Introduction: Where the Wild Things Are Max Costume for Any Size
The main character, Max, in Where the Wild Things Are seems to be a popular costume for kids this year but when noclothes wanted to be be Max for Halloween, she couldn't find a costume for an adult and asked me to make one for her. Of course I said yes!
It might look complicated, but basically if you can use scissors and a sewing machine and have a bit of confidence and time, you can make this costume!
Step 1: Materials
For this project you will need:
-polar fleece, different amount depending on the size (I got 4 yards and ended up using only about 3)
-zipper or velcro
-baggy pants, baggy shirt and hood to use for a pattern (don't worry, you don't have to cut them up!)
-sewing machine (you could do this by hand if you have all the time in the world)
-thick paper, in gold if you can find it
-small amount of dark colored fabric
Step 2: Cut Out the Legs
Lay out your fabric so it is folded double. This way, you can cut through both layers and don't have to do as much work. Lay out your baggy pants on top of the fabric and leaving about 1 inch around it, cut the shape of the pants out around the legs, but leave the waist attached to the rest of the fabric. Also, make the legs about 16 or 18 inches longer than the pants to make into feet later (these pants were pretty long and it ended up working fine, but make sure you leave this extra fabric to save yourself some trouble). Also, if the pants have an elastic waist, make sure you cut out to where the elastic is when it is stretched out, not where is is when it is relaxed. The fabric won't stretch as much as the elastic and it will be too small!
Step 3: Cut Out the Top
This is a similar to how you did the legs. Lay the baggy shirt on top of your fabric, lining it up with the waist of the pants, which should still be connected to the rest of the fabric. You might have to overlap the shirt and the cut out pants a little bit if they overlap when you are wearing them.
Fold one sleeve so it is on top of the shirt. And cut around this half of the shirt leaving a 1inch seam allowance. Once you have one side cut, fold it over and cut around it to cut the other side. This will ensure that both sides are even. Also, don't worry that it doesn't have sleeves. We will get there.
You should now have two pieces of fleece that look like a body suit with no arms and extra long legs.
Step 4: Sleeves!
I wanted to attach the sleeves separately to give the costume wearer a nice range of motion. It's a couple extra seams, but for the overall final fit and comfort, I think it is worth it. Use the same baggy shirt, flatten out one of the sleeves and lay it on the fabric so that the top of the sleeve is along a fold. This way, you only need to sew the underside of the sleeve together. Cut out two sleeves, making sure to leave a 1 inch seam allowance.
Step 5: Hood and Ears
I have seen some Max costumes with hoods that were separated from the rest of the costume, but noclothes actually wanted her hood attached so she wouldn't lose it. Use your clothing item with a hood to cut out two sides of the hood, again leaving a 1 inch seam allowance. Sew the two halves together down the back.
For the ears, cut out 4 leaf shapes from the fleece and two from the stiff paper. Sew two of the leaf shapes together to form a pocket and slip one of the stiff paper leaf shapes into it to help it retain the shape. Repeat this so you have two leaf shaped pockets with stiff paper in them. Fold them in half long ways to create the ear shape. Pin them onto either side of the outside of the hood and sew along the bottom. It's ok if they flop down at the seam, the crown will hold them up. If you really want them to stay standing up on their own, you can go in by hand with a needle and thread and put a few stitches in near the top to hold them up.
I also opted to hem the opening of the hood, although fleece doesn't fray and this was a choice of aesthetics.
Step 6: Sew Body, Sleeves and Hood
Sew the body together. This mean the inseam, the sides and the shoulders. Make sure you don't sew the arm holes, neck hole of feet together. This would be great time to use your serger if you have one. I don't, but a zig zag stitch works just fine.
Sew the undersides of the sleeves so you have two tubes. Line up the seam on the underside of the arm with the seam on the side of the body and with the right sides together, sew the sleeves to the body so the seams are on the inside.
Line up the seam on the hood with the center of the back neck hole. Pin with right sides together and sew.
Step 7: Zipper
The zipper is important so that you can get in and out of your costume! Zippers can be tricky to install, so if you don't feel as confident in your sewing abilities, velcro would work just fine!
I used a 16 inch zipper down the front. Cut a line down the center front and install your sipper or velcro. There a few ways to do this step and it's really up to you how much time and effort you want to put in. I left the edges raw here since the fleece does not fray and I was running out of time.
Step 8: Hands and Feet (paws?)
Try on the costume and see how much longer the legs are. Put a few pins in as a guid for where to sew the feet. Turn the costume inside out and sew a rounded shape where your pins marked the extra long legs.
For hands, cut out four half circles that are about as long as your fingers. Sew them together to make two pockets and sew them to the ends of the sleeves on one side. It should look like you have a small pocket on the topside of the end of the sleeve like the third picture.
Step 9: Finishing Touches
For claws, small triangles and stitch or glue them to the hands and feet of the costume. For a tail, cut a long strip and sew it the the lower back.
To save the bottom of the feet, you can also take apart some old shoes and glue the sole the bottoms of the feet like noclothes did.
Make a crown out of stiff, gold paper (make sure you size it with the hood on!).
Step 10: Wear Your Costume and Look Really Adorable!
You're done! Wear your costume, be super cozy impress your friends when you tell them that you made it, and look super adorable. Be prepared for people to want to hug you.
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