Monday, August 31, 2009

She's back.......

Ok, getting a child off to college is alot of work!! I know you all haven't seen me in a while but I've been busy getting my oldest daughter all set for school. I'm all set now and I'm so excited about the projects that I plan to do in the next few months. If you'd like to see instructions or have questions about how to do something, email me and I'll answer them in a future post. It's so nice to be back!!!Brandie

Friday, August 14, 2009

My Silly Blue Hippo Website open Ok, Finally after months of working on it, my site is now open!! Yea!! I started My Silly Blue Hippo because I could not find any quality dress up clothes for my kids. I am already working for our local theatre making costumes so it was a easy transition to designing and sewing for little people. I will be adding lots more over the next few months so keep checking back. Use the code blog in the coupon code box at the checkout and get 10% off your order. Also, All orders ship for just $4.95. Great deal!! I'll still be posting lots of ideas for Halloween so keep checking back. Brandie

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Ok, Here is another really easy Halloween costume to put together. The devil horn kit was purchased from a local costume store, Zeezos. The top is a black long sleeved dance leotard that you can find at a dance store or thrift shop. The skirt is made from a simple tube of black knit fabric.

To make the skirt. Take the measurement of your hips and then add 2" for wearing ease. Add 1-1/4" for seam allowance. Take this measurement and divide by two. We'll call this measurement "A". Now measure from your waist to your knee, or wherever you want the longest part of the skirt to stop. We'll call this "B". Cut two rectangle pieces. "A" measurement should lay across width of fabric (from selvage to selvage). "B" measurement should lay with the length of the fabric (parallel to selvage). The point is to give the most stretch across the hips.

Now, using 5/8" seam, join the two rectangles together at each side using a stretch stitch. Make sure you have right sides together. You should now have a tube. Find a piece of elastic the size of your waist plus 1". Make a casing for the elastic around the top of the tube. Since we're working with knit and it doesn't unravel we will simply fold over the width of the elastic plus 3/8". Sew 1/4" in from the cut edge and leave a 1" gap to insert elastic. Insert the elastic and safety pin ends together. Try on for fit and adjust.

The ruffles are really easy. I used a cheap satin costume fabric. Cut strips across the width of the fabric (should be about 45" long, depending on your fabric.) Cut them as wide as you want your ruffle times two. So, if you want your ruffle 3" wide then cut your strips 6". Now add 1" for top seam. Take your strips and join them right sides together. Fold them in half. Wrong sides together and sew about 1/2" down from the cut edge. If you have a serger you can finish this edge or use an overcast stitch on your sewing machine. Run a gathering stitch along this edge. Try on your tube and mark where the ruffle will go. Sew ruffle on the right side of the tube along your marked ruffle line. Trim away excess tube and your done!!

The arm bans are just left over ruffle sewn to a piece of elastic, 1" smaller than the forearm measurement. Hot, Hot, Hot!!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Ok, everybody, It's time to start thinking about Halloween costumes since we all know that it kinda creeps up on you. I don't know how many times I have been up until midnight the night before to finish that dreaded costume. I usually just started it two days before Halloween. :) Here are a few easy ideas adopted from the costumes I made for the Butte Opera House Theatre in Cripple Creek. Any thrift store is a costume paradise with a little inspiration of course.

For the "Thriller" zombies...Find any 80's style dress. Notice that I have a business man with slacks, white shirt, and vest. A taffeta prom dress, and an old ladies printed dress. My favorite of course is the Bride. Shread the bottom of the hem and the bottom of the sleeves using a sharp pair of scissors and a slicing motion. Pull the fabric across the blade of the scissors so that the fabric looks more like it's been torn rather than cut. You can also tear if you choose a fabric that rips easily. Try to vary the width and length of the cuts. Next use a combination of bleach and water, (about 30-50% bleach to 70-50% water) use a spray bottle to spray down dress. This will give a yellowish tint to the fabric like sun or age damage. You can spray more in areas like the tops of shoulders or underarms (sweat). Next, Use a black spray paint to add shadow and "dirt" to the overall garment. Don't try to be even. Just lay it outside in a heap and lightly spray. Turn or re-adjust the heap and spray again. Now open it up and look to see where you need to fill in at.

It should be pointed out that the costumes would only be hand washable. NO DRYER because of the spray paint. You can find spray fabric paints at your local fabric or craft store that are washable, but I'm going for cheap and easy here. I'll post another idea tomorrow. Brandie