Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Rainbow Brite costume

Years ago, I was Rainbow Brite for Halloween.  I decided to give that costume one last go and had my daughter dress as Twink to be my sidekick.  My husband even got in on the action and was dressed as the villain, Murky Dismal.  My daughter is now 5 and decided SHE wanted to be Rainbow Brite this year!  Her little sister will be Twink.

In the years since making my costume, I've had a lot of people ask me how I made it and I honestly couldn't tell them.  I made one for her this year and documented a lot of the process in hopes that it will help you all make one for yourself.

Mine was the first sewing project I ever took on but I think this is a pretty difficult project so I wouldn't recommend it for a beginner.

First, please forgive all of the white fluff in many of these pictures.  I sell my Twink costumes on etsy and this white fluff invades our house during the month of October.

I started with a blue dress that would fit her and used t-shirts in the colors I needed as well as white for the band and felt for the trim.

First, I measured the sleeve so I could make a new sleeve to sew in place of it.

The blue shirt happened to have long sleeves so I used it to to cut the new sleeve out.  Add an inch to the length and the width to account for the stuffing.

I divided the length of the sleeve by 5 to see how long each colored band should be.  My sleeve was 17" and I didn't want to make it complicated, so I chose 2" width and made the green one 5" to make up the difference.  The picture shows the 2" green band but I cut another after realizing it wasn't long enough.

Pin the first band onto the sleeve and sew.

Pin the second band over the edge of the first band and sew both in place.  Then flip the second band down, place the third band on top, pin and sew.  Repeat this process until all the bands are sewn on.

Cut off the side excess and sew along one edge.  Leave the bottom excess in place.  That is where the wrist band will be attached.

Very minimally stuff each color tube leaving about an inch free on both sides to sew it into a sleeve.

After the sleeve is sewn, flip it the right way and see how it fits on your dress.

I then cut the original sleeve off leaving about an inch of the sleeve to sew the new sleeve to.  With the dress inside out and the sleeve the correct way, pin the sleeve in place and sew around the sleeve to attach it.

I used the sleeve material to make the shoulder puffs.  I cut the largest half circle shape I could out of the sleeve fabric and used the blue t-shirt material for the underside.  Sew the two pieces together and lightly stuff.  Then pin and sew.

Find the midpoint of your sleeve puff and line it up with the shoulder seam of the dress.  Pin it in place.  The shoulder puff will need to be sewn on by hand.

I used 8" of fabric to make the white band along the bottom.  Sew the band in half and sew one end closed.  Then stuff it.  This will make the dress hold it's shape.  Once you get it to the same circumference as the dress, cut the end and sew the two ends together.

Pin the band in place and then sew it to the dress.

I used some red fabric sewn into strips to be the suspenders and belt, but I used ribbons for my original dress.  The yellow is felt.  I cut a little bit of the neckline to make the yellow sit straight across.  Sew the yellow felt into place and then pin the suspenders and belt in place.  The red will cover the edges of the yellow.  I sewed the red onto the front of the dress but stopped at the seams of the shoulders and sides.  The back is loose and attached with velcro.

I cut this shape for the wrist and hot glued it to the end of the sleeve, covering the showing stitches.

At this point, the only thing left is the felt stars for the end of the sleeves and the yellow band at the neck, as well as the rainbow for the belt.

Rainbow Brite's belt only has 3 colors so I found a 6 color rainbow outline and used it as a template but used two bands for each pattern.  I hot glued the bands to a red piece of felt and then glued that in place on the costume.  I also hot glued the stars in place.

The final piece is the shoes.  I took a trip to a local thrift store in search of some chunky shoes that I didn't mind ruining and found these.

I then painted them red (top) and yellow (bottom) and added black stripes in the yellow.  I was going to paint the straps orange but it wasn't working very well, so I ended up hot gluing felt to the straps instead and glued a star to the end.

The only thing left to do was the leg warmers which I did in the same method as the arm bands.  Any fabrics used for the leg warmers should be stretchy.  My top band was originally white non-stretchy fabric but I tore out that seam and used a white t-shirt instead.  Each leg band is 3" tall and a half inch longer than my daughter's calf was.  They are lightly stuffed and sewn together in the same way as the arm bands were.  It's best to use a white t-shirt for back fabric of the leg warmers.

She is very happy with her completed costume, and I can't wait until Halloween!

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