It starts with a tiny egg, attached to a leaf.
Next, a tiny caterpillar hatches and begins to eat, starting with the leaf she was attached to.
She eats. And grows.
And eats. And grows. And eats some more.
Did I mention she EATS?
Soon, the caterpillar turns in to a chrysalis. She appears to be resting, but really there are big changes going on.
Guess what happens next?
A beautiful baby butterfly emerges!
There's a little science lesson for you. Baby Jane makes quite a cute little caterpillar/butterfly, doesn't she?
I've been up to my ears in cheapo poly fleece this past week. There's nothing better than making a costume for a baby. I figured I better go ahead and start the tradition- a handmade Halloween costume for my sweet little bub every year. I'll certainly be able to keep that up, right?! Riiiiiggggghhht.
The idea for this costume started with Jane's sleep sack. She sleeps in these wearable blankets, basically a sack with armholes and a zipper up the front. The idea is that she won't get tangled up in a blanket when she's sleeping. I really like her sleep sacks because this baby is all over the crib now. She's rolling all over the place. I wake up in the morning and find her crammed in to a corner, sound asleep. Anyway. When Jane is in her sleep sack, J and I joke about how she looks like a little glow worm. Thus the idea of the caterpillar was born. And when else will I be able to dress her in a baby bunting costume like this? Never. I want to enjoy my immobile little nugget while I can. Then I thought, wouldn't it be awesome if she could turn in to a butterfly? A convertible costume!
I traced one of her sleep sacks for the bunting and narrowed and rounded the bottom end a bit. That was the easy part. Then I made the wings for the butterfly. I fused the top layer of fleece to some stiff decor bond interfacing left over from my bag. I cut out some organic shapes for the design on the wings (keeping them symmetrical, of course!) and "appliqued" the shapes to the wings. I put that in parenthesis because I'm not sure if that's what I should call it. I stitched the shapes down with a zig zag. It was all really rough and quick. But I like it. There was something really satisfying about the way the fleece puffed up after it was stitched. Every baby costume needs a little ric rac so I put some jumbo around the edge. I could have done a better job there at the inside corner, but eh.
The hard part was figuring out how to make the wings hidden. It took a little bit of engineering. I sewed the wings to the back piece of the bunting and then cut another back piece that would be used to cover the wings. Not an entire back piece. Like a kangaroo pocket. That's the best way I can describe it. I knew I wanted the pocket to have two zippered openings. I ended up sewing the zippers to the pocket piece first and then to the back piece leaving some additional seam allowance. Next, I sewed the top and the bottom of the pocket piece, enclosing the wings. Then I sewed the whole back/pocket piece to the front bunting piece being careful not to catch the zippers. And it worked! I'm truly amazed that it did. Truly amazed. The wings fold up and fit inside of the back pocket. It's bulky, but that just makes the squishy caterpillar even more adorable.
The cap is actually little betty's awesome, awesome bonnet pattern minus the brim with some antennae stuck in the seams. The leaves were an afterthought but I think they are a crucial part of the costume. It was all so much fun to make and even more fun to put my sweet little baby in. Well worth the work for one or two wears and some memorable photos. Sorry for the photo overload. I really did narrow it down ;)
Not sure how I'll top this costume next year. Better start planning now.
Happy Halloween, friends. From a very hungry caterpillar who turns in a to a beautiful butterfly- ha!
Here's to some crazy Halloween sewing. Anyone else make any costumes this year?