Handmade Halloween: Anna and Olaf

I kinda wish I was sewing something more inventive or funky this Halloween. I mean, if you've got to sew something that likely will only be worn a few times, it might as well be a show stopper, right? But Halloween costumes aren't about me, and Charly is Frozen obsessed like every other 2-6 year old girl right now. An Anna costume was in order, which WILL get tons of wear. IT WILL SO HELP ME!! Olaf of course had to happen next, since Caroline is always whatever character Charly deems her to be.

For the Anna costume I used Simplicity S0733 and made very little changes. I used a charcoal tweed for the bodice just to make it a little more special, and I used cotton everywhere else. I lined the bodice with more cotton so the tweed wouldn't be itchy, and I stitched the bias tape binding from the neckline to the lining by hand to give it a more polished look. My goal was to have a very wearable and washable costume, unlike the ones you can purchase in major stores. We actually bought an Anna costume for her back in January for her birthday and it started to fall apart the same day she opened it. Such poor quality. The tags on those dress ups actually tell you not to wash them- no dry-cleaning, no hand washing, no machine washing. Seriously. Have they ever been around children??

But I digress. Where was I? Anna costume. The dress was fairly easy to assemble, and I liked that this one actually had a mandarin collar and a few other details, unlike the McCalls pattern I initially purchased. The appliqués were a beast, though. Matt cut them out for me, bless his soul, and saved me hours of time, but unfortunately my ironing board cover was sacrificed in the process. Don't ask. It's a sore subject. As is the insane amount of time I spent sewing around the appliqués. The pattern advises using puffy paint to secure the edges but since "wearable and washable" was my goal I figured I'd put in the time on the sewing machine and have this last for the long haul. It was miserable. It could have been made better if I was any good at appliqué or had a free motion quilting foot. I'll try to remember that next time, haha!
The cape was a cinch- cut out of felt so no hemming was necessary, and the purple and black details are just ironed on. They are holding up so far and have had at least 8 wears already, but if they start to peel I'll go ahead and stitch around those, too.
And of course, OLAF!
I made Caroline's Olaf costume using the Bimaa pattern because I love the fit, it's quick to sew, and I knew anything more costume-y wouldn't fly with Caroline. She doesn't tolerate much in the way of dress ups yet. I followed the pattern exactly, adding felt "buttons" to the front, and the felt face appliqué pieces to the outer hood before it was sewn to the hood lining. The teeth are formed by a piece of white felt folded over and stitched down the sides and center to give some definition. The verdict: She tolerates it. Barely. I'm surprised we got any pictures with the hood on- she's pretty adamant about pulling it down pretty promptly. Candy helped. Luckily it still looks cute with the little Olaf face draping down her back.
We even managed to bring Sven along for a bit.
So there they are- Handmade Halloween 2014. Who else is sewing costumes? I'm a bit of a curmudgeon about it, but it sure is fun to see the delight on their faces- or at least on Charly's face!
And just for fun, here's Halloween 2013 and Halloween 2011.