I'd long dreamt of bringing Disneyland's Tomorrowland characters from the '60s, to life as Halloween costumes. There was one small snag—I couldn't sew to save my life. Luckily, my sewing savior was none other than my incredibly talented mother-in-law.
In the summer I pitched my idea to her; loving a challenge she replied she was in (but as my mother-in-law, I'm not sure she was legally allowed to say no...j/k) And with that our DIY adventure kicked off! Her job? To bring the actual costume together. Mine? Figuring out the helmet as well as the final styling details. It ended up being my mother-in-law and I together tackling the challenge of getting that helmet to sit just right on my head (a fun troubleshooting moment and if you keep reading you'll learn here how we did it!)
All materials used will be at the bottom of this post + there's a YouTube video if you prefer to watch!
My Husband's was the easy part, his was a jumpsuit based on one he already had, and the shoes were a couple of odor eaters as pads and fabric wrapped around (the pattern used is in all the details below). Mine had a little more to it; the outer part was a tunic with shorts underneath.
The pattern we used for mine, and the shorts were just based on shorts I already had.
I wanted to first try making one helmet before I made two and turned out the first was one such a pain that I bailed on the 2nd one. But I think had I had more time, making the 2nd one would have been much easier now that the troubleshooting was done. I guess there's always next year!
Buy the "helmet" or in this case lamp post cover (linked below)
Purchase a rotary tool/Dremel to cut the opening larger/the face opening
Measure 1.5" around the opening and cut that out - then I used a compass to make the circle in the front, it measured about 11 inches across. My only regret was not putting it a little lower. My face was getting covered in the photos a lot because it cut off right at my mouth
Figure out how to get it to balance on my head
Adorn it with the details to make it look like a helmet
We first thought to get the helmet to balance we'd put a foam collar around it to balance on my shoulders...well that didn't work. But we still needed it and added it to the front to match the inspiration photos. It was wrapped in the same fabric as the costume and I added a decretive trim and cut out the jagged shape and super glued it to the helmet.
Cutting out the foam did give us the answer we needed though to how to get the helmet to balance! The circular foam made for the perfect curvature to match the helmet shape and we placed it as the back as a headrest and it worked perfectly!
Also important to note! We added a fabric lining to the top inside of the helmet, and I think this really helped to elevate it! It was just the same fabric as the costume and we matched it to the inspiration photo. We had some trouble installing it, we used spray adhesive, sprayed the entire piece of fabric, and tried to lay it inside but it kept sticking to itself. I recommend spraying just the backside and laying that in the helmet and then spraying the front side vs. the entire thing at once.
Now the decorating, here are all the items I used to bring the helmet to life. I had bought 2 different wire gauges 2mm and 3mm. The 2mm ended up being too thin and thus not sturdy so I went with the 3mm for all the wire. I think 4mm would even have been good to create the circle around the helmet. The only thing is you want to make sure that the wire is bendable enough to wrap around the suction cups.
I placed 2 large suction cups on the bottom sides of the helmet and then 4 smaller ones around it. I wrapped the 3mm wire around the two large suction cups and then helped secure them in place by wrapping more wire around the smaller suction cups and having that line attach to the wire encircling the helmet. This helped to keep the wire running around the helmet more in place.
I then added silver glitter pom poms I got from Michaels + circular discs that were actually furniture moving discs painted with silver glitter fabric paint, the hole was cut out with an ice pick which ended up being the perfect size for the 3mm gauge where we didn't need to glue it to stay in place.
You can see all the detail work pretty good here. I'd say I wish I was better able to straighten out the wire, which is why I think a thicker wire would have held the shape better.
In closing, I think we did a pretty great job! I think for a 2nd revision I would change the tubing we used around our necks and do the same fabric as the costume and fill it with stuffing like a stuffed animal. I think that in the long run of wearing it would be more comfortable and would lay across the shoulders vs being more like a large necklace. In addition to trying a 4mm wire vs the 3mm I used. So maybe something to try for your costume!
Below are the links/info to all the materials we used! If you have any questions just let me know in the comments!
Fabric "Dance Wear Foil Silver" • Pattern for my Tunic - Butterick B6418
• Shorts were modeled after a pair of my workout shorts
• My Husband’s jumpsuit was modeled after a jumpsuit he owned
• His “shoes” were Butterick B5233 with two Odor Eaters as the sole cushions
• Dome/helmet, Compass, Furniture moving discs, Fabric Spray Adhesive, Rotary Tool, Wire, Suction Cups, Rubber Trim (we used 9/32"x 5/32"x 11.5ft which was fine for the front opening but a tad too small for the head opening) Belt, Shoes, Wig, Nail Polish + Eye shadow can all be found on my Amazon Storefront *Amazon links are commission-based if you'd like to support the blog :)
• The "tubing" around our necks was grey fabric filled with rice and connected with zip ties
• The sliver glitter pom pom balls were from Michaels’s Christmas section
• The Glitter accent material for the helmet collar was a ribbon spool from Joann's Fabrics
• The Circular foam was a set of 2 from Joann's Fabrics
• We used an ice pick to make the hole in the felt furniture moving discs which happened to be the exact gauge size to fit on the antenna without needing glue