Halloween Costume How-To: Lex


Here we are at week three of the PopCap Halloween tutorials, and I want to tell you, I had a blast with this one! For one thing, I love the character I got to work on this week.

It’s Lex – everyone’s favorite erudite invertebrate!

In addition to how super-cool Lex is (how about those Bookworm Adventures, right?), this costume had two other big things going for it: I’m much more adept with a needle and thread than with a hot glue gun, and I love neon.

A riot of color!

You will need: at least a yard of neon green fleece, a matching top (look in the athletic wear section), a red bow tie, some seriously dorky glasses, and various sewing supplies — needle, thread, one big button, and a bunch of safety pins. Oh, and a few rubber bands.

Like fitting yourself for a wedding dress... for a marriage to a Martian!

I started by wrapping the fleece around my midsection to measure where to put the button.  Place the button about an inch from the edge in each direction. Use a safety pin to mark where the button goes on the side of the fabric you won’t be cutting. Then use a second safety pin to mark where the overlapping fabric will hit the button — that’s where you’re going to make a buttonhole. It’s also where you should cut a triangular swath of fabric off the top.

Why triangular, rather than just cutting straight down? Because you don’t want this to be a straight-legged dress; it should get wider as it moves down. Also, that triangle of fabric will make you a nice scarf (if you don’t wind up with a big enough triangle for a scarf, there are other options for head decorations that we’ll cover later)!

Now sew the button on and make the buttonhole. This is simple enough, but don’t rush it, because an oops while cutting the buttonhole will be hard to fix.

A buttonhole should be just wide enough to accommodate the button. Stitch around the edges to keep them from widening.

Now, lay the skirt flat on the ground and button the button. Align the edges of the fabric from the button all the way down to the place where the triangular cut you made ends.

Starting a few inches below the button, use your safety pins to hold the fabric in this exact position.

Then take your needle and thread and make your seam along the path of safety pins.

Step back into the skirt and button it to make any final adjustments for length. With the button situated at the back, and the gradually flaring skirt dropping down, you will see that you have a long “tail” naturally forming at your heels! Gather it into a “ponytail” shape and use rubber bands to hold it in place at a few key points to better define the tail.

Thereby hangs a tail...

Once you’re in the shirt and skirt, put on your red bow tie, and your incredibly dorky glasses, then tie the extra triangle of fabric on your head like a bandana. If this won’t work because the triangle is too small, you can buy a bandana in this color, or you can try using the spray-on temporary hair color they sell at costume shops. I considered that myself, but the warning label said not to use it if you already dye your hair. (What, you thought this was my real color?)

This is a great costume — by far my favorite yet. It’s so comfortable, and the fleece will keep you nice and warm while you wander around on a chilly Halloween night! Plus, if you’re going trick-or-treating, the day-glo color is totally in line with pedestrian safety recommendations! And I kid you not, just try not to smile while draped head-to-toe in neon green. It’s impossible.

Have fun, Blog Riders and costume-makers!


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