After developing the Person Hand Puppet Sewing Pattern, we began to create costumes for the blank person puppet. We decided to call our clothing line “costumes” because the patterns include more than just clothing. We include patterns for different types of noses, hair, hats, beards and mustaches depending on the “character” of the puppet.
We settled on using felt squares to make the clothes, since felt could be bought in small squares. Someone wouldn’t have to buy a bunch of fabric just to make an outfit for a puppet. Felt is also inexpensive and easy to wash. It doesn’t ravel, so hemming isn’t required. We also decided to use yarn for the hair, since it’s widely available, inexpensive and washable. We used our puppets mainly for children’s shows which means there are a lot of sticky fingers involved. Being washable was a top requirement for the costume fabric.
Our first costume was a little girl, since her dress and hair are so simple and fast to make. The yarn is easily machine sewn to a strip of felt. The felt is then hand stitched to the head. Quick and easy.
Next we created a boy costume. Even though his clothes are simple to make his hair is a little more involved than the girl’s hair. We wanted to make hair that was full and tousled. Just like the girl, the yarn is machine sewn to strips of felt matching the color of the yarn. The felt is then sewn to the head in strips. With his head fully covered with felt in the same color as the yarn no bald spots shows through which gives the illusion of a full head of hair.
We love the original Disney film Fantasia, especially the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. So we had to make a wizard. His nose is different than the nose included in the Person Hand Puppet Pattern. The nose in the pattern is round, but his is rectangular. No matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t get yarn to give me the long flowing beard that we were looking for. So we decided to use craft fur from our local craft store. The fur isn’t as long as we’d like, but it does give the illusion of hair better than yarn. Our final wizard is a little scruffy looking. Let’s just say one of his magic spells didn’t turn out as well as he expected.
When we wanted to create a Princess we had to decide whether to make a “fantasy” princess similar to Elsa or the traditional princess with the cone shaped hat. We opted for a fantasy princess with long braided hair and flowing hooded cape. Making the hair is more complicated than the girl and boy. Yarn is still sewn to strips of felt then sewn to the head. Braiding the hair to get it to lay in the direction that it needs to go can be a little challenging but with a little practice it can be done.
For Santa Claus, we really didn’t like the look of the craft fur so instead we used felt to make his hair, beard and mustache. It kind of gives him a clean and stylized look. If we can ever come across fantastic long flowing craft fur, then we’ll definitely create a new Santa to give him that traditional flowing beard look.
Mrs Claus only needs a small bit of yarn hair so that the sides and a small bun are peeking out from underneath her cap. And we gave her glasses so that she could help Santa read his lists. Not to mention an apron for all the cookie baking required during the holiday season.
To round out our Christmas selection we had to have an elf. Even though we created a boy elf with felt hair peeking out from under his cap, it is easy to make a girl elf by using longer yarn hair.
We are continuously creating new costume patterns for a puppet made from our Person Hand Puppet Sewing Pattern. In the queue to be released soon is the Farmer costume. Keep checking back to see who is new!