Halloween Costume Sewing Tip #10

Halloween Sewing Tip #10:

Use all the fun and unique machine settings. Embroider, add text – be creative!

If you are anything like me, you default to what you know best. Using straight, common stitches and expanding to zig-zag when the need arises! With this last costume tip I want to encourage you to try out some of the fun stuff your machine can do.

Costumes allow you to be creative, even a little silly! Too much embellishment is never a problem. Use the opportunity to try out something new. Add a row of that decorative stitch you’ve been wanting to try or some Halloween text if your machine has a built in alphabet.

I recently found some glow in the dark embroidery thread at my local fabric store (on sale!) and thought it would make a fun Halloween themed project. The embroidery function on the Skyline S9 made quick work of the simple text I wanted. It has yet to turn it into the candy-basket I’m envisioning. But, how fun is it that it glows! And I’m pretty sure any child would be over-the-moon about glow in the dark on their costume. Plus, did you know, embroidery thread isn’t only for embroidering – you can use it for any decorative stitch as well!

Most of all, be sure to take lots of photos and have fun creating a costume you and your kids can treasure (and maybe enjoy laughing about!) for years to come. I hope you’ve found lots of inspiration in these Halloween Costume Tips. Thanks for coming along on the journey!

P.S. You can read more about machine embroidery in last fall’s series of posts.

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Disclaimer: I am a Canadian Janome Artisan. Janome provided artwork (with my photos) for this project and the Skyline S9 on-loan machine I am currently using. As with all the products I write about – I always tell you my own honest opinion.

Halloween Costume Sewing Tip #9

Halloween Sewing Tip #9:

Embellish trims to make your costume unique!

So, you are following yesterday’s tip (Ribbons and sequins are your friends.) and can’t find the perfect one? How about making your own? Use a zigzag, decorative stitch or multiple lines of straight stitches to create unique ribbons to add to the costume. If it is very special – and destined for the dress-up box, you could even spend time hand-stitching with embroidery weight threads.

If you are inclined to make a lot of unique trim, I’d recommend investing in the Janome Ribbon Sewing Guide. (It really would have made making this embellished gathered skirt (tutorial!) a lot more fun.) The machine foot makes embellishing unique trim easy! Trying it out for the first time a few weeks ago, it was user-friendly and simple to install. It screws directly into the machine’s needle plate and holds the ribbon in place as you stitch.

I tried a few Halloween-friendly trim ideas using the decorative stitches on my Janome Skyline S9. Since these won’t be usable for our costumes this year (maybe next!) I think I might use them for a themed shirt, or as hair ribbons closer to the end of October. The “Boo Cat” ribbon NEEDS to be used, it’s so cute! Uses in the future? Maybe school-spirit themed ribbons with their school name on them? Or personalized BFF bracelets.  #bestmomever

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Disclaimer: I am a Canadian Janome Artisan. Janome provided artwork (with my photos) for this project and the Skyline S9 on-loan machine I am currently using. As with all the products I write about – I always tell you my own honest opinion.

Halloween Costume Sewing Tip #8

Halloween Sewing Tip #8:

Ribbons and sequins are your friends!

Ok – you might not agree with me yet – but it’s true! Ribbons, sequins and trims are so fun. Use them with abandon in your costumes. They add the perfect touch, and – ribbon in the right places, allow you to match the look of a higher-end, more professional costume.

In relation to being more professional, I got to try out the coolest sewing machine foot for this post. Janome Canada lent me a Ribbon Sequin Foot and it is amazing! (And so much fun!) Clip the foot on and feed the ribbon through it and sew. The ribbon follows the direction of your seam and can be sewn on with a decorative stitch. It was so easy! I pointed the presser foot and let the Skyline S9 attach the ribbon.

This means CURVES! Imagine multiple rows of curvy ribbon sewn to the bottom of a fancy ball gown or down the back of a dinosaur costume. I wanted to test this out, so I fused a half-circle to a scrap of fabric and stitched around the edge with ribbon. Then I outlined it with a second piece of ribbon, just for fun, LOL. The sequins in the photo would have gone on next, but I managed to purchase one that wouldn’t lie flat, and was fastened with elastic. Apparently I have a thing or two to learn about sequins. LOL. #newbie

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Disclaimer: I am a Canadian Janome Artisan. Janome provided artwork (with my photos) for this project and the Skyline S9 on-loan machine I am currently using. As with all the products I write about – I always tell you my own honest opinion. 

Halloween Costume Sewing Tip #7

Halloween Sewing Tip #7:

Knits make ideal costumes. They are quick to sew and the variety of finishes and prints allows you (and your costume) to be more creative!

Knits (most stretchy fabrics) are great base fabrics for any costume. Plus they are fast to sew! Knits don’t fray so you can leave all of your seams unfinished – and even un-hemmed. (gasp! LOL)

The stretch also means you don’t need closures or a perfect fit. The costume will stretch over your child’s body when they put it on. I used a length of thrifted jersey to create my daughter’s simple Star-famous princess costume a few years ago.

Here are a few basic tips you need to follow when sewing with knit fabrics:

  1. Cut your pattern pieces with the stretch going around the body – not vertically up and down.
  2. Use a ballpoint needle. Regular sharp needles will create holes in your seams.
  3. Use a stretch stitch. The seams need to stretch with the wearer. Many sewing machines have a dedicated stretch stitch, or you can also use a zig-zag stitch.
  4. Don’t stretch your fabric as you sew. Allow the fabric to feed naturally through the machine as you sew.
  5. Use a Walking Foot or Dual Feed Foot to help layered fabrics feed through your machine in unison.
Ready for more? Find more in depth tips you can use: 12 Tips for Sewing Knits!

 

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Disclaimer: I am a Canadian Janome Artisan. Janome provided artwork (with my photos) for this project and the Skyline S9 on-loan machine I am currently using. As with all the products I write about – I always tell you my own honest opinion. 

Halloween Costume Sewing Tip #6

Halloween Sewing Tip #6:

Specialty fabrics like vinyl can help make your costume extra-special. Don’t be afraid to use them when you sew!

Check out the start of the gumball machine costume pictured above. Clear plastic for the glass, vinyl for the money slot – they all add to the reality of the costume. Specialty fabrics can seem intimidating, but with a few easy-to-follow rules and tips you can conquer them!

  • Use a leather/denim needle: Vinyl and thicker fabrics require a larger needle size to sew properly. Get one at your local shop.
  • Use a Teflon or Ultra Glide Foot: This will allow the stickier fabric to slide through the machine more easily. (The snap on Janome Ultra Glide foot is pictured in the photo above.)
  • Press carefully: Vinyl and clear plastic, even real leather, can be pressed carefully with a press cloth! But, too much heat can melt these specialty fabrics. Check the manufacturer’s instructions and use a press cloth to avoid direct contact with your iron’s sole plate. When in doubt, start with a low heat and work your way up.
  • Don’t use pins: Needles and pins will leave permanent holes in vinyl or plastic. Instead use clips, clothespins or paperclips to hold your fabrics in place before sewing.
Find more tips for sewing vinyl and thicker fabrics: You can read these tips for sewing thicker fabrics and use these leather/vegan leather tips on your vinyl projects as well.

 

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Disclaimer: I am a Canadian Janome Artisan. Janome provided artwork (with my photos) for this project and the Skyline S9 on-loan machine I am currently using. As with all the products I write about – I always tell you my own honest opinion. 

Halloween Costume Sewing Tip #5

Halloween Sewing Tip #5:

Fleece makes a great (easy to sew) costume. It stretches, so fitting is easier and more forgiving. Plus, you don’t need to finish the raw edges because it will not fray!

Fleece also creates body, since it is fluffy and, depending on it’s thickness, can hold a sturdier shape well. It also provides warmth for a small trick-or-treater in a cold climate!

Tips for sewing with Fleece: (Along with these you can read 12 tips for sewing knits.)

  • Use a ballpoint needle: Fleece is a knit fabric and regular needles will cut small holes wherever there is a seam. Ballpoint needles are easily found online or at your local fabric store. Also, a good rule is to change your needles after every 8 hours of sewing to keep them fresh and avoid skipped stitches.
  • Use a stretch stitch or a zigzag stitch: This is a good rule for any knit fabric. It allows the sewn seam to stretch while it is being worn.
Last year I used fleece for my daughter’s princess costume (pictured above) and there are more details and tricks for how I simplified the sewing process of her costume to make it as fast as possible in that post as well.

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Disclaimer: I am a Canadian Janome Artisan. Janome provided artwork (with my photos) for this project and the Skyline S9 on-loan machine I am currently using. As with all the products I write about – I always tell you my own honest opinion.