Introduction: Make a Octopus in a Weekend

I made this for my costume last year and it wasn’t as hard as you would think.

Start with a good base, I used a old black prom dress from the local thrift store ($8.00), 2 twin size sheets one black - one purple (3.99 each at local store). If you notice the gown I used had a white trim, I just tucked it under.Any type of long black skirt or even a pair of old pants will work too. Use your imagination for colors, make up, the thrift store also has sheets, blankets etc that you can re-purpose!

My patterns for the tentacle and yes there were 8, were made from newspaper (I have attached the specs in PDF). Using black for the top I cut 8 tentacles (roughly 30” long, you can adapt as needed), then I cut 8 more just slightly smaller for the bottom out of the purple sheets.

Prior to sewing you can stamp circles along the bottom of the purple to give the feeling of suckers or even use puffy paint.

Step 1: Build Your Tentacles!

Putting the right sides together, one purple to one black, pinning the edges together – you will want a “pocket”. This is where you stuff them with newspapers, or plastic shopping bags. Always fun canvassing the neighborhood for bags, but everyone was happy to share!

Stitch either by hand or machine, I prefer the machine method remember make your seams about ¼ to ½ and turn them right side out allow. Stuff them allowing for 6” of unstuffed area at the top. Stitch each pocket shut. Here is the big dilemma that you will need to face and it will help to have two people to do this one. Stitch the tentacles on the underskirt of the prom dress. Having a second set of hands to hold and guide the stuffed “tenties*” is a plus. I choose to stitch them since I was going to wear this all day at work and didn’t want to have them detach. I changed when I got to work with a little help from a friend.

Options: ·

Sew a Velcro strip to the top of each “tentie” and sew a corresponding strip around the crinoline about mid calf. This way you can wear the dress and attach them when you get to your destination. ·

Use Snaps in the same fashion as above.

At the end of each tentacle sew a strand of clear fishing line or threading, attach to a bracelet or shirt sleeve, this way as you move the “tenties” move too! I only attached 6 of them and left the 2 in the back free to drag along. I worked where there were stairs, so I had to pick up the ones in the back as I waddled along. I chose to wear a long sleeve shirt over the strapless dress as this is a family friendly workplace and didn’t want to be messing with the top all day.

This was a award winner and fan favorite at my job last year. Send me your version and any questions that you may have along the way!

*I used to work in a Marine Park, and sorry guys if I am using a play on words for “tenties” but its easier to type then the whole big word!

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