Monday, October 27, 2014

Costume "Upgrade" - Grim Reaper 2.0

New Halloween costumes every year? That's big bucks! Grandson Noah likes to wear the same costume for at least 2 years, with a few "upgrades"! Here's how I "upgraded" Noah's Grim Reaper Costume for very little cash!! DIY includes sew and no-sew directions with step-by-step photos.

This year as we discussed Halloween costumes, Noah announced that he was going to wear last year's costume, with a few "upgrades"! He said his costume would be the Grim Reaper 2.0. (his terms, not mine) Last year's Grim Reaper Costume (robe with attached hood and face cover) had been purchased online for about $15.00, and it was still in great shape.

Grim, but too short!

When he tried on the costume, it still fit around the middle, but it was too short! A quick look through a scrap fabric crate revealed leftover crepe fabric from a previous costume, so I knew it would work to lengthen his costume and sleeves.

His original costume had zig-zag cuts of fabric sewed around the neck area, and the bottom was cut in zig-zags. Noah said he would like the new fabric to have "random cuts" in it, and I agreed. I googled "Grim Reaper Costume for kids" and clicked "Images" to get some ideas. I was ready to go!

I started with a piece of crepe fabric that was about 10" wide and almost long enough to reach around the bottom edge of the robe. I cut another piece which completed the distance around.

I then cut random "zig-zags and jags" in both pieces of fabric.

This was fun, fun, fun!

I machine-sewed the jagged pieces to the bottom of the costume with a straight stitch.

Robe after  the added "jags"

The sleeves had straight edges before, but I knew how to fix that! I measured the distance around the edge of the sleeves.

Sleeves, before
I cut a piece of fabric 26" x 15". I folded it crosswise and marked 5" on each side and the middle mark to aid my cutting.

I then cut random "zig-zags and jags" in this fabric on the diagonal. 

I then sewed the piece  with the long "jags" on the edges to the first sleeve. The longer part was sewn to the under side of the sleeve, and the shorter part was sewn to the outside middle edge. 

Tip: It took a few more inches of fabric than I planned due to natural stretching of the knit fabric as I sewed. I just cut another piece of "jagged" crepe and sewed it on.

For the second sleeve,  the short "jagged" part was on the cut end, so I first overlapped and sewed the ends of the crepe together for about 2 inches before sewing it to the costume. I cut the other end in half before stitching.

Here's the completed sleeve edge. It's quite a transformation!

"Upgraded" sleeves

And now for my favorite "upgrade"! I had noticed that the pricier Grim Reaper costumes ($35.00 and up) had a type of shredded guaze fabric hanging over the costume, so I decided to give it a try.  I purchased a package of Creepy Cloth from Dollar Tree for $1.00.   

The size of the "Creepy Cloth" is 30" x 72", so I folded it crosswise and cut
a hole in the center for Noah's head. I then cut long "jags" a little over halfway up from the bottom. This stuff is really fragile and stretchy, so handle carefully!!

Folded "Creepy Cloth" with center cut for head

It looks like a straggly beard at this point!

To attach it to the costume, I put the robe on a hanger and pinned the Creepy Cloth on at the shoulders.

I machine stitched the Creepy Cloth to the costume using a close zig-zag stitch, being very careful not to get the presser foot tangled in the threads!

Skeleton Gloves, purchased at Dollar Tree ($1.00), are the perfect accessory!

Grim Reaper Costume 2.0 is complete!!

Front View
Back View

Nancy's Notes: 

  • The costume upgrades cost $2.00.
  • The plastic "Spiked Battle Axe" is another "optional" upgrade, purchased from Party City for $9.99.
  • If you prefer a no-sew version of the robe, the fabric "zig-zags and jags" could be added with fabric glue or Duct Tape. The "Creepy Cloth" could be pinned on from the underside with safety pins, or hand-stitched.
"Upgraded" Grim Reaper 2.0 - ready for Halloween!!

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