DIY owl Halloween costume
September 12, 2012
With Halloween sneaking up, I thought I would post some photos of the DIY owl costume that I made for my daughter last year. It was really pretty easy, and it turned out adorable.
For inspiration, I pooled together all the owl costume pics I could find (it was a very popular costume in 2011!) and then took the parts of each that I liked the best. I knew my daughter would never wear a mask, so I opted for a headband instead. Keeping in mind that she is a toddler who doesn't like to be constrained in any way, I barely attached the wings so that she had some flexibility. I made the entire outfit out of felt, which made it cost effective and simple because there was no need to hem any of the pieces. Knowing that she would wear it only once, time and money were big factors in the DIY process!
To make the dress pattern, I just traced a sleeveless, A-line dress that she already owned that was a little bit big on her (you have to allow for a little extra room since felt doesn't stretch and you want to be able to get them in/out without too much tugging). Once I had the dress made (I sewed the front and back together at the shoulders and down the sides), I cut out feather shapes from different colors of felt, placed them in rows across the front of the dress, and sewed a straight line across the tops of the feathers. On the back, I cut a slit from the middle of the neck down about 5”, and added some velcro for a closure. This way, I had some extra room to get her head through.
For the wings, I measured from my daughter's shoulder blade to the back of her hand to get the correct length. Once I cut the wings out (I made them from 2 layers of felt sewed together), I added feathers to the back side just like on the dress. Then on the underside of the wings, I cut some elastic that I could slide my daughter's arm through and sewed a strip of felt to the elastic in order to hide it. I attached the elastic to the wings just above where her wrists would be. I attached the wings to the dress right over the shoulder blade with just a few stitches. She was able to move her arms without a problem since the wings were barely attached to the dress. I was worried they would bother her where the elastic was, but she wore the costume without any complaints!
I made the pattern for these through trial and error with a piece of paper. I wrapped the paper around the shoes I knew she would be wearing, then traced and fixed until I had something that would work. I added extra length to the back and attached velcro to close them around the shoes. I also added a piece of elastic that ran under the sole of her foot and stretched from one side to the other; this ensured that they stayed put over her shoes and didn't twist or move when she walked.
I made these from two pieces of felt sewn together for stability, but by the end of trick-or-treating, they were completely trashed. The pavement just ripped the felt to shreds (you can see the little owl toes getting ruined in the photo below). I guess if I could do it again, I would have used a different material, but I didn't care so much since I only needed them for one night.
The headpiece was really easy and I loved it so much! I came up with the design on my own after looking at some different owl masks. I cut out the pieces and sewed it all together (I used double layers of the dark brown for added stability), then hot glued it in two spots to a headband. I intentionally made it sit at an angle so that it stood up from her head instead of laying flat. It worked perfectly!
I added a long-sleeve onesie (brown would have been ideal, but I only had black) and some tights and we were good to go! I was super happy with how the costume turned out, and even happier that she wore it all night without complaining. Toddlers are usually so hard to please...