Intro: Caterpillar to Butterfly!
What happens to a very hungry caterpillar? Why, she turns in to a beautiful butterfly! I came up with the idea for this costume after giggling at my six month old in her sleep sack. She sleeps in these 'wearable blankets.' Basically a sack with armholes and a zipper up the front. We joke that she looks like a glow worm. I decided that she needed to be a caterpillar for Halloween. When else can I dress her up in a bunting costume like this? Never. She'll be mobile soon enough. Anyway, after thinking about the caterpillar costume for a while I decided she needed to be a caterpillar that turns in to a butterfly. Even better. So I set about figuring out how to make her costume convertible.
First thing I did was make a paper pattern. I traced one of her sleep sacks. Just one pattern piece. The back is cut on the fold, front pieces I added seam allowance for a zipper. Then I drew out the pattern pieces for the wings. I just used my pattern piece for the bunting for size comparison. I added an extension to the wings to allow them to be stitched to the back of the bunting.
I sewed the wings first. Everything is made out of fleece. Finally, my local fabric store comes to the rescue. I cut out random organic looking shapes (keeping it symmetrical of course) from scraps of fleece for the design on the wings. I interfaced the top wing pieces with some super stiff home decor interfacing to give a little structure to the wings. Then I stitched on the smaller shapes with a zig zag stitch around the edges. I kept it all rough and quick. I really liked the way it turned out. The fleece shapes puffed up after they were stitched down. I sewed the back wing pieces to the top with some jumbo ric rac sandwiched in between.
Next, I had to figure out the order to put it all together. I cut the two front pieces for the bunting and sewed a zipper in between. Then I cut two back pieces, both on the fold. One back piece was used for the back of the bunting, the other was used to make a pocket to hide the wings in. The wings were stitched to one back piece. You can see how I stitched them in the photo. The second back piece was cut at the top and bottom to form a kangaroo-like pocket for the wings. Both side openings have a 9" zipper. I sewed the side zippers to the pocket piece first, then to the back piece leaving some extra room for seam allowances. Once the zippers were sewn and functional I sewed the top and bottom of the pocket, enclosing the wings. Then I sewed the back/pocket piece of the bunting to the the front, being very careful not to sew over the side zippers. And it worked! I was psyched. I hemmed the neck and armholes of the bunting but that wasn't totally necessary since fleece doesn't fray.
The little cap was made from a bonnet pattern with two tubes of fleece stuck in the seams and tied in a knot. And the leaves were an afterthought, but I think they make the costume. Just two layers of fleece stitched to look the veins on a leaf. And that's it. Then I put my sweet baby in her costume and soaked up all the obnoxious cuteness. Happy Halloween!