Creating a costume is less about Halloween to this little man and more about assuming a character. I cannot express to you how excited he has been just waiting for this costume to be completed and since it’s been finished, Captain America has been present – in our house, in our car, in our lives – with all the excitement and confidence you’d expect from America’s own home-grown super hero.
You don’t have to be a seamstress to make this costume, but it will take time because there are lots of accent pieces. Start by taking the following measurements of your child (wearing clothing similar to what they will use for the base of their costume):
- Length from top of shoulder to waist
- Length from wrist to elbow
- Length from elbow to shoulder
- Length from rib cage to waist
- Length from knee to ankle
- Length from knee to floor
- Length around the rib cage
- Length around the waist
- Length around the elbow
- Length around the wrist
- Length around the palm of the hand
- Length around the base of the thumb
- Length around the sole of your child’s shoe
Now let’s take a minute or so to break the costume down piece by piece:
1 – Captain America Mask
I love that this mask [purchased at Toys-R-Us] grows with you. It right now fits Elijah AND Mike. There’s no way I could re-create something so versatile and durable so inexpensively, so this outright purchase was a no-brainer for us.
2 – Logo T with white Armbands
- Royal Blue long-sleeve T purchased from Rock Bottom T-Shirts
- White polar fleece for star and armbands purchased at local fabric store
- Star graphic pattern found here, sized to be 3-1/2″ tall
- Star logo sewn to shirt following instructions in the post [DIY Super Hero Logo T’s]
- Armbands sewn to shirt following instructions in the post [Batman and Robin Part 1] under the heading [Arms, Legs, & Underwear] and cut to be 1/2″ longer than the distance between your child’s wrist and elbow.
3 – Gloves
I followed instructions in the post [DIY Dark Knight Super Hero Gloves] to create Captain America gloves with a few exceptions:
- I decided early on I wanted to use polar fleece for all the accent pieces to this costume, so Captain America’s gloves were created with bright red polar fleece instead of pleather.
- Captain America’s gloves are cuffed (and not spiked), and therefore a longer pattern needed to be created. I traced my pattern to the top of the white armband (adding that as the final measurement above).
- After sewing the gloves per the Dark Knight tutorial, I added a seam at the top of the glove FOLDED TOWARDS THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE FABRIC (opposite of what you would do if you were finishing the glove here). I cuffed the glove about 2-1/2 inches and then seamed the top again.
Note: Be sure to wear the costume shirt (with white arm bands sewn on) before tracing your glove pattern. Also keep a tide pen on hand for any smudges that get onto the white fleece. Lesson learned.
4 – Captain America Shield
This was a Christmas gift and as such I have no idea where it came from. A quick online search has dealt me no luck as this bad boy comes with little shooters. Target and Walmart don’t seem to carry that particular shield this season, but they do still carry a whole host of completely acceptable alternatives.
5 – Waistband
This was the most challenging accent for me because I had to think this one through from scratch. Pretty much every other piece of this costume is a modification of something I’ve already done. I wanted the waistband to encompass the red and white stripes and the belt, and also be the piece that tied the whole costume together, smoothing out wrinkles from the unfitted T, and hiding the elastic of the sweatpants. As such, it is designed almost like a soft corset.
- Red, white, black and blue polar fleece purchased at a local fabric store
- 3 Heavy duty clasps from mom’s sewing box
- 1″ Black and white elastic from grandma’s old sewing box
As with most of my costume designs we start with a DIY pattern . . .
You will need to determine (based on your own child’s measurements) how tall, and how long around you need the waistband to be FINISHED. This will determine measurements for your pattern pieces which include seam allowances.
I determined I needed my combined waistband to be 6-1/2″ tall and 20″ long FINISHED (1-1/2″ tall belt and 5″ tall vertical stripes). From there, with calculator app in hand, I created all my pattern pieces including a 1/2″ seam allowance wherever necessary.
Pattern instructions follow pictures from top. All measurements included in the picture above reflect desired finished size. All measurements listed below reflect total pattern size with seam allowance.
- 1 – Blue polar fleece for inside of waistband (7-1/2″ X 21″).
To make my life easier, I assigned which stripe would be red/white directly on the pattern.
- 1 – Black polar fleece belt (2-1/2″ X 21″).
- 5 – Red polar fleece stripes (6″ X 3″)
- 4 – White polar fleece stripes (6″ X 3″)
- 2 – White polar fleece stripes (6″ X 2″)
To complete the front of the waistband, I sewed together alternating white and red stripes (starting and ending with the thin white stripe). I then centered the belt to the red and white stripes and sewed them together. This entire piece was centered to the blue polar fleece (trimming any loose edges) and sewn together (right side of the fabric facing in) on the top and bottom of the waistband.
Now is a good time to try this piece (turned right side out) on your child to see how much elastic you will need to include in the back, and where you should place the clasps. Elastic should be slightly taunt to keep the waistband snug around your child.
For the waistband I created for Elijah I was able to clasp the top without modification. I then added lengths of elastic in the center and bottom of the waistband so that it would be form fitted to his shape. Elastic can be sewn into the seam of one side of the waistband, the waistband turned, and the final seam finished. Once the entire waistband was turned and stitched, I ran a seam around all four edges to finish.
Note: Clasps should be affixed to the waistband per their package instructions. I recommend using something strong :).
6 – Blue Pants
- Royal Blue sweat pants purchased from Rock Bottom T-Shirts
7 – Boots
I followed instructions in the post [DIY Super Hero Boots] to create Captain America boots with the only exception being using red polar fleece instead of pleather.
I gotta be honest. Elijah wasn’t the only one excited about the finished product. It turned out exactly the way I’d hoped.
Go ahead Fall, bring on the party. The Trevino’s are READY.