Poke'mon is our theme this year for Halloween as chosen by my boys. Zander chose Vaporeon, Kaiden chose Squirtle, and I chose Charmander. All of these pokemon have been done before by various people online for cosplays and such; however, none of them had instructions for the sewing-challenged like myself. I scoured the world wide web and saved photos of different interpretations of the 3 pokemon into costumes as well as photos of the pokemon from front and back views to use as reference. It took a lot of time, work, and trial and error to get it done but I'm happy with the result and hopefully I took enough pictures and can explain the process well enough that you can make your own without having to reinvent the wheel to do it.
1. fleece: light blue(2 yards), dark blue(1/4 yard), light yellow(1/8)
*note* these amounts are estimates of what I used. I bought much more than I needed so I'm guessing how much I actually used, and these amounts were used for a 6 year old.
2. felt paper: 1 sheet each black, white, and your choice of color for the eyes
3. sewing supplies: machine, pins, needles, thread, scissors
4. poly fiber stuffing
5. spray adhesive
6. Various: pencil, fabric marker, paper
7. wire, pliers, and wire cutters
Step 1: The Basics
This costume requires a blue long sleeve shirt, pants, and hat. For the shirt and pants I bought a pattern at Hancock Fabrics and I found a couple 'ibles that helped with the hat, though it took parts from 2 different ones for me to understand it (sewing-challenged here), so I'm going to try to dumb it down a little.
Shirt and Pants: just follow the instructions in the pattern set
*note* I made my kids' 2 sizes too big and the pants are little big, but the shirts are a little small. I'd suggest making the shirt a size bigger than the pants
Hat.: I used these 'ibles to help me: https://www.instructables.com/id/Soft-Snuggly-Fleece-Hat/, and https://www.instructables.com/id/Customizable-Fleece-Hats/
I took the pattern from the first ible and used photoshop to enlarge it to the right size for my son. The hat fits him, his brother, and even me, so this size should work for anyone. The pattern is split up on 2 US paper size pages so you just have to print it and tape it together. The paper size isn't big enough to fit the bottom length of the pattern so just add a few inches to it to make sure its big enough, we can always make it smaller later. Then cut it out.
Trace the pattern on the blue fleece, make sure you added a few inches at the bottom to make sure the hat is big enough, and cut it out. Then align and pin the like colored edges of the triangles to sew. It's easier to pin and sew one at a time. This will round out the hat. When all the like colored sections are sewed up, align, pin, and sew up the ends (back seam) to finish it up.
Try the hat on your intended wearer (inside out still) and roll up the edge to the right fit, Remove the hat, pin, and sew. This will be the hem.
Now that the basics are done, on to Vaporeon-afying it.
Step 2: The Face
Let's get the ball rolling with Vaporeon's face. First, print out the Vaporeon face image I've supplied.
Next, equip yourself with patience and an exacto knife and carefully cut out all the different sections of color. You should have 1 piece for the nose, and 3 pieces of the eye (as seen in photo) and intact paper you cut them out from. I opted not to use the mouth.
Now trace the nose and black section of the eyes onto black felt and cut out. Carefully cut out the holes from the black section of the eyes as seen in the photos.
Trace the eye shapes again, this time on white and cut out. Align the black section on top of the white and cut out the section of white that extends into the colored part of the eye.
Now use that piece of white you just cut off to trace that shape onto the eye color you choose. Zander chose purple. Then cut it out and align it with the white section as shown in the pictures.
Now that you have all your pieces, it is time to go outside with a can of spray adhesive to glue the eye pieces together and apply to the hat.
First align the white and the colored part and spray with adhesive, then carefully align the black portion on top and press together.
Now grab your model and have them wear the hat. Use the stencil made when we cut out the pieces to hold up against the hat to help align the parts, or just lay the hat down and lay the stencil on it.
Apply adhesive to the back of one eye. Hold your placement tool up against the hat and place the eye in the correct hole. Remove the paper and press the eye firmly to the hat. Repeat these steps for all the remaining pieces.
Now we have a pretty good-looking Vaporeon, on to the body.
Step 3: The Spikes and Tail
I drew out the tail and tail fin to the size I wanted. I have marked the measurements of my patterns and I used photoshop to enlarge them to the size I used and divided them up into normal paper sizes. So in theory all you should have to do is print them and tape them together. I did the same for the spikes, but you need 2 of the patterns I attached to make it long enough. I just used the triangles from the hat pattern for the spikes so you could just reuse that pattern instead of cutting another one. I did find the spikes to be a little bigger and pointer than I wanted so you may want to round them off and make them a little smaller.
First trace the spikes pattern on the dark blue fleece and the tail and fin on the light blue fleece. You will need 2 of everything so you should trace them on a folded piece. Cut them out.
Align and pin the pieces of the tail fin. Sew them together leaving an opening of a few inches. flip inside out and stuff. Then pin and sew the opening closed.
Align and pin the pieces of the tail. Sew them together starting at the larger end and going down the side. Leave a little of the smaller end open (see photos) and continue sewing back down the other side to the larger end. Turn inside out and stuff. Leave the ends open.
Split the ends of the small end of the tail so that one side is on each side of the tail fin. Pin and sew together. (see photo)
Split the ends of the large end of the tail so that one side is on the inside of the bottom edge of the back of the shirt and the other side is on the outside of the bottom edge of the back of the shirt. Pin and sew.
Align and pin the triangles of the spikes. Sew the triangles together but leave the long straight side open. Flip inside out and stuff each triangle.
Now align the spike strip on the shirt and tail. Spread the open ends apart like we did with the tail and lay it on the shirt so that there is fabric on both sides of the spike strip (see photo) Start at the top of the shirt and work your way down the shirt and tail pinning the spikes in place. As you go farther down, the spikes should get smaller so simply pull a little stuffing out and press the triangle closer to the shirt and pin in place. Then start sewing. I hand sewed it so I could sew as close to each spike as possible. When it is all sewed on, trim off the excess fabric. (see photo)
Have the intended wearer put it on and see how the tail hangs. The tail wouldn't hang the way I wanted it to so I pinned the tip of the fin to the front of the shirt and sewed it in place.
Step 4: The Head Fins
Ah, the hard part. Before we start working with the wire, we need to get our dark blue fleece for the head ready. I used a piece of paper layed over the hat to sketch out the triangle and arches for the head. Then used that to trace onto the fleece. When you trace it, leave a good bit of extra material on both sides. Cut it out, align it on the hat and pin in place. Sew along the arches leaving all the extra material unattached.
Alright, now get the wire. First form an arch to fit over the wearer's head like a head band. I cut a really long piece and shaped the arch to the right size then bent the excess back and wrapped it around the arch back to the start of the wire, then doubled back the rest of the excess and did the same back the other way until I ran out of wire.
Check the fit and bend it more if needed. Cut a length of wire to use for one of the fins. Attach it to the head arch on one side as shown in the photos. To do this, insert one end of the length through an opening in the twisted wires of the arch. Pull the wire through the opening half way so that the ends of the wire are even with each other. Wrap the 2 halves around each other all the way down the length. Bend the wire back over on itself at the length you want for the fin and wrap the wires around each other back down to the arch. Wrap the remaining excess around the arch. (see photo)
Repeat this for the remaining 2 fins. Test the fit again and make corrections if needed. Make sure the wire isn't too tight on the wearer. This finishes up the wire frame.
Grab the hat and flip the dark blue fleece up. Place the wire on the hat about at the ear line. When you get it where you want it, pin in it in place as best you can and hand sew it. Cut as small a slit as you can manage in the dark blue fleece where the wires will need to protrude and flip the fleece back over the right way, working the wires through the holes.
Pin the edges of the slits and sew back together. Pin the dark blue fleece to the hat along the bottom. It might help to pin it while the wearer is wearing it so you keep the slack needed for the roundness. Sew it in place.
Now we need to make the pattern for the fins. Lay the hat down on a piece of paper and trace around the wire. Draw the fin using that line. Cut out the pattern and trace it on a piece of folded over yellow fleece 3 times. Cut them out. You should have 6: 3 sets of 2. Pin each set together and sew leaving the shortest end open. Flip inside out. Now you should have 3 fins.
Vaporeon's fins have 2 lines or ridges on them. Just sew in the two lines or you could maybe just draw them in with a fabric marker.
The fins will slide easily onto the wire frame. Slide each fin on a wire and pin the ends to the hat. Sew the ends to the hat.
Cut a strip of dark blue fleece a couple inches wide to cover the top of the fin around the wire. Lay the fleece on and pin in place. Sew it to the fin as close to the wire as possible and trim the excess. Sew the end to the hat and cut off the excess at the other end, then sew that end closed.
Do this for all 3 fins and you have a completed hat.
Step 5: Put It All Together
Finally! It is done. Put it all together and you have a Vaporeon costume.
I know Vaporeon has a white frill or something around his head as well and I think that having that would help the costume a bit to break up all the blue but my son said he didn't want it and I'm fine with not having to figure out how to make it :p