My son knew since before last Halloween, that he wanted to be a Martial Eagle. I had to look up Martial Eagles, and discovered they are the largest African Eagle. “Are you working on my costume yet, Mama?” This request came to me sometime mid-summer. The guy is a planner! I found these Eagle wings at a thrift store in Oregon and I was beside myself with joy. I had been specifically looking for something I could use for Eagle wings, and here they were!
Now for the task of creating a costume to make him look like this fierce bird of prey:
I looked for soft white eagle-leg pants for weeks at all of my thrift stores and found nothing. Since I had procrastinated, I needed to finish the costume in one day. I spotted a sweater in my closet with the perfect material:
I actually love this sweater. There are three reasons it had to be sacrificed:
- It was the perfect color and material.
- It was $6 at a thrift store originally and I have too many sweaters.
- I’m gently practicing the art of detachment from my material possessions.
I realized the arms of the sweater were the exact length and width as my little guy’s pajama pants:
So I chopped off the arms right at the shoulder seams. This left me with perfect pant legs, but no pants crotch! I used a pair of little man’s underwear as a pattern, and used the lined edge of the hood, with a convenient drawstring, as the crotch of the pants.
Good bye ears!!
I carefully cut off the ears so as to not make a hole in the material. I used the underwear as my pattern and cut the leg holes symmetrically by folding the hood in half, and matching the leg holes with my scissors. I started at the seams of the pant legs, and took to pinning the raw edges of my pant legs to the crotch, carefully turning the pants inside out to see what the finished pants would look like. Where there were bulges, I pinched the fabric with my fingers from the inside while looking at the outside, then pinned accordingly to flatten out any bulges from the seams.
Careful pinning can save you LOADS of time and frustration. Rather than carelessly pinning, rushing to sew and then spending the next twenty minutes tediously ripping seams and hating your life choices, it pays to take a minute to really make sure your pins are in the right spot. I learned this the hard way.
Now the most fun part! After about four times of refitting the bobbin and fishing out thread with a pin….
and Wah-LAH!!!!! Halfway done.
I used little guy’s jacket as a pattern to determine the desired length of the arms. I then CHOPPED off the arms, and took them in from the armpit.
I turned everything inside out, and pinned. I knoooow, pinning on this shag rug is NOT the safest idea I’ve had, but I live dangerously.
The sleeve was smaller than the arm hole, so I did some gentle gathering in the armpit of the sweater to make the opening smaller, so there weren’t any weird folds in the seam.
I cut the pockets off of the sweater I had made the leggings out of, and sewed them right on top of the existing front pockets.
I then used the hood of the brown sweater as a template, laid it on top of the fluffy sweater material and cut two opposing pieces of the fluffy sweater accordingly. I cut triangles out of the lower edge to create a feather-ish look.
I sewed this right on top of both sides of the hood, just inside the hem of the edge.
I used an example from Pinterest to design the beak and eyes. Here is the inspiration:
I copied the triangle shape of the beak, but since my material was floppy t-shirt cotton, my Eagle beak looked a little too flaccid to belong to a fearsome predator.
I drew the nostrils with a fabric marker, cut out another triangle of the yellow t-shirt fabric, and filled the cavity with polyester fiber pillow filler.
Placing and shaping the beak was probably the hardest part. I should have added more pillow filler!
I then used scraps from t-shirts to make the eyes. I cut out two identical yellow half circles, and two identical, slightly smaller black half circles. I used fabric fusion glue, and carefully placed the eyes at an angle. I cut strips of material out of the fluffy sweater for angry eyelids, and sewed them in place.
I used a white paint pen to add a shine dot to the eagle’s eyes, and added white flecks on the brown sweater to replicate the pattern on the Martial Eagle’s feathers, and to cover up the toothpaste stain on the shoulder!
Here we have the finished project! Can’t wait to see if it fits!
So relieved that it fit him perfectly!