Star Costume

My daughter was asked to bring a star costume to be worn for a Christmas play in her school. At first I had no idea of what to give but when asked, the teacher told me that I can even make one with cardboard.

But the moment she said ‘make’, my mind visualized ‘sewing’ a costume. So, I worked on the idea and slowly arrived at what exactly do I want, the pattern, how to make it etc. Though I am currently away from most of my craft and sewing supplies, I thought I will give it a try with whatever I have.

I did a little research on stars and their types. There are many types of stars but to make this costume I chose a ‘5 pointed star‘. Just because it looks more suitable for making a costume. The bottom two corners look like the crotch of the human body! And the top two on either sides are like the arms stretched wide!!

The golden 5 pointed star {5,2} sits inside a circle with all the five points equally distributed at 72° from one another.

Here I am sharing the step by step instructions of making this star costume.

Supplies you will need :
• Fabric suitable to make a star (golden or glittery/ felt / fleece/ faux seude etc. I needed approximately 2 meters of 25″ wide fabric for my 4 year old daughter)
• Interface (fusible or sew in interface)
• Fabric for lining, in coordinating color with the main fabric ( I used black as my fabric had a black base)
• pattern paper (I didn’t have one handy. I pasted few news papers to get the width of my choice)
• protractor
• 1/4”or 1/6” model ruler
• Regular ruler, fabric marker pens/ pencils, measurement tape, threads etc
Steps to sew the star costume:
• First of all, we need to determine the length of the vertex of the star from the center. For this, take your child’s garment and measure the length from the center (fold) to the tip of the sleeve. That is, the neck width + shoulder width + sleeve length. Make a note of this value (v). Mine was 17″.
• Now, we will do a little work-around to find the exact length of the vertices (from the center) of our star, in further steps.
• On your pattern paper, place the protractor at the center such that the distance all around is a little more than ‘v’ inches.
• Mark the center
• Now mark at 0°, 72°, 144°, 216°, 288°
• Draw lines from the center to these markings. And extend these lines further such that they are a few inches more than ‘v’
• Now, place your ruler perpendicular to the 0° line. By slowly moving it up or down, find the exact point where the distance between the center line (0°) and the right side line (72°) is equal to ‘v’. Mark this point on the right side (72°) line.

Note

It is very important to hold the ruler straight (perpendicular to the 0° line)

• From the center, measure the distance of the ‘mark’ you just made and make a note of this value as ‘V‘ (capital V).
• On all the 5 lines, mark at ‘V‘ inches from the center. Join every second (alternative) point to get the five pointed star.

Tip

Using a ‘model ruler’ makes this job easier. I used a 1:6 inches ruler to do all these measurements and finalized the values before drawing it on the pattern paper in the actual size!

• Cut out the star.
• Fold the top apex to the opposite side or snip it off.
• Fold the star into half (vertical fold) to draw the pattern on the fabric.
• Place the folded star (pattern paper) on the folded fabric (Ensure that you have two folds in the fabric as we need two pieces. One for the front and the other for the back).
• Mark and cut with the required seam allowance.
• Repeat the same on lining fabric and interface.
• Mark the neck width and cut the neck line from your interface (only)
• Align the fabrics as the following : Main fabric with the wrong side facing down and the pretty side facing up; Then on top of the main fabric lay the lining fabric pretty side facing down and wrong side facing up, interface on the top (glue side facing down if it is a fusible interface)
• Pin them in place and sew them on all sides.

Note:

If you are using a fusible interface, then mark and cut the interface without seam allowance. Carefully place it on the wrong side of the lining fabric and iron it on.

While sewing, ensure that no seam falls on the interface but only on the lining and the main fabric. This helps reducing the bulk and easy turning!

• Now, carefully slit from the back (through the interface) at the middle. You will also have to slit through the lining fabric for the same distance. Slit for 4-5 inches. Ensure that you don’t slit too near to the edges or the seams!
• Gently pull in all the five vertices through the slit and bring the right side out. Use the back of a paint brush or a pencil to turn them out completely.

Tip

Inserting a thread as shown below under the last seam at the very corner will help to easily pull out the corners.
Please note that the thread should be placed between the main and lining fabric (NOT AT THE TOP as in this image). This is only for reference

• Press along the edges and iron from the back if needed.
• Top stitch at the edges.
• Repeat the same for the back.
• Using a needle and thread, hand sew the slit making an ‘invisible stitch’.
• Now our front and back pieces are ready.
• We need to attach the hooks or buttons for easy wearing. I used a hoop and loop strip (self adhesive velcro strips) that I got from pound shops.
• To do this, cut through the center of the back piece. Using 2.5″ wide fabric strips, I finished the hook side and also the eye side. (2.5″ strips for both the sides)
• Over these, I pasted the hoop on the left side below and loop on the right side above.
• By doing this, the slit that we hand sewed using invisible stitch is also securely stitched at the back. For the front, if needed, paste a strip of felt in coordinating color over the closed slit.
• Join the shoulders (top side of the top two edges of the star) by matching the wrong sides together.
• Leave the bottom side of the top two edges unstitched.
• Again, sew the outer side of the bottom two edges
• Leave the inner (crotch) side of the bottom two vertices unstitched.
How to sew the hat:
• To sew the hat, first measure the circumference of your child’s head such that the tape passes through the hairline (or wherever you want the hat to rest). Make a note of this value ‘C’
• Determine the height of your hat. You can make use of the snipped off apex from the star construction from the patter paper to get an idea. Note the required height as ‘h’.
• Now, on your folded pattern paper, mark the height alongside the fold.
• From the bottom of ‘h’, draw a line perpendicular to h whose length is C/4.
• Connect these points to get a right angled triangle.
• Tie a thread to your pencil/pen. Holding the thread at the top of the triangle, placing the pen at the end of the new slanting line, draw an arc to touch the fold.
• When you cut open the paper, you will get a pie shape.
• Use this template to mark and cut the main fabric, lining fabric and the interface. This template is only half the circumference of your child’s head. Hence, while laying it on the fabric, align slant of the pie template on the fold line of the fabric. So that you will get the full circumference after cutting the fabric
• Cut with required seam allowance.
• The layering is same. First the main fabric, pretty side up; then the lining fabric and then the interface (the interface can be ironed on to the lining beforehand if it is a fusible interface)
• Pin them in place and sew along the curved side. Place the elastic while sewing along the curved side. This elastic will help keeping the hat in place while wearing.
• Snip and turn.
• Press gently and iron from the back.
• Top stitch
• Join the sides
• Turn the correct side out