Fall is a magical time of year. From the brilliant colors to all the holidays coming up it is a time where one can really mark the passage of time as the light dwindles and earth begins to go to sleep. As an American living in Denmark, it is important to me to celebrate our holidays and keep my family traditions so that my daughter has some connection to her heritage. That’s why we celebrate Thanksgiving every year, and why we will leave some presents to unwrap on Christmas Day.
This year is our first every with the baby and to be honest I am tired. So tired. I am super duper tired and I don’t feel overly creative. I am just trying to keep up with my clients and my kid. So I wondered if I should just skip Halloween this year. After all it is her first and she won’t remember it, nor is it as big in Denmark as it is in the USA— yet. But then that little voice who sits behind my shoulder and talks to me kept saying, “Don’t be lazy. If your mom didn’t do things because she was tired, think of all the things you would have missed out on.” Ok little voice. Fine. Have it your way. She is after all the most beautiful baby in the world and what an opportunity for some cute Halloween photos. So that got me thinking.
Fine, I’ll make a costume.
What can I make that is simple and I can get done in a few hours? What kind of costume can she easily wear?
Now one can debate the originality of a ladybug costume, but it was what my parents dressed me up as for my first Halloween, so there is tradition. More importantly, I can easily make this and it is cute. I looked on the internet but couldn’t find any patterns or inspiration that I thought were cute enough. So I decided to make my own.
Here is what I did. If you are an experienced or even moderately experienced sewer, then this will be cake and please forgive my weird methods. If you are inexperienced, I suggest trying anyway and do what I did: clip and fit and sew and fit and clip and fit and sew and fit so it fits your child.
This project took me about 3-4 hours.
First I went to Stoff 2000, the local fabric store and got my supplies. I bought some red wool felt as well as some scrap stretch knit black fabric. I had the black and white felt scraps laying around the house. I also bought a black body stocking from Smallstuff as well as some cute striped tights.
I then went looking for household “dot” makers. I found this cap on the milk carton, but it didn’t really work. Then after stewing for about 10 minutes I remembered coins. (I’m sleep deprived, so please don’t judge.) Anyway I settled on three different sizes because I like that the dots are all the same. Just trace on to felt and cut out.
For the wings I drew out my pattern on draft paper, so I could see what the finished wings would look like. Then I measured baby from neck to butt where the wings would stop and for width. I free hand drew the pattern on a paper shopping bag, put it on the felt and cut it out. I wanted thick wings that would have extra weight so I cut out two layers connected at the neck.
I glued the dots on alternating the sizes.
I used the same pattern to sew the “under” wings black pillow, adding in the missing point at the butt. I added some batting for puffiness and sewed the two together at the neck.
The cap pattern I copied from one of the 30 hats she had.
I drew out the pattern from this hat, tracing where I could. It came out a little weird so I just took measurements at intervals and redrew it. This allowed the pattern to come out straighter and it worked. There was much rejoicing.
Pinned and added a seam allowance.
I freehand drew the eyes on felt and sewed them on as well.
The cap came out pretty close to the original, but had a little too much slack near the forehead as well as the eyes were too far apart, so I added some pinch pleats.
Now that I had the parts it was time to figure out how to put it all together in a way that is safe and secure.
I cut out a back extension piece and sewed ties to that as well as the front part of the neck, these can tie under the arms and keep it in place. They are also impossible for tiny hands to get ahold of so they are secure.
You could easily add antennae (making it a better ladybug costume) but lets face it, I just don’t have the willpower to figure it out, and I don’t want buy any. Shut it little voice. I said no.
There we have it, our DIY ladybug costume. Isn’t she sweet?