Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cutest Little Chick I Know!

Little Miss Pink is going to be a Spring Chicken for Halloween. I had a very hard time deciding what she'd be. Her brothers decided early on (and somewhat to their mama's chagrin) to be Bumblebee and Optimus Prime of Transformers fame. I had visions of the threesome going as a cute little coordinated trio of costumed fun. Like last year.

Littlest Man looks positively unhappy in this photo. It's hard to get 3 kids to look at the camera and smile, especially when one is an infant. I assure you, he was pleased as punch to be Yoda. Especially with a somewhat authentic green face! I promise!
Also, to clarify: It's Anakin Skywalker, Princess Leia and Yoda. :)

Alas, such fun wasn't in the cards. The Little Men wanted to choose their own costumes, which was bound to happen eventually! And they're pumped to be going as Transformers (and the same costumes as their favorite cousins to boot, which makes for even more fun).

But what to dress Little Miss Pink in? A ballerina? A princess? Little Red Riding Hood? I scoured the blogosphere and the web, Family Fun Magazine and, finally, Martha Stewart. I should have started there. I saw this little nugget (no pun intended!)of cuteness and knew I'd found the costume.

Image courtesy of Martha Stewart  

So, I set to acquiring the items needed for such fluffy, adorable fun.
  • 2 Feather Boas ( $4.99/each at Saver's)
  • 2 long sleeved onesies (I already owned-why buy leotards when we already own these?)
  • a white hat (that proved difficult--$10 at Target since I didn't have time to order this one)
  • 2 red felt sheets for the comb (less than a buck for both, though I only needed one)
  • A pair of yellow rubber gloves for the feet ($1 for 2 pairs at Dollar Tree)
  • Yellow Rit dye for a pair of Little Miss Pink's tights--the photo doesn't show yellow chicken legs, but we live in MN and she'd freeze without pants or tights! ($1.50)
  • Batting (less than a bagful that I already owned)
  • Needle and thread, my arch enemies. Just kidding, but almost not.

Note the lovely bear, who served as a compliant, quiet model.

So, I got to work with the first step, attaching the onesies together with batting in between. I found it much easier to use Quilt Batting, rather than the loose batting. I just used tacky glue(this stuff -not referring to faux pas glue) to attach it to the inner onesie, wrapped it around twice. It made for a lovely, puffy base for my chicken.

Then I put the outer onesie on top and hand stitched around the leg holes. I didn't close up around the neck hole, since there wasn't loose batting to worry about.

Now, onto attaching the boa. Again, I differed a bit from Martha's plan. I tried first pinning the boa, but the puffiness of the feathers made it difficult to keep track of my pins. I ended up simply sewing and tacking the boa on as I went along, just making sure that it was fairly evenly-spaced across the body of the onesie.

This task, the attaching of the boas, was the most time consuming. And the messiest. I had feathers I think the $4.99 boas weren't the best ever quality, but I'm not expecting this costume to be a family heirloom, so I'm fine with that. I looked all over for boas and found them ranging from $5-$30/each. I wanted this costume to be reasonably priced, so I went for cheap.

Next, I had to figure out some sort of hat to attach the comb to. I looked high and low for a white hat; all I found was off-white. Also, Martha's instructions called for 2 pieces of red felt for the comb and I only needed one. I didn't use the copier to enlarge her PDF, I just drew the comb freehand. I'm a rebel like that.

I cut the comb and made sure it kind of followed the curve of how the hat would sit on Little Miss Pink's noggin. I placed the hat on a size 3 soccer ball for comparison. My kids have big heads!
Then, I got to stitching it closed, using a 1/4" seam and a basting stitch. Okay, I have no idea what a basting stitch is. But it sounds good. I'm pretty sure it was a basting stitch, or just "tacked" closed. Does that sound right? Except, not all the way closed. I left about a 3" opening to stuff the comb.

Once it was finished, I turned the comb inside out so the seams would be neat and tidy. And then I stuffed it with some of the remaining quilt batting from the onesie project. Not too full, just a handful or so of batting.

With the comb stuffed, I sewed the little opening closed with more simple basting stitches. Now I have googled that term and am 85% confident that it is what I did. Promise.

Kinda looks like a comb, no? Excuse the darkness. The photo was taken at 11:30pm or so, when the house was quiet except for coughing, sneezing, and snoring. Ahh, the sick ward. Gotta love it.

In the light of day, I tackled the next step. Plus, I had to have Little Miss Pink try on the hat to get proper positioning of the comb. Once I figured out where I wanted it to be, I looked for the hot glue Martha told me to use in her instructions. I couldn't find it. Plus, I didn't want to ruin this hat forever and hot glue can be so messy. And hot. So, I thought I'd just tack the comb into place (look at me, throwing sewing vocab around like it's nothing!).

It worked perfectly. This shot is an extreme close up. Kind of useless, actually, except for the purpose of showing you what a horrible seamstress I am. I made the stitches fairly far apart so that the comb will be easy to take off if we want to reuse the hat.

And here it is finished. Little Miss Pink didn't want to model it for you until the costume was complete. She has to really get into character, I guess. It's part of Method Acting. Or, she was busy putting things in her purse and taking them out and wouldn't come near me or the camera. Believe whichever you'd like.All that aside, I'm very pleased with how the hat came out!

Onto the tights. I needed to dye them yellow, which was no big deal.

I haven't used this stuff since making tie dye shirts in high school. That, and the debacle I'll call "Trying to Dye My Duvet Color Red." I prefer to forget that one. Let's move on.

The shoes for the costume, or the chicken feet. Chicken feet conjure up yucky thoughts for me, for some reason. I just did a Google Images search for "chicken feet" and decided not to conjure up yucky thoughts for you by posting it. You can thank me for that. But I promise you that these chicken feet are not at all gross. They are cuter than cute, fashioned from a pair of my daughter's shoes stuffed into yellow rubber gloves, the fingers of which have been stuffed with a bit o' batting. Cute! The process is pretty self-explanatory, but I took a few pics.


And I know it's kind of cruel, but I'm not going to post a pic of Little Miss Pink in all her Spring Chicken glory until after Halloween. The reasons for which are three-fold: 1. The feathers literally molt right off this baby, so I want there to be some feathers left on Halloween. 2. I am not confident that my "tacking" abilities will hold up for more than one wear. I said it. It's true. 3. I just want to save the cuteness for Halloween. Is that too much?  So here's another picture of Martha's cute model. I'm sure my little model will be cuter. Because I gave birth to her and all. I'll let you be the judge come Saturday! 

P.S. You really, really should thank me for not posting pics of chicken feet. I'll probably have nightmares about them. If you're super brave and not grossed out by these types of things, you could click on, but I wouldn't if I were you!


  1. A-DOR-ABLE!!!!!! I can't wait to see pics--and I am very impressed with your sewing abilities! :)

  2. I clicked. Aaaaahhh!. Cute costume. Can't wait to see pictures.

  3. Thanks gals. Rae- SO gross, right? Yuck, yuck, yuck. I much prefer the rubber glove variety of chicken feet on adorable toddler divas, as opposed to the real ones. Yuck.

  4. as a former participant in Dr. miller's gruesome chicken experiments, i think i've seen enough chicken feet for a loooong time.


    i cannot wait to see your cute little chick on Saturday!

  5. ALS- Another reason I'm so glad I was a History major and not Bio or anything else smarty pants science related! :)


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