Not Sewing for Me: Happy Halloween!

2013-owl-costume1I am so proud of this one, friends. I had to sacrifice my me-sewing time to make it, but it’s been well-worth the effort. I was veryΒ inspired by all the suggestions I received from you all and pondered how to make this costume for a long time (I especially loved the Burda one here, thank you Kristi!).


I borrowed some ideas from the linked costume, but I didn’t use the pattern and this is all self-drafted. I tossed caution and my pragmatism to the wind and decided to make exactly what K wanted: a grey/brown owl with wings.


I used linen, of course (and some linen-blends). But first, I started by sewing a longish jersey knit tee in brown, and then cut out dozens and dozens of linen feathers in grey, khaki brown, cream and dark chocolate brown….


I sewed rows and rows and rows of overlapping feathers, and then did the same thing for the wings. The wing base is made out of fleece to give her some extra warmth for trick-or-treating. I really got into sewing these rows – very meditative!


The mask is all felt. I had K close her eyes with the felt piece over her face, while I made “x”s for the eye hole positions. This involved a lot of wriggling and “OW! Mommy!” utterances. I see now that the elastic holding the mask in place got twisted…better fix that.


The wing construction had me scratching my head for awhile. I decided to make actual wing shapes and then sewed them onto a ring of grey fold-over-elastic that slips over K’s head. In the beginning, I had the bodice feathers covering the elastic (at least in the front), but this costume had her dancing up a storm, so you can see it clearly in some of the images.


To ensure that the wings would stay in the correct position, I also sewed some FOE on the inside of the wing so she could put her wrists through them or hold onto them for maximum flapping.


It’s an owl costume with no other purpose than to be an owl costume. And I love it. So does K. We are now officially ready — bring it, Halloween!

2013-owl-costume7{I will return to regular programming of posting a me-made outfit next Thursday.}

48 thoughts on “Not Sewing for Me: Happy Halloween!

  1. I LOVE it! My girl asked to be a bird this year….I love these ideas that aren’t what you would see every other trick or treater wearing! Your owl is going to have a blast tonight!

    1. Birds are so fun, aren’t they? I loved your version too, Teresa! We had a very successful Halloween, thanks to the costume πŸ™‚

      1. Do it. I (a-hem, mrs.claus) am currently deciding on which AG doll to get ellery for Xmas. I can’t wait to make some matching doll clothes!

        1. Doll clothes are so fun to make. I like the AG doll size because it’s not annoyingly small and a sewing machine can be used to make the outfits. I am the slowest hand-sewer so that’s always a good thing πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Evie! This was actually a really easy costume to put together (though time-consuming) – the Burda pattern (which I didn’t use but referenced) was rated as “novice”.

    1. Happy Halloween to you too, Robin – hope it was a great one! I couldn’t believe K’s loot. She was practically staggering from the weight of her candy-filled bucket.

    1. I loved that she came up with all sorts of “owl dances” during the photoshoot. You know it’s a good costume when it makes you boogie πŸ™‚

  2. It turned out fantastic! I love it! πŸ™‚ I didn’t have to sew everything this time which was good, just the ninjago costume (a red Kai), and the apron for the little baker (I had already made the hat!). Josh’s Lego brick was made with help from dad and a cardboard box and my oldest wanted to be a gymnast so we borrowed a friends warm up suit. Of course my husband just called 10 minutes ago and finally decided he wants to be Johnny Appleseed so I’ll have to put that together today! πŸ™‚

    1. Wow, it sounds like a lot of work to put together a Johnny Appleseed costume. How fun though, and hope you had a good one, Kristi!

  3. Wow! It is delightful to see how much K loves it! You did a wonderful job. And I canΒ΄t believe she requested grey/brown…must be your genes coming through! Happy Halloween!!

    1. Isn’t that funny how she wanted such muted colors? I brought out a bright green zigzag sweater knit I thought I could easily turn into an owl, but she nixed that idea in a heartbeat, looking at me like I was crazy. “Owls aren’t GREEN, Mommy,” she huffed.

  4. What a labor of love, Sanae! Even more so because you decided to throw pragmatism to the wind:) And I love how, even with a Halloween costume, your design aesthetic is strong with the neutral grays and browns. It is SO beautiful! The feathers are just amazing, and I’m impressed by your construction techniques in figuring out a way for K to wear it. She will be one proud owl tonight:)

    1. Thank you, Lucinda! The bonus of the costume was that it kept her so cozy in the increasingly chilly Seattle evenings. I especially loved that at one house, a young-ish guy with long hair and a decidedly heavy metal aura about him was passing out candy. He saw K, paused and said, “whoa, cool owl dude.” πŸ™‚

  5. YES! it’s just perfect. it’s comfortable, functional and warm, but still totally looks like the owl k imagined! sounds like a huge success to me!

    1. Thanks Ashley! I wish all costumes could be comfortable, functional and warm…one of K’s friend’s little brother was dressed as the tiniest astronaut I’d ever seen and it was awesome. He kept stumbling, but the costume was so padded, he was totally fine! πŸ™‚

  6. That is wonderful and great modelling! I bet she’ll remember this for a long time. I still have fond memories of a mermaid costume my mum made me when I was 5!

    1. My mom made my costume every year for Halloween, and I was an unimaginative child so I requested a princess or fairy every year. My mom must’ve been so bored with making the same thing, that she started to embellish like crazy and I was a pretty wild-looking princess/fairy!

    1. It’s so great when K is enthusiastic with an outfit I’ve made, and this owl costume is up there in the top 5, I think!

    1. Haha, that’s so funny! When M saw the work-in-progress, he said, “huh, everything you make is so tasteful.” He made it sound like it was a thoroughly weird thing! πŸ™‚

  7. I didn’t visit you last week, feeling very under the weather…but I needed some “Sanae Aura” today. OMG Sanae!!!! I’m just amazed with this Owl outfit you made. Truly work of love and it is absolutely beautiful!!!!

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