Downhome Disguises

  • Downhome Magazine
  • Posted: Oct 08, 2013 5:47 PM
Dress your children in the spirit of Newfoundland and Labrador this year with these three easy-to-sew costumes created for us by Diana Klaassen. For each of these costumes you will need sharp scissors, pins, coordinating all-purpose thread, iron and board, sewing machine, pencil, old wrapping paper and a tape measure.


One brown bath towel or blanket
10" of beige flannelette
Tissue paper

Sewing Instructions
1. Fold one short end of towel to one long end to form a triangle. Cut excess towel piece off. Once unfolded it should make a square.
2. Fold square in half again to make triangle. Measure child's shoulder width. Find centre of "folded" triangle edge and mark the child's shoulder width. Make a line straight down and cut off the excess corner. It should now have a poncho shape. Sew edges to finish by folding under 1/2" and sew leaving a 1/4" seam allowance. Press.
3. Measure distance from one shoulder to the other. Note 1/3 of the measurement and clip a head opening of that size.
4. Trace the shape of a hood from a hoodie or jacket in the correct size. Note the head opening measurement of the poncho and adjust the neck opening on the hood to match it. Cut two and allow for a 1/4" seam allowance.
5. With right sides together, sew the two hood pieces together down the back curved side. Press. Fold front opening under 1" and sew leaving a 1/2" seam allowance. Press.
6. At this point try on costume. An opening may be made extending mid-back poncho up to mid-back hood to allow for ease in getting on costume. Cut a piece of Velcro to length of opening and sew to outside so that once Velcro is closed it won't show.
7. Lay a hand on a piece of paper, thumb in, and trace around it. Cut six of these. Four will make the moose's ears and two will make the tail. With right sides together, sew a 1/4" seam allowance leaving the top opened for turning. Turn right sides out and press.
8. To attach ears to hood measure 1 1/2" down from top seam and set back 1" from front hood opening. With ear pointing up, sew to hood leaving 1/4" seam allowance. Allow ear to drop and it should cover the seam. Do other ear the same way.
9. For tail, sew right sides together, allowing for a 1/4" seam allowance. Turn right sides out and press. About 5" up from back bottom point, sew tail on in the same way as ears. Let drop and underseam should be covered.
10. To make antlers, enlarge pattern and cut four antler pieces out of beige flannelette. Sew edges, leaving an opening for turning. Turn right sides out and press. Stuff with tissue paper.
11. To attach antlers to hood, lift ears out of the way. Pin to hood just inside ears. Face antler forward and sew using 1/4" seam allowance. Tack antlers to hood and ears so they won't droop forward.
12. Trace out a pair of mittens. Allow for 1/4" seam allowance and cut four. With right sides together and using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew a mitten front to back, taking extra care around the thumb. Turn right sides out and press. Fold wrists in 1/2" and sew using 1/4" seam allowance.

Saltwater CowboyImage

Faux leather
Sou'wester hat

Sewing Instructions
1. To create a pattern for chaps, find a pair of relaxed fitting pants in the correct size. Lay them out on wrapping paper and trace one leg. Remove pant leg and straighten out lines to make neat. To outside leg seam add 2 3/4" (that's 2" for fringes, 1/2" for movement ease and 1/4" seam allowance). Allow for 1/4" seam allowance on leg inseam and 1/2" for bottom hem. Allow 2" to top for belt casing. Where the seam would normally be straight from crotch to button, cut in a curved opening so that jeans underneath will show through.
2. Cut four of these pieces but be sure to cut two front and two backs if using a fabric with a nap.
3. For ease of movement while sewing faux leather, rub a bit of baby powder to edges before sewing.
4. With right sides together and using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew front inside leg to back inside leg from crotch to bottom hem. Turn right sides out and top stitch front outside leg to back outside leg allowing 2" for fringes. Repeat for other leg.
5. Hem leg bottom allowing for a 1/2" seam allowance.
6. Fold raw edges under 1/2" from crotch to waist and sew.
7. Fold top down and sew seam allowing for a 2" casing.
8. Cut fringes on outside leg. Slip belt through. Wipe off any remaining powder.
9. Complete the look with a traditional sou-wester.

The Snook LookImage


Faux leather

Sewing Instructions
1. For pattern, find a top in the correct size. Fold it lengthwise and lay on wrapping paper. Trace and remove. Tidy up lines so they are neat and straight. For the "Front," draw a line from collar bone to breast bone to make a vest shape. Cut an extra 1/2" for front facing. Shorten or lengthen bottom until it fits between the hip and waist. Once line drawing is complete, add 3/4" seam allowance (1/2" for movement ease and 1/4" for seam allowance). For the "Back" trace completed front pattern but measure neckline to fit top of shoulder to collar bone.
2. Fold fabric lengthwise. Pin "Back" pattern on fabric fold. To conceal any pin marks, pin as close to the pattern edge as possible. Pin "Front" either on fold or on open end of fabric, depending on what the fabric width will allow. If pinned on the fold, be sure to cut up front to make two separate pieces.
3. Measure front from breast bone to armhole. Cut four strips this long by 3" wide. These will later be the front fringes.
4. To allow for easier sewing of faux leather, rub a bit of baby powder up edge to be sewn. With right sides together and allowing 1/4" seam allowance, sew "Front shoulder" to "Back shoulder." Now sew "Front side" to "Back side."
5. Fold all raw edges - around armholes, bottom and front - in about 1/2" and sew leaving a 1/4" seam allowance.
6. With wrong sides together, position fringe piece so that fringes would be pointing up towards the neck. Place it so that it would run from breast bone straight to armhole. Sew with a 1/4" seam allowance. Now fold the fringe piece down over top to conceal seam. Topstitch to hold in place. Do the same for the other side.
7. Dust off powder. If desired, turn on iron to vinyl setting and press using a pressing cloth.
8. Consider adding a gold chain and chunky pendant for extra authenticity!

Downhome magazine would like to thank our models: Nathan Bromley (moose), Emily Holt (Snook look), and Colby Young (saltwater cowboy). If you have a home-made Halloween costume you'd like to showcase, send us a photo online for a chance to appear in an upcoming issue!