handmade halloween 2012: pink elephant costume

you know about Em’s elephant obsession, right?  and her love of the color pink, right?  so you’re not surprised at all that this was her halloween costume choice, right?

pink elephant costume

there’s something about four year olds where they just get obsessed with things.  any child psychologists out there, please clue me in.  it’s like her whole life is pink and elephants (and maybe ballet?).  so predictable it’s hilarious.

pink elephant costume

when we first asked her what she wanted to be for halloween (maybe in august?), she drew this:

pink elephant costume

a pink elephant sketch for me to sew from.  since she drew it, she has not wavered.  okay no, ONCE she said she would be fantastic mrs. fox, but the next day she was back to pink elephant.  dang!  i was kinda hoping my costume sewing would be taken care of with film petit.

i had a hard time fully conceptualizing the elephant.  couldn’t figure out my designs  – hoodie?  jumpsuit?  separates but wearable later?  very specific and one-time use?  i ended up going with separates, and had to do my own sketch because hers wasn’t entirely humanoid (yes i said humanoid).

pink elephant costume

here’s the pattern rundown.  it was all sewn in fleece from joann because halloweens get chilly here and it needed to be cozy.

pink elephant costume

top: flashback skinny tee, remixed using my green eyelet tunic tutorial.  i lengthened the sleeves, scooped out the neck, omitted the keyhole, used purple ribbing for a neckline, and inserted 1/4″ elastic in the bottom hem to bubble her tummy a bit.  then i appliquéd charcoal fleece to her sleeves for nails.

pink elephant costume

bottoms: sunki leggings, modified to be slightly wider in the leg and cut on the folds at the sides.  i inserted a yarn tail in the back seam like jess’ adorable my little pony costumes (tutorial here).  Em’s elephant tail is three strands of yarn, which i braided, knotted, then separated at the bottom for the tassel.  the pant legs also have gray fleece nails.

pink elephant costume

hood: cozy winter hood from little things to sew, of course!  self-drafted giant ears because she’s an African elephant and yes she knows the difference, with heavyweight heat n bond ironed between the two layers for structure.  i also inserted two pipe cleaners into the top of each ear.  i cut slits into the sides of the outer layer of the hood and sewed them in sort of like a welt pocket…tricky.

pink elephant costume

trunk: tube of pink fleece with gray tip, stuffed with fiberfill and pipe cleaners.  i added little tusks (her request) and it goes around her head/over her ears with a band of 1/4″ elastic.  she’s the kind of kid that doesn’t mind stuff on her face or head, so i expect the trunk will last through trick or treating.

pink elephant costume

every time she tries this costume on, she doesn’t want to take it off!  even though it was a bit annoying to make with all the fleece and tricky ears, it’s probably one of my most satisfying projects now that it’s done just because of her reaction to it!  makes it totally worth the major cleanout my machine needed afterward.

pink elephant costume

i do love making costumes though.  it’s fun to do such specific, frivolous sewing every so often, and i grew up wearing homemade costumes so buying them doesn’t even cross my mind most of the time.  plus, when my kid requests a pink elephant, i’m not sure that’s something that i could buy even if i wanted to (oh never mind, i totally could’ve bought one – yikes!).  anyway, mine’s not so weird and i’m sure it’s cozier.  so there.  it wasn’t cheaper, but that’s because i forgot how wide fleece comes and bought way too much (it’ll be an extra blanket for her bed).

my little pink elephant wishes you a…

pink elephant costume

have fun out there everybody!


50 thoughts on “handmade halloween 2012: pink elephant costume

  1. Lucinda says:

    oh the cuteness!! I’m awe – of your sewing skills and the costume! This will be the costume that remains in her memory for a lifetime (for good reason!) so kudos on making her dream come true:) Love how you modified existing patterns you already own – genius!

    • kristin says:

      Oh thanks so much, Lucinda. It’s funny how I wasn’t super excited about actually sewing the costume (the ears gave me anxiety) but you’re right – I did make her dream come true, and that makes me feel wonderful. How often do we get to BE our favorite thing in the world?! 🙂

  2. carolyn says:

    I second what Lucinda said – I am in awe too! Not just your sewing kills but also of your deign skills. This costume is amazing! And of course em loves it…its perfect for her!

    • kristin says:

      ha, thanks. pretty funny, she totally meant it as a “here you go mom, here’s exactly what i want” sketch too. i knew if i skipped any typical elephant detail, she’d revolt. 😉

    • kristin says:

      yes, we did!! loved yours too. i figured it out only because her psycho knife was floppy so i knew i’d need to put some wire in her costume for structure, and i didn’t have any floral wire on hand (which i used for her mouse tail last year). pipecleaners fit the bill. 😉

  3. Jess says:

    first off, she looks so adorable in it! Secondly…um WOW! Those ears are the coolest part! Love the little toenails too, and the tusks she requested! lol what a cutie pie!

  4. Cindy says:

    Amazing costume! It’s so adorable on her.:) (and the obsession phase doesn’t last forever…P was nuts about Thomas and trains for years it seemed. But gradually other things started to become important to him like football, math, and video games and the train obsession went by the wayside. At 11, he’s obviously over Thomas but still has a slight interest in trains.)

    • kristin says:

      ah good to know! i wonder whether it’ll fade…i don’t remember what i was obsessed with as a kid but maybe this will translate into a general love of animals or something.

  5. Delia says:

    I LOVE this Kristin! So Cute! It reminds me of the dancing ballerina elephants in the 2000? version of Fantasia. Owen was OBSESSED with cars and monster trucks from age 1 until age 4 and then moved to Toy story, then cars the movie, then legos and is still stuck on them. Reid has been less obsessed but has fleeting loves that last a few months at a time. So, I have no idea why that is. Personality mixed with age?

    You are such a great mom and fantastic sewer. Seriously great job!

  6. danawillard says:

    Oh My Gosh Kristin. Shut up! This is ADORABLE.
    Those side profile shots of the trunk?? Awesomeness! I love love love it!
    Well done.

  7. kim says:

    wow, Kristin, seriously! This costume is INCREDIBLE. I love, love, love, love, love it. LOVE it! (lotta love there 😉 ) I don’t know what to say except that it very well may be the cutest, coziest, sweetest, most lovingly made costume I’ve ever seen. Hope it’s dry-ish for you guys up there because that costume deserves lots of parading around! 🙂

    • kristin says:

      thanks, kim!!! if A wants to borrow it next year, she’s more than welcome! not sure how many kids have Em’s patience for trunks strapped to their faces, but you could give it a shot. 🙂 she got lots of compliments out trick or treating (“oh look at the cute elephant!!”) so she and I both enjoyed that very much.

  8. Stef says:

    SO cute!!! I’m going to see if one of my kids will be a pink elephant next year – I have GOT to have that last photo from behind to put up on a wall somewhere. Absolutely adorable! It looks really cozy, too, I kind of wish I could wear it – probably not so flattering.

    • kristin says:

      yeah that’d be so awesome!!! start the brainwashing now. youtube is great for baby elephant videos – they can’t control their trunks and whip them around a bunch, it’s hilarious.

  9. sewchibi says:

    So adorable Kristen! Couldn’t think of a better costume for Em. My favorite pic is of her climbing the tree! I can’t wait to do a Halloween Reprise!!
    That is seriously the coziest elephant outfit I could have imagined! It came out just right!

  10. ooobop! says:

    This is hilarious, gorgeous, adorable and wins first prize for the best costume ever. Thank you for putting a smile on my otherwise frowny face this morning! 🙂

  11. Cherie says:

    Oy, so cute, it hurts. That tree climbing picture is my favorite – it’s hilarious. Love all the details, especially the ear and that cute tail!! And I’m so glad that she loves it – must be a wonderful feeling!! Someday, I hope to have that feeling too 😛

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