Child's Costume Part 1:
September 3, 2011
I remember when I first discovered I was pregnant with my now 2 yr old daughter and bragging to my husband that I would always make my daughter's Halloween Costume. 2 years in and I have stuck to my guns (though that is only 2 costumes so far- year 1 & year 2). This year, I am taking it to the next step and making a full costume using Kwik Sew's Babies and Toddler's Costume that features a Bunny, Bear, Dinosaur and Lion. My little one is crazy about all of these creatures but has a special fondness for lions so I am working on that one. As simple as it may look, making a costume for a toddler is not a 'jump-in' project. This needs some planning and consideration. First you need to know that this is not just a costume to your baby or toddler. Whether or not they understand the concept of Halloween and costumes, reason stands that all that will go out the window once they try it on for the first time. No, this is no costume to your kid, but an everyday outfit (fit even for the fanciest of places...the grocery store). FACT: this costume needs to last. Given that last bit, that means you need to bank on your baby or toddler growing so proper measuring is key.
You will need to start by measure your kid now and then adding a year's growth to that (this takes into consideration that this costume will not fall out of favor until next year's new costume is unveiled). You don't want to just estimate here either because patterns take growth as a factor too. You need to make sure you start with the right measurements to end with the right size. To measure a wiggly kid is tough but with a door and a piece of chalk it can be easier (chalk can be cleaned right off). Stand your kid against the door and mark above their head for height and stretch out their arms and mark for arm length. These 2 indications are prime growth areas. You can measure the door while your kid is playing somewhere else with less wiggling. Measure from the ground to the height mark and from the end of the mark to just under the height mark (if you drew in the measurement lines it would make a cross). If you can, quickly measure the tummy, chest and head). I like to do this while she is drinking because her speed is greatly reduced at this time. These are not as critical but are helpful since the tummy is usually the widest area, you don't want the costume to be tight on the chest and this is a big growth area, and the head is a key complaint area for kids.
Compare these key measurements to the back of the pattern envelope as your starting point and go with the next size up. If you are spot on with the size recommended for your size, great but not every kid grows at the same rate. You don't want a too small costume before it is time to make another and you don't want your child tripping to every house in the neighborhood. Start right to save yourself some trouble and make for one happy kid this October through October.
You can find more costume patterns here on Fabric.com
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