Cool Pirate Costume for Halloween - Thanks Grandma!

This embroidery-laden project was sent in by Barbara Schaffer, and I chose it for this week because it's a wonderful example of how a grandma can still be cool with a 10-year-old boy! Forget the old idea of Grandma knitting a sweater they'll never wear; with all that we have at our disposal now, we can take anything in our minds and create something limited only by our imaginations. I'll let Barbara take it from here!

General Description
This is the pirate costume that I made for my grandson. . . pants, shirt, vest and booty bag with a total of 13 embroideries I didn't have a pattern for it so I designed my own but a purchased pattern should be available at your local fabric store. It is also possible to use the child's own clothing and just apply the embroidery.

Step-by-step description
First I cut out all of the garment pattern pieces. I stabilized and hooped each piece to embroider a mummy and skeleton on the front of the pant legs. I embroidered a ship on the right sleeve and then the transformed pirate ship on the left sleeve. The shirt pocket got a jolly roger, the cuffs and collar got skulls. The vest has a parrot on the front. The center back has a large pirate with my grandson's initial "C". There are more skulls at the waist back. The booty bag has another skull. When the embroidery was complete I assembled the garments.

What makes this project special?
I'm just a beginner and I feel a lot more comfortable with my machine now. This project really allowed me to practice my skills over and over again because there are so many embroideries involved. I gained new self confidence in my abilities. The WOW! factor has been big.

Skill level
I think that this project could be completed by any skill level. The flat pattern pieces were easy to position and hoop. I knew that if I made a mistake I would be able to discard that piece and cut another to replace it before I sewed the garment together (that really took the stress away). I took my time and enjoyed the learning process. The most difficult part was designing the costume from scratch. I measured some of his clothes to get the proportions right, a slim size 10.

[Note from Ann]:
Barbara did a great job with her placement on the pattern pieces. If you are using a pre-sewn garment you can still easily acheive exact placement without stress using the Perfect Placement Kit. And for no hoop lines when sewing on napped fabrics like Barbara's Pirate costume I recommend the Magna Hoop.

My machine is a Pfaff 2140 with the 5 x 7 hoop. I don't have a smaller hoop but a smaller hoop would be useful with the smaller designs if you have one. I used almost every pirate theme design that I could find in my stash. I used cut-away stabilizer and polyester embroidery thread because it is more durable for children's clothing that is washed often.

Time investment
I completed the costume in about a week because I made the clothing as well as the actual 13 embroideries.

Why I love This Project
My grandson was so surprised when I gave him this costume. He can't stop smiling. He says,"Grandma, you are awesome!" that's a real compliment from a 10 year old. I can't stop smiling either!

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What Would You Do?
Using a variety of themed embroideries from various sources, Barbara created a complete look that gave just the right impact to her project. How do you find all the designs for a theme in your library? Click on the Comments link to give us your ideas.
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