Halloween 2013: The Man with the Yellow Hat

Every year since I started sewing I keep saying that I’m going to make my son’s costume, and every year I end up buying it.  Last year I came pretty close but had to move some time in October and that stopped me from being able to finish the costume, which would not have fit my son anyway.  It was a pirate costume and I left it halfway finished. This year I gave my son some options and he wanted to go as The Man with the Yellow Hat, from PBS’ Curious George.  I didn’t think it was too ambitious, I figured all I had to do was make the hat, maybe the tie, and buy the rest.  I wanted to buy white trousers and a white shirt and then dye it yellow, but that proved impossible. I did buy the shirt, but it was impossible to find suitable white trousers so I ended up having to make the trousers.  I said “having to make” because I felt I had no choice; buying the costume was not an option, there are no commercially available costumes of this character for children, and I had already made the hat, which was a task and a half.  At that point, it was Man with the Yellow Hat or bust.

The Man with the Yellow Hat and Curious George

I didn’t use a pattern for the hat, it was an ad hoc process of which I have some pictures, but not of all the steps.  It is made of felt, the brim is a double layer, and I sprayed the entire hat with Niagara fabric starch.  I’m very happy with the hat, especially considering that it was my first time making a hat of any sort.  The tie was also made ad hoc. The spots are cut out from fabric repair patches and were ironed onto the felt.

For the trousers, the most difficult part was settling on a pattern. Unfortunately, the big four envelope pattern companies don’t make much, barely anything, actually, for boys, so my options were pretty much self-draft, or Burda.  I considered drafting but I figured, why re-invent the wheel?  I poured over past issues of Burda and found a few possibilities. I wanted something that was more than pajama-looking pants, but not so involved that would take too long, after all, I was seriously procrastinating on my grad school reading and writing to make this costume.  I also needed something in a small enough size at the waist since my son is at the bottom of the sizing chart for boys.  I settled on this pattern from the May, 2010 edition.  It has pockets but an elastic waist, which serves me in two ways: 1) elastic waists are MUCH easier to construct than traditional button/zipper trousers, and 2) my son is skinny and it’s easier to adjust fit with elastic waists.  I made the trousers, from tracing the pattern to hemming, in about 5 hours spread over an evening and the next morning.  I did not add the back pockets.

Burda World of Fashion 05-2010-148

I’m very, very happy with the way the costume turned out, especially since I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to pull it off time-wise.  We went to the zoo on Saturday for the Zoo Boo event and the costume was very popular.  We had people asking to take his picture, take a picture with him, tell us how awesome it was, etc.  I was very pleased, and so was my son.  We entered a costume contest and his costume was the only one that got applause from the audience when he was on stage.  But, alas, we did not win.  Maybe next year.

Here is my attempt to recreate a picture from Curious George:

Close enough!

  1. Rikki B

    Haha, that’s so cute:) Your son looks adorable as the man with the yellow hat! I like how you recreated the picture from Curious George!:)

Leave a Reply