Skeleton Costume // diy

by Ashley Weeks Cart


I’m just returned from Atlanta, and boy has the late fall weather properly set in. The trees are looking mighty bare, and there’s a distinct chill in the air. I’m bundled up in long underwear, fleece blankets, and wool socks, all in the name of not turning on the heat until November. Such hardy New Englanders are we!

With all that being said, it’s clear that October is coming to a close, which means Halloween is just around the corner! I’m really excited to share with you my first handmade Halloween costume. I attribute this accomplishment to my slow but sure accumulation of minimal sewing skills this year though My Mother’s Attic and my inaugural quilting project.

I’d fallen in love with this hand sewn skeleton costume on Etsy, but when I saw the price tag, I figured that I could try and tackle my own version of the look. I will say, the cost of the Etsy costume is more than reasonable considering the time and effort that went into making Kaki’s, so for those of you who do not find joy in the DIY process, I would highly recommend investing in Small Threads apparel.


To get started, I purchased Asphalt-colored versions of American Apparel karate pants, solid rib long-sleeve shirt, and baby rib hat in Courtland’s size. I then bought silver thread, white fabric with some silver metallic sheen, and a small amount of red fabric for a heart. I washed and dried everything before beginning the construction!


I printed out Mini eco‘s skeleton template and traced each bone onto freezer paper. I improvised some of the bones to create pieces for the back of the costume, but the template was a great starting point.


I then ironed each piece of traced freezer paper onto the white fabric for the bones (and I did the same with a heart trace on the red fabric). The shiny side of the freezer paper goes down on top of the fabric, and the heat of the iron temporarily adheres it to the fabric.


I cut out each fabric bone with the traced freezer paper as my guide.


I laid the fabric pieces out on the costume to get a sense of placement and ensure that each piece fit comfortably on the costume.


Spray Adhesive was a MUST for this project. I sprayed each bone with this Spray Adhesive and carefully laid it out on the base of the costume.


The great thing about the adhesive is that it is temporary, so I could always readjust the placement before committing to sewing the pieces down.


Once the pieces were in place, I slowly and carefully sewed them down using a silver metallic thread on my sewing machine. I followed along the edges of each bone to secure each part of the skeleton in place. I then threw the costume in a gentle wash cycle to get rid of any leftover adhesive, and BOOM!



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A Bony Baby (er, toddler?) was born!


I couldn’t be more thrilled with the result. It was a lot of time and hardwork, but I am really pleased with how cute and cozy and comfortable the costume is for my picky 2-year old. If the weather is chilly, I can always pile some layers underneath, and of course she can wear the costume as her pajamas for the rest of the winter.


I think it’ll be a Happy Halloween indeed. (And Sunny is going to rock her Lilac Fairy costume (with a fall twist, i.e. LAYERS) one last time as she is very quickly outgrowing its awesomeness. Fortunately, Courtland will get a chance to wear it, too!).

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