For the record, "headliner fabric" is a soft, spongy foam-like "fabric" that is typically used in upholstery. Also, it's a bitch to sew, and I hope to never have to deal with the stuff again.
Anyway, backing up a few steps, my 3-year-old daughter wanted to be a robot for Halloween this year. Specifically, she wanted to be a blue robot. I really, really tried to push her towards the DC superhero costumes put out by Simplicity, but 3-year-olds know what they want, and Eva wanted to be a blue robot. I'd vaguely remembered seeing a robot costume pattern on the McCall's website and wound up ordering the recently out-of-print McCall's 6814.
|Plex from Yo Gabba Gabba|
|Eva in her robot facepaint, post-office-Halloween party|
Fabric and Notions Used
Oh boy...you know you're in for a marathon when the pattern envelope splits the notions list between the actual envelope and the paper instructions inside. If you want to tackle this costume, here's the supply list that you'll be buying:
- Fabric for the jumpsuit (in my case, I used a lightweight poly silver lame that shredded if you so much as looked at it).
- 12" zipper for the jumpsuit
- Poly crepe-backed satin for the vest and helmet
- Headliner fabric to interline the vest and helmet pieces
- A variety of felt squares for the gear and button appliques
- Paper-backed fusible webbing to fuse the applique pieces to the vest
- Velcro (for the vest closure)
- Foam (the disks on the helmet are foam disks wrapped in the silver lame fabric)
- 3 pipe cleaners
- 1 pom-pom
|I now own a hot glue gun. Is that "Mom" enough for ya?|
Pattern Drafting, Sizing, and Alterations
This pattern is available in McCall's childrens' sizes 2-8. Eva should be a size 3 based on the size chart. I considered sizing down because of the huge amount of ease that Big 4 children's patterns are known for, but I'm glad that I didn't. The jumpsuit would have been too short on her had I sized down; go with the size chart and/or your usual RTW size for your child with this one.
Oy. The pattern instructions are enough to get the job done, but they don't really point out any "gotchas" for working with these materials. The headliner fabric is a nightmare to work with, and they have you underline all of the outer pieces for the vest and helmet with it. This stuff squishes and stretches all over the place. There must be an easier way to underline your "fashion" fabric with this (I did machine basting), but I have no clue what that would be. There was no way that I was going to hand-baste all of those pieces for a kids' Halloween costume. Also, the seams involving the headliner fabric are all horribly puckered. No one said anything about it, but I was glad that this costume wasn't an entry on Project Runway.
Final ThoughtsWhile this project was a huge pain that took forever to sew, but Eva loved it, and that's what counts. She got to wear it to her preschool Halloween party, trick-or-treating at my office, and trick-or-treating around our neighborhood.
|"My name is Eva. I am a robot."|
Would I make this costume again? Hell, no. Would I recommend it...well, there aren't a whole lot of other robot costumes out there that don't involve an aluminum foil covered box, so there's that. If you are asked to make a robot costume, this pattern will likely result in a happy child, and that's the important part.