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Halloween entomology.

These slip-over bug costumes are easy

to assemble. Just stitch and trim

Prepare to be bombarded this Halloween by a swarm of flying and crawling insects. But don't get out the bug spray-our colorful creatures are charming pests.

Made of bright felt, the padded costumes slip on over leotard and tights, or shorts and a shirt. Because all seams are sewn on the right side of the fabric, the suits are easy to assemble-just stitch, then trim with scissors or pinking shears. You can complete one in an afternoon or two; total cost per bug is $20 to $30.

Materials you'll need In addition to a sewing machine, tailor's chalk, craft glue, and basic sewing gear, you'll need these supplies for each bug:

* 2 yards 1 -inch-grid pattern paper

* Polyester or polyester-wool felt (see quantities below)

* Matching thread

* 2 yards (3 1/2 yards for caterpillar) ribbon or cording for side and back ties

* About 2 pounds polyester stuffing

* 2 1/2-inch piece 3/4-inch-wide hook-and-loop fabric fastener (Velcro)

* 2 yards 20-inch-wide buckram for wings

* Yarn and large embroidery needle for attaching wings

* Pair of 3- to 4-inch-long wire springs for antennae (available at hardware stores)

* Small piece of lightweight cardboard

Buying the felt. Each bug body is made from four felt panels (front, back, and two linings) with contrasting appliques. You can make all panels the same color, or use contrasting felt for the lining. Use the color schemes we suggest, or choose your own. Unless otherwise noted, buy 72inch-wide felt. You'll also need contrasting scraps of felt for eyebrow appliques. For the ladybug: 1 1/3 yards red felt for all four body panels; 1 yard 45-inch-wide black for appliques and hood.

For the fly. 1 yard dark blue for hood and

front and back panels; 1/4 yard turquoise

for lining and appliques.

For the caterpillar: 1 1/2 yards green for front, back, andhood; 1 1/2 yards purple for lining and center of appliques; 1/4 yard 45inch-wide white for larger oval appliques. For the bumblebee:. 1 1/3 yards yellow for four body panels and hood; 1/2 yard 45inch-wide black for stripes.

Making the ladybug and fly

Unless otherwise noted, machine-stitch seams, leaving a 1/2 inch seam allowance, trim to 1/4 inch (for a more decorative look, use pinking shears).

To assemble the body refer to the diagram and caption on page 102. Pin patterns to felt and cut out specified number of pieces. Pin the appliques to front panel; stitch 1/4 inch from the edge of appliques, Repeat for back panel.

To assemble the front section, first pin appliqued front to one lining, wrong sides together Stitch along the outside edge; trim (do not trim at shoulders until the front and back sections are joined). Sew over stitching along lower edge of the yoke applique. Repeat steps for back.

To make the head opening, cut a 5-inch slit ftom the center of the neck down the back section ftom A to B. Stitch '/4 inch around slit; do not trim. With lining sides together, pin front and back sections together at shoulders. Stitch and trim.

Cut ribbon or cording into 1 2-inch pieces; sew one on each side of bead opening at point A, and at the underarms (point C) on ftont and back body sections.

To stuff the body, first cut a single 5-inch slit in the middle of the lining side of the front and back sections. Lightly stuff, then hand-sew slits. Don't stuff yokes.

To make the hood, position one to four eyebrow appliques over each eye opening (see picture on page 100); stitch 1/4 inch ftom the edge. Pin and sew darts indicated on ftont pieces; trim close to stitching.

With wrong sides together, pin sections together at back seam DE, front seam DF, then front to back at sides GDG. (If necessary, increase seam allowance on DE and GDG to fit your trick-or-treater) Sew sections together, starting at DE and trimming after each seam is completed.

Turn chin flaps under about 1 inch at HI and attach hook-and-loop fastener, referring to photograph on page 101.

For antennae, cut two 3-inch-diameter circles from felt; stuff and glue into top of each spring to form decorative puff (felt puff will also cover exposed wire end to help prevent accidents). Hand-sew coils to the top of the hood. On hood's underside, glue a 1 1/2-inch piece of cardboard under each spring to help anchor it.

To make the fly wings, cut pieces from buckram, then use a zigzag stitch to sew together two thicknesses of each, so you have two top and two bottom wings (do not trim). Arrange the wings on the back of the costume as shown in the bottom right photograph on page 101; hand-stitch in place using yarn or heavy-duty thread. Making the caterpillar and bumblebee First cut patterns and felt following directions for ladybug and fly.

To assemble the body: For the caterpillar, use tailor's chalk to mark quilting lines where indicated. Next, attach smaller applique spots to larger ones, then attach to front and back panels (use glue, or stitch 1/4 inch from edge).

With wrong sides together, pin front to lining. Machine-stitch over chalk lines to form individual body segments. Using a 1/2-inch seam allowance, stitch around outside edges, then trim to 1/4 inch (don't trim shoulder seams). Repeat for back.

For the bumblebee, position stripes on top of two body pieces (ftont panel and lining). Stitch through all three layers, 1/2 inch from top and bottom edge of stripes, to form individual body segments. Using a 1/2-inch seam allowance, stitch around outside edges, then trim to 1/4 inch (don't trim shoulder seams). Repeat for back. Make head opening, then join front and back sections together, following instructions for ladybug and fly.

To stuff the body of both caterpillar and bee, cut 3-inch horizontal slits in the middle of the lining side of each segment. Lightly stuff and close segments, referring to the picture on page 101. Don't stuff the yokes or top stripes of bee, or caterpillar yokes.

Attach the side and neck ties following directions for ladybug and fly (caterpillar will need an extra pair of ties down its sides). Make the hood, and wings for bee (see instructions above).
COPYRIGHT 1988 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1988 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Halloween costumes
Date:Oct 1, 1988
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