E. is going to be a hobbit for Halloween this year, which ties in nicely with KCW's storybook theme this time around. I took a look through Tolkien's intro to The Fellowship of the Ring, and it includes a note that hobbits like bright colours and are extremely fond of yellow and green. The hobbits in the fellowship wear green cloaks, so I took my cue from that.
I happened to have a child's dress-up cape pattern in a book a friend gave me last year when E. was born. The book is Sweet and Simple Handmade. It's a very nice book and my current biggest complaint is that either I am missing one of the pattern sheets altogether, or I have lost one. I don't remember there being four sheets, just three, and that's all I have, and at least one pattern in the book does not have a counterpart on the pattern sheets (and I was going to use that one for a vest for the hobbit costume--now I have to practice my pattern drafting skills instead). Also, I really hate pattern tissue paper. It never folds up again properly. Good book, would be better if it came with a CD of pdf patterns instead.
For the outer fabric of the cape, I went to Fabricana and found some green flannel. I would have loved to use wool fabric, but I don't really want to spend $25+/metre for a toddler's dress-up cape. (And yes, when I made myself a cloak, with the assistance of my grandmother, after my first year of university, I went straight to the woollen section and selected a lovely blue and green wool plaid. It's a lovely item and I've had it for years. Grown-up clothing is different, even if it is for dress-up). I am starting to really love flannel. It's soft, warm, easy to work with, and softens even more with age (true, not as sturdy as linen, but that's okay). I used an old cream-coloured sheet for the lining.
I added a hood, which I traced from one of E.'s sweatshirts, to make it a proper cloak. I used yellow ribbons for the tie at the neck. The cloak was a very fast piece to put together--several long seams each for lining and outer fabric, a couple curved seams for the hood, some careful pinning when sewing the two pieces together, and a little bit of handstitching where I flipped it right-side out (side-note: my blind stitch is improving).
|The hobbit-child in motion.|
I had to shorten the cloak by about a foot. It's listed in the preschool age section in the book, so it's designed with the average height of three and four-year-olds in mind. This is an easy alteration, though, and one I knew I'd need to make from the get-go. Same with adding the hood--I knew I'd want that so I got to try out drafting a hood for the first time.
|Our little hobbit is off on an adventure!|
I'm now working on E.'s pants for the costume. Charles pants in brown with green flannel contrasting fabric. I really love this pattern and these pants are going to be great for the rest of the winter, not just for Halloween.