Friday, January 10, 2014

Deep in the Hundred Acre Wood....

Back in late 2011 or so, we were planning yet another trip to Walt Disney World, this time to coincide with Milo's second birthday.  Max, already a costume-wearing, Disney-World-visiting pro, wanted to know what costumes Milo would be wearing on the upcoming trip.

The problem was that, unlike Max, Milo had yet to exhibit anything but a very passing interest in wearing costumes.  A mere tolerance, as it were, and that was only on good days.  Max had really high hopes of the two of them traipsing all over in elaborately coordinated outfits, and I was reluctant to burst his bubble, but I didn't really see fighting with Milo over costumes as being a great addition to our vacation routine.

I had one (just one) trick up my sleeve, though, and that was a onesie that Milo already owned, and actually wore regularly and with enthusiasm.  A plain and simple onesie, long-sleeved, half red and half a golden yellow color.  A Winnie-the-Pooh onesie, to be exact.  (That he steadfastly refused to wear the matching hat with ears goes without saying.)

"Max, what about dressing as Christopher Robin one day at Disney?"

"Christopher Robin?  That's kinda...boring.  He just wears shorts and a t-shirt."

"Yeah, but what about if you're Christopher Robin in his school uniform?"

"Ohhhh.  Huh. I guess that could be cool."

"Okay," and I went in for the kill, "Okay, what about if you're Christopher Robin, dressed in his school uniform, with your own real live Winnie-the-Pooh, and you wear it when we go to the Crystal Palace for breakfast?"


Now, full disclosure.  This is a pretty easy costume, one that you could probably assemble completely from off-the-rack items. boy is a chubby little cubby, and sometimes hard to fit, so I do customize or flat-out make from scratch a lot of items that more average-sized children would be able to purchase at the store.  So.

First up were the shorts.  I had just enough teal fleece left from his Flynn Rider costume to make a pair of school-boy shorts that were comfy, easy to move in, and had the added benefit of being super cozy, in case of cold February weather in Florida (yeah, right).  I have an easy method of making simple shorts and pants for the kids, and it involves no annoying paper patterns and just a couple of seams.  All you have to do is take a pair of cotton pants or shorts that they already own and that fit them well (pajama pants, or sweat pants without elastic at the ankles work well for this), turn them inside out, and fold them along the center seam.  Fold your fabric in half, lay the pants or shorts on top.....wait a second, let me just give you a link to a great tutorial.  Here ya go.

I also made the sweater vest.  I had a big piece of maroon fleece left over from something or other, so I folded it in half, and laid one of Max's bigger t-shirts on top, with the sleeves turned inside.  I cut around the shirt, leaving about an inch for seam allowance.  Sewed down the sides and across the shoulders, and then had Max try it on so that I could mark how deep to make the v-neck.  I measured around Max's hips, and made a band out of the same fleece that fit snugly and sewed it to the bottom of the vest, taking in a few small gathers as I went, to give a bloused effect.

All that was needed then was a white button-down from his closet, and a tie and socks that we purchased at the local big-box.  Max did not want to wear a blazer, and I agreed that it was unnecessary.  I did make him a little beanie-type hat out of blue fleece, but we left it behind in the mad packing scramble.  He had a pair of brown chukka boots from his Oliver! costume which worked perfectly for shoes.

The finishing touch was his real live sidekick, Pooh Bear.  I dyed a pair of cotton pants to match the golden yellow color of the Pooh onesie, and we were good to go.

Christopher Robin and Winnie-the-Pooh wait at the Polynesian for a boat ride to breakfast at the Crystal Palace.

Pooh (and Tigger, too!) both made it very clear that they recognized Max's outfit, and made a huge fuss over him.
Both kids were comfy and excited to wear their costumes to breakfast.  The characters in attendance made them feel very special, and we had a really delightful meal.  Max was eager to strip off the fleece once we were done eating, as it was pretty warm in central Florida that day, but I was prepared for that and we ducked into a nearby bathroom and got him changed, no problem.

I love these costumes, simple as they were, because of this photo, one of my favorites I have ever snapped of my kids:

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