Thursday, February 28, 2013

Hey it's Franklin!

Book character Day at school, you know because they don't allow Halloween anymore and kids like to dress up.  I can appreciate keeping things focused on learning, but that means I have to come up with costumes when there are not a zillion cheap ones available at Wally World.  Yes, I can sew pretty well but with the price of all the fabric and notions being so high, I will gladly pay for an affordable pre-made costume.  This was not an option for Franklin the turtle.  So, my search began...  I mean why reinvent the wheel when I was sure pinterest could lead me to greatness.  I found lots of ideas that weren't exactly great looking and then I found this blog The Almost Perfectionist that had a tutorial for a turtle shell that looked good and was easy.  Not just easy, but a no sew tutorial.  I basically followed her steps, with just a few modifications.
I cut a cardboard oval and a larger oval out of green fleece.  Then I cut brown fleece in a turtle shell pattern and hot glued it to the green.  I wrapped the green around the cardboard oval, leaving a section unglued for stuffing.  To be totally honest, I glued the whole oval then realized I forgot to leave a hole for stuffing...  it was late.  So, I pulled a section off the cardboard and stuffed the shell with recycled grocery bags... a lot of them to make it nice and full.  I added a scalloped "trim" piece of brown fleece around the edge to look like the edge of a shell and glued that around the edge.
You can see the scalloped trim better in this one.  Now Franklin has a very predominant plastron, or lower shell to which it is commonly referred.  Yes, I looked that up to sound smart...  hahaha.  My husband called it the chest plate.  So I took some yellow fleece and just drew the approximate shape freehand on the material.  Cut 2 pieces of fabric and then I cut 4 pieces of green ribbon.  I would recommend using something sturdier, but ribbon is what I had on hand.  Put 2 ribbons on top and one on each side.  Then sew right sides together, leaving a hole for stuffing.  Don't forget the hole!  Trim the edges and flip right side out, like you would a pillow.  I used  1" foam to stuff the chest plate so it would the shape.  Stitched up the hole and stitched a few contour lines in the front.
You can see the top ribbons better in this pic.  The other two were about waist level on each side.  To finish it up, I glued the ribbons to the cardboard part of the shell.  Then I took the second oval circle and covered all the raw edges on the cardboard to finish it.  The shell just goes over the head.  Franklin also wears a red hat and neckerchief.  So I did a paper cut out of the sun design and taped it to a red baseball hat.  I had red bandanna to tie around his neck and it was complete.  I didn't go so far as to buy a green sweatsuit, like I have seen on other blogs.  Just a green shirt we had and jeans.  He was very happy with his costume and all the kids at school thought he was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle...  sigh.  

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