DIY Revolutionary Soldier Costume & Upcoming Patterns: Adult Fleece Hat with Ear Flaps + Kids Adjustable Neck Tie

Revolutionary Soldier. Description: White cravat; fleece jacket with stand up collar & gold details; white fleece pants with attached faux black boots.

I’m really glad to say that I finished Logan’s costume in time! Whew. I said before that hopefully I’ll be better prepared next year and then I cut it so close every time. I swear I don’t procrastinate! But I think I’ll also add “no presumptions” to next year’s resolution. You see, last fall was inexplicably cold and windy – the kind of cold that makes you uncontrollably hop on one leg and garble through chattering teeth. You might think, hey it’s only Oklahoma, but I confess we are warm weather people and unless there was a really awesome, can’t miss event going on outside, we would rather hibernate in the living room by the fireplace. So as part of my last year’s resolution, I decided to make the costumes this Halloween in fleece. Madeline’s Lolita dress was made in cotton but I had made matching white fleece pants and sweater (which had double layers on the torso) to wear under her dress. Luckily for her though, I was able to replace the sweaters with thinner stockings. I swear I kept checking the weather – every time it would say something different so I decided it’s better safe than sorry and went ahead with the fleece. Logan’s costume, however, was all fleece. I used fabric glue to attach the gold ribbon on the front of the jacket and also near the sleeve hems. The gold ribbon also went along the shoulder seams – he said he wanted the tassel to be chunky? So I ended up using the ends of the gold ribbons on the shoulder and then added an extra one each side to make the tassel look rounded on the shoulders. 

The high-waisted white fleece breeches have an elastic back and are flat in the front to create a neater look. The faux boots are also made of fleece and are sewn onto the hem of the breeches – a few years back, I made the boots separately and they kept sliding down because of the movement so he requested these be sewn directly onto the pants – great idea, Logan! The faux boots were cut shorter in the front to avoid bunching at the ankles and longer in the back to help blend into his black sneakers. 

Books are a great way of keeping Logan still during photographing!

The hat was constructed from felt and I only needed about a yard of it. I used Logan’s sunhat pattern and the only change I made was widening the brim and then I turned it up to create a triangular shape from above and sewed them in place. He said it kind of looked like a pirate’s hat so I guess I’ll have a pattern ready if I ever had to make a pirate costume. Yes, a 2 in 1!

So serious!

All the fall/Halloween festivities were on Saturday and we ended up catching three of the events. Poor Logan was sweltering in the 70 degrees weather in the afternoon but it later cooled down in the evening by the time we got to the last event so he was comfortable by then. It’s two day later, I’m sitting here writing this and it’s 81 degrees! Let’s see how fickle this weather is on actual Halloween day…

*Update: It really was a freaky Halloween! Warm weather everyday and then boom! It was the kind of cold that makes you hop uncontrollably on on one leg. The kids in their fleece costumes were warm and toasty and trick or treated so comfortably like it was on a fair, sunny day in June. 


I didn’t do so well though. My head was so cold and my ears aching even with my hat pull down low. I love this hat I got from Forever21 a few years back – pink, sparkly and it sits so prettily on my head but for the purpose it’s supposed to serve, it failed miserably in keeping my noggin warm. You know how the presence of a problem shuffles your priorities around – well, I’ve been talking about doing a fleece hat with ear flaps since the near end of summer just so that I could make them and be prepared (here I go with being prepared again *sigh) but other things kept creeping up the to the top of the do list. That horrible ear ache got on my behind so here it is… The adult fleece hat with earflaps.

I usually use Blizzard fleece but I used anti-pill because I really hate when it starts to pill after a few wears.

It’s based off of Madeline’s hat that I made her last year *here*. I did make some small changes like widening the back and front as well as rounding it more to show the face. I also slimmed out the ear flap and reshaped the crown so that it’s rounded on the top of the head.  However, I made a mistake so the pattern is not ready to be posted yet.  I keep forgetting how thick two layers of fleece can be because the pattern’s circumference is 22” so it was snug on the head and it ended up fitting Madeline. I guess she gets a new hat! So back to the drafting table. Once I get the hat pattern graded to 23.5”, which I think should be a comfortable fit, I’ll be posting it. Yay! 

Another thing I’m currently working on is the kids neck tie which has an adjustable Velcro neck strap like the bow tie I had done *here*. The tie will be wrapped separately around the neck strap and maybe stitched to the strap so that it won’t move. Logan has a school concert this week and the teacher had asked them to wear red, white, and blue so we went to our usual fabric place, Joann, and he picked it out himself. Since the tie is cut on bias, this print works really well because some patterns are printed crossgrain and would look diagonal after it’s been cut into a tie.  Good choice, Logan!

Thinking about what kind of edge finishing I want to do for this.
Ok, so I’ve rambled on long enough. Now, less talky and more sewy! 
Questions? Comments? Let’s hear you!
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Cosplay/Halloween Japanese Lolita Dress

October is such a fun and busy month! I can never decide which I love more – the dressing up, the candies, the fall/Halloween decor, the change of colors in the scenery, or the fresh cool crisp air after a long hot summer. Every year, I say I’m going to decorate the house with all things fall and Halloween on October 1st and then things just somehow start happening… One of those things is the choosing of the costumes – see, when the kids are little you can dress them up in whatever costume you want – kind of like you’re really expressing yourself vicariously through the little people but as they get older they got their own ideas of what’s cool and what’s awesome. They want to express themselves which is totally fine by me. 

It’s really needing a tulle petticoat but let’s see if I’ll have time to make one after the soldier costume. Eek!
Madeline just turned 3 and she could care less if she was wearing a potato sack so I gave Logan some creative decision making this year for Madeline because I thought it’d be fun for a big brother to get to choose something cute for his little sister. He decided he wanted to be a princess since he had chosen to dress up as a prince. And me being the overthinker that I am, I literally did a little presentation for him showing him different styles of princely attire from the 1600s to Disney’s dashing princes. He said nope to every single one. Finally, I handed him a sewing pattern book and told him to pick something out. In less than a minute, he points out what looked like a traditional soldier uniform costume from the 1700s.

I drew several options to choose from after my research and he ended up picking out details from each picture! Frankenstein uniform haha!

“Logan, you know that’s a soldier costume and not a prince right?” To which he murmured nonchalantly with a “I like this one”. Ok, fine. Let’ just move onto the color.

We found some stretch red velvet $4 a yard – her princess dress and his prince’s jacket would use up at least 3 yards. Now I’m calculating the cost of the main fabric as well as the trims, the pants, and something for his Revolutionary soldier boots. So I’m watching and waiting like a tiger in the bushes to pounce on the beautiful red velvet when it goes on sale but sadly it didn’t and I’m pressed for time. Finally, I go to my stash closet and found this 3 or so yard of sky blue cotton fabric with rabbits, squirrels, abstract trees, and leaves….a busy little fabric that I’d bought at Aeon mall in Okinawa a few years ago. Ok, have you ever held a piece of fabric in your hands and suddenly fantastic visions just flash before your eyes? My visions said to me, “You will make a Japanese Lolita dress with puffy sleeves, layers of gathered skirts, ruching, more gathers all over and lots and lots of bows!” I got to sketching, drafting, and then sewing. I must admit, I have this habit of changing things along the way. Things look different in real life than in the sketches but I think the changes made the details in the dress pop. 

The original sketch.

I ended up shortening the under skirt and adding another band of gathers. The upper skirt got another 2” of ruching and originally I had the bows placed on the rushing in self fabric but after I had made the blue bows changed my mind and switched them with white bows. The blue bows got placed on the center front neck and on the sleeves and one made into a barrette. There was supposed to be gigantic bow to go on the front at the waist but I ended up replacing it with lots of smaller bows. 

Playing around with the neck band and the neck gathers.

I was also going to have white long fleece sleeves attached to the short puffy sleeves since it was freezing cold last year but it’s been in the 60s-70s. The weather truly is fickle or is it because I’m prepared? Lol. I ended up making both a light long sleeve t-shirt and a fleece sweater that Madeline can wear underneath based on the temperature. Bring it, Weather, I’m ready! The super good news is I’ll be posting the free printable pattern for the long sleeve t-shirt and the sweater here! So be sure to be on the lookout for that. 

Ok, I’m off to work on the Revolutionary soldier, and yes it’s cutting it so close since the Halloween festivities in town begin on the 27th. Oh well. Hopefully, I’ll be better prepared next year. Hopefully.
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Toddler Cosplay/Halloween Anime Schoolgirl/Sailor Costume

For this year’s Halloween, I decided to dress Madeline up as an Anime schoolgirl because her daddy loves anime and he’s also deployed. So I’m hoping to surprise him by sending some pics of Madeline in her costume. It’s getting quite chilly here so I made the sleeves long so that she could wear a long-sleeved onesie or even a sweater underneath depending on the weather. The box pleat skirt has an elastic waist and the tutorial for that will be coming soon!

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