Wednesday, November 19, 2014

How to Make a Legend of Korra Costume (when you suck at making things)

This past Halloween, all three of my kids decided that they HAD to be something extra special. Something so special, in fact, that it was not possible for me to buy them costumes because they did not exist. Because apparently costumes this geeky are not manufactured for children. Which means I was faced with making three separate costumes. Which means I wanted to cry because I'm not actually very good at making things.

Here's who they wanted to be:

(If you want to see the Hunter or Weeping Angel costumes, check out this post right here.)

When Mini told me she wanted to be Korra for Halloween, I was actually pretty happy. We love that show and I thought it was cool that she wanted to be a kick ass hero. Then I tried to find a Korra costume in a kids' size 6/7. The only ones available were made by cosplayers and were for adults. They were also really expensive.

So I took a good look on the old internets to see what Korra actually appeared to be wearing:

And in spite of myself, I was like -  I think I can pull this off. It's my Odyssey of the Mind coach training, you guys. I was all: WE CAN MAKE IT USING FOUND OBJECTS AND CREATIVITY AND SAFETY PINS.

Here were my initial thoughts on throwing the costume together:
  • Shirt: Light blue turtleneck with the sleeves cut off (buy cheap at Walmart or thrift store)
  • Pants: Cheap blue sweatpants (borrow or buy from thrift store)
  • Lower arm bands: cut up navy blue socks or tights (already have)
  • Upper arm band: part of cut up light blue turtleneck sleeve, decorated with white duct tape (already have)
  • Blue hair ties: part of cut up light blue turtle neck used as large hair elastics
  • Pelt thingee on her waist: 1/4 yard of fake suede/leather from Walmart's fabric department with either fake fur or super fuzzy white fleece hot glued to the edges. (cheap - maybe $6)
  • Blue thing that hangs in front of her pants: 1/4 yard of blue fleece cut to hang in front and tie in the back (2 yards of navy & royal fleece - maybe $8)
  • Boots: cheap faux Uggs bought from internet or Costco (that Mini can wear all winter), with a little of the white super fuzzy fleece tied around the tops. ($20 but would have bought her boots anyway)

Here are some of the components. Brady helped by shedding on everything. 
Then my mom to came to visit and encouraged me to bust out the sewing machine. This is hilarious because (a) while I can run the damn thing, I truly suck at sewing. And (b) the thing about fleece and fake suede is that they're cheap and they don't fray - so for crappy crafters like me they don't have to be sewn at all, which is why I love them.

But I succumbed to their cruel peer pressure and tried sewing some things. I started with white quilt binding to the arm holes of the cut up turtle neck and managed to make them into huge, flappy gaping holes that looked ridiculous when worn. Not kidding.

I then tried to sew the white fuzzy fleece to the fake suede to make the pelt thingee, but the needle on my sewing machine wasn't having it so instead I just stapled it. Yes, I did. With my red swingline stapler. It worked great. Then I cut a long strip of blue fleece for a belt and attached it using Badge Magic (the sticky double sided tape product I use for Girl Scout and Cub Scout badges). Not sewing shit never felt so good.

And things were looking kind of good, too.

Just before I started making arm bands, I checked the weather forecast and saw that it would be freaking freezing and potentially raining on Halloween. So I thought maybe we needed to make Korra a warm Southern Water Tribe sweater to wear so she wouldn't freeze/be pissed that no one could her see her costume because her mean mother made her wear a coat. Back to the internet!

So my mom measured Mini and cut out a basic sweatshirt shape in two large pieces of blue fleece. No fancy arm holes and separate sleeves for us! No sir! That takes skill and I have none. I sewed the two pieces together, tacked on random bits of leftover fuzzy white fleece (using safety pins in some places and sewing in others). For the medallion on the front, I used sticky felt that I had in our random craft supplies and stuck it on there. It fell off within two seconds so I ended up using yet another safety pin.

Not bad, right?
But then Mini was like: "I have to water bend or the costume doesn't work."

For the love of all that's holy, that child will kill me someday. We got 1/2 a yard of shimmery, blue fabric that looks sort of like arctic water. You guys, it turns out that most fabric stores have a ton of shimmery blue fabric on clearance right now (because of Elsa). I cut it into 2 long strips. I tied a hair elastic to one end of each strip and put them elastics around each of her wrists like bracelets. Then I told her to bend:

So that's how I pulled off a crappily-made but awesome looking cosplay costume of Korra for my 5 year old and it made her super-dee-duper happy. She water-bended in her brother's face all afternoon and felt super powerful. And miracle of miracles, it did not fall apart. I estimate the whole thing cost $50 if you count the boots and $30 without them. I don't count them because I would have bought her a pair of Fake Uggs anyway. $30 is still too much for a homemade costume but you people already know that I have no idea what I'm doing.

PS: As proud of this as I am YOU SHOULD SEE THE WEEPING ANGEL COSTUME WE MADE. Click here for more on that.

  (c) Mommyland Blogs 2013-2014

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