Thank you, Kari, for inviting me today. It pretty much made my month!
My name is Sabra. I’ve been married for ten years and have three little boys: 7, 4, and 2. My family totally inspires my creativity, and I share my crafting adventures over at Sew a Straight Line. A main section of my blog is sharing lessons I go through in my attempts to really learn how to sew. I throw my other crafty stuff up there, too, when and as it happens. I’d love to have you stop by and say hi.
One of my favorite things to make, even as a kid with just cardboard and glue, are costumes. I love Halloween, but I think kids in costumes are adorable year-round. Our costumes see nearly daily use by my kids and their friends. For today, Kari asked me to share one of my tricks in creating a unique and fun costume.
First, a little history: Two years ago my then five-year-old announced that for Halloween he wanted to be He-Man. His favorite bedtime book at the time was Masters of the Universe: The Sword of Skeletor, circa 1983, inherited from his father. A total sucker for matching my children, I decided we’d do a whole Masters of the Universe theme. But when it came time to make the costumes, I realized that He-Man is really just a naked guy in a pair of wooly briefs and a ton of muscles. And though I’m sure my kid could have rocked the wooly briefs in what nature gave him, he was severely lacking in the muscle department. After Googling and searching for ways to make muscles, and not finding anything not involving mixing my own latex, I just sucked it up and came up with my own way.
So here’s what I came up with for Halloween '08:
I’m just going to show you how to do the chest/torso. The tutorial I’m sharing applies to the other muscle areas, as well. It’s just this is the most complicated section, and it happened to be the one I needed for my kid’s costume this year, so it’s the one you’re getting. But I’ve included PDF files for my interpretation of the thigh muscles and upper arms as used in the He-Man costumes. Just an FYI, though: I graduated in PoliSci, not anatomy so…
Muscle template, either your own of my PDF shared here
Washable glue stick
Knit, or any stretchy material
Sewing pattern of your choice (not pictured. sorry)
Nu-Foam—I used 2 inch width
**Nu-Foam can be found in the upholstery cushion area of your fabric/craft store. I used this rather than that green funky foam stuff because it’s washable. The general consensus among my local JoAnn’s employees was that the green stuff was not.**
I find it easiest to cut through a few layers at a time, rather than try to tackle the whole girth of the stuff in one swipe.
eg: I was only needing the front top to have muscles, so I needed two front top pieces
Here I show how I arranged the chest/torso as well as the shoulders and biceps (this is the last you’ll see of the latter, though.)
Take your washable glue stick and, one at a time, remove a muscle, apply glue where it will go, replace muscle on top of the glued area.
Repeat for all muscles, then let dry for about an hour
Using your zipper foot, butting up as close as you can to the muscles, sew around the entire outside area of the chest/torso muscle area
Stretch the top fabric as you go, making sure that the pattern pieces continue to match up
This next picture is a bit risqué, but you need sew down the center of the pectorals, and then around each and all of the rest of the muscles
When I made the He-Man costumes, I didn’t have anything so fancy, and my zipper foot worked just fine.
After you’ve gone around each of the muscles, you’ll have this beauty of the human-ish form
And you haven’t even broken a sweat.
Next year he wants to be a hamster. Awesome.
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