Sunday, April 8, 2012

I'm an outlaw, on a stick horse I ride.

As we circled closer to Halloween 2011, I was bracing myself for Max to ask for a Rapunzel costume.  Granted, it had been awhile since he asked for a "girl" costume, and his wig collection had become almost exclusively decorative, but he sure had a thing for that girl with the long golden hair.  So I was pleased when he told me that his cousin, Rebecca, would be dressing as Rapunzel, and he, naturally, wanted to be her outlaw paramour, Flynn Rider:



At first glance, this costume seemed simple enough.  But the devil, ohhh the devil, he is in the DETAILS.  

The easy stuff was super easy.  One white dress shirt, collar removed.  One pair of white pants from last year's dance recital, dyed tan with a bottle of Rit dye.  Two leather belts, one narrow and dark, and one wider and light colored, purchased at the Goodwill.  These were all easily collected.

Flynn wears a sort of dull turquoise leather tunic that is very intricately stitched.  I decided to make Max's tunic out of fleece:  I was able to find an almost perfect match, colorwise, and fleece is a very forgiving fabric, especially when you are working without a pattern.  It also does not need to be hemmed, which is a huge plus in my book.

I started with a large rectangle of fleece, folded in two.  Using the fold as the top of the tunic, I measured against Max to find the size and location for the neck hole.  I cut the front center about a third of the way down, and made a small corresponding cut at the bottom - this was to give the illusion that the tunic opened all the way down the front and was fastened closed by buckles.  I sewed the side seams closed, leaving ample arm holes and creating a slight taper toward the waist, which flared back out over the hips.

Using this piece as my guide, I cut out a yoke that fit over the top of the tunic, and included the cap-style sleeves and stand-up collar.  The yoke followed a slight curve across the chest, and came to a point in the middle of his back.  I attached the yoke with two rows of stitching, to give the tunic more of a leather-work look.

To create the illusion of the leather panels, I drew lines (using a straight edge) with ball point pen.  Really.

For the buckles, I purchased small silver buckles from the craft store.  I removed the tongue from the buckles with a pair of pliers, and then bent the tongue into a hook to approximate the style of buckle that Flynn's tunic has.  I glued these onto small rectangles of fleece, and then glued them in place down the front of the tunic.  I glued four of the buckles together, so that in case one piece came loose from the fleece, it would still be attached.  The fifth buckle had to remain in two pieces, as Flynn wears the top buckle open.  I painted the buckles with gold paint, for authenticity, and painted small gold dots at the corners of the small fleece rectangles that the buckles were mounted on to look like rivets.  I painted more rivets along the shoulder line.

On Etsy, I found a felt replica of Flynn's satchel.  I could have made this myself, it is not a complicated piece, but I am a fan of Etsy and I chose to support a fellow crafter and purchase it instead.  I also found a beautiful belt pouch that I just had to splurge a little bit on.  With Sharpie, I drew a criss-crossed pattern on the wider, lighter belt, to mimic the decorative stitching on Flynn's belt.  I also ended up sewing fleece belt loops onto the tunic, to keep the belts from riding up.

The final element was the boots, which I finally found on eBay, the perfect pair of calf-high, brown boots, with, not the exact spat-style details of Flynn's boots, enough funkiness that Max approved them as a solid choice.  Of course, after trick-or-treating in them, he decided that they were too uncomfortable to walk around in, and chose to wear, on future Flynn Rider outings, a pair of dark brown suede chukka boots, purchased last summer for his Oliver! costume.

The beauty of this costume, once again, is that he has gotten a lot of use out of it.  A couple of weeks after Halloween, we went to the Carolina Renaissance Festival, and his costume was perfect for that:


(Note his little brother is Pascal, Rapunzel's chameleon friend.  That was Milo's Halloween costume; we went to the Renaissance festival with the idea to find a pair of wings and turn him into a dragon....we did, but that's another post.)

And, of course, he wore the  costume at Disney World when he went to meet Rapunzel herself.  She (and her handler) made an enormous fuss over him.  Yay!!!


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