Thursday, February 24, 2011

monster mash (a tutorial)

No, I'm not going to teach you how to dance. I don't even think I know how to do the Monster Mash, come to think about it... And this is definitely not what I ever envisioned my first tutorial to teach but here we go!

Yesterday we were getting ready for school today: today is 'Wacky Hair/Hat Day" at preschool annnnnd my sons have buzz-cuts-a-la-Dad so we were left with the hat option. I spied a huge bag of old t-shirts in the laundry room and that's where we started.

"Carter, shall we make you a hat like Russel Sheep?"
"Yeah Mom, I want a really long one!"
Mom considers the dangers of a really long sleep hat at preschool and how the teachers might not appreciate such a headdress in the classroom.
"Carter, lets look on the internet for some pictures of silly hats we could make for you."

and we saw this one on Etsy and it received much approval from Carter


We rooted through that big bag of t-shirts and jersey scraps for the perfect colours. You realize now that I'm not getting away with making just one hat, right? Logan needs one too. We started with Carter's, in his favourite colour: orange. Grab your old t's cuz these are fun!

The beauty of using old t's is that you already have a perfect hem done for you when you use the bottom hem of the shirt. So, cut yourself two rectangles (front and back of hat) from the bottom hem of your shirt. Ours was 10 inches wide (the perfect hem side) by 8 inches high. For the width of the hat, measure the circumference of your little one's head, divide by two and add one inch for seam allowance. For the height of the hat, measure over the crown from brow to neck, divide by two and add 1/2 inch for seam allowance. For a floppier hat, add an inch and a half.

cut some tongues out of red jersey -- or pink! anything goes here!

Cut teeth/fangs. This was a 6 inch long strip of white jersey.
Make it as wide as you want your fangs long!


The eyes! I used Heat 'n Bond because I find it difficult to make circles stay put to sew. Head to the spice rack for some perfectly sized circles. Trace three 'white's and three pupils onto the paper side of your HnB and cut out roughly. By roughly, I mean leave a bit of paper around the edges, it's much easier to cut your fabric accurately on your drawn lines later. Take your rough circles and iron onto the wrong/back side of the fabric you chose for the eyes following the instructions for your HnB. Then cut out the fabric circles along your drawn lines above. (don't use your good fabric scissors, just some sharp all purpose scissors so you don't dull your good ones on that HnB paper!)

Ready to assemble! (Notice the tongue has become forked? Carter needed a more aggressive look than what I came up with.) Tack the tongue in place and sew your fangs over top. Any stitch will do. I actually wish I had used a zigzag instead of straight stitch for this. I just think it would have looked better.

Add the eyes: remove the paper backing and iron on first the whites, stitch in place; then the pupils, stitch in place. Stitching is optional if you use HnB but when sewing for my kids, I always go as secure as possible. Easier to stitch in place now than when the hat is assembled.

The horns. You can see I was really using scraps here! Cut four pieces, each 3 inches by 5 inches in any colour combination. Take two, and fold together in thirds lengthwise, as pictured.

Tack your folded horns in place to the front/right side of your hat back piece on a 45 degree angle to the top corner. Repeat with the other horns in the other corner.

Sew the front to the back, right sides together, making sure you don't get your horns stuck in your seams. I sewed a rounded corner at the horns but you could do a right angle too. Finish your seams with a zigzag stitch or use your serger and don't forget to trim that corner! You might also want to fold flat and tack down your seam at the bottom edge for comfort around the ears. You can see this on the blue monster pictured below.

Turn your hat right side out. See how the rounded corner turned out? Cut the folded horns into strips for a fun dangly fringe. Jersey doesn't fray! Hooray!


Add some buttons for the nose and you are done! Neah, huh? The square shape of the hat makes the horns stick out just perfectly when worn.

The orange monster would not let me take his picture but the blue one let me sneak one. (You can see the tacked down seam at the ear on this one.)

Logan wanted to be a happy monster so his fangs were rounded into teeth and he kept the silly tongue. He also decided to have only two eyes on the front and one on the back. Yes, he has an eye on the back of his head. He'll make a good parent, no?

I just couldn't resist placing this face at the end.
Really, she loved the hats and the dangling fringes begging for a pull and a tug!


Inspired? You are only limited by your imagination on this one. Have fun making your hats! Don't forget to send me a picture of your hats!

1 comment:

Terri @ em-belle-ish.blogspot.com said...

So cute. I don't know how I missed this post until now but I'm glad that I caught it. You are such a creative mom! Your kidlets are super blessed to have you.

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