When I was younger, my brothers liked the classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, so I liked it too. A couple of years ago (2015), I thought it would be fun to be April O'Neil. I had the costume almost done with all the hard parts done, but then hit a snag with the boots and the costume got set aside. With just a week till Halloween this year, 2019, I decided to go for it and finish it up! This is meant to be a practical, non-sexy costume, but you can do whatever you want with it. It's your costume.
A majority of an April O-Neil costume is making a jumpsuit which is no small feat, so I wish you luck!
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Step 1: Supplies
This costume consists of 4 main parts: Jumpsuit, White Boots or Boot Covers, Red Hair, and a White Belt.
- A Pattern for a Jumpsuit - I used Butterick 3508 which I think I bought on Ebay
- The key things you want are front zipper, pockets, and a collar, mine had the front zipper and collar, but I actually made my own pockets
- Yellow Fabric I decided to use Duckcloth because I wanted something not see-through and sturdy- enough for the pattern
- Yellow Zipper - make sure this works with your pattern, like if you need a regular zipper or hidden/invisible zipper
- Matching Yellow Thread
- Sewing Pins
- Sewing Machine - You can hand sew this if you want but that will be difficult
- Sewing chalk
- White Belt - you can try to sew something like a thick white ribbon if you don't want or have a belt, I found my belt at a thrift store
- White Felt - you don't need a huge roll, but if you can find a larger piece that would help as you want to make sure it's big enough to make each piece
- White Elastic - I'm using this thin elastic because it's what I already had
- Hot Glue
- Shoes to wear - they won't be damaged or altered
Optional other accessories:
- Short Red Wig - I got mine from Ebay so this isn't the exact one I got but it can be a good one
- Handheld camera as a prop - you can make one out of upcycled material
Step 2: Jumpsuit
I know not everyone has time to do this, so another option is to buy a yellow jumpsuit.
This is the biggest sewing project I have tackled to date. Since I just tried my best to follow the pattern as it was written, I'll just talk about things I added on.
I knew I wanted two breast pockets and two side pockets on the pants. I decided to do these two ways: 1) piece of fabric for pocket with a flap over and 2) a completely detached pocket. You can do yours different ways like me or pick your favorite and do them all that way. These pockets are also completely usable.
The first style of pocket (Pictures 6, 7, 8)I made for the top. I cut out the pieces larger than I wanted them so I could fold over and sew the sides for clean edges. I did this for the pocket piece and for the top flap. When I was far enough into the sewing of the jumpsuit, I added these to the top, so make sure it is fitted right before you sew them on. To be safe, you could wait until the end.
For the second style of pocket (Pictures 9, 10, 11, 12), for the pants, I made them each out of one long piece of fabric. Once I had it cut larger than I wanted I sewed it into a pouch with one side hanging out longer for the flap. Once you have the pocket, you just have to attach it to the pants. Unfortunately, since they go over the side seam of the pants, there is no easy way to sew it on so I just hand sewed it to the best of my abilities, trying to keep the stitches inside the pocket. It was a PAIN. Because these flaps wanted to stay open, I sewed snaps on them to keep them closed.
You can optionally, put belt loops on your jumpsuit. I didn't feel it was necessary but if you have the time it can be a nice added detail.
Step 3: Boots
Another option is to check out thrift stores and Goodwill, or just purchase some plain flat white boots.
This is the reason I got held up a few years finishing this :P I originally wanted to do faux boots using flip flops, socks, and duct tape using this tutorial. Unfortunately, they just didn't work for me, they came out funky and I got discouraged. If you can use this method, go for it!
If not, you can go with option two and that is instead of making boots, make covers!
I used this tutorial from The Craft Patch Blog as my guide.
These covers are very cheap and not very durable at all, though this will depend on the fabric. The longer you want them to last, the nicer fabric you'll have to use, but they are ugly and cheap so I went with felt and hot glue.
Do some rough measurements of your feet with your shoes on to get an idea of sizes: length of the foot, length from leg to toes, how tall you want the boot from the ground, and over the foot measurement. You are going to need to enlarge all of these measurements to get it to fit, but it's nice to have a starting point.
Remember that you can always cut it down and you need to fit your foot down into it, so you don't want the stem of the boot too tight.
The following measurements were used for me wearing a size 7 1/2 - 8 shoe.
I ended up starting with 2 large rectangles (2 for each boot so 4 total) that were 15" by 12" (another option would be to do an extra-large rectangle that is 30" by 12"). From these I cut out a rectangle that was 7" going down by 4.5" going side to side, check out image 3.
When it came time to glue, I started by gluing the backsides together since those are the cleanest lines and angles.
Once I had the back glued, I glued the front of the boot, the up and down line above the foot. Remember you need to be able to slide your foot into this opening so you probably won't be able to have it as tight as you want. (One option for making this tighter is adding elastic later so it will hold it tighter once it's on but you can still slip it on.)
Next, I had to do the toe and I actually found the best way for me to do this was to crisscross the sides so the corners matched up (Picture 6). To clean it up, after glued, I cut a curved portion from the toe so it wasn't pointed.
When all the points are glued, you can add elastic to the bottom. I wanted to be able to put on this cover and then put my shoe on so I put the velcro pieces at the front of the foot and back. You can add one in the center, but it will be harder to put a shoe on after the fact that way so it's your call. I didn't want these too tight so I measured before cutting and gluing and ended up having the pieces 4" long each.
If you want it less see-through, add an additional piece to each side of the boot on the inside.
Now you just have to do this with boot 2.
Step 4: Belt, Wig or Any Other Accessories
Unless you have short reddish hair, you're probably going to need a wig. I bought my red wig years ago but it's still in good condition (since I never wear it).
Have long hair? That's okay, you can still easily wear a wig. I wrote up a tutorial about how to wear a wig with long hair.
As I mentioned in the supplies list, any white belt will work, the plainer the better. You can look at thrift stores or try just using a fat white ribbon or buy an inexpensive belt.
Step 5: Put It All Together!
Once you have all the pieces, put them on and you are done!