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  1. #1

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    Free the mittens! And other costume alterations...keep this around for later.

    This topic is for those of you who bought the latest "regular series" winter coats. Also, for other costume alterations that anybody has ideas for.

    So, I got the coats for Duffy and ShellieMay, and I know they came with mittens attached with a cord. Looking at pictures though, I thought the flaps holding the cord could be opened with the buttons. However, once I had the coats, I saw that the flaps were not functional, they were sewn closed. That means the mittens can't be removed from the coat! I was kind of disappointed. I was talking to DuffyD about it, and we were thinking of ways to remove the mittens. The worst would be to cut the cord...that would be a shame.

    What I thought of though, was to snip the threads holding the flaps closed. Then, sew or "punch" snaps on the underside so that you could actually close those flaps to keep the cord on the coat, but then un-snap them to take the mittens completely off. It just requires a little alteration. So, don't destroy the mittens, but free them with snaps!

    I'm not too sure what can be done about ShellieMay's apron from this year's Sweet Duffy dress. It's too bad it's attached, because it would be nice to have a separate pink dress.

    DuffyDaisuki suggested I create this thread so we can post ideas for alterations to existing costumes. Even for Build-a-Bear stuff too, anything already made that we can figure out how to alter.

  2. #2

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    Re: Free the mittens! And other costume alterations...keep this around for later.

    So to remove Smiling Shellie May's bow, you have to snip it off, which means you can't just stick it back on her head, since it doesn't come with any elastics.

    But, regular tan hair elastics seem to fit fine around my Smiling Spring Voyage Shellie May's head. All you have to do is whip stitch the bow onto the elastic, put the elastic behind the back of her head (near her neck) and then around in front of the ears, and that's that! So I think this should work just fine with the Spring Voyage bow. Sewing this (non-Spring Voyage) bow onto the elastic, counting threading the needle, probably took no more than 90 seconds. I might take a LITTLE longer with the Spring Voyage one because it's satiny and MIGHT take a bit more work to make sure it stays upright when it's on her head.





    More details (if needed) on my Daily Duffy blog. When I get around to doing this for the 2012 Spring Voyage bow, I'll post a picture and any extra details. And/or maybe I'll do a side picture of this one so you can see how well the elastic blends (but not until I'm completely done with this costume!).

  3. #3

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    Re: Free the mittens! And other costume alterations...keep this around for later.

    I am always delighted by creative solutions. Aimster, you should do a ball cap tutorial here, too! And Naelyan, if you keep the "between the ears" look, please post yours, too. And I bet JillT also has some tips! Fun!

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    Re: Free the mittens! And other costume alterations...keep this around for later.

    For the BAB baseball caps, I snipped off the ear loop elastics, then carefully cut on either side of the ear holes on the cap until Duffy's ears fit through enough so they don't look squished. You don't have to cut too much, but after a snip or two, put the cap on to see how the ears fit, then keep doing that (snip and check) until you get your desired result.

    I Actually did this with the BAB Jedi robes as well to get the same result and it worked fine... just be careful not to snip too much!

  5. #5

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    Re: Free the mittens! And other costume alterations...keep this around for later.

    The ear hole cutting didn't work on Shellie May, I'm thinking because her ears are not as big as our Duffy's ears. Her head just ended up squished....so I just sewed the ear holes closed and stuffed the cap with some tissue paper to help keep it's shape!
    Luv Duffy & Shellie May


  6. #6

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    Re: Free the mittens! And other costume alterations...keep this around for later.

    I have a question about BAB bows. Does anyone have any advice about how to secure a bow to Shellie May's ears without having to use the elastic band? Sometimes the elastic bands squish her ears, and I want to avoid that. Do bobby pins work well? I'm wondering if I could adhere the bows to small magnets and temporarily secure the bows to Shellie May's ears with the complement magnet.

  7. #7

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    Re: Free the mittens! And other costume alterations...keep this around for later.

    Use an alligator clip that they put on hair accessories for girls/ladies. You can slip the clip through the back of the bow! It then will clip easily and securely to Shellie May's ear.
    Luv Duffy & Shellie May


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    Re: Free the mittens! And other costume alterations...keep this around for later.

    The ear-hole cutting tip for the baseball caps also works for the swim-cap that BAB sold (or it did on the ones sold in the UK anyway). And the swim-cap fitted very well afterwards.

  9. #9

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    Re: Free the mittens! And other costume alterations...keep this around for later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeee-va View Post
    Oh...my...gosh!!

    That is wonderful!! I love it, you did a great job! It's blue, it's nautical, it's not too girly, it's just...so cool!

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    Re: Free the mittens! And other costume alterations...keep this around for later.

    For the little BAB bows, I use a safety pin. I cut off the elastic, slip the pin through the back of the knot and then pin the bow to Shellie's ear.

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    Re: Free the mittens! And other costume alterations...keep this around for later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeee-va View Post
    Eeek, EEeee-va, that is so adorable! Please post more pictures so I can take lessons from you. I cannot wait for my smiling Shellie May to arrive. I to the awesomeness.

  12. #12

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    Re: Free the mittens! And other costume alterations...keep this around for later.

    Eeee-va, you are simply astounding! That little Shellie looks ready for every kind of adventure! Wonderful job!

  13. #13

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    Re: Free the mittens! And other costume alterations...keep this around for later.

    Eeee-va, was that made from scratch?

  14. #14

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    Re: Free the mittens! And other costume alterations...keep this around for later.

    Oh my; you all are too sweet! I'm afraid I didn't come up with the design for the outfit; that was Disney. (I love designing costumes but I can't get out of my mind the effort it would take to sew them, so when I sketch, I end up leaving out the details that "make" the costume. So, I'm better at replicating someone else's design.) Name That Disneyland Resort Costume « Disney Parks Blog I actually bought the smallest anchor buttons I could find anywhere, but they were still WAY too big, so she's going to go without for now.

    But I did sew it! Except for the belt.

    Naelyan, you're so sweet to think I'm capable of giving lessons! Though if anyone has questions, I can try. I am very excited that you're hoping to sew for Smiling Shellie May! I think your best bet on sewing is to find an American Girl pattern, make sure the sleeves are a maybe a little on the wide side and short, shorten any skirt, and then go for it! My mom always says use fancy fabric and simple patterns.

    I know we used to have a sewing thread, but I think it got locked for inactivity. I don't know if it can get re-opened if we need to start a new one...?

    I mostly modified/juryrigged existing patterns to make her outfit, but a few points are still relevant to alteration.

    Her pants/shorts started life as rather short shorts for an American Girl doll that I made several years ago. Smiling Shellie May's legs are so short, they're short pants on her! To make them better fit Smiling Shellie May, I sewed up the snap closure in the front (and removed the snap). Smiling Shellie May is a bit smaller than an American Girl doll, and much much squishier, so she doesn't necessarily need closures on her clothes. I seam ripped the back seam for her tail and reinforced those seams. Then I added on the lighter blue waistband, the belt loops, and the...I don't know what you call them, but the strips on front with the buttons. Then I threaded the belt in.

    (I actually initially made the blouse with no closures--I think the neck opening is no smaller than her Spring Voyage outfit--but a seam happened to rip when I slipping it on her, so I decided to put in some Velcro on one side, to prevent such tragedies from occurring on vacation. If I would've known I was going to use Velcro, of course I would've had it open front center instead, but what's done is done. If I'm not going to sew tiny buttonholes--and I'm not good enough to do that--then it probably does make the front center look a bit nicer to have it non-functional, versus having a big strip of Velcro sticking out a bit...though snaps might have worked, if I were good enough with them.)

    The belt was a "skinny belt" from Kohl's (on clearance, and it was a set of 2--one blue and one yellow--but the blue one was missing, so I got half off; score!). I cut it down to size and poked a hole in for the tongue. Even better would have been a nice dog collar! But I couldn't find the right color...some on Amazon looked OK, but this one from Kohl's was less than $4, no shipping, so I couldn't beat that.

    I'm hoping to get MUCH better photos in just a few days (yippee!) but these should show details if anyone needs/wants them. Note that taking photos guilted me into fixing the back waistband (which is extremely crooked). So if my repair attempts improve it, I'll add an "after" photo.

    OK! Back to my original topic...

    This picture is to show how little the bow elastic shows--and this was I think the second best color match I had! (I'm saving the best match for her Spring Voyage bow.) (As an aside, it is smart to use Fray Check or even glue on the edges of ribbons you cut, to prevent fraying...I'll be doing that tonight or tomorrow.)



    Little Mermaid ride "patch" on the shoulder (acrylic paint and felt)



    The collar is not crooked (she's just lifting her arm!) but the back waistband...has an appointment with my sewing machine tonight...



    Improved waistband:



    "Hi MiceChat Duffy and Shellie May Tenders!!! I am so happy to meet you! I hope you all sew and alter things for your Duffies and Shellie Mays too! If you want to!!!"



    So you can see the Velcro. I cut a strip in half for the front closure and sewed the full strip in the back of the front panel, to help keep it flat.


  15. #15

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    Re: Free the mittens! And other costume alterations...keep this around for later.

    You know what, even with your explanation, I still love it just as much. So what if it's a costume from The Little Mermaid at DCA? It's still amazing! Looking at the blog, I like the human sized one too actually. ShellieMay looks fantastic in it, and you picked the perfect thing to replicate for her. Really great work, and attention to detail.

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