Halloween costumes for kids

The patchwork witch

Look who just flew in - the patchwork witch! Make the creation of this costume a joint venture: Witches-to-be will take great pride in deciding where patches will go, and then helping to sew them on. Don’t mind if little fingers make big stitches, the ragtag look is in style these days. And don’t forget the broom — there’s no better way to fly around the neighborhood. This makes a very loose, roomy size 6.

2 1/2 yards black stretch knit fabric
scrap black-and-white-print fabric
scraps blue and red felt
3/4 yard black felt
18- by 18-inch piece flat corrugated cardboard

pinking shears
fabric and paper spray adhesive, such as S704 Fabric and Foam Adhesive from BFG Goodrich
X-Acto knife
4-inch diameter shipping tube
royal blue and red fabric markers

Base Garments
white tights
black turtleneck sweater

1. Using the patterns, cut out 2 body pieces and 2 sleeve pieces from the black knit. For the front of the dress, cut the opening of one body piece 1 1/2 inches deeper, keeping it the same width at the shoulders (see pattern).

2. Pin the dress front and back together at the shoulder seams, right sides together. Sew together using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Remove the pins. Open up, right side facing up, and pin the sleeves in place, right sides together, matching the shoulder seam to the shoulder notch. Sew the armhole seam. Fold the garment, right sides together, along the shoulder seams. Pin the side seams together, including the sleeve seam, and sew closed. Remove the pins. Turn right side out.

3. Cut triangles of varying sizes out of the dress bottom and sleeve ends for a slightly ragged look. Pin some of the triangles together, overlapping each triangle about 1/2 inch onto the next one, and create a strip that equals that circumference of the neck opening. Sew the triangles together and remove the pins. Pin this strip along the wrong side of the neck opening and sew it 1/4 inch from the neck edge. Turn it right side out and top stitch it down 1/4 inch from the edge.

4. For the patches, cut squares and rectangles from the scrap pieces, using the pinking shears and regular scissor. Put a few aside to add to the hat. Place the remaining patches randomly on the dress, pin in place, and sew down. Cut out one triangle piece from the felt and sew it onto collar. Remove the pins.
Hat and Tights
1. Using the cone pattern, cut one piece of black felt. Pin the 2 straight edges to each other, and sew together using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Remove the pins. Clip off excess at top and turn right side out. Place on child’s head and mark where the cone fits. Cut 1/4 inch below this line.

2. Cut out 2 layers of black felt using the brim pattern. Center the cone on top of the brim pattern. Carefully mark the cone circle on the pattern. Remove the cone. Cut out the inner circle from the pattern. Place the pattern on the corrugated cardboard and trace the outer and inner circles. With the compass, draw another circle 1 inch smaller than the outer circle. With the X-Acto knife, cut the cardboard there. Draw a circle 1/4 inch bigger than the inner circle. Cut there.

3. Spray adhesive on one side of the corrugated cardboard and one circle of the felt. Carefully center the corrugated cardboard on the felt. Lay the brim pattern on the brim and trace the inner hole. Cut pie slices into the felt from the center out to this traced line. Place the cone on the brim, with the pie slices on the inside of the cone. Pin in a few places and try on the child. If the hat needs to be larger, make the pie slice cuts a little deeper and slightly stretch the cone felt if necessary. If it needs to be smaller, you can fix that later.

4. Now unpin, and spray adhesive onto the pie slices to glue inside the hat (use the brim pattern paper to cover the parts of the hat you don’t want sprayed). Also spray the bottom 2 inches of the cone. When tacky, attach the glued pieces.

5. Cut a 2- by 26-inch strip of black felt and wrap it around the base of the cone to form a hat band, overlapping the excess. Sew or glue in place. If the hat was too big, layer strips of felt around the inner circumference of the hat opening to make it smaller. Glue or sew in place.

6. Sew a few patches randomly on the hat. Trim the outer brim with pinking shears.

7. Insert the shipping tube into one leg of the tights. Use the blue marker to make horizontal stripes by drawing parallel circles about 3/4 inch apart, around the leg. Let dry. Repeat with the other leg, using the red marker.

This costume originally appeared in Country Living's Handmade Halloween.