One of the absolute joys of sewing, for me, is creating fun costumes for my children. I know most parents dread that note coming home from school to say there’s another dress-up day on the horizon, and even I can’t get excited at the thought of some of them. But every now and then something purely daft comes along.
At my children’s primary school next week they are all going to be enjoying a Roald Dahl themed week of learning. And they’re kicking off day one with a dressing up day. My son wants to be the BFG, so we’ve got some giant ears and we’ll be dusting off the Jedi cape that I made a couple of years ago. My daughter, aged 10, is on the verge of feeling too grown-up for all the dressing up fun and began by saying she didn’t want to choose anything. Then, with less than a week to go, she came to me and said the only thing she wanted to be was the peach, from James and the Giant Peach.
I actually laughed it off at first and said that was way too much work. But then my mind started figuring things out and I realised that although it would take some time, it was actually fairly straight forward. I spent about £8 on some gorgeously soft (and appropriate) peachskin jersey. Everything else was found among my ever-growing stash of fabrics and supplies.
It all started with a sketch, some measurements, and a serious consultation with my client, who was quite adamant that her costume should be big and squishy.
Essentially, I started with a simple long t-shirt shape for the lining. I then re-drew this pattern shape but added curved side seams, and an extra 5cm to the length to allow for the outer layer to stretch over the stuffing. All fabrics used are jersey, but not the super stretchy variety. You can see from the photo below how the outer layer is larger, but everything matches perfectly at shoulder, neck, armholes and hem.
Jersey is very forgiving, and everything was sewn on my overlocker which made the construction fairly quick and simple.
The leaf was made from a crushed velour left over from my daughter’s elf costume. I stabilised this with Vilene Thermolam fleece.
Here it is, nearing completion. My daughter requested brown arms, and I had plenty left over from my little man’s Jedi costume.
And then it was on to the fun part! My daughter got started with the stuffing, but we soon realised that she had to put it on so that I could shape it to make it comfortable for her. It’s turned out a little pear shaped, but this was inevitable as she needs to be able to move her arms!
I finished the costume yesterday and she spent a good part of the afternoon wearing her peach! Following our little garden photo shoot this morning, she is still wearing it while playing video games with her brother. A triumph indeed – not entirely practical for a day at school, but great fun and (this is top of my costume-making list) machine washable!
You can see from the photos below that her face says it all.
Here is a little taster of some of the other costumes these lucky kids have enjoyed over the years. My absolute favourites are the fox costumes, made two years ago for a play the children were in. Naturally, neither of them wanted to go to school as Fantastic Mr Fox, but rest assured the costumes will be making an appearance on some other children tomorrow!