So this is my take on Jack and Sally from nightmare before Christmas. I wanted Sally's dress to be more brighter than in the movie. After looking on the internet for costumes I couldn't find any I liked so I made them. In reality it would have been much easier to just buy them, as I was making these for nearly 3 months. In total there is about 30 hours of sewing time and about the same in painting.
What you will need
Black dress pants
black suit jacket
white fabric paint
small paint brush
1 meter thin wire
1/2 meter black fabric
1/2 meter thick elastic(black)
large plastic ball
1 meter purple, blue, black, yellow and orange fabric.
The colours don't need to be a perfect and in the movie they are much more darker, so just use whatever you can find
thick black wool
black fabric paint
red wool wig
white long gloves
Step 1: The Pants and Jacket
Use a plain black suit that you no longer need, or find one at a 2ndhand shop and use 15mm thick masking tape and tape off half a leg at a time leaving about 1/2cm stripe in between each piece of tape. You will then need to start painting the stripes and each stripe will need to be painted at least twice. This step alone takes a long time as you have to let one side dry before you can do the other side but keep going until all sides are done.
Before painting the jacket it needs to be altered so that the bottom of the jacket at the front comes up much higher and in a rounded shape. I cut it so there was only 2 buttons left on the jacket(it was a 4 button jacket) To make the tails at the back I first measured how long they had to be(roughly to end halfway down the calf) and drew banana like shapes onto some black fabric. I then cut out two pieces of fabric for each shape turned them inside out and sewed all the pieces together. They then need to be sewn on to the back of the jacket. It then has to be painted in stripes just like the pants. It’s a lot harder on the jacket and I would suggest you get someone to wear it when you paint the shoulders.
Step 2: Bow Tie and Head
For the bat bow tie you just need to cut out a rough bat head out of black fabric, sew it together and stuff it until it is fairly firm. For the wings you need to measure the person that will be wearing it and have it so that the wings come out just past their shoulders. Any further out and they will be very annoying. I don’t have a pattern for this as I just drew it on to fabric after looking at a lot of pictures on the internet.
For jacks head I used a large plastic ball that can be inflated. I then covered it in paper Mache and left a large hole in the bottom so that your head can fit inside it easily. It needs at least 3 layers and before you do the final layer take the ball out of the middle and add a triangular piece of cardboard to form a nose. It’s also easier at this stage to cut the holes out for the eyes. These will need to be measured so that the person that will be wearing it can see out of it easily, but they need to be fairly high on the head. And then the final layer of paper mache can be done. After that it will need to be painted white which took about 3 coats of just normal acrylic paint. Once dry draw the mouth on with a black marker and place a small amount of netting in the eye holes so that you can still see out. From memory I used 2 layers of fine netting, but anything will do.
Step 3: Sallys Dress
For sally’s dress I used a reference picture I found online to work out what shapes the dress had on it. I never really found a good picture of the back of her dress so I pretty much just copied the pattern that was on the front. I don’t have my pattern for this anymore as it got lost moving house so I’m sorry I can’t post it.
Draw up a rough sketch of what you want her dress t look like. At this point it doesn’t have to be perfect, it’s just so that when you come to cut the pieces out you know how it goes.
Next get your hands on some butchers paper or any sort of large paper(it would need to be bigger than A3 size) You need to draw on the paper the outline of the dress, the way I did it was to get another of my dresses that had a very basic shape to it and I traced around it. Or you could just measure yourself and draw one by hand but just remember that it should be bigger than what you are so it can be taken in later. Next draw the shapes onto your outline, and when you are happy with them cut them all out.
Step 4: Cutting and Sewing the Dress
When it comes to cutting out the shapes make sure that for the pieces that are on the edge you double the fabric so that you don’t need to sew down the sides later. And also when you cut the pieces out make sure that you leave extra fabric around all sides so they can be edged and sewn together, I think I left about a 1cm around all edges.
Next you should edge all the pieces on a sewing machine so that they will not fray. You don’t really need to do this as all the edges of the fabric will be on the inside but if you plan on keeping it for a while it’s worth it. Now you should pin together all of the pieces so you are able to try the dress on and make adjustments if needed. Once it fits well start sewing them all together. Keep in mind that this will take a long time but it doesn’t need to be perfect as she is a rag doll after all.
Step 5: Finishing the Dress
All that’s left to do now is decorate it. If you were lucky enough to find fabric with stripes and dots on them you won’t need to do this. Use black fabric paint and masking tape to make the stripes and just paint the swirls and dots by hand. When it comes to making the fake stitches use the black wool and a large needle to stitch them on. These don’t need to be perfect and use as many or as little as you like. You could paint the stitches on if you like it would look just as good and would take far less time.
Step 6: Finishing Touches
To finish off Jack's look all you need is a plain white t-shit or shirt if you wish, some black dress shoes the ones with pointy toes work the best. I would suggest that painting your face is a really good idea as the head isn’t very comfortable and it’s pretty hard to breathe in. We just used white face paint, black paint for around the eyes and i liquid eyeliner for the mouth.
For Sally I found some old brown leather boots at a 2ndhand shop, a woollen red wig at a costume shop and I bought some white stockings and a pair of long white gloves. I used white face paint to make my face and neck white and I liquid eyeliner to draw stitches on my face.
That’s pretty much all I did for the costumes. Most of the designs and patterns were just made up on the spot but if anyone would like some help with it I'm more than happy to help you out. I really wish i took more pictures when i was making it but I've learn't my lesson and next time i will take a lot more.
Finalist in the
Halloween Easy Costumes Challenge