I made a Princess Bubblegum halloween costume for someone last year. I figured every princess needed a butler, so I made a candy bag to go with it.
I'm including the pattern with this instructable. Please remember, though, that you can only make these for personal use, not for profit. Peppermint Butler is a copyrighted character.
You will need:
a pattern (I've uploaded the pdf I made for this. I'm sure you can figure out how to scale it up to whatever size you want, and piece together the pages you print)
red felt for the stripes and bowtie
opaque white fabric for the body and handle
blue opaque fabric for the suit - I used some flocked remnant scraps I got for free
red quilting cotton for the hands, feet, and lining (and the underside of the handle)
a tiny bit of white quilting cotton for the shirt cuffs
light duty iron-on adhesive
heavy duty iron-on adhesive
muslin for reinforcing
felt for reinforcing
black embroidery floss
white, red, and blue thread for sewing the thing together
other scissors for cutting out the paper pattern - don't cut paper with your good fabric scissors
iron and heat safe surface
marking tool to trace pattern onto fabric
a sewing machine - or - a hand sewing needle, thimble, strong fingers, and oceans of patience
Step 1: Cut & Iron Pieces
I've scaled the size of the pattern down so it can fit on printer paper. You can make it larger if you want.
I made the pattern after I made the bag (based on the shapes I cut for the bag), so keep that in mind when you see the pictures. I started out by using a 12" diameter circle for the main part of the body, knowing it would end up smaller once the seams were sewn. Once your pattern is the size you want, trace it onto the pieces of fabric and cut them out.
Iron the lighter weight iron-on adhesive, glue side down, onto the back of the red stripes, bowtie, and two main blue suit pieces. Peel off the paper backing, then arrange the candy stripes, bowtie, and suit pieces on the two white circles. I folded the edges of the blue suit over and added another strip of iron-on adhesive under the fold so there wouldn't be a raw edge on the bag, since the blue fabric frayed easily. Iron the pieces together. This might take awhile if you're using thick fabric and if your iron is a piece of junk like mine.
Step 2: Stitch His Face
Using matching thread, sew a straight stitch around the borders of the red and blue pieces you ironed onto the white circles.
Trace the coattail pattern onto a doubled piece of blue fabric if you haven't already, aligning the top edge with the fold in the fabric. With the right sides of the fabric facing each other, stitch around the outside of the coattail piece. Cut a small slit near the fold, and turn the coattails right side out. Now sew a straight stitch around the outside of the coattails, close to the edge. This will help flatten the piece.
Find two white buttons and sew them on. Use your machine if you're lazy like me.
Sew the top edge of the coattail piece onto the back of the bag; remember not to sew it too low on the bag or it'll get caught in the bag seams. If the circles you cut are 12 inches in diameter, leave at least an inch of space between the top of the coattail piece and the closest edge of the circle. The rest of the coattail piece should hang below the circle; you can tuck it out of the way when you sew the bag together to make sure it doesn't get sewn into the seam.
Step 3: Sew the Arms and Legs
This part is a pain. You might want to just sew tubes in the fabric and call it good. Otherwise...
Mark two pieces of the shoe pattern with an oval shape (like the dotted line on the pattern). Pinch a fold in the fabric and sew along the line, making sure not to sew all the way to the border of the fabric (the border still needs to match up with the flat piece). Yeah, I said it was a pain. This will be the front side of the foot. Now sew the straight edge of each foot piece to a short end of the leg pieces (you should have four). Make sure the right sides of the fabric are facing each other so the seam ends up on the inside when it's all put together.
Take a front piece of leg and a back piece of leg and carefully sew them together, right sides facing. Be careful when you get to the foot part, since one side will be slightly pulled in. Turn the legs right side out and stuff them with batting.
Find the red fabric onto which you traced the mitten part of the pattern. Sew two pieces together, leaving the bottom edge (where the wrist would be) and the pinky side of the mitten unsewn. Make little snips along the curved edges to help keep the fabric from puckering when you turn it right side out. Fold a white piece of cuff fabric in half and stitch the two short ends. Turn it right side out. Now stitch along the outside of the white cuffs, including the folded edge, to flatten it. You don't have to stitch the open side, since that part will be inside a seam.
Lay a piece of blue arm fabric out, right side facing up, and align a piece of white cuff on top of the blue fabric with the cut edge centered and along the short edge of the blue fabric. Turn a mitten right side out and open it as much as you can at the pinky seam, aligning the wrist edge with the open edge of the cuff. You're gonna hate me for this. Just keep in mind that I don't actually know how to sew and made this up as I went along. I'm sure there's a better way to do this. Sorry.
Stitch along the aligned edge of the three fabrics as shown in the picture. Now fold the whole piece in half lengthwise, with the right sides of the fabric facing each other, and stitch the pinky side of the mitten closed, right up to the base of the white cuff. Only make a couple stitches in the white cuff. The two short edges of the white cuff should meet but not be attached.
Turn the mitten right side out. Make sure you like how it looks. Stuff the mitten with batting. At this point, I had to finish sewing the blue edge to the white cuff... I hadn't sewn clear to the edges of the white cuff earlier because I needed space to turn the mitten inside out. I think I just had the mitten turned right side out, stuffed inside the blue fabric (which was still right sides facing in), and sewed straight across the edge. It makes for flatter wrists, but Peppermint Butler is a bit floppy, anyway. I then stitched the long open side of the blue fabric and turned the arm right side out. If you're lucky, you won't have sewn part of the mitten into the seam of the arm material. :)
Repeat that whole mess for the other arm. Stuff the arms with batting.
If you're not pressed for time, sew a french knot into the cuffs with black embroidery floss for cufflinks.
Step 4: Attach the Body
Find the big white strip that forms the outside of the body and the blue strip for the outside edge of his suit. It's a good idea to try curving them around the white circles, making sure you leave enough seam allowance, to make sure the corners of the blue suit align.
Apply iron-on adhesive to the back side of the blue material and remove the paper backing. I had to hem the edges of this because the blue stuff frays; the red felt I used for the candy stripes doesn't fray, so I didn't have to hem any of those. Hold the blue strip around the circles again to make sure things line up, and use chalk or a watercolor pencil to mark where you want the legs and arms to go. Cut a small slit for each, the same width as the arm or leg piece. Push the open ends of the leg and arm pieces through the slits. Hold it against the circles one last time to make sure things are where they should be. Folding the blue strip of fabric so that the right sides are facing, stitch the ends of the leg and arm pieces just inside the slits in the large blue strip. Cut off any excess bits of arm or leg inside the body so it doesn't make any strange bulky lumps. We're not making Lumpy Space Princess, yo.
Apply more iron-on adhesive to the inside of the blue suit in the middle to tack down and reinforce the arm and leg entry seams. Notice in the pictures how I'm using some extra paper backing to make sure the adhesive doesn't stick to the iron. That's because the strip of adhesive I'm applying is smaller than the area of adhesive already on the fabric. The narrow strip is heavy duty adhesive (narrow so I don't have to worry about sewing through it in the seams) and the rest of it is light duty.
Remove the paper backing and place the blue suit, adhesive side down, onto the white strip that will eventually go around the edges of the circles. Iron it on, making sure to press hard at the bulky areas where the arms and legs are sewn in. It helps to have a folded towel underneath the iron, rather than a flat surface.
Step 5: Embroider the Face
I added muslin backing to the circles before embroidering. I also drew the face on, which I probably shouldn't have done before ironing (since heat can set pigment), but I knew I was going to embroider it, anyway. Gray watercolor pencils are less likely to stain than the red ones.
Cut circles of iron-on adhesive a couple inches smaller in diameter than the fabric circles. Iron the adhesive onto the back of the circles, peel off paper backing, then iron the muslin onto the adhesive. The reason I didn't want to put adhesive all the way to the edges was that I still need to sew the bag together, and I was using the heavy duty adhesive here. That stuff can gunk up your sewing machine and really isn't meant to be sewn. It's doable to hand embroider through one layer of the stuff, but don't try it with more than one layer.
Use a stem stitch to embroider around the eyes and along the mouth. I used a french knot at the corners of the mouth. I also added a couple french knot buttons on the suit below the bowtie. Jessyratfink has some great instructables on how to do embroidery stitches like the french knot tutorial here.
Tie a knot at the back of the fabric once you've embroidered the face.
Step 6: Reinforce and Attach the Body & Face
Cut two circles of felt and two circles of iron-on adhesive just barely smaller than your expected seam line for the main body. Apply the adhesive to the felt, and iron one felt circle onto the back of each of the two main body pieces, making sure they're centered.
I used muslin and felt because I wanted this bag to be somewhat stiff and strong - it was for a three year old to take trick-or-treating.
Use the lighter weight iron-on adhesive to also add a muslin backing to the strip part of the body. Use more light iron-on adhesive to add a thinner strip of felt to reinforce the sides, making sure the felt isn't large enough to get caught in the seams. Pin the strip around the face piece and mark where the red peppermint stripes should go in order to align. Mine weren't perfectly parallel because I didn't think of making a pattern in advance.
Unpin the body strip. Using adhesive, attach the peppermint stripes to the body strip, then sew around the border just like you did on the two big circles.
Re-pin the body strip around the circles, lining up the red stripes. Sew around the edges. I hope you're using a heavy duty needle in your sewing machine for this.
Step 7: Add a Liner and a Handle
I used thin red cotton for the liner. Trace two large circles and a large strip onto the liner material, the same size as the original body parts in the pattern. Sew them together in the same shape as you sewed the bag. Leave the liner with the seams on the outside, and tuck it into the bag so that the seams are against the inner walls of the bag. Fold the edges of the liner inside, and stitch the liner to the bag where they meet at the bag opening.
You should have three small red stripes left. Add the lightweight iron-on adhesive to the back of the stripes, then attach them to the white handle piece. Stitch around the edges of the red stripes. Place the white handle face down on a strip of liner material the of the same size. Stitch around the edges of these two pieces, leaving an opening on one long side. Leave it inside out for now.
Use light duty adhesive to attach a strip of muslin to the red side of the handle. Iron a strip of heavy duty adhesive to the white side of the handle and peel off the paper backing. Make sure the heavy duty adhesive strip isn't quite as wide or long as the bag handle.
Turn the handle right side out. Smooth out the seams (including the unsewn edge) and press everything together with your hands to make sure it's flat and lies the way you want it. Iron the handle, making sure the unsewn edge is still folded in to match the rest of the edge. This will adhere both layers of the handle. Stitch around the outside of the handle close to the edge.
Sew the handle to the bag at the sides - I sewed a square to make sure it was securely fastened (one straight line would be much less secure).
If you've made it this far, you're done! Thanks for reading, and remember to post pictures if you make your own.
sadie.rich.1 made it!