Monday Project Report – The Leopard


So this week’s project is not a knitting project – but a sewing one.  It starts with Jesse being Jesse.

We determined what they wanted to be for Halloween this year at a trip to a fabric store following one of Markus’s football games.  While showing them a great tiger print I had found, thinking of Vash, Jesse found the leopard print and decided that was what he wanted to be this year.  Now, the leopard is a traditional costume in our family.  I was a leopard – and that same costurme was handed down and worn by all of my brothers, my sisters, my son and I think even my nephew Aysa.  It has since been retired, so a new costume was going to be needed.

While I can make clothes without patterns per se, I am under a bit of a time crunch at the moment to get three costumes produced during a very hectic month, so I picked up some patterns for my basic parts and went from there.  We used parts of these two patterns in making our leopard

I did not want the big zipper going down the front that the costume pattern had and preferred to have a 2 piece costume so he could at least use the bottoms for PJs later, so I picked up the pajama pattern too.  I will use the pajama pants for part of Vash’s costume later.

I altered the top of the pajama pattern to basically turn it into a body suit that attached between the legs using velcro to give the costume a more one-piece look.   (I can cut off the extensions later and hem the bottom for a PJ top.).  I also changed the pattern from a one piece back section to one with a seam down the middle so I could create the opening that his head went through (the pattern was made assuming a stretchy knit material which we were not using) and insert the tail into the top rather than the pants.  I just used a bias tape for the neckline to give me the long tie in the back.  I also had to alter the ears on the cap as they looked more like floppy donkey ears than leopard ears.  I added some stuffing and shortened them to get a better leopard ear.

Jesse learned a few skills on this – like how to thread elastic through a casing.

He held the end in his teeth so it didn’t pull through.

He and Vash also stuffed the tail with all those cotton balls Aunt Shel saves from the tops of their vitamin bottles.  They were just tickled that I pulled those out for the tail.

So as of yesterday, we no longer had plain old Jesse – we had Leopard Jesse!!

Jess is very very happy with how it turned out.  I am very very happy that one costume is done – and only two more to go.  Hopefully Vash’s will be ready for next week’s project report.  In the meantime I will keep the leopard costume hidden from Jess – he gets into character a little too easy.

Happy October to you all.

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About Shelly R.

I am a Mother, a daughter, a sister, a wife, an attorney, a crafter and the granddaughter of an amazing woman - my Polish Grandmother. My Grandmother gave me so much, through her love and her patience, her sayings and her time teaching me how to craft and to give to others, that it seemed fitting to share some of that wisdom, to tell some of her story, and to chat about life and crafts in a way that would be a testament to what she gave me.
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3 Responses to Monday Project Report – The Leopard

  1. danielle says:

    WOW! That looks great! Is there anything you can’t do?? (I have a picture of me somewhere in the leopard costume when I was little. I think Ricky’s holding me in the picture.)

  2. Shelly R. says:

    I love that he picked our family costume – without even knowing the history in the family. I learned how to sew via a combination of Gram and Jr. High Home Ec. class. I still have Gram’s sewing machine from the 1940s. It is the one we both used. I see them sell in auctions all the time but I won’t let this one go. Gram made alot of Mom’s clothes growing up and she would make me costumes for grade school plays. (I seem to remember a pink jelly bean). When Chris was a baby I worked at a great fabric store in Evanston. We have more sewing projects in mind for Escape to Evermore using old denim jeans. I’m excited about them. Those will have to wait until after Halloween though. If I pull off Vash’s costume, it will be my biggest design accomplishment to date.

  3. Barbara Antonelli says:

    Oh my gosh,that one looks so much nicer than the one that you kids wore. GREAT JOB Shelly!!!!! I think Jesse would look great in short hair too…..oh that face is just too cute for words! I love the picture of him with the elastic in his mouth..those boys will try anything,they could teach Hawthorne Valley a few things. Love you all,Mom

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