Book Week Costumes.

August 29, 2013


Onsies as costumes.

Onesies as costumes.

Yes I know I am very, very slack but this year it came down to onesies for the book parade. Judging by just how many I saw on parade day, I am not the only parent enjoying the simplicity.

10 year old , of course is Eeyore from the Winnie-the-Pooh series of books, and 7 year old is the ‘good’ pig from “The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig” by Eugene Trivizas. 

While at the parade a conversation was had about the difficulty getting a good photo during….and sometimes before ….. the book parade. I took some pretty bad ones. Did you?



...this one is fabulous!...

…this one is fabulous!…

If you took some equally awful pictures at the book parade, and you are happy to share them, please email them to me. … or comment below. I will share them if I get enough. I might even offer a prize!




Hey ! Hey!  Don’t yell at me. I didn’t come up with the book week parade, but I might be able to help yours be more joyful.

I have looked around and found a few interesting ideas.


Guinevere’s Gown by Laura Tolton.


  • Susan and Lucy…. Narnia by C.S. Lewis.
  • Ancient Greek and Roman characters …… from the horrible history books….or any history or historical fiction book.
  • A witch….. The Witches by Dahl.

Animal costume by Studiotoutpetit.


  • cats and dogs
  • mice….. 7 year old is thinking of going as Reepicheep from The Voyage of the Dawntreader by C. S. Lewis…. so I might adapt this one.
Another easy idea....from Pinterest ....and compfortable too.

Another easy idea….from Pinterest ….and comfortable too.


  • Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl
  • Little Red Riding Hood’s Fox

I have collated a bunch of ideas on my costumes pinterest board here if you need other inspiration.

Book Week Parade

August 29, 2011

8, 5 and 11 year old dressed for the school book parade last Friday.

I know I am a bit of a freak when it comes to this sort of thing….. but I love book week parade. To make it a little less stressful … and thriftier …only one child gets a costume made each year. The others scrounge from what we have or call friends and borrow bits and pieces.

5 year old got in on the act (unnecessarily dressed up) as Felicity Wishes… from the Friendship and Fairyschool by Emma Thomson. I made this costume for 11 year old for her kindergarten book parade six years ago. The crown was always a little odd!

8 year olds went as EJ12 from ‘EJ12 Girl Hero Pyramid Puzzle’ by Susannah McFarlane. She has just got to the ‘Colour Fairy books are not cool’ stage….YAY!!!… EJ12 is like a female Zac Powers. She pulled this costume together with things from her sisters (and her) wardrobe and phoning an adventuring adult she knew for the bits she was missing. Thanks Heidi for the binoculars, shoes and rope.

 11 year old was the one to have  her costume made this year. She is Hatshetsup from the Ramose series of books by Carole Wilkinson. The white dress was in our dress-up box and the other bits I made. We were enlightened about egyptian makeup here. She was delighted to be unrecognisable by some of her school mates. A lot of people thought she was Cleopatra….but she was prepared for this! Hatshesup was the first female Pharaoh of Egypt. She stole the throne from her nephew. Male Pharaohs didn’t like the idea of female ones so spent the years after her reign trying to remove any historical trace of her….. just a quick history lesson for the uninitiated (me included before I started making the costume). I even went fabric and bits buying with a totally different Pharaoh as my inspiration. Oh, the shame of it!!

As it turned out, 12 year old had a multicultural day at school on Friday as well! She went as an English punk. Sorry about the dreadful photo…. but I couldn’t leave her out.

Well book parade over for another year. Sniff. Still time to add your comments to the book week giveaway. I will announce the winner soon. Don’t miss out!

8 year old moustache

August 7, 2011

Proving once again our desperate dependance on post-it notes

Easter Hat parade.

April 7, 2011

Strike a pose...

News Flash …. The Easter Hat Parade has nothing to do with Jesus!

This has always annoyed me, but it turns out  historically …. it really doesn’t.

It’s more to do with fashion and spring.

This year, we ran with it…..

More like a fascinator than a hat or bonnet..... but once you get to year 6 the sillier the better.

Origami crane with hanging bilbys. Thank you 12 year old for your origami skills!

4 year old just got in the act. A simple rock star hat.

End of year means concerts, concerts and more concerts.

I know some of you like to keep up with what the girls are doing.

I chose these pictures as they are very representational of their characters at the moment. I love how 4 girls born fairly lose together, and with the same parents can be so different.

This post is especially for you.

12 year old in the recent year 6 show. Big thank you to our friend the Dr Who mad Galaghers who made this awesome costume.

7 year olds in the "We are the World" year 1 and 2 show.

Not your typical bible character for this time of year. 10 year old as a devil.

4 year old hasn't been in anything, but has gone to everything!. I could hardly leave her out.

Starting with the basic or collared cape.... we then....

1. Draw the outline of the shape wanted you want to applique. If it is a symmetrical motif, fold in half and cut it out making it even on both sides.

We were after a 'Mickey Mouse-esque' devil face outline.

2. place it on your fabric and cut out. Remember to leave about 1 to 1 1/2 cm seam allowance.

You should end up with something that looks like this.

2. Decide where you want your reverse applique to be. I choose the centre back because the original bathrobe was monogrammed and I wanted to get rid of it. (I could have done a normal applique, but because this cape was made for the stage, and the monogramming was white, I was concerned that under the stage lights it would still be visible.)

4.With the right side of the applique piece against the wrong side of the cape...(read carefully) pin in place.

5. With a straight stitch, sew around the shape at 1-11 /2 cm from the edge. Go around the shape 2-3 times. Do not worry if your stitching line isn't exactly on top of each other. It does not matter!


It should look like this from the inside of the cape.

5. Turn the cape to the right side. Make a small nick in the cape fabric within the outline that you have sewn. Be very careful to only cut the cape fabric (red) and not your motif fabric (black).

6. Make a cut out toward the edge of the outline.

7. Cut as close as you can, without cutting the stitching, around the shape until the whole piece can be removed.

.... and whoa-la a devil cape complete with collar and devil motif. Total cost $3 for the bathrobe.

*Please note: This cape/cloak is made for the stage and for older children. If you are making this as a dress-up for toddlers the tie at the neck may result in choking when playing around the house and on play equipment. I guess that’s why in ‘The Incredibles’ the designer says “NO CAPES”


Starting with the basic upcycled cape.... see yesterday's tutorial. Upcycled cape tutorial

Please excuse the bad photo! 1. Trim the overlocking from the sleeves we cut off the robe yesterday.


2. With one sleeve fold in half with hem edges together and press.

3. Open the sleeve back up and mark with a pin. Preferably a straight one!


4. Find the centre back of the robe neckline, and line up the centres. Just tuck the sleeve piece behind the finished neck edge of the cape.


5. Pin (top and bottom edge) all the way around the neck edge lining up the hem of the sleeve piece and the inside edge of the cape.


6. Put cape on anyone who won't run away, and using pins, shape the sleeve piece to the desired collar shape. From now on I will call this piece a collar.


7. Check to see that you are happy with the shape, and get it roughly the same on both sides. Don't over panic this step as we will even it up later. It is best if the collar doesn't extend past the ties.


8. Take cape off. Unpin collar from cape.


9. Take out pins and replace them, one-at-a-time, along the edge of the shape you want. Just do this for half of the collar.


10. Keeping the centre of the top and bottom collar marked, flatted collar back out, and check the shape again.


11. Keeping the unpinned edges together, fold in half at centre pins. Pin through both layers of fabric and cut. Remember to add seam allowance. About 1cm is good.


12. Take out all the pins and lay flat. Get the other sleeve, put right sides of the sleeves/collar together and cut a second shape from the other sleeve exactly the same shape.


12. Pin sleeves together. If you are using slippery fabric like I did, your edges may not exactly match.... Just trim them so they are the same.


13. Pin all around the collar leaving the hemmed edge unpinned. You should still have a pin marking the centre back. Leave this in. You will need it later.


13a (optional) I added a little strip of felt to the inside of the back collar to give it some body. If you wanted a very stiff collar this would be the time to add very stiff interfacing the same shape as the collar, or boning strips at about 5 regular intervals along the collar.



14. Sew around the pinned edge of the collar (and through the felt if you used it. Leave hemmed edge open.


15. Clip across the corners of the collar, being very careful not to cut your stitching.


15. Turn the collar to the right side (the side you want to see). Use closed scissors to gently push out the corners.


16. It should now look something like this. Give it a good press.


16a( optional) Remove pins from the inside holding down the felt.


16b. (optional) Stitch through all layers of the collar to secure the felt.


17. Put the collar on. Pin the hemmed edge flat underneath the finished collar edge. (You are going to have a slightly unfinished edge on the inside... but girls!... it's a costume) Make sure it is in the middle.


18. Stitch through all layers about 2mm from the seam on the cape.


18. Presto! An upcycled collared cape.


My poor model was home sick from school the day I made this tutorial and took all the photos. She is normally very cheery! Thanks 10 year old.

*Please note: This cape/cloak is made for the stage and for older children. If you are making this as a dress-up for toddlers the tie at the neck may result in choking when playing around the house and on play equipment. I guess that’s why in ‘The Incredibles’ the designer says “NO CAPES”

1. Start with a basic bath robe. The length of the robe will be the finished length of your cape.


2. If your robe has ties and loops, snip them off as close as you can to the stitching that attaches them, without cutting the robe. Don't throw these away... we will need them soon.



3. Put the robe over the shoulders of your superhero/king/emo inside out. Don't put your arms in the sleeves but leave them to fall from the shoulder of the robe. 4. Pin along your caped-crusaders shoulder line making sure all the sleeve fabric is on the outside of the pinning line.



4. Pin the ties about 15cm (6") down the front opening on either side.


6. From where your pins start, sew a smooth line along the pinning line that goes over the shoulders. Move the pins so that you don't sew over them.


Keep going until you reach the already sewn shoulder line and smoothly join your line in.


7. Cut off the fabric (including sleeves) to form the new shoulder line for your cape.


8. Sew your ties to the front as positioned.


9. Turn the cape (not a robe anymore!) to the right side, iron along shoulder seams and now they are ready to save the world.... or rule the world... or cause unknown pain to all who thwart their evil plans!

Your cape is ready to wear….

But wait…. there’s more!

Stay tuned for the more upcycling adventures in ‘Robe-to-Cape’

Soon…. For cape to collared cape

After that…. For detailing your cape.

*Please note: This cape/cloak is made for the stage and for older children. If you are making this as a dress-up for toddlers the tie at the neck may result in choking when playing around the house and on play equipment. I guess that’s why in ‘The Incredibles’ the designer says “NO CAPES”


Tutorial in the making..... stay tuned.

While you are waiting for my upcycled dress-up tutorial, check out these great ideas.

They all have accompanying tutorials, of varying difficulty , for you to try.

Any child on your Christmas list under five will love a dress-up or costume to unleash their imagination. I can think of lots of older kids who would love these as well.

Image from Apartment Therapy. Capes from T-shirts

Curly Pops gives a great tutorial for fabric superhero headbands.


Tool belt from Makeit-Loveit. Image hers too.


Very cute peter pan/elf/ robin hood dress-up by Made It and Love It. Image from there as well.


Fabulous petticoat/tutu tutorial. Another Makeit-Loveit. Image from there as well.

Fluffy Chiffon Skirt by Makeit and Loveit. Image also form there.

Super easy. No sew tutu by Makeit-Loveit. Image from Makeit-Loveit.

Chef's hat, oven mits and apron all from ikatbag. Image from her blog.