Our FROZEN party is coming up and we're well prepared. It's much easier to plan a party for just princesses, compared to last year's Princess & Pirate party which seemed like a good idea at the time but turned out to be as much work as planning two entirely separate parties for the same day! Because we wanted to keep the guest list smaller this year, we made the decision to invite only the girls from Viola's class. We will have one boy attending, though, which begs the question:
What do I do for a boy at a princess party to make them feel included?!
I mean, we're talking dress up stations, formal tea party, and sing-a-longs with visiting princesses. The prizes I have planned are charms for a charm bracelet--- I hardly think a 6 year old boy is going to truly enjoy any of that.
I brought this concern up to my husband whom I consider, you know, an expert on boy things. He suggested buying a bunch of matchbox cars in lieu of the bracelet charms. Wildly out of theme, but I can live with that. We also have giant gold light-up goblets from our dinner at Belle's Castle in October, so that solves the table setting issue, I guess. But what to do about the dress up portion of the party?
Chris is a good friend of Viola's and has a younger sister who is as much into Princess-y things as our girls are, so he's often joining them at movies or play dates where the girls are outfitted in their costumes. So, being left out of dress-up is not necessarily a new problem and I can count on him to be a good sport about it.... but, still... with all the girls dressed up, there's also the willing suspension of disbelief to think of too, right?
OK, I'll be honest: this is really just a long-winded rationalization for me wanting to try to make a Kristoff costume. I've seen some homemade costumes on Etsy and Pinterest and have thought they look pretty easy to make. Fresh off my Halloween costume success (9 crayons!), I'm feeling pretty confident in my DIY abilities... Plus, I'm already stalking the local thrift stores looking for snowflake patterned fabric for some of the other party craft projects --- what's a few more items on my thriftstore wish list, right?
I started my research by looking at not just at the images of Kristoff from the movie, but of the costumes used for the merchandise as well, which I think will be a little bit easier to copy:
It's a pretty straightforward outfit: blue underclothes (don't even have to sew those, just find them!), grey vest with fur, hat, knit belt.... Believe it or not, we were able to find all of the materials we would need at the Salvation Army store in one trip (as well as snowflake sheets and blue tablecloths! Score!!!)
I used Viola as my mannequin to layer things up as I tried to figure out how it all might work together. I realize the fur is the wrong 'kind' of fur, but I thought it would contrast better with the other materials I had than some of the grayer/shaggier stuff I saw around. I decided that gloves and boots were really out of scope for this project, but I did dig up an awesomely perfect hat! I hit the women's grey vest section of the store (yes, they had a woman's grey vest section!) and chose what I thought would be the right size for a boy. But, the pivotal find was a red patterned knit scarf for the belt! I'm pretty sure the Thrift Store Gods put it in the store specifically for me to find for this project because it was practically perfect in every way!
So, for a total of $13.50 I had all the raw material for my Kristoff costume! The most expensive item was the fur scarf (at $4.50) but I have a bunch left over to use on some future princess craft. For last year's party, I had bought an inexpensive child's mannequin to use as decoration. I finally had an excuse to use it for it's intended purpose. I've designed some costumes for the girls' ShellieMae bears before, but this was my first foray into designing an outfit for a person and using a mannequin too boot! (Note to self: maybe what I need in the future is a bear-sized mannequin...)
Eva was pretty enamored of the mannequin, calling it "my friend". Each morning she asked, "Where's my friend?" I had to be careful to keep it out of her reach because the thing was full of pins! Getting the fur stole away from her in order to cut it up to make trim was another matter altogether, and had to be done in the dead of the night... she cried a little about the missing scarf but never really seemed to put 2&2 together that it was the same material that trimmed the vest the following morning...
First, I removed the zipper from the vest and sewed the pockets closed. Then, I cut an asymmetrical slit to the side and fitted the whole thing with strips of fur... sewing on some fur trim seemed simple enough in my head, but because of a few mistakes on my part (namely, the way I sliced up the scarf) the trim became so thick it was difficult for me to get stitches through it on my machine. Maybe there are hardier sewing machines out there in the world, but I have a pretty low-end model and I broke 30+ needles on what should have been an hour long task. At one point I had to put the project aside entirely as I got so frustrated.
Here are some in-progress photos of the vest with its fur trim (I apologize for the low quality of the images, but I did most of this sewing in the late evening after work and after the kids were in bed):
For the red pin striping that decorates Kristoff's vest, I used some of the knitted red scarf. I cut a long, narrow strip and then sewed it into a tube and reversed it. This made it much easier to attach to the costume. I used a zig-zag stitch (in light blue) wherever possible. (Again, this was a challenge as the pinstriping went over the fur which was already so thick and breaking my needles!) I also used the red scarf for the shoulder patches and the front decoration at the neckline.
It really was an easy craft project, with the exception of all the needles breaking on the thick material. I'm not sure if its replicable as I would never find the exact same materials again. That said, I have a great deal of faith in the Thrift Store Gods and would think that if you wanted to put something similar together it wouldn't be all that difficult to find the right raw materials! You just have to be persistent in stalking your local thriftstores while keeping an open mind to how the disparate treasures you find might be made to work. Like how a woman's grey vest could become a tunic, a fur stole into a shaggy trim, or a red scarf transformed into a belt and pinstriping!
Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of the completed costume (honestly, how could I be so lackadaisical!?) I do have some pictures from the party, though: Chris made an excellent Kristoff, despite the fact that it was warm and he was suited up for the arctic! If the costume still fits come winter, I'll have to see if I can get the kids together for another FROZEN photo shoot... maybe we could hit up one of the local reindeer farms to make it fresh... er... you know what I mean, different from the last time!
I'd love to see Disney offering more boys' costumes in the future! Having two girls I can't say firsthand whether boys are out there yearning for costumes of the new male characters. I get that Prince Charming and Prince Hans may not be appealing for pretend, but certainly the swashbuckling Flynn Rider and outdoorsy Kristoff deserve some halloween representation, no? What do you think? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!
Are you sewing your own Kristoff costume? I'd love to hear about it! I have a feeling that 2014 will be an interesting halloween for FROZEN inspired costumes, I'm excited to see what DIY masterpieces turn up this year!