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Friday, January 8, 2016

Hello Again!

Hi! Remember me? Geez, I can't believe how long it's been! Seriously!

Now, I'm nowhere near ready to tackle a book update, since it's been months since my last post. BUT, I'm gonna share a big one I began in November and never actually posted: The process I went through to give my daughter a kick-ass Honey Lemon costume for Halloween this past October. I wanted to share this mostly because there was limited resources online for me, and someone else might end up needing the same thing! So here goes!

Summer 2015 - First viewing of Big Hero 6
My daughter decides she HAS to be Honey Lemon for Halloween this year; we all agree Honey Lemon looks like the grown-up version of her.

September 2015
My daughter reminds me that she wants to be Honey Lemon for Halloween this year. I look online to discover that thankfully, such a costume exists. I shrug it off. No problem, we'll be able to find that.

October 1st-7th, 2015
The daughter reminds again. Repeatedly. So excited to be Honey Lemon. Can't wait to be Honey Lemon. Hey Mom, when are we getting my Honey Lemon costume? I keep reminding myself that I should really get online and find out the best place to get it, ie: the cheapest.

October 8th-13th, 2015
Start popping into stores to find that no one has any idea what I'm talking about. Honey who? Oh! Big Hero 6! Yes, we have Baymax. Or Hiro. That's it.

October 14th, 2015
I go online again. There it is, phew. What's that? What do you mean SOLD OUT? Soooooo...guess I'm making this thing. At least I have almost 3 weeks. What's that, honey? Your school costume day is the 28th. Oh, no problem. 2 weeks? Oh, sure, no problem. Sure, sure.

So, after haunting Pinterest, I found a few cosplays, and a few parents like me who did this up for their kids. The only thing was, they did theirs over several months.
So head down, ass up, into the foray I went.
To remind you, this is Honey Lemon:

The first thing tackled was the chem-balls. I bought styrofoam balls, skewered them into an empty box, and then spray painted them in the red, purple, and orange of Honey Lemon's chem-balls.

Next, I tackled her dress. Now, I'm hella cheap and at this point I'm terrified of my impending deadline. So I figure I'll hit up a Value Village and find one easy-peasy. Right? Yeah, not so much. So I settle for a terrible 2XL flashy, sleeveless tee. And over a couple days of altering and adding trim, I turn it into a dress that sort-of, kind-of resembles Honey Lemon's.

I found the purple leggings at Walmart for $4, and thought the best way to match the arms to the leggings was to use the same thing. So I bought a second pair, cut them up, and sewed them on as the long sleeves. My daughter was mortified that she'd be wearing pants on her arms.

After that, I began the armor. I lucked out by finding a pleather-looking fabric in the clearance section of the fabric store. I was so pumped that it looked like leather, but felt like a stretchy spandex, that way it would look very real, but be stretchy and comfortable for my kid. My bubble was burst when the fabric store associate informed me it went on clearance because it was just awful to work with. And she was right, it SUCKED to sew. I ended up having to come up with some pretty creative ways to sew this to the padding, since it would NOT sew to itself. 

Once the torturous process was over, I was actually really happy with how it turned out - especially since I had done it in only a few evenings. I also decided against the "breast" armor. After all, she was only 6.

The last thing was the purse. Yikes.
I had left it for last, because it was so daunting. I had found a purse at Value Village in the sort-of-right shape, but had a really hard time finding a fabric in the right shade of orange to cover it with. I eventually went with a roll of this "all-purpose fabric" from Walmart. It was $10 and I didn't even know if it would work. Supposedly you could glue, sew, etc with this "fabric." Turns out, this shit was AWESOME to work with.

I stripped the purse of it's adornments and straps, and I found a yellow edging to sew onto the fabric. I covered the little bag and sewed an open top onto a back, to make the front flap. I used printable fabric paper from Staples to print the design of Honey Lemon's buttons for her purse. I wanted something that I would be able to shine a light through. Here is the picture I found on Pinterest from that awesome Dad who did this for his daughter:
Then I sewed the flap onto the purse body.
I knew my daughter wouldn't be able to use the purse as a purse, as the most important piece was making it so the buttons could light up. Now, the Pinterest Dad that made this purse for his kid had painstakingly ran wires to light up each individual button on the screen. I had zero time for that, so I opted for a flat light that my daughter could press to make the whole screen light up. After all, at this point, I had only about 4 days left before her costume day at school. I found a flat purse light at the Dollar Store, and sewed it into the opening behind the fabric paper. The end result was actually super cool.

It then occurred to me that I hadn't even had my daughter try any of this on yet, and holy crap, it better fit! Here is our first test-run.

I made a wide strap for all the balls to fit onto, the way Honey Lemon wears hers. Since the orange fabric was all-purpose, it reacted to adhesive wonderfully, so I used an adhesive Velcro to stick all the balls onto the strap - that way, my kid could take them off and on as she pleased.

After this test-run, I had to make a couple alterations to the dress to help bring in the wide shoulders of the original shirt, and to the neck of the armor to help it stay closed. And then my son pointed out that I still had the helmet to make. Shit. Helmet. Right.

So two nights before the 28th, I began the helmet using a smaller, cheap knight helmet I found at Value Village. It was an epic fail, and I decided to go with something that was more pliable and comfortable for her head. I went with a very Canadian solution.
It so happened that this purple duct-tape was also grape-scented. Bonus!

I began with a light foam for the basic shape, then used the grape-scented purple duct-tape for the final covering.

I used paint to add the orange and the lines.
I ended up finishing the helmet about 1 am on the 28th. Nothing like finishing in the nick of time!

And even though it was 2 weeks straight of panic and creativity and sewing and taping and cursing, it was SO worth it once she had it on. And she received so many compliments, she was just over the moon. What we do for our kids, eh?

Maybe next time I'll start a tad earlier, lol.

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