Up until Brad nearly lost his marbles recently, and insisted on a new bedtime story to read to Grace, Grace was usually very quick to pick one of her many “Pigeon” books for daddy to read to her every night. Each and every single night!
The Pigeon book series is a fantastic collection of books written and illustrated by Mo Willems. The Pigeon, and his friend Duckling, often find themselves in a bit of a power struggle… over things like driving a bus, eating a hot dog, or staying up late! You know, every day Pigeon & Duckling argument stuff!
In the case of “Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus”, the bus driver says very clearly on the first page of the book “Whatever you do, DON’T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS”. Then, on the next page, the Pigeon looks directly into the reader’s eyes and says “Can I drive the bus?” While most children would answer “NO” (just like the bus driver told them to) Grace usually didn’t follow orders so well and was eager to give the Pigeon all the bus-driving freedom in the world. She would shout out “Sure, Ok!” when the Pigeon pleaded his case.
Being that we were reading the Pigeon books every night, and Grace had mastered his bus-driving pleas, we thought it would be a great halloween costume for her. We also thought (back then, when apparently I didn’t have anything else going on in my life) that Hazel could be the Duckling, Lincoln could be the Hot Dog, and maybe Brad could be the Bus Driver.
Anyway, seeing as how I only had about 42 projects on my plate, was learning Spanish at night, and was trying to be super human, I decided to buy a new sewing machine, take sewing lessons, learn how to sew, and MAKE the above-mentioned costumes.
So, I bought a new amazing sewing machine. I took lessons from the amazing Sherri at AAA Sewing & Vacuum in San Mateo (free sewing machine lessons for life if you buy a sewing machine from them) and 6 weeks + many trips to Joann Fabric later, I finished my first ever costume.
My eyes were much bigger than my stomach, and the Hot Dog, Duckling and Bus Driver are all going to have to fend for themselves tomorrow night — but Grace debuted her Pigeon costume at the Preschool Halloween party last night and it was a big hit. It would have probably been a bigger hit had the hat not been such of an issue (read: if Grace would have kept the hat on for more than 3 seconds!) but I’m very proud of my accomplishment and am sharing it with all of you as a pseudo ‘pat on the back’ to myself!
MY HOW TO
I started with a toddler duck costume that I found online, for really cheap. I laid out the duck costume onto my own fleece fabric and traced it; making my own pattern pieces. I then sewed, ripped apart and re-sewed all the pieces together. A few times! I had to make the Pigeon ‘tail’ removable, so that Grace could sit down if she wanted, so I made a separate triangle pillow, stuffed it, sewed it shut, and then sewed velcro on it so that it could attach easily to the rear of the body.
Truthfully, the costume really only looks good in profile, but I’m gonna just be proud that I finished something that actually resembled the Pigeon and that didn’t disintegrate within 5 minutes of wearing it!
Here is a feast for your eyes (and if you don’t have this story for your kids, run out to get it – it’s a really fantastic read!)
|The Pigeon costume components in all their glory!|
|The Pigeon head/hat|
|It turned out that 2 little pieces of velcro wasn’t enough to hold on the tail at first,
so a last minute addition of a long strip of velcro, along the entire width
of the tail, was necessary!
|Grace modeling her costume at preschool, before the party.|
|Grace realizing her tail was ‘removable’ (aka: the first of approximately
108 times that she removed her tail during the course of the night!)
|The Pigeon shakes her booty!|
|Yep, it’s still there!|
|A very TIRED pigeon, towards the end of the night!|