Friday, October 29, 2010

A Man in Uniform

As soon as we saw the battle re-enactment by the Fort Henry Guard (pictured above) last summer, inspiration struck the Boy like a ball out of a canon. He declared that HE was going to be a British soldier, circa 1860, for Halloween!

Fast-forward to last week. Despite all this fabulous warning, I managed to leave the costume-making to the last minute. As usual. Consequently there has been a veritable flurry of red and black sewing and crafting activity over the last few days here at my little house!

Before any actual sewing began though, I figured I'd go out and find a soldier pattern because admittedly, sewing (for me anyway) is always easier with a pattern. So I scoured the pattern books at the fabric shop finding exactly ZERO soldier patterns of ANY kind. The pattern companies are pacifists apparently. I wouldn't normally have a problem with this except that I know my 6-year-old. He was hell bent on being a soldier. And nothing else would do.

So in desperation I bought this. Burda 2461. The Prince/Amadeus costume. It would have to do. With a little tweaking this would become a circa 1860 British soldier costume.

Luckily, no pants had to be made. I just hand-dyed a pair of the boys pants black and added a ribbon down the side. Check.

For the jacket, I used the Amadeus section of the pattern and nixed the jabot and any other frilly enhancements. What in the name of crème brulée is a jabot, you ask? Yes, I asked myself that same question. Well let me tell you. A jabot is like a really frilly ascot. Any soldier worth his salt would NEVER wear a jabot. This would be a serious faux-pas (in my opinion). So, no jabot. But I added some felt embellishments on the jacket shoulders and cuffs, added ribbon here and there, and made a white belt.

I did not buy footwear. I just painted a pair of hand-me-down running shoes black. That was easy!

And for the helmet, I took one of the Boy's plastic fireman hats (he has many) and transformed it into a more soldier-ly helmet as shown. I then adorned it with a felt and paper badge, and a plume made from a Kinder Surprise container and a wooden skewer. That's what you would've done, right?

And here is the completed costume! The boy loves it thank goodness. He would have worn it to bed had I let him. But I didn't. What a meanie, eh?

In this last pic, you see the little felt ammunition pouch that I added to his belt.

No one can resist a man in uniform... especially mommy!

Have a great day, and Happy Halloween!


  1. You clever thing! It's wonderful and he looks so smart. Happy Halloween to you all.

  2. Fabulous job!! It looks so good. He will make a dashing soldier for trick or treat. It's no wonder that he is thrilled!

  3. wonderful costume, aren't you glad he had the idea in the first place

  4. Well done, this is an awesome soldier outfit, your boy is lucky to have sucha creative and clever Mother!!

  5. Eeeeeep!!! Those darn pacifist pattern companies are missing out :) You showed them!

    Love it. The hat is my favorite part. Whole things sort of reminds me of Babes in Toyland!

  6. That is a seriously impressive costume! Gold star for you!! I hope he's proud of it! xx

  7. This is an amazing costume! You did a fabulous job. I love the helmet - what a great idea to refashion a fire-fighter's helmet! If I were a 6 year old boy (which I'm not) I'd wear the costume all year round for playtime!

  8. Oh now that is just adorable - he looks just like the Ft. Henry Guard! Watch out he doesn't bring home their goat mascot!

  9. Michelle!!!

    I've admired all of your handiwork! Now, you are my hero-ine!!!! Great! Fabulous job on that uniform. YES! I love a man ( in uniform!!! You ROCK!!!


  10. Oh, wow! How charming! Look at those cuffs! Look at the whole thing! He looks amazing. Can't believe you just whipped it up.

  11. Magnifique costume! Everything is perfect , to the slightest detail!

  12. Oh wow!!! What a handsome soldier!!!! You did an amazing job with his costume!!! Lucky little guy!!!

  13. Love it! This is the best costume I've seen this year, and I love the way you created the hat.


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