Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Louise Belcher costume

Hello! I'm so excited to be blogging about this costume! I started this SO LONG ago; I think I was originally going to wear it to one of last year's comic conventions (?) but then that didn't happen and I set it aside. Uni and life got in the side of finishing it until I needed a costume to wear to the WARD Officials Halloween Quiz Night. So I pulled out my sewing machine again and tried to fit in lots of sewing in between study and work; and this time I finished it! Yay!

If you're not familiar with Bob's Burgers (which, by the way, you should totally be watching!) I am the youngest child, Louise Belcher. One of the awesome things about the quiz night was that my friend Beks and I managed to accidentally co-ordinate costumes! Beks came as oldest child Tina so we were sisters for the night! 

 I drafted the pattern for the dress myself. The skirt is a circle skirt pattern that I have used multiple times but I had to do the bodice and sleeves from scratch since I have lost my old bodice pattern >____<

 I am not totally happy with the fit of the bodice. I think it needs some darts to make it fit a little neater, and the neckline didn't turn out as flat as I would have liked. But it fits and looks fairly correct, so overall I'm happy with the dress! The fabric I used is a cotton drill so it has a nice weight, but I think this dress would also have been good in a knit. I just went with the fabric that came in the right colour!

For the hat (really the star of this costume!) I found this video by Zoe H very helpful. I did draft a pattern to fit my own head, so if you have a 55cm circumference noggin, then feel free to download it and make your own! Just click on the preview picture below to go to the download page on my Google Drive. This pattern is designed to fit onto two A3 sheets of paper, so make sure you print it out using the tiling option for .pdf files!

This patterns is the exact one I made for myself, so it has only been tested by me - there may be errors! Let me know if anything seems really wrong, and check out the video by Zoe H for a step by step on how to sew it together.

I also made myself a little Kuchi Kopi handbag. I used polar fleece for the majority of the bag; I originally brought some green sparkly vinyl for it - which I still think would be great! But I needed to finish the bag asap, so I decided to use the fabric which I could sew with my machine.

The bow and facial features are made from felt and were all hot glued on - again, time was of the essence with this project! The handle is ribbon and the loops attaching it to the bag are bias tape. I'm planning on turning this handbag into a plushie now and making the handbag again with the vinyl. If you'd like to make a Kuchi Kopie Bag (or plushie!) you can download the pattern I used by clicking on the preview picture below and downloading the .pdf from my Google Drive. This pattern is designed to be printed onto one A3 sheet of paper, but you could totally print it bigger or smaller depending on what size bag you prefer!
To make the bag you need to ...
1. Cut everything out from your desired fabrics.
2. Sew together the arms (I didn't stuff them because my fleece fabric was quite thick enough). I sewed mine right sides together, leaving the straight edge open, and then turned them right sides out. I also top-stitched around them to give them more structure.
3. Glue or sew on all the facial features to one body piece.
4. For the bow, I cut the bow shape from felt, wrapped the bow middle piece around the middle (probably kinda self-explanatory, right? :P), and then glued it onto the bow strap
5. I also cut a rectangle in the back body piece (i.e. the one with nothing glued to it!) and hemmed the edges down so it wouldn't fray. I sewed a flap of polar fleece over the top of this hole to allow access but also to make it easy to sew up for when I make this bag a plushie, but adding a zip would be a better idea for a long term handbag.
6. Cut two short lengths of ribbon or bias tape and hold in half to make the strap loops of the bag. Place them on the right side of the back piece, pointing inwards.
7. Lay the arms on the right side of the back piece, pointing inwards.
8. Place the right side of the front piece down onto the back piece. 
9. Sew around the body shape, you don't have to leave a gap because you can use the bag hole to turn it right sides out.
10. Top-stitch around the entire bag.
11. Attach ribbon or chain to the bag loops for your strap.

I haven't quite got the Kuchi Kopi expression down pat, but we still had a lot of fun together! 

- Lisa xx