So may I introduce to you
The act you’ve known for all these years…
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band!… and their evil nemesis, the Blue Meanie!
Now… what would you think if I (suddenly stopped making Halloween costumes) would you stand up and walk out on me?
Lend me your ears and I’ll write you a blog and I’ll try not to (forget all of the insane tiny details on these costumes)…
Oh I get by with a little help from my boys!
This was my scariest Halloween yet… I was both thrilled and terrified of doing this costume. Would it be a trick or a treat?
For a very long time it looked as if it was going to be the former.Here’s how I did it:
John & Paul:
For months I searched for pants, jackets, even button shirts in these colors, even in adult sizes…anything… in department stores, thrift shops, garage sales and online – even the sketchy websites… nothing! I did find a few terrible options but the colors weren’t quite right and I’d have no way of matching a top and bottom if I bought either one in a color. So I was left with no choice but to buy white and dye the fabric…I’ll get to that later. I bought the boys a pair of girl’s leggings in white for $5 each. I then found two old white button shirts – each about four sizes too big. The pants didn’t need any embellishing (thank goodness)… I mean they could always use it… perhaps if I got a prison sentence for a few years…locked in a cell with endless materials… The shirts on the other hand were a frightful amount of work. You may recall my 7 Deadly Sins Post – Sloth: when I tried to construct a jacket without a pattern… well here I go again… and I promised I’d tell you about it. I first buttoned the way oversized shirts onto the boys then pulled them in the back “loosely tight” (my made up term). I marked where the two ends of fabric met. Giving a cm extra room I cut there (this ended up being about half of the diameter of the shirts). Then I sewed the two new ends together. I did the same for the diameter of the sleeves and next simply cut them off right at their wrists. Furthermore I used the excess shoulder fabric to bunch into a bit of a shoulder pad. For the outer shoulder pads I cut 2 circles from the extra fabric for each shirt. I then took the severed wrist cuffs from the sleeves and sewed the two together making a sort of lollypop shape. I then stitched the fringe around these circles and finally stitched the entire pads over the pho-shoulder pads I created on the shirts.To solve the mystery of how to give it a Nehru Jacket style I (…wait for it)… I trimmed the collar in half!
Now it was time to “die”… and it would feel like that if something went wrong at this point as I couldn’t see redoing this… I’m as terrified of dying clothes as some may be of haunted houses, but I took a deep breath and dove in. Then I realized I didn’t need to be in the water with my clothes…jk (har har). I used Dylon packets and was pretty pleased. After a stressful dyeing session I had reasonable colored garments… on to the decorating…
There was a bit of firsts in this project as I didn’t have most of the right materials laying around so I actually had to go buy some things at the fabric store… whaaaat?!
For the fringe I was fortunate enough to find the right color for Paul’s but there was no orange fringe to be found so I bought it in white and literally colored it with an orange marker. I even made it an activity for the boys to do (excellent parenting hack courtesy of Huckleberry Finn). It was just as difficult to find any sort of reasonable orange trim so I bought orange yarn and made braids of different thicknesses to create the trims. And once again I was successful in finding something silver for Paul’s trim. I bought a little pack of 20 buttons- the closest color and shape I could find to the right look. I hand stitched the trim in four straight lines across and sewed the buttons over the ends. Now Paul’s trim had some issues. Once cut the trim fell apart. At the store they even taped the edges. I had an idea and hot glued the edge to keep it from fraying. This worked great. Finally I used white acrylic paint to slowly draw the swirls on the cuffs of the sleeves.
Once the uniforms were decorated the weight of everything effected the hang so I called the boys in for another tailoring session. (ha ha… that sounds so professional). I pulled in the shirts here and there, adding a few little stitches but the biggest help was cinching them in on their backs and creating decorative fasteners. I added a few more details: John’s flower on this shoulder. I didn’t have a daisy so I painted the pedals of a silk yellow flower I had and sewed a circle of yellow felt in the middle to hold and look like a pistil. For Paul’s medal I just attached an award I earned as a little kid for piano lessons…so pull out your 1980’s keepsake keyboard medal…ha ha…
For John’s glasses… you may recognize them from an earlier costume Roosevelt wore HERE. I pulled them out of the keepsake box and painted them gold.
For the mustaches I bought a .99 brown eyeliner pencil and simply drew them on.
Now as for their facial expressions I honestly can’t take credit for that. I was so wrapped up in getting their costumes situated. Apparently they are true fans and have been studying the album poster that hangs on the wall in our art room. Roosevelt even apologized at one point because he accidentally smiled in one photo. I just thought they were grumpy but they were just in character!
Note: there are different Blue Meanies- some have the long Goofy style ears but I chose the one with the Mickey Mouse ears. I’m pretty sure those references weren’t a coincidence btw.
This costume has all of the “no no”s for a happy toddler: a hat, glasses and not one but two tutus! And when I was making it before and trying them on him he understandably seemed to hate it. But once he saw his brothers in costume he couldn’t wait to join in. He was so happy in fact that his upset came when it was time to take it off.
The base of this costume is simple a blue onesie, (it seems all baby costumes begin with one) a pair of red & yellow striped knee socks (which if you’re a collector like me you have every color combination) and little black boots… all of which I already had.
For the hat I took a vintage Mickey hat of mine from 1980’s Disneyland. He actually had his own (with better shaped ears) but his name was on the back and there was certainly no Blue Meanie named Fargo! I cut a circle of black felt and base stitched it over the Mickey logo on front.
For the glasses I had an extra pair identical to the “Roosevelt” glasses. These were actually cheap party-favor Groucho glasses with the nose and mustache snapped out. I then cut a foam sheet into the shape of the mask and stitched it onto the plastic frame of the Grouchp glasses. Finally I poked the needle through the ends of the ear sticks of the glasses and attached an elastic band.
For the blueness I constructed two “no-sew” tutus and layered one on top of the other. To make these tutus I measured a piece of elastic to very loosely go around his waist (leaving room for tulle excess). Then I cut tulle into long strips and knotted them around the elastic until I filled the loop with blueness.
Finally I pulled out an inflatable promotional Yellow Submarine I got in my days of working at a record store.
I almost forgot about the drumhead. If you want to save a lot of time go to Kinkos… or um FexEx…(whatever it is now) and make an extra large print… but if you want to make it real…
I happened to have a perfectly cut drum head sitting around we used for a video a while back. It said Haun’s Mill on one side and was blank on the other, I actually eyeballed most of the image for this- using a ruler in ways I can’t really explain to keep my lettering in check… first using pencil then on to acrylics.
So that’s it… man that was a lot of parts…
You’re such a lovely audience
We’d like to take you home with us
We’d love to take you home
We hope you have enjoyed the show
We’re sorry but it’s time to go
We’d like to thank you once again
It’s getting very near the end…