Tuesday, 17 January 2012

A pirate's life for me...

My baby boy (3 last Sunday - sob sob) is very much into pirates at the moment. Partly because that's what all 3 year old boys tend to like but mainly because he loves a new Disney kids program called 'Jake and the Neverland Pirates' which we get on Sky. I wanted to make him a 'Jake' costume as part of his Christmas present.
BTW: If anyone who reads this blog has a child who loves that show I can highly recommend the soundtrack CD. I picked it up just before Christmas on Amazon for about £3.50 and it's great. The pirate rock is actually quite catchy for a kids CD. We have all been singing and dancing to it...anyway, I digress...The dressing up clothes...
I decided to make Zac a pirate costume just like Jake's and so here is what I did...
First I looked at this site that my friend Jess, in New Zealand, sent to me because they did a fair bit of boy craft. Dana actually has a whole section on boys that I will definitely be looking over again. Anyway, she had a pirate vest tutorial which looked really cool but as I was running a bit short on time, I decided to wing it and made the whole thing up.
I chose some fabric that wouldn't fray so that I wouldn't need to hem it and some gold edging/tape/ribbon type stuff from a local craft shop.
So for the vest I took a one that I had made previously for a cowboy costume and chalked and then cut around it. The way I originally made the cowboy vest was by taking a T shirt that came up on the big side and with chalk drawing the shape of it without sleeves onto the felt and then cutting that out twice. One for the back, one for the front. Cut up the centre of the front piece to make the opening and shape the neck. For Jake's I left the lapel flaps in place as that's kind of how his looks. Sew the sides an the shoulders together...hey presto!
If you want to make one out of fabric that would need hemming you should follow the tutorial from Dana's website here.
So next I used a zig zag stitch and some yellow cotton to sew the glittery edging tape on. It frays so I had to sew the ends under themselves. I also didn't quite buy enough so it only got sewn on the front. I found some old buttons and sewed them on and that was the vest done.
I then made a red headband like Jake's one by sewing a long inside out sausage which tapered at each end. Next I turned it the right way out and closed the gap with the machine. That's the great thing about dressing up clothes. It  doesn't really matter too much about the finishing. I also wanted to re-create Jake's T-shirt with leather ties so I took an old long-sleeved white vest of Zac's and cut the neck off and then made a cut vertically. I then bound this with brown bias tape and made some holes which I threaded the brown cord through...See pic above if you don't get what I mean. This didn't really work as well as I had hoped as the T-shirt material was very stretchy cotton jersey. The neck opening ended up bigger than it should have but again, it doesn't really matter. It actually made it easier for a 3 year old to get on himself.
I got the belt 'buckle' from the craft shop and I stitched it on to a piece of brown felt that can be threaded through any jeans as my son had been known to get through more than one pair in a day!
I didn't get a picture of him wearing this creation on Christmas Day as it was slightly busy! However, since then we have been to the panto and watched Peter Pan with Hook and his gang and so now we have added to the pirate dressing up collection.
The pirate hats were from here but I used Dylon fabric paint rather than cut out and sew on the jolly roger...
The map, I hand drew with a sharpie onto fabric after searching the web for 'pirate map' and coming up with this one in Google images. I was quite pleased with this and it was really quick...Ed says I missed my calling as a pirate cartographer...:)
The hook is obviously a plastic coat hanger which I cut with a hack saw and taped up so that Zac could stick it up his sleeve. The fishing line, dowling with a nick out of it to stop the line from slipping, string and a small bit of wire shaped for the fishing hook.
The flag and eye patch were actually a real pain but mainly because I didn't have any black felt in my stash. Every other colour but no black. So as I was making this at 10pm the night before his 3rd Birthday party I had to improvise. I found an old top and cut it up. I used interfacing to stiffen the fabric and I sewed it inside out and then turned it the right way out.
I drew the two skull and crossbones after searching for a suitable image online and copying it. I used this Dylon fabric paint which worked well.

Cakes for Zac's party...a bit last minute as I had planned to buy some pirate flags and cases to save some time but I went to get them and the shop had run out so I made them instead. If you want to make cupcake flags, to save you some time, the perfect sized flags are approximately 3.5cm x 2.5cm. You should get four in a row on A4 paper. Cut them out in pairs, wrap them around the stick with glue. I then coloured in the white line which divides the two sides of the flag with a black marker. I would have attached a PDF of my pirate flag sheet but haven't worked out how to do that on my blog yet...

One happy pirate with his Uncle Phil X

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