TMNT Splinter Dog Costume

imagesAs a bonus to my series of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle group costume posts, here’s how I made my dog, Lilo, a Splinter robe shirt.

I didn’t take a ton of pictures along the way simply because I was making it up as I went along so I didn’t know if it would actually work or not.

You’ll need:

  • scissors
  • sewing machine, or a needle and thread
  • brown or burgundy fabric
  • brown or burgundy faux leather fabric
  • a measuring tape
  • a cooperative dog

My first step was to measure out my dog. Make sure when you do this that they are sitting or standing. My dog measures different when she’s on her back for belly rubs because she’s more stretched out. Here’s where all you’ll need to measure:

  • around the chest
  • around the neck
  • collar to belly (shorter than back so they don’t pee on it)
  • collar to back
  • width of front legs
  • distance between front legs
  • front legs to collar

So now your first step is to cut out a chunk of your fabric. Mine was left over from making the knee and elbow pads. Make sure that this piece is longer than your around the chest length, because you want it to wrap around. Lilo was about 17″ around, but her robe is about 22″ at the longest point. I then measured three inches shorter than the 10″ of her collar to back so that she would definitely not pee on it. I used a little bit of an angle, then sewed the hem at the top and bottom.


My next step was the arm holes. I actually didn’t use measurements for this part. I just held it up to Lilo and used a Sharpie to make dots where her arms needed holes. I then made 2″ diagonal cuts where each arm needed to go, which would create a square when pulling back the newly created flaps. Then I sewed a hem around that.


Next I sewed at an angle along the top to create a new hem. This is what will give the top that robe like appearance. I also discovered that when I put it on Lilo the collar area was much too large, so I created two little pleats in it so that it was sit closer to her neck.


Finally, I used a strip of faux leather fabric, also leftover from the knee and elbow pads, to make the belt. I sewed it along the shorter part of the belly, but nowhere else, so that it could be tied and so that the shirt could wrap around without any hang ups.


Here’s the final product on Lilo.


This whole project took only about an hour, maybe an hour and a half but only because I had to keep trying to catch Lilo to see if I was on the right track. She spent the rest of the evening avoiding me in fear of me swaddling her in something else. I decided against attaching some sort of stick for Splinter’s cane because Lilo would probably destroy the whole costume trying to get the stick off.

Again, I’m sorry for not taking more pictures along the way. On the bright side, I made this up as I went along so I’m sure you can do it with my mediocre instructions and your own ingenuity.



October 20, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Projects. Leave a comment.

TMNT Elbow and Knee Pads

As part of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles group costume, here’s the elbow and knee pads, and the belt.

The elbow and knee pads are made exactly the same way, just different sizes. And I’ve included the belts in this post, because it wasn’t enough work to get it’s own post.

You’ll need:

  • scissors
  • sewing machine (or needle and thread)
  • 1.5″ elastic
  • 3/4″ elastic
  • brown leathery looking fabric – 2 yds
  • plain brown fabric
  • cheap stuffing
  • a ruler or some type of measurement device

I purchased two yards of a faux leather looking fabric to use for the elbow and knee pads and the belts. I started by cutting out the belts, which were the full 2 yards in length and 4″ in width. This way they’re thick enough to be significant, but thin enough to tie in a knot. I cut out six just in case there were some belts that weren’t long enough, then I could just sew two together. And also because Leonardo has a strap that goes over his shoulder along with the one around his waist.


Next, for the elbow and knee pads. These were made almost exactly the same way so the pictures are interchangeable. There is one difference that I will mention shortly.

I measured my fiancĂ©’s knees and elbows and mine and decided on a happy medium, because I was trying to mass produce these so they were going to be the same size for everyone. I decided on 5″x6″ for the knees and 3″x4″ for the elbows. I even made templates out of cardboard to help me cut out the right size fabric. Although I didn’t have that much extra around the edges when I cut mine out.


Because I made the costumes for all four of us, I cut out 8 pieces of both the leather and plain brown fabric each for the elbows and knees. The next steps was to match them up and sew up the long sides.



I then opened up one of the shorter sides and inserted the elastic about 1/3″ in and sewed up that side. I used 11″ of 1.5″ elastic for the knee pads and 8″ of 3/4″ elastic for the elbow pads. I found both at Walmart.



I then stuffed it, but not so it would be too full, just to give it some dimension. Then I inserted the other end of the elastic in to the open side and sewed that up as well.



There is where I ended with the elbow pads. Although I would’ve liked to add the accent lines, my sewing machine couldn’t handle it so I called it good.


For the knee pads I wanted to add the accent lines so that it would look like there were three sections. To do this I simply sewed across the top of the knee pads I had just made. Keep the good side up when you sew because stuff will pop out a little on the side that’s on the bottom. It’s normal, just not so attractive on the good side.





When you sew these lines across the top keep in mind that I am not a perfectionist. The padding wasn’t all the way in the corners so some of them are a little flatter. And because the pads are stuffed it made it a little trickier to sew in straight lines. If you are a perfectionist, I’m sure you will find a way to make everything symmetrical, but it’s not the easiest thing and I just wasn’t worried about it.

October 18, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Projects. Leave a comment.

MSU Scarf

imageI saw this on Pinterest a while ago and thought it was adorable so I decide to make an attempt. You’ll need a bunch of t-shirts and scrap fabric with different patterns and variations of your schools colors. I went to the thrift store and found a bunch of miscellaneous green, grey, and white shirts. I got my primary Spartan head shirt and the random scrap fabrics from Walmart. And of course, you’ll need a sewing machine, although you could do it by hand and a nice pair of fabric scissors. A seem ripper may also come in handy. I had a few mess ups along the way.

The next thing to do is figure out what size you want each different section. I decided on 12in x 12in squares.


Once you have all of your squares sewn up the sides you can begin sewing them together.



Here’s my final product!


September 22, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Projects. Leave a comment.

My Storm Costume

I seriously love this costume. I plan on saving all of it in case I ever need to dress up like a super hero again. This is definitely the best picture of the whole costume.

November 2, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Just Talking. Leave a comment.

The Flintstones Costumes

Joe’s cousin and her husband just moved back to town. She was excited that she was going to make it to our Halloween party this year because she hasn’t been able to make it the past few years. She knew what she wanted to be and she enlisted me for help. She wanted the costumes made out of fleece so that they could stay warm.

Turns out, Fred Flintstone’s costumes is the easiest thing I’ve ever sewn. Fold it in half, sew up each side, cut some points on the sleeves and the bottom. Then we spray painted the spots on with two different size stencils from cardboard. Wilma’s dress was a little more difficult and she had to keep trying it on for me to get it right, but I think they turned out well.

November 1, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Projects. Leave a comment.

Making Storm’s Costume

Every year Joe’s sister throws a big Halloween party. We spend a week cleaning and decorating the house. We plan a menu and figure out which alcohol to buy. This year we decided to have a superhero/super villain theme. For a very long time I was dead set on being Wonder Woman. Then I remembered that Halloween is practically in November, which means it will be very cold. Wonder Woman doesn’t exactly wear a lot of clothes and I get cold easily. Then one day I was watching X-Men Evolution and I thought, “Hey! Storm is pretty badass and I enjoy her costume. And I could stay warm in that.” And that’s when I decided to be Storm.

Storm wears a huge, floor length cape that is black on the outside and white on the inside. I decided that I wanted to make that. I went to JoAnn’s about bought three yards of black and white material. After taping it to my living room floor and using chalk and yarn to draw a circular line I cut it and sewed the pieces together. She has the X-Men X as a button that holds her cape together. Which I made from a really big black button and some red paint.

The white wig was purchased, however I have to wear it a little cockeyed because the center part just doesn’t work. I also purchased the boots and gloves. They aren’t saggy like Storm’s. Also, my boots are grey because it’s almost impossible to find reasonably priced white ankle boots with heels. I do have some backup boots though, but I already owned those and they’re also grey. The leggings were also purchased and unaltered.

The last thing I bought was a black turtle neck from Kmart and a cheap yellow shirt from a thrift store. After cutting part of the sleeves off of the turtleneck I also cut off the sleeves from the yellow shirt. I then used the yellow sleeves to sew on to the edges of the turtleneck. Then I used some of the excess yellow to make the yellow belt that goes around Storm’s waist.

Here’s the final product.

October 27, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Projects. Leave a comment.

The Making of The Simpsons… Halloween Costumes

Joe doesn’t like to dress up for Halloween and I do. I wanted to do a couples costume and couldn’t think of a good one. First I thought of Master Chief and Cortana from Halo, but the Master Chief costume would’ve been too expensive to make. So finally I thought, Joe loves The Simpsons and he could dress up like Homer and I could dress like Marge. Instead of each of us paying $40 for each of our costumes I decided that we would make them. Of course, that means that I would make them. So that’s what I did.

Joe’s costume was pretty easy. He was in charge of supplying a white polo, jeans and some black shoes. I was going to get him a bald cap and give it hair via pipe cleaners so he wouldn’t shave his head, because I know he would and I like him with hair. I got myself a bride of Frankenstein wig that I spray painted blue for Marge hair.

Homer has quite the beer gut and Joe does not. So I took one of his crappy white shirts and sewed on some stuffing in the beer belly region. I put it on and felt nine months pregnant. My Marge dress was not as simple. In fact, it was a pain in the ass. The fabric is not elastic at all, but it was $1.97 a yard at Wal-Mart and it was the right color. The first time I tried to make the dress I used a 9″ zipper and I tried to make it in two pieces. Nothing about that worked so it was back to Wal-Mart where I bought two more yards and a 22″ zipper which just happened to also be green. That time I was successful with the dress.

Marge has a red-orange necklace and flats. I had some white flats with a bow that I didn’t like anymore so I took the bow off and spray painted them red. Then I found a a fake pearl necklace in the 50’s section of our Halloween store and spray painted that too. That was probably the easiest part of the whole costume.

Then one day I thought about how cool it would be to find a Duff beer coozy. Well I found one, so I bought it for Joe as a Halloween present.

October 25, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Projects. Leave a comment.