(ARA) - There’s
something special about making a Halloween costume for your child.
Sure, you could head to the nearest big box retailer and pick
up the latest superhero or cartoon character outfit, but why not
get creative this year and come up with a costume that won’t
get lost in a sea of look-alikes?
Making a Halloween costume doesn’t require
professional sewing skills. If you can stitch a straight line
with your sewing machine, you’re in business. If you are
a more experienced sewer, you can get as intricate as you like.
But even casual sewers can achieve great results that you’ll
be proud to include in the family photo album.
Bernina, a leading sewing machine manufacturer,
recently introduced a new machine that helps make sewing easy.
The bernette for Bernina is a user-friendly machine that features
outstanding performance at an affordable price. Simple operation
and variable stitch width ensure sewing satisfaction. Optional
features like an automatic needle threader, LCD and slide speed
control and a one-step buttonhole maker let even the occasional
sewer create like a pro.
“Halloween is the second largest sewing holiday,
next to Christmas,” says Gayle Hillert, vice president,
education and training for Bernina of America. “What could
be more fun and creative than sewing a great costume for your
child -- you don’t have to worry about fit, you can use
all kinds of exciting fabrics, feet and machine stitches, and
your kids will be the talk of the neighborhood in their creative
creations lovingly sewn by Mom.”
Here are a few costume-making tips from the experts
at Bernina to get you started:
* Look for fast, simple
patterns -- the fewer pieces, the better, especially if you haven’t
followed a pattern for a while.
* Use patterns that
can multi-task -- for example, a cape pattern can be used for
a superhero or a witch. A princess, a fairy and a ballerina all
dress alike with a few changes (wings and magic wand for the fairy,
pointy hat with netting for the princess, etc.).
* Details make the
difference -- don’t forget to include props and makeup in
your costume planning; they contribute to the illusion. A broomstick
horse completes a cowboy outfit; a cat needs eyeliner whiskers.
Costume jewelry and scarves add pizzazz to a pirate’s ensemble.
* Don’t sweat
the small stuff -- costumes don’t have to be perfect. They
are usually for short-term use and are only worn one or two times.
No one but you will know if your hem isn’t blind-stitched
or your seam allowances aren’t finished.
* Use what you have
-- dig deep into your closet or visit local thrift stores for
costume pieces. A velour top and pants are the beginning of a
great puppy or kitten costume, for instance. One leg of an old
pair of tights makes a great tail for those outfits, or use several
pairs to add extra arms and legs to an octopus or a spider.
* Check your presser
feet and accessory collection -- the right tools will make the
job easier. Use a gathering foot for fast ruffles, a bias binder
attachment or serger to finish edges, elasticator to quickly apply
elastic, bulky overlock foot to attach fringe, coding and other
* Use reflective fabrics
and tapes -- this makes the costume safe for children to wear
at night. If you live in a cold climate, make sure the costume
is big enough to be worn over something warm.
* Get your kids involved
in the process -- they’ll be proud to wear a costume they’ve
For more easy sewing tips, and to see the entire
line of bernette for Bernina machines, visit www.berninausa.com.
Step-by-Step Directions for
Three Easy Halloween Costumes
These costume ideas from Bernina don’t even
use a pattern and require minimal sewing, but deliver maximum
Ballerina or Princess
Start with a leotard and tights; add ballet slippers
and a purchased tiara. Finish off the costume with a beautiful
tutu or skirt make from several yards of netting or tulle gathered
and attached to a ribbon waistband; tie around the waist like
For really simple gathering, use a zigzag stitch
with a length of 4 mm and a width of 4 mm. Stitch over heavy thread
or dental floss, pull up gathers as needed, then tie thread tails
together to secure. Cut a length of one-inch wide ribbon 40 inches
longer than waist measurement. Matching center of ribbon to center
front of skirt, pin in place along the top edge. Stitch in place,
sewing along the outer edges or the ribbon.
Make a cape from lightweight fabric cut to the desired
length plus one inch for hem. Hem the sides and both ends. Gather
one end (as in tutu above) until it is approximately eight to
10 inches across. Center a 36-inch length of one-inch ribbon over
the gathered edge and stitch in place along the edges, turning
the ends under. On the underside of the gathers, stitch a length
of hook-and-loop tape. Sew the opposite part of the tape to the
back center neckline of a T-shirt or sweatshirt.
To wear, attach the cape to the hook-and-loop tape
at the back of the shirt, then tie the ends of the ribbon in a
bow in front. The hook-and-loop tape supports the weight of the
Scarecrow or Hobo
Sew patches to worn out clothing. For straw stuffing,
cut rectangles of gold, orange and yellow felt to fit around the
hems of the clothes, cutting each strip about six inches wide.
Use scissors to cut the felt into fringe, stopping about one inch
from one long edge. Tuck the fringe into the lower edges of pants,
sleeves, and shirt with some coming out of the shirt collar; stitch
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