Monday, October 27, 2014

Crafting Adventures: Ewok Halloween Costume

If you follow Our Geeky Adventure on Instagram, then you know that I made our Halloween costumes this year, and I promised you some tutorials!  (You also already know what they are ^_^)

Straight from Endor, we're Han, Leia, and a tiny little ewok!  This weekend we went to the Udvar-Hazy Smithsonian Air and Space Museum's Air and Scare, an indoor trick-or-treating event that included photo opportunities with Star Wars and Ghost Busters characters.

These are really more assemble-it-yourself costumes, but I still figured I would share the process with you for all three of them.  (Han's costume involved absolutely no sewing!  Woohoo!)

Let's start with the little ewok!

Time to complete: One naptime (aka 1 hour- probably less, since you won't have to figure out the method like I did)


-1 1/2 yards orange suede material (amount depends on the size of your ewok)
-brown hoodie and sweat pants
-orange thread
-sewing machine

[I found the orange material in the sale pile at my local JoAnn's.  Look in the furniture fabric section to find this stuff.  You could also use a regular quilting-weight cotton, but I liked the texture of the suede.  I found the spear at the costume store in the cowboys and Indians section- it's tiny, and has a piece of string attached to it so you can sling it over your arm.  Whoever was holding the ewok looped their thumb through that string so that when she inevitably tried to throw it, it wouldn't hit the ground- or any unsuspecting Storm Troopers.]

-Using scissors or a seam ripper, remove the hood from the sweatshirt, then undo the seam holding the two pieces of the hood together.

-Lay the orange fabric out flat and place the sweatshirt on top, lining up the bottom edges.  Fold the orange fabric over the sweatshirt and cut the excess material, so that you have yourself a little sweatshirt sandwich.  (Well, taco, really.)  If your orange fabric is significantly wider than the sweatshirt, trim it so that they are roughly the same width.

-Remove the sweatshirt and unfold the orange fabric, then re-fold it so that the wrong side of the fabric is facing out.  Place the sweatshirt back on top of the folded fabric so that the top of the sweatshirt is aligned with the fold.  Using a chalk pencil or fabric pen, trace the neckline of the sweatshirt onto the orange fabric.  Cut along the curve you've traced so that when you unfold the fabric, there is a hole for your ewok's head.

-Fold the other piece of orange fabric in half, right sides together, and place on of the pieces of the hood on top and trace around it.  Add an extra 1/2 inch at the bottom so that the hood of your ewok's poncho cover's her forehead more than the sweatshirt would have.  (I think I added a bit too much length- more like an inch- so the hood was super floppy.  It made for some adorable pictures though!)  Cut along your traced lines and you'll have two pieces.

-Using a regular straight stitch on your sewing machine (or by hand, but ain't nobody got time for that), place the two hood pieces right sides together and sew along the curve.  Remember to back stitch at the beginning and end!  (I was lazy and used the thread that was already in my machine, which was black.  No one will see this stitch anyway.)

-Turn the hood right-side-out and place it on your ewok, if she's available.  If she's still taking her nap, you can just use your best judgment to estimate where the ears should go.  With the hood folded along the seam, I measured 4 1/2" from the straight edge (the opening of the hood) and 3 1/4" from the top, on both sides, and placed straight pins there to mark them as the ear holes.

helpful diagram for this next bit
-Open the hood, as if it were on your ewok's head, and let the front fold down over an imaginary forehead.  Using your straight pins as the center of the lines, draw a 1" line along the curve of the hood on each side.  Cut along these lines to open the holes for your ewok's ears.

-Cut two sorta-kinda oval shapes from your discarded sweatshirt hood, roughly 1" by 2".  (I literally just folded the end of a piece of fabric into the below ear shape and cut it off, leaving a little base.  When I unfolded the fabric, it looked like this.  You don't need a perfect oval.)

-Fold them so they look like ears.  I don't know how else to say that.  (Make sure they mirror each other- so the other ear would fold the right side over the left.)

-Poke the ears through the holes.  Open up the base of each ear so that it's flat, like above, and use a whip stitch to attach it to the hood.  You will see these stitches on the other side, so use a thread that is the same color as the hood.

-Here's what your stitches look like on the other side.  I wasn't sure how else to attach these ears (glue?) but I decided not to worry about visible stitching- ewoks are a primitive race, not known for their professional sewing skills.

-Here's where it gets tricky.  (Well, it was tricky for me, but I figured it out, so it won't be tricky for you!)  Fold the body of your poncho in half lengthwise so that you can mark the middle of the front and back of the neck hole with a straight pin.  Find the midpoints between those pins and mark those points with pins, dividing the neck hole into 4 sections.  Fold each half of your hood in half and mark the midpoints with pins so that it, too, is divided into 4 sections- the front and back marked by the opening of the hood (the ends of the fabric) and the seam, respectively.  Now, if the sweatshirt you're working with is a pullover, you should be able to attach the hood by sewing it to the body, right sides of the fabric together, with a straight stitch, lining up the 4 sections- pin the seam to the middle of the back of the neck and the opening on the middle of the front, and line up the midpoint pins of the hood with the pins of the body.  That is how your sweatshirt was assembled, so it should work the same way here.

However, my sweatshirt is a zip-up, meaning the neck hole is not wide enough to pull over my ewok's big ol' head.  When I attached it this way, it resulted in a hole that was too tiny for her to pull on.  I could have slit the poncho up the middle and added a zipper, which would have been annoying.  Instead, I decided to create a wide opening for the hood, so that the two sides do not meet in the middle.  I attached the hood so that the ends of the two sides are just past the middle of the sides of the neck hole.  Does that makes sense?

Basically, if you measure the width of the hood when it's lying open, and then measure the circumference of the neck hole, you'll notice that the neck hole is larger than the hood.  If you try to attach the hood so that its ends meet in the front, you'll have to gather the neck hole in so that it shrinks to fit- making it too small to pull over your ewok's head, but not a problem if the poncho were to be zipped up the front.  I lined up the seam of my hood with the middle of the back of the neck hole, then attached the hood so that neither piece was gathering.  This resulted in the hood being attached just in front of my ewok's shoulders.

Again, use a straight stitch, any color thread you want, and back stitch at the beginning and end.

-Finally, find the middle of the bottom of the front of the poncho.  Mark a spot at about the tip of your ewok's shoulder (use the sweatshirt as a guide, or have your ewok model the costume if she's available).  Cut a not-perfectly-straight line from the midpoint of the bottom up to that point marking the edge of the shoulder.  Do the same on the other side.  Repeat on the back.  This will result in a point on the front and back of the poncho (tunic?).

-Have your ewok wear her sweatshirt and sweatpants inside out, because the fuzzy insides of the fleece fabric resemble fur.  Put the orange poncho over her head and have her hold the little spear.

I know this isn't a 100% accurate costume.  I didn't have to make a full tunic- most ewoks wear just a hood- but I wanted to cover the zipper on the sweatshirt.  For a lot less fabric, you can make just a hood.  If you want extra credit, you can hem your edges, but I figured a little fraying was okay, because of the whole primitive race thing I mentioned earlier.

Tune in tomorrow for directions on the Leia costume!

What are you dressing your little one as for Halloween this year?

Much love,
The Geeks

*all photos are personal*


  1. I think it's a great quick costume. This was such a cute family costume idea! :)