The Patterson family LOVES Halloween! On November 1st, we begin planning our costumes for the next year. Seriously, it's a big deal around here. Everyone agrees on a theme, and then mom is expected to create costumes that are a perfect replica of all of the characters. And I love it.
This year, we chose Avatar: The Last Airbender. The cartoon...not the movie. That's a really important disclaimer because the movie followed the series pretty well, but the costumes are totally different. We are HUGE fans of the series and have been for years. If you have never seen it, you a) would have no idea what we were dressed as (along with a lot of other people) and b) are really missing out on a great show. We own all three books (seasons) on DVD...you should really borrow them!
Here they are! I'm pretty proud of the way they turned out. Mom didn't dress up this year...mainly because I ran out of time.
I am going to give a little info on how I made each costume, along with how much money I spent on each one. I hope to help someone looking for info on how to make Avatar costumes with...should we say "limited sewing abilities" and limited finances.
Adeline is Katara. She was absolutely adorable...hair loopies and all! She was very proud of her costume.
She is a fan of the show like everyone else...and she knew exactly how to water bend.
She kept her water (which was a piece of tulle) in her bag that she kept slung across her back. And she never took that bag off for one minute!
Here is a close up of her necklace. I bought the pendant at Hobby Lobby. I would have loved to create my own pendant and carve in the waves of the water tribe...but that wasn't going to happen in time for Halloween. I thought the look of this one imitated the waves pretty well, and I just strung it onto a piece of ribbon and was done!
I think her hair loopies turned out better on the previous day. She just didn't have quite enough hair to work with!
She's got it!
The dress is made out of blue fleece. It is two pieces of fleece, cut out without a pattern and stitched together with some simple straight stitches. I am not a good enough seamstress to add sleeves, but the shape I cut out had a little bit of a sleeve, and I think it worked. The bottom is trimmed with craft fur and the top trim and belt are actually made from a microfiber dish towel:
I really liked the texture of it, so I cut it up and sewed it into strips.
Cost of Katara costume:
-Fur trim $3.00
-Microfiber towel $1.50
-Brown bag (at consignment store) $2.00
Total Cost: $11.75
Anna is Princess Yue. She looked absolutely stunning!
I wanted her to be Katara, but she really wanted Yue's hair! It was definitely the right choice.
In the show Yue wears a dress and a big "coat-desss" I sort of combined the two looks and came up with this.
Her costume was definitely the most difficult and time consuming. The worst part was just figuring out how to do it! What I lack in sewing ability, I try to make up in creativity :)
I picked up the blue velvet at the Goodwill a while back for a Medieval event that we ended up not attending, so that was a score! For the shape of the dress, I actually used the same "pattern" (a term I use loosely seeing as there wasn't actually a pattern involved) as a Jedi robe. I have made a few Jedi robes in my day, and it seemed like the same basic shape...just add a belt. I actually think it turned out pretty well, and VERY easy!
The velvet may have been a score, however, I discovered that fur is expensive!
I found this fur vest at the consignment store.
I cut off the hood and turned it inside out and used it as the lining for my hood. The rest of the vest I hacked up and used to trim the entire dress. It looked like I skinned a cat in my bedroom, but the total cost to trim the entire dress in fur: $5. This was nice, soft fur too...much nicer than craft fur. I broke the needle on my sewing machine trying to sew on the fur. I do not recommend machine sewing fur. I also do not recommend hand sewing fur (very time consuming). I do however recommend hot glueing fur! After doing the hood completely by hand, I whipped out the glue gun and knocked out the sleeves and trim in no time...and it looked great!
The most important part of Yue's costume is her hair. I wish I could have gotten Anna's to stand up a little higher, but she was happy, and that's all that matters. Since I did not have time to make custom hair jewels, I knew I needed to find just the right thing. And I did! This is a Christmas ornament that had EXACTLY the look I was going for!
I cut the jewels off and hot glued them to ponytail holders. Very simple and Anna thought they were beautiful!
Cost of Princess Yue costume:
-Velvet- had on hand
-Hair jewels $2.00
Total Cost: $7.00
Abbott is Aang, the Avatar. Or as we like to call him Abbottar, the last windbreaker.
He actually shaved his head to look more like Aang. He is a boy after my own heart. He was so excited to wear his costume that he could hardly contain himself. He wore it to school on Friday and he said he had a fan club at recess. But Abbott always has a fan club, so I'm not surprised.
Doing a little air bending.
The Avatar costume was pretty easy to make. The yellow top is a turtleneck that I found at the thrift store. I folded the neck down, then cut it up the middle and folded it in, to create the "V".
I hoped to find a yellow bottom to match, but I ended up having to go with fleece and it was close enough. It is just two separate pieces of fleece pinned together at the waist and two points on each leg to give the open look.
The orange cape is a big circle of fleece with a hole for the head and a big "V" in the front. And the belt is just a piece of fleece with velcro.
We drew the arrow on his head with a blue washable Crayola marker. Worked perfectly and came off for church the next day...we just had to make sure he didn't sweat too much :)
Cost of Aang costume:
-Yellow turtleneck $2.00
-Brown Leggings $5.00
-Staff (I was going to make this, but we found this nerf one at Walmart on clearance and couldn't resist) $7.00
Aiden is Sokka...the guy with the boomerang.
Aiden's favorite part of the costume was the necklace, which you can't see very well in these pictures. He also liked the boomerang...an essential piece of the costume.
His costume was made exactly like Katara's (only bigger!) and shorter and without the fur. The boomerang was really fun. We had a yellow plastic boomerang, and I covered it with duct tape! Yeah! Halloween costumes are not complete without duct tape. It is blue tape with silver tape around the outside. He also has a sling to hold the boomerang. I wish I had a picture of it because I am pretty proud of it. I stitched two pieces of leather-like vinyl together in the basic shape of the boomerang and left it open on one end. I then hot glued it to a belt that Aaron doesn't wear. It was perfect! He could actually reach back and whip out his weapon.
We also cut the fingers off of some old cheap gloves and wrapped his arms with white ribbon.
Cost of Sokka Costume:
-Dish towel $1.50
-Black Leggings $5.00
-Boomerang and case- Everything was made from stuff we already had, except the vinyl which I found in the scrap bin at Hobby Lobby $0.50
-Beads for necklace $3.00
Total Cost: $13.00
Dad is Prince Zuko.
His costume was sort of thrown together. He bought the gold suit 15 years ago when he served as a missionary in Hong Kong. The red top is an old curtain panel! I cut the tab tops off of it and cut a hole in the middle for the head. Trimmed it with some brown ribbon and belted it with the same...and viola...prince Zuko. The colors aren't exactly right, but it was free.
Total cost of Zuko costume:
-Brown ribbon- $4.00 (kind of a splurge...but I have quite a bit left over, so it didn't really cost the full four bucks)
Fire (shiney red tulle) $1.00
Total cost: $5.00
Total cost for all five costumes: $55.75
Not too bad, considering the amount of happiness it bought with four children that were absolutely thrilled with their costumes. And the bonus was hearing Abbott tell his teacher "my mom makes the most awesome home-made costumes". And the hours of fighting with my sewing machine and burning my fingers with hot glue are all worth it :)
These are my favorite pictures. The water bender and the fire bender in a fight.
Then the whole group started battling. Except Princess Yue, of course. She's not a warrior.
Adeline started to get upset because Abbott kept using his staff to take dad's fire. So she gave him her water.
Now to start planning 2011...