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Spiffy Clown Tips

Dateline: 10/07/97

We'll be talking about ways to cut corners and elaborate on purchased costume patterns.

Clown Photos

  • One of the best Clown patterns I've found is Simplicity 9806 (which is now off line). It had both the one and two piece clown costumes included and comes in sizes 2 through adult large.
  • If your child will be using their costume for pajamas, make the two piece version. I know in my house, the costume became my child's favorite pajamas.
  • To make the flounce collar, use an old white sheet. Don't skimp on the fabric. It will eliminate the fullness if you do. I have added an extra layer, when I made adult costumes, that I knew would be reused year after year. If you don't have an old sheet, use an inexpensive lining fabric.
  • If you have a serger, use it to finish the edges of the collar. Use thread that is one of the bright colors in the body. You will be utilizing your equipment, saving on the cost of trim, it's faster and the results are great.
  • Use your collar fabric and serger to make your own "pom poms." Use 2" to 4" strips of fabric. Serge one edge of the strips with the same thread that you used on the collar. Gather the other edge and roll up like a rose. Tack stitch to hold it together. Use a smaller version of these "pom poms" on the hat.
  • For the body of the costume, shop the clearance isles. Bright prints and broad strips work great. If you can't find enough of the fabric, find two fabrics that would be really wild together.
  • If you find striped fabric, cut the pattern out with the stripes being vertical for one side of the costume and horizontal for the other. This requires a bit of extra time when your laying out the pattern but the results are spectacular. Make sure you reverse the printed side of the pattern pieces when you lay it out so you don't end up with two left sleeves.
  • You can also make one sleeve and side a solid fabric with patches of the print from the other side of the costume.
  • If you have a lot of solid color fabric in your stash, use it to make patches on the costume.
  • Make smaller versions of the collar for around the wrists.
  • For safety, use light bright colors.
  • When you make the hat, cut a piece of poster board out the same as the pattern piece. Cut the fabric a little bigger then the pattern piece, so that you have enough fabric to hide the raw edges. Use tacky glue to glue the fabric to the poster board, glue excess edges to the wrong side and hot glue the "seam" closed. Stitch a piece of elastic for a chin strap to keep the hat in place.
  • To decorate the costume with pom-poms, watch the craft section for an assortment bag. You can be creative and vary the sizes.
  • Make a yarn wig by tying yarn on to a knit cap, no need to worry about the part of the cap that will be covered by the clown hat.
  • Tammy Lesniak,wrote in another clown wig idea that I love. Tammy wrote, "I was in a pinch for one once, and I don't really sew. I bought a mop head (the cotton white string one) and died it orange by soaking it and then I trimmed it up to length and when it was all dry just parted it down the main seam and placed it on the head, it stayed really well, with a hat on and I also bobby pinned it in a few places. The mop head I got really cheap."
  • When ever you are contemplating a costume, be sure to think safety.
  • From Moira Bruce: "If the costumes have pom poms (or the fabric rosettes you described) on the front, they should probably be attached with safety pins. This way, the kids can be cute when they go out Trick or Treat-ing, and still be comfortable when they go to bed."
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