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Looking for a quick and easy halloween costume but not sure where to start? Join the Baby Lock Halloween Sew-Along to make a cute costume crafted from pillowcases! Pick your costume, download the instructions, and come back each Friday for tips and tricks for making your Princess, Pumpkin or Pirate costume.

  • Week 1

    Week 1 - Planning

    Welcome to the Baby Lock Halloween Sew-Along! I'm Stephanie Struckmann and I'll providing tips and tricks to create three fun costumes made from pillowcases! This week, we'll cover planning out your projects with tips on color selection and sizing. So pick your costume, download the instructions and let's get started!

    First, select your costume and download the instructions:
    Pretty Princess Pillowcase Costume: Download Here
    Pumpkin Pillowcase Costume: Download Here
    Pirate Pillowcase Costume: Download Here

    Once you decide on your costume, you'll need to pick your pillowcase color!

    • Princess – For this project, you can use the same color for both pillowcases to match your favorite princess or you can use 2 coordinating colors for the peplum & the skirt, like pink and green. Then you'll need to decide what color thread and bias tape you want to use for the embellishments and finishing of your project. We used gold metallic thread and gold bias tape with purple pillowcases to give our princess a classic, royal look.
    • Pumpkin – We recommend using orange pillowcases for this project. Note – this Pumpkin Pillowcase video and the project instructions use 1 orange and 1 grey pillowcase to show the contrast. Be sure to print the face template at the end of the instructions or download the free embroidery design here from the Baby Lock Downloads page. For the ribbon, we recommend, green, black, or orange, but you can use one with a fun design or pattern to personalize your costume.
    • Pirate – We recommend using a black or red pillowcase for this project to make the embroidery design stand out. Or get creative with some pirate or nautical-themed fabric and make the costume your own! You'll also need to pick the color of your bias tape. We used red to make it pop against the black pillowcase fabric. Another fun way to make your pirate costume stand out is using Glow in the Dark Thread for the embroidered skull and cross bones. You can also use white embroidery thread for the design, but the Glow in the Dark thread gives the costume a spooktacular twist!
      • Sizing

        • The next step in planning your project is sizing. Since children are different shapes and sizes, some may need adjustments for their costume. You can make the costumes larger by using 2 pillowcases for each one pillowcase used in the instructions. To do so, cut one long side seam on 2 pillowcases, press flat, then match the two sides (right sides together) and sew up the long sides to make a bigger pillowcase
        • Princess – For taller princesses, be sure to use king-size pillowcases. For shorter princesses, use queen-size pillowcases. You can also make the bottom of the dress hit at or above the knee for a shorter style that will allow for more leg room when walking. NOTE – The elastic waistband will add about 1-1/4" to the length of the costume, so be sure to factor that into your measurements.
        • Pumpkin – Pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes, so you may need king-size pillowcases for taller pumpkins and be sure to only cut off the top seam of the pillowcase to ensure you have the most fabric available for the costume. For short pumpkins, you can use queen-size pillowcases and cut more off the top of the pillowcase to get a proper fit.
        • Pirate – For smaller pirates, be sure to use queen-size pillowcases and use king-size for larger pirates. To keep sizing quick and easy, use one of your child's t-shirts as a measuring guide for the vest.

        Thanks for joining the Baby Lock Sew-Along! Be sure to come back on Friday, August 12 for the next part of our Sew-Along; Cutting. Want a reminder to join us next week? Sign up for the Baby Lock Enews HERE and don't miss a step of this Sew-Along!

  • Week 2

    Week 2 - Cutting

    Welcome to Week 2 of the Baby Lock Halloween Sew-Along! Now that we've picked our costume, and have our pillowcases ready, it's time to start cutting into the project. Before you cut into your project, make sure to follow this simple rule in sewing: Measure twice, cut once. It saves a lot of headache and rework to double check measurements before cutting into your fabric. Take your time and enjoy the creation process!

    • Princess – When cutting the elastic waistband, cut the exact measurement of your child's waist measurement. Because of the elastic, it will stretch when putting the costume on, so use the actual waist measurement for the best fit. To cut the armholes on the second pillowcase for this costume, use the first armhole cut-out as a pattern when cutting the second armhole to keep a consistent cut and size.
    • Pumpkin – Before cutting the pillowcases, fuse the face template to black fabric and hand cut the face pieces. You can also create your own pumpkin face using a cutting machine like the Silhouette Cameo. When cutting the pillowcases, you can adjust the length of the costume depending on the height of the child wearing it. For shorter pumpkins, you can cut a few inches off the top of the pillowcase before cutting the armholes. For taller pumpkins, you'll cut off a minimum amount to provide the most fabric possible for the costume. Next cut the armholes. Don't forget that you can use the first cut armhole as a pattern to cut the second armhole to keep a consistent cut and size.
    • Pirate – Be sure to mark the pillowcase per the instructions using the child's t-shirt as a guide. To keep a finished edge on the bottom of the vest, make sure to place the t-shirt further down on the pillowcase when marking the lines for your vest before you cut.

    Don't miss Week 3 of the Sew-Along next Friday (8/26) when we cover embellishing the costumes where you can really make the costume your own! Click HERE to sign up for the Baby Lock Enews and be the first to know when the Week 3 post is available.

  • Week 3

    Week 3 - Embellishing

    Hello again and welcome to Week 3 of the Baby Lock Halloween Sew-Along! This week, we've got some tips for embellishing your costume, which adds a fun, personal touch to your project! Two quick ways to embellish these costumes is adding applique or embroidery. Check out this video for tips on sewing machine applique and embroidery applique.

    • Princess – Adding embroidery to your princess costume gives it a truly royal look! The embroidery design used on this costume was a built-in design from Baby Lock Unity, but you can find a similar design online such as the Baroque Swirls from Amazing Designs. If you use metallic thread like Madeira Glamour Thread to stitch the design, it's important to use metallic sewing needle like a Klasse Titanium Embroidery Needle or Madeira Glamour Needle because they have a larger hole for the eye of the needle to prevent thread breaks. Best sure to test the design before stitching it on the costume, especially if it's your first time embroidering with metallic thread.
    • Pumpkin – This pumpkin costume is the perfect opportunity to practice sewing machine applique to attach the face pieces to the costume! Note: Applique the pieces before attaching the lining of the costume. You can print the Pumpkin Face Template at the end of the project instructions HERE. When sewing the pumpkin face pieces, you can use black thread to blend in with the fabric, orange to contrast or Glow in the Dark thread to make it stand out during Halloween festivities. You can also use machine embroidery applique to attach the face pieces by clicking HERE to download the free embroidery applique design. If you're new to applique, be sure to watch this video for helpful information about sewing applique and embroidery applique!
    • Pirate – What better design to use for a pirate than skull and crossbones? This embroidery design from Amazing Designs will add the perfect embellishment to your child's pirate costume! When embroidering, you can use white thread for this design, or make your little buccaneer stand out with Glow in the Dark thread! You can also use a pirate patch embellishment to iron or sew on, like this one.

    Now that we've embellished our projects, we'll be adding the finishing touches next week! Be sure to come back on Friday, September 2 for tips to finish your costume with ease. And don't forget to sign up HERE for the Baby Lock Enews so you don't miss the final Sew-Along update.

  • Week 4

    Week 4 - Finishing

    Hello and welcome to the final week of Baby Lock's Halloween Sew-Along! This week we're talking about the best part of creating a costume and project - finishing the project so you can show off your wonderful creation! We'll finish the project and hide those pesky raw edges of the pillowcase around the armholes or bottom of the costumes. A great trick is using bias to encase those edges! To make attaching the bias easier, I recommend using Baby Lock's Bias Binder Foot because it adjusts for a variety of binding widths.

    Did you know you can create your own bias binding? For adventurous or advanced sewers, you can really customize your costume when you create your own bias. Watch this video to learn the quickest and easiest way to make continuous bias binding!

    • Princess – You have some options with the straps of the dress. I recommend using the Baby Lock Bias Binder Foot to attach the bias tape. Once attached, you can stitch the straps down to be a traditional dress strap, or you can tie a bow in the front, back or on top of the shoulders as desired. Now your princess is ready for Halloween festivities!
    • Pumpkin – A fun feature of this project is stuffing the costume to give the pumpkin more shape! To do this, you'll be creating casing at the top and bottom of the costume so it holds the stuffing in. Be sure to follow the steps in the instructions for the casing. Note: When creating the lower casing, you can insert the elastic and wait to close the casing until fitting to the child so you can pull the elastic tighter if needed. To do this, insert the elastic in the casing and pin the ends together once all the way through the casing. Then stuff the costume and fit the child adjusting the elastic as needed. Once size is determined, stitch the elastic together and stitch the opening of the elastic casing closed. For the top casing, finish it off with a cute ribbon! I recommend using green, orange or black to coordinate with the pumpkin and Halloween theme, and find a fun, decorative pattern on the ribbon to really make it your own!
    • Pirate – Finishing the pirate costume is quick and easy when you attach the bias tape with the Baby Lock Bias Binder Foot. Go slow and if you’re new to using the foot, practice first before stitching bias onto the costume. Completely bind the outer edge, necklines in front and back, and both armholes. No need to bind the shoulder allowances!

    Thank you so much for joining the Baby Lock Halloween Sew-Along! We hope you enjoy the creation process and we'd love to see your pillowcase costume projects! Post your photos on Instagram and be sure to tag us @BabyLockSewing and use #BabyLockSewing.

    Looking for more pillowcase costume ideas or other Halloween projects? Sign up for the Baby Lock Enews by clicking HERE or visit http://www.babylock.com/projects/ where you'll find costumes, seasonal projects and more! And don't forget to visit your local Baby Lock retailer between September 15-October 31, 2016 to make a cute pumpkin trick or treat bag for your ghost or ghoul this Halloween! For more details or to find your local retailer, click HERE!