So Much Effort to be the Mother of Dragons…

This week I’m continuing my Halloween costume review from past years. I’ve already shared our Star Wars costume ideas, and Spongebob, Super Why, and Monsters, Inc. costumes. Last year was the first Halloween that we had 3 kids to dress up, so I jumped on the opportunity to be the “Mother of Dragons”. Haha! I assume this is an automatic decision made/perk for all moms of 3… Yes? 😆

Anyway, for those of you non-Game of Thrones nerds, this means all of the kids were dragons last year. 😉

The kids love the dinosaur tails I made for E’s second birthday so much, that I decided to make separate dragon wings for this costume. I found an adorable black and pink dragon/dinosaur onesie for the baby girl, so I just had to add ears and horns to it, and make her wings. For the boys, I made wings and turned zip-up hoodies/jackets into dragon heads/bodies.

I had a few ideas of how I wanted to make the costumes in my head, but I also browsed Pinterest for ideas. I ended up using this tutorial for inspiration to add spikes to the hoodies (which, re-reading, is definitely easier than how I attached them, because there’s no risk of fabric misalignment!). But here’s a quick rundown of the jackets (Note: I don’t have a lot of pictures of the costumes “in-progress” so some of the pictures to demonstrate my steps were taken as I wrote this post – a year after project completion… ☺️):

Dragon Jacket/Hoodie Tutorial:

Step 1: Sew a ridiculously large rectangle down the center of the hoodie (read Step 2 to understand why a really large rectangle is necessary). The spikes should start about 4-5 inches from the edge of the hood (to leave room for ears and horns), and continue to the bottom seam of the back.

Step 2: Fold the rectangle up (so the fabric meets in the middle and the seam from Step 1 is hidden), and sew spike shapes into the fabric, starting at the top of the hood, and slowly moving all the way down to the bottom of the jacket. I had to do this very slowly and continually ensure the fabric laid flat, as it had a tendency to get askew as I went. For this reason, I was glad the original rectangle I started with was about twice as large as the final spike size, because by the end I didn’t have much wiggle room. Also, I really didn’t want to mess this step up! 😊

Step 3: Create the ears, similarly to Steps 1 and 2. First, sew 2 rectangles of ear fabric to the top of the hood in the appropriate locations, similar to Step 1. To attach this fabric, you’re only sewing a straight line (in the middle of the rectangle) to the hood. Next, sew a triangle shape (of the spike fabric) in the middle of the front of each ear. Lastly, put some stuffing between the front and back of the ear fabric, fold them together, and sew a triangular “ear” shape (similar to Step 2).

Step 4: Create and sew the horns into place. To make these, just sew a pointed shape into 2 rectangles, leaving the bottom open (I used really large rectangles to ensure there was enough fabric for the inside of the hood, when sewing these into place). I used a seam ripper to turn them inside out. I cut a small slit into the hood where I wanted each horn. after inserting the horns, I sewed them into place at the front and back of each horn. Then I trimmed the extra fabric off.

Step 5: Don’t get too excited, the wings will take you forever. Clearly H wasn’t too excited at this step… haha!

To get some ideas on how to make the wings, I read this tutorial, so this is a great tutorial if you want to try a slightly different approach. But here’s what I did:

Dragon Wings (with Tail) Tutorial:

Step 1: Make a cardboard template/stencil and cut out your wings. Since I wanted the wings to be symmetrical, I sketched out a single wing at the seam of a box. After cutting it out, I folded it over to trace the second wing. I used resulting stencil to trace the shape into the wrong side of my fabric (using pen, instead of a sharpie). I cut 2 sets of wings and tails per dragon, so I could sew them together and fill with stuffing. I used the hoodies as a reference for general size of the templates. Keep in mind that you’ll lose a bit of the size due to sewing (depending on how far in you create your seams).

Step 2: Pin your fabric together, and use as a guide to cut coat hangers into appropriately sized bone structures. Here’s a picture of all 3 sets of wings, tails, and “bone structures” all laid out:

Step 3: Create enough bone spurs to put one at each tip/pointed end of the wings (the larger versions shown below were used as horns for the top of the head). To make these, just sew a pointed shape into 2 rectangles, leaving the bottom open (I used really large rectangles to ensure there was a lot of fabric for the inside of the wings, when sewing these into place). I used a seam ripper to turn these all inside out.

Step 4: Sew the wings together, the wrong side of the fabric out, leaving small gaps where each bone spur will go, and leaving a small gap at the bottom (I left about 6 inches) to flip the wings inside out and to stuff them. This is also where you’ll attach the tail later. A picture of Steps 3 & 4 is below. Also, Chick-Fil-A is great sewing fuel! And let’s just ignore the fact that I was standing on our dining room table… 😉

Step 5: After flipping the wings inside out (so the right side of the fabric is facing out), put the white bone spurs through the appropriate holes and sew into place.

Step 6. Start stuffing the tops and sides of the wings. The point here is to make finishing stuffing the wings easier, since Step 7 will greatly reduce access to these areas.

Step 7: Sew the “channels” for the metal bone structures to reside. Keep in mind the top and sides of the wings will be harder to access when you’re done, so try to push stuffing in these areas before sewing the channels. First, sew a curved line about 3 inches from the outer wing edge, that starts at the bottom and follows the curve towards the top of the wing. At the top point/corner of the wing, turn the wing (while keeping the needle in your fabric) such that when you continue sewing the line will continue along the top curve of the wing (maintaining the same distance from the edge as you go). End the top line about 1-2 inches from the center of the wing, and repeat on the entire process on the opposite wing. Next, sew a single curved line in the middle of each wing, aligned with the point at the bottom center of each wing (but keeping a gap between both the top and bottom of the line).

Step 8: Insert the bone structures into each channel, and finish stuffing the wings.

Step 9: Add spikes to the “right” side of the tail fabric, using the same method as the body spikes.

Step 10: Create a pointed tail “end spike” using the same fabric as the spikes. I just sewed together 2 pieces of spike fabric (which was felt), and didn’t bother stuffing it.

Step 11: Sew the tail “body” together on the 2 long sides (without sewing the top or bottom end), with the “wrong” sides of the fabric facing out. Be sure the spikes are centered within the fabric so that you don’t sew them in this step (since they’ll be hidden on the inside of the tail).

Step 12: Turn the tail inside out (so the spikes are on the outside), and fill with stuffing.

Step 13: Insert and sew the bottom spike into the bottom of the tail.

Step 14: Insert the tail into the wings, and sew the gap at the bottom of the wings closed. Be sure to stick the tail far enough into the wings, such that it’s sewn into place during this step.

Step 15: Create the arm straps. For each strap, cut 2 rectangular pieces of fabric. Sew a strip of velcro fabric to the “right side” of one of the strips. Then sew these 2 rectangles together (wrong side of the fabric out), leaving the bottom open to turn it inside out. Once inside out, do a “zig zag” stitch around the inside border of the rectangle (again leaving a gap at the bottom), to help the strap lay flat. (Yes, this is an extra step if you feel it already lays flat). Repeat this process for each strap, for a total of 4 straps per wing (but only 2 with the “hook” side of the Velcro, and 2 with the “loop” side).

Step 16: Sew the straps onto the wing. I held up each pair of wings to the kid it belonged to, in order to get an idea of where the straps needed to go as far as “width” (in other words, roughly in line with their armpits). For placement of the straps from the top of each wing, I just sewed them in line with the top line already sewed for the top “channel”. This way there weren’t extra lines on the wings. I was also REALLY CAREFUL to ensure the straps were placed in hook and loop “pairs,” and so they were oriented to attach together (the Velcro is facing down on both of the straps if they’re both facing down/laying flat).

Step 17: TREAT YO’SELF!!!!! You’re done!

I have lots of after pics… 😁

While these costumes were a lot of effort, it was worth it. The boys each wore their dragon jackets like CRAZY over the past year (which also means I’ve had to clean them a lot), and they’re still going strong! They are a getting worn out and the fabric is starting to pill, but the jackets still fit and the boys still love them, so it doesn’t get much better than that! ☺️

Oh yeah, I got the “Mother of Dragons” and “Father of Dragons” shirts at this Etsy shop! Okay, I should probably stop procrastinating on the costumes for this year, or they’ll be store bought (which, for the record, I think is fine and I have embraced these in the past as you saw here and here 😁)!

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