Why is October the busiest month? That’s rhetorical, I know why. School is going full steam on the fundraisers, kids are recovering from their second colds of the school year, work is insanely busy, and Halloween parties. On top of all that, husband has started a new job and we’re still getting into the groove of the before school drop-off on the new schedule around here.  I don’t feel like cooking anything new because of it. I’ve been baking some classic recipes that please the whole family but I’ve taken a break from trying to expand everyone’s palate.  Can’t let them get too relaxed though. It seems like it’s always one step forward and two steps back. This morning my daughter was appalled to find out that there is applesauce in our favorite zucchini muffin recipe. She even tried to say that she wasn’t going to eat them anymore, not that I would put up with that. Kids!! For now, I’m focused on getting through this month with my sanity intact.

Usually I order the costumes for the kids early online because of some free shipping offer or the like. This year I was not happy that I needed to spend over $100 on the two costumes that the kids were hoping to get. Plus the one my daughter wanted was out of stock and I can’t be bothered to wait until the last-minute. Here is when I had the great idea of sewing the costumes this year. The materials from the fabric store cost me $13 and the time spent together with the kids was priceless. They were so excited, jumping up and down almost the whole time I sat at the sewing machine.

The first one I made was the yellow woodpecker bird. I started with about 2 yards of yellow fleece (I found a remnant) and cut it into 2 large triangles. I used a large piece of newsprint to sketch out the facial features to get the right proportions before cutting them out and using those shapes as patterns. All the features were made with felt. If you can find black felt that is stiff, use that for the feathers on the head and the tail.  I thought it was pretty cool that the felt at the store was made with recycled plastic water bottles. 

Pin the face shapes in place and then sew a zig-zag stitch around each feature with black thread. I repeated the outline to make it darker and also because my machine was skipping stitches. After the face is complete pin the yellow triangles with outside in and inserting the tail and head feathers into the seam. Sew around the edges leaving a large opening at the bottom for legs and two openings for arms. Fleece does not unravel so a finished seam is not necessary around the legs opening and arms.

Place the costume over the child who will be wearing it and use a marker to draw a circle around the placement of their face. Take the costume off and cut out the circle for the face hole.

Repeat this method for the red bird using a large circle instead of a triangle.  Once I had the method down, the second costume took me only 90 minutes to complete.

Here’s my disclaimer, I don’t really know how to sew. I can’t follow a pattern but I can sew a straight and curved line. Apparently, I don’t even know how to take care of my sewing machine. Husband’s aunt informed me that I need to oil it fairly often. I’ve had it for 15 years and have never done such a thing. It’s a Kenmore and it still works just fine. Must buy some sewing machine oil soon though. I love sewing with fleece because it’s very forgiving and making these costumes was really very easy. The most difficult part was the planning.

This is me telling you that if you have a sewing machine, that you can make these costumes.

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