Monday, October 10, 2011

Angry Birds!

My facebook status yesterday was, "I made 2 Angry Bird costumes this afternoon, and now I feel like Supermom McCraftipants." :)

Several folks mentioned they'd like to see them, and would love to be able to make some for their kids, so I thought I'd take a few pictures and put them up here. I can't do a tutorial because I sew in my basement & the light is terrible down there. Also, I wasn't super confident in how they'd turn out, since I was improvising pretty heavily, so I didn't take pictures along the way. But I will give a general rundown of what I did, in the hopes that it will be helpful for someone.

First of all, I used this tutorial from Dragonfly Designs. She made costumes for her whole family, I think that would be adorable. Matt keeps asking me where his Pig costume is, but I'm not up for costuming the whole family this year. I actually started off just making Tobin's Black Bird. I really tried to talk him into the Red Bird or Yellow Bird, because I think they're more easily recognizable. He wouldn't go for the Red Bird, and I didn't have yellow felt or fleece, so I decided to go ahead and let him be the Black Bomber.

Luke has been trying to decide if he's going to dress up this year. Several friends have mentioned that they're not, because their parents think middle school is too old for costumes and trick or treating ('re NEVER too old for costumes!) So on the one hand, he thinks it might not be cool. On the other hand.... CANDY. Seeing Tobin's costume pushed CANDY into the winner column. (And let's face it. He was always going to choose candy.)

As I sat down yesterday afternoon to see if I could really pull Tobin's costume-of-choice off, I realized that I already have quite a bit of black and red felt. The red I bought for coffee cuffs, the black was on clearance at JoAnn's (I am kind of addicted to the clearance bin at JoAnn's.)

Dragonfly Designs stuffed her birds, so that requires 4 circles of fabric (and stuffing). I only had enough for 2 circles without buying more (or using the red to line the inside of the black, meaning I wouldn't have that for the red bird, should Luke decide he was in.) I was kind of hoping to make these without any more fabric purchases...and I don't have any stuffing on hand either. So I decided to see what I could do.

Looking at these pictures again? I LOVE THESE SO MUCH! They make me happy. And they were easy-peasy. And FREE (except that I did actually pay for the fabric at one time. So I guess not. But free in the sense of "I didn't buy any more crap at the craft store." Which makes me - and especially my loving husband, who is mystified by the allure of the fabric/craft superstore - very happy.)

Black Bird...or as it is referred to in several places, "The Black Bomber" (which Tobin LOVES). Why does this one have a cool name, while the others are just "red bird", "yellow bird" etc. Why? Who knows? Iguess because he's a bomb...)
And Red Bird:

So basically for each bird, I cut 2 circles out of felt. They were both 30" in diameter (I cut them the way she describes in the tutorial... I cut a 30" square, folded it into quarters, then used my marker and a tape measure to draw an arc, then cut that out. (Or you could do it the way Dana does it, here.) Luke didn't want his to be any bigger than Tobin's, which I wasn't sure would work...but it did, I just had to do the arms differently.

Luke also wanted his to not be a perfect circle... so I looked up some pictures of the red bird (I just googled "Angry Bird pictures" and tried to copy that shape (I mostly just made the top of the circle more pointy, like a pear.)
I cut out an 8 inch circle from the front circle, for the face, 6" from the top of the circle. 8" is perfect for Luke, but I wish I'd done Tobin's at 6" (I did measure, but the way it hangs, it could have been much smaller. And please ignore the shirt-less-ness...I was lucky I got him in pants, he's been in a run-around-in-my-underwear mood today. Even asked me why I didn't take my clothes off. Ummm....)

I cut out the face parts (she has patterns you can print out on the tutorial, but I just free handed them, looking at the pictures I googled.), then pinned and appliqued them on using black thread. (Dragonfly Designs hot glued them on and traced them with black paint...but I wasn't sure that I had black paint that isn't dried out...also don't trust my tracing-with-paint skills!)The boys helped me get the faces right.
Then I sewed both pieces together, just at the top. I tried it on Tobin and marked where his arms would come out, and where I wanted to leave room for it to go over his head/where his legs come out the bottom. He has his arms pulled in for this picture, but you can see where the arms come out in the picture above.

Luke's is just sewn 2/3 of the way around (I tried it on him and marked where I thought I could sew to and still get it over his head), there are no arm holes.

As I was trying Tobin's on, I realized it wasn't going to stand up enough on it's own - I was hoping that the felt would be stiff enough, that's probably why the original tutorial stuffed each part, so they would be 3-D and stand away from the body.

Easily solved... I turned the bird right side out (just like you'd wear it) and sewed a seam 1" from the edge (1/2" would work, that's how I did Luke's), making a casing. Then I stretched out a hanger, curved it and threaded it through there like an underwire. Can you tell from this picture?
The hanger was actually the perfect length for both of them. After I got it in and shaped the way I wanted it, I used pliers to fold each end down on itself so it wasn't pointy,  then sewed up the bottom of the casing.

For Halloween, they'll wear black shirts (maybe Luke will wear red...) and black pants or jeans. 

Perfect. I feel especially proud of myself...Supermom McCraftipants! Plus no extra money spent - hooray for me!

But really, it was easy. The Black Bird took me a couple of hours or more, but Red Bird was cranked out in an hour or so because I'd finished the first one and figured everything out by the time Luke told me he wanted a costume for himself. Either way, I finished both on a Sunday afternoon.

The boys want me to make a pig costume for Dudley now. But I am pretty sure my sewist skills don't measure up to dog costumes. :)
Here they are making Angry Bird faces, LOL.
And in case you want to make some yourself and are wondering about sizes... 30" worked out perfectly for my 4yo (wears a 5/6) and my 11yo (wears a 12 or 14, mostly for length.)