughing… Soon he will be two and a half years old and carnival season is around the corner. And of course the Frog Group will celebrate it in the kindergarten, so it’s time for me to get creative and make the first costume for our son. I asked him what he wanted to dress up to and the answer was no surprise to me: frog. Although I hoped a little bit that he would say refuse collector or maybe firefighter… My second question was to him: what should mom and dad dress up? And he said: lions. That was surprising but I am kind of happy with it because we can have a great hat, a yellow sweater and no fuss.

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Then I started to search online for frog costumes and I was very disappointed. Again. Very few frog costumes are available in this small size and even they look horrible to me. Next I searched on Pinterest and I found a really great tutorial on this site. There is a free pdf pattern for the hat (which was a bit big for us!), a good description for the feet, and the rest I could figure out.

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Buying the fabrics plus two afternoon spent sewing: that’s all it took for me to finish my son’s frog costume. He loves it, so I am happy and proud of my work.

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He will wear this costume for the city carnival which is usually outside on the streets and I also up-cycled one of his green hoody and created similar frog-eyes on the hood. And he can wear that in the kindergarten which will have an indoor carnival party and his head won’t sweat under the hood.

And for ourselves I made the lion-hats. It was quiet easy to sew following the pdf pattern. Yesterday we tried on our costumes and had some fun taking pictures. My son was very happy and kept saying “Qaack!” and he pet the lion and the frog and lion became friends.

Karneval+JelmezekI can’t wait for the carnival this year!