Kalliope Kids: Sea Life Costumes Part 3

Free Willy! I lived in the Pacific Northwest. I lived in San Diego near Sea World. And yet my first thought when I think of orcas is Free Willy. What can I say, but that I was in high school in the nineties.

This costume was actually made for a school project for K-Dogg. His grade all did school reports on animals, and the week culminated in an animal parade where they all wore their costumes and paraded around the elementary school. Most of them made their own costumes out of paper bags, but what can I say, I like to overdo things! (Me? Never!) Plus, it gave us a costume for sushi day. Multipurpose!

20130426-082659.jpgI started with a men’s extra-large sweatshirt (here’s where the upcycling comes in–check out thrift stores. You should be able to find one. Just make sure it has a hood.) I then removed the front pocket–save it for later!


20130426-083431.jpgTo make the fins, I flipped the sweatshirt inside-out, and rounded the ends of the sleeves. I then just sewed them together–K-Dogg couldn’t actually use his hands, but he didn’t need them to parade around anyway. And he could still grab things; he just lacked fine motor skills through the sleeves.

Next, I laid a large piece of white felt over the front of the sweatshirt (right side out again!). I tried to smooth it down over top, so I could see the lines of the sweatshirt underneath. I then drew along the armpit seams, around the neck, and the bottom of the sweatshirt. I extended the lines around the tops of the shoulder, so the white would wrap to the back, and extended the sides as well.


20130426-083146.jpgI then cut the felt out, and used a basting spray to stick it to the sweatshirt, and sewed around the edges. You could just use a spray adhesive to bond it together (I don’t recommend a heat ‘n bond, though, since felt will melt), but I wanted it to be a little more sturdy.

20130426-083810.jpgNow for the mouth–I cut a bunch of teeth out of the white felt. I also cut a half circle out of the white felt to form the bottom of the mouth–I made the flat edge long enough to go from shoulder to shoulder, and I made it high enough to extend a little above K-Dogg’s face. (Confused? Me too. But it really was just a judgment call as to how big it should be.)

20130426-084057.jpgI sewed half of the teeth to the round part of the semicircle of felt, then sewed the flat edge along the top of the sweatshirt (under the hood). The edge is curved, and the felt is straight, so it helps prop that bottom part of the mouth out and away from the face.


For the other half of the teeth, I just sewed them along the top edge of the hood–creating a mouth that K-Dogg could look out of!


Now, back to the felt. I cut two bean-shaped pieces of white felt for the eyes, and sewed one to each side of the hood.


And finally, back to that pocket that I ripped off the front. I folded it in half, and used it to make the dorsal fin for the whale. I just cut a triangle out of it, sewed up the sides and stuffed it. I then folded under the raw edge and pinned it to the middle of the back of the sweatshirt, and used a zig-zag stitch to sew around the edge.




And….voila! Killer K-Dogg!




1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Diana Roloff
    May 06, 2013 @ 19:32:10

    Thanks for sharing this. K-Dogg looks great.


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