There are four different parts to this halloween costume:
The hat and other accessories
The giant spider
I'll cover each aspect in the four steps that follow.
Step 1: The Dress
2m blue gingham fabric
1 white zip (40cm length)
1 Dress pattern (I used New Look pattern 6867)
1 bag of plastic spiders (I got 72 for £1 at the pound shop)
1.Follow the instructions on your dress pattern to make your dress. (Alternatively, if you're feeling lazy, find a suitable dress from a charity shop.) During this stage, you'll be using your gingham fabric, your zip, your sewing machine, pins and white thread.
2. Take your plastic spiders and sew randomly onto the dress using the black thread until you're satisfied that there are enough spiders. I sewed around the body of the spiders four or five times, using doubled-up thread to make sure they were secure. It's a good idea to work out which bits of the dress you'll be sitting on when you sit down, and avoid sewing the spiders in that area!
Hint: Think about where your apron will be - you don't need to sew any under there.
3. Try your dress on and dance about in front of the mirror, feeling pleased with yourself. (You can also check that you think you have enough spiders...)
Step 2: The Apron
1/2m white fabric
Black and red marker pens
1.Cut out a rectangle, which will form the main part of your apron. Mine was 45cm x 35cm, but you might want to hold the fabric against yourself to make sure it's about the right size for your dress. Leave an extra 2cm around the edge for the seam.
2. Sew a seam all around the apron rectangle using white thread in your sewing machine.
3. Cut out a long strip of fabric, approx 5cm width. This will be your apron strings, so make sure it's long enough to wrap around you and tie in a bow.
4. Fold the long strip in half and sew a seam along the length of it. Then turn it inside out to hide the seam. I had to use a pencil to help push the fabric through it's own length before it was totally inside out.
5. Cut your length of apron string in half and sew each half to the top left and top right hand corner of the apron rectangle. You can tidy up the cut ends by folding the rough edges over and sewing down.
6. Using your marker pens write I <3 curds and whey on the bottom corner of the apron. You can embroider this on the apron if you want to, but I was sick of sewing by this point!
7. As with the dress, sew randomly scattered plastic spiders onto your apron. Make sure you don't sew them in the place where you'll need to tie the string around you.
8. Try your apron on with your dress, and dance around in front of the mirror feeling all the more pleased with yourself.
Step 3: The Hat and Other Accessories
1 circle of blue gingham fabric
1 length of elastic (approx 1cm wide)
1 length of blue lace ribbon
Blue thread to match the fabric/ribbon
1. Cut a circle of gingham fabric approx 50cm in diameter
2. Cut a length of blue lace ribbon, and sew around the circumference of your gingham circle.
3. Cut a length of elastic, long enough to fit comfortably, but snugly around the circumference of your head when it is fully stretched.
4. Sew the elastic onto the inside of your hat, approx 5cm from the edge of the gingham fabric. Make sure that the elastic is stretched out as you sew it on. When you release the elastic, it should bunch up and make your hat 'gather' around your head.
5. Take some plastic spiders, and sew them onto your hat, as you did on the dress and the apron.
6. Try on the hat with your dress and apron, and dance around in front of the mirror, feeling pleased with yourself.
7. Add the finishing touches:
The accessories I added were:
Glittery Spider web eyelashes (purchased from Clare's Accessories)
Spider and web earrings (from Clare's accessories)
1 pair of lace spiderweb long gloves(from the pound shop!) - I cut the 'hands' off and wore them around my arms
1 pair of knee length socks, with a few extra plastic spiders sewn on for good measure.
Step 4: The Big Spider (optional)
1 willing boyfriend
1 pair of black trousers
1 black long sleeved t shirt
2 pairs of black opaque tights
Newspaper / carrier bags
Length of thin black elastic
Needle and black thread
1. Take 2 pairs of black opaque tights ( we used 60 denier) and cut the gusset out
2. Stuff each of the legs with used carrier bags. You may want to give them more structure with rolled up newspaper, or even bent wire coathangers
3. Teach the willing boyfriend to hand sew and get him to sew the legs in the appropriate places on the side of the black tshirt, 2 on each side, underneath the real arms.
4. Link each of the 'extra arms' to the real arms by sewing some thin black elastic between them - around about the elbow joint area. This will make them all move together when the boyfriend lifts his arms.
5. Take one of the gussets from the tights and tie a knot in the ends where you cut the legs off.
6. Stick some googly eyes onto the front of the gusset (6-8 of them will do, in varying sizes). This will be your spider's hat.
7. Take some amusing photos of you wearing your costumes
8. Arrive at halloween party and soak up all the compliments about your amazing costumes!