October 14, 2014

Halloween Hack: A Robot that Can Sit!

Halloween! It's almost here, and if you regularly use a sewing machine that means it's time to think costumes. Stephanie of Swoodson Says has put together a great blog tour to help you out; Halloween Hacks; PDF Patterns Halloweenified. For my part of the tour, I'm going to show you how to take three simple patterns (a dress, pajama bottoms, and a raglan tee) to create a flexible, sit-down-able Robot Baby [in our house Robot Baby is always said in our best robot voices].

Sew a Robot costume for Halloween from PDF patterns you already have on hand, and make your child comfortable (and able to sit!) by using foam instead of cardboard for shape! | The Inspired Wren




When faced with a request for a robot costume, many people turn to the trusty cardboard box. But The Peanut made this request when she was 3-years-old, and I just didn't see her hanging out in cardboard very long. So I headed to the fabric store to think. After walking all the aisles I found myself in the far back corner of the store where the foam lives. Huzzah! The green foam I used in making this costume measures 1/2" thick but very similar to this foam listed as 1". The best part of using foam for a costume is that, unlike cardboard, it bends -- your little robot will be able to sit for costume story hour at the library or the Halloween Parade in town.

Sew a Robot costume for Halloween from PDF patterns you already have on hand, and make your child comfortable (and able to sit!) by using foam instead of cardboard for shape! | The Inspired Wren
Robot Baby sits!

To make the main body of the robot, I used a simple a-line dress pattern similar to this one from The Lily Bird Studio. I made a couple of modifications and construction changes to accommodate the foam. First, I used one size larger than what would currently fit; then, I scooped the back neckline down to fit over The Peanut's head and removed the opening/closure. After cutting the foam and the silver vinyl from the pattern I then trimmed 1/4" away from the foam at the neckline and armscye and 1/2" off the bottom (again, just on the foam). I sewed the shoulder and side seams right sides together through all 4 layers: foam-front/vinyl-front/vinyl-back/foam-back. To finish the neckline and armholes, I used single fold bias tape which I stitched first to the outside of the vinyl, then folded to the wrong side and over the foam to stitch it in place trough the foam and vinyl. At the bottom I simply hemmed the vinyl and left the foam untouched. After that, I embellished to my heart's content with stick-on gems and sewn-on trim.

Sew a Robot costume for Halloween from PDF patterns you already have on hand, and make your child comfortable (and able to sit!) by using foam instead of cardboard for shape! | The Inspired Wren
Experimenting is a large part of the fun when making costumes; wobbly stitching is okay, too.

To make sure my Robot Baby [you read that with your robot voice, right?] was comfortable, I used two loose-fitting patterns for her arms and legs. I made robot legs with costume satin and simple Pajama Pants like this pattern from Ella Full of Grace. For the arms I used the same costume satin, but attached them to a gray knit bodice on a raglan tee like the Field Trip Raglan T-Shirt from Oliver + S.

Sew a Robot costume for Halloween from PDF patterns you already have on hand, and make your child comfortable (and able to sit!) by using foam instead of cardboard for shape! | The Inspired Wren

To finish out the costume I created a head piece from a sparkly, silver plastic headband and pipe cleaners. I also made two back patches for Mr. Wren and myself with my trusty ink-jet printer and some muslin. We pinned them to our backs and TaDa! family costumes.

Create a simple costume with an ink-jet printed patch for your shirt. | The Inspired Wren
The ink streaked across the fabric when printing -- I like to pretend it adds a greasy, authentic look to the patch.
Robot Baby | The Inspired Wren
Pre-blog, pre-camera, phone pics from the 2012 Halloween Parade.

Just think of the costumes you can make with foam! This simple a-line shape can easily become a Dalek (for the Dr. Who fans), but you can also make boxes for train and car costumes, or cylinders for fire hydrants (yes, I knew of a little fire hydrant trick-or-treating a few years back). 

Sew a Robot costume for Halloween from PDF patterns you already have on hand, and make your child comfortable (and able to sit!) by using foam instead of cardboard for shape! | The Inspired Wren
While I was making this I was hunting for a way to get actual lights (battery-operated LEDs maybe?) onto the costume. Didn't happen, but wouldn't that have rocked?!


Check out all of the other Halloween hacks on the blog tour!

BLOG TOUR!


Wednesday, October 1st: Rebekah Sews & Dog Under My Desk

Thursday, October 2nd: Friends Stitched Together & Sew Pandi


Monday, October 6th: Shawnta Sews & Handmade Boy

Tuesday, October 7th: Muse of the Morning & Swoodson Says

Wednesday, October 8th: Call Ajaire & Sew McCool

Thursday, October 9th: Once Upon A Sewing Machine & imagine gnats

Friday, October 10th: The Sewing Geek & Feather’s Flights

Monday, October 13th: Get Your Crap Together & Needle and Ted

Tuesday, October 14th: The Shaffer Sisters & The Inspired Wren

Wednesday, October 15th: Pattern Revolution & Just Joshin

But wait! There's more… A SCAVENGER HUNT!

Time to go trick or treating! Use the Rafflecopter below for a digital scavenger hunt. You’ll be looking at each blog’s posts for the month of September to find this icon:


for a chance to win one of THREE awesome sewing prize packs! Three winners will be chosen randomly (and their form completion verified) and emailed within 3 days of the hunt’s closure.

A big thank you to all the sponsors who donated prizes!

Pack 1 {$30 to The Ribbon Retreat +2 patterns from GYCT Designs + 1 pattern from Dog Under My Desk}


Pack 2 {$30 to The Fabric Fairy + Kids Pattern Package from imagine gnats}


Pack 3 {$30 to Fat Quarter Shop + 2 patterns from Everything Your Mama Made & More +Ramblin’ Raglan Mega Pattern Pack from Muse of the Morning}

Here’s the link to the giveaway, and have fun!




Sew a Robot costume for Halloween from PDF patterns you already have on hand, and make your child comfortable (and able to sit!) by using foam instead of cardboard for shape! | The Inspired Wren


Ren Murphy writes for The Inspired Wren.

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You should really see all that goes into each project!
From my marathon sewing sessions, to all that I do when I should be sewing, catch daily updates on Instagram (and Flickr) of works-in-progress. Get that behind the scenes view you’re looking for, and sneak peeks of First Tuesday Tutorials, too.
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19 comments:

  1. This is absolutely brilliant! And absolutely adorable!

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    1. Thanks! I'm so thrilled I can finally share it with a wider audience -- two years later.

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  2. How cool, I would've never thought of this! I love the personalized badge the most. Thanks for joining in!

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    1. Thanks for having me! It's a great series -- you should do it annually!

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    2. I like the badge, too -- it's my sneaky way of getting Mr. Wren to dress in family costumes which he would never do otherwise. ;)

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  3. You really are one of the most creative people I know. It seems no material will scare you off - foam, sequins, plastic - you name it, you've probably sewn it! This is so good looking, functional, and fun.

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  4. I LOVE THIS OUTFIT!! Now if it wasn't just two week before halloween I would have a new costume to make! lol!!

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    1. I realize this is a delayed response, but this year's tarantula costume was made in two days -- I never let "a week before" slow me down.

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  5. Wowww! I love it!! And my little daughter, who is a great fan of robots, would love it too!!!
    Already pinned!

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  6. Ahhhhhhhh! Thank you for linking up to my link party! This is BRILLIANT. And that tag is just too adorable.
    I am melting.
    http://www.falafelandthebee.com/2014/10/22/halloween-costume-round-up-and-link-party/

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  7. So adorable! The foam idea is inspired...because it's always great when they can actually be comfortable in their costumes. And I love the faux LED lights!

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  8. love this costume! so totally awesome and the fact it is flexible is pretty neat!

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