One of my most favorite movies – ever – is Ghostbusters. I have seen it an OBSCENE amount of times. So much so that I can quote most of the movie. At any time. True story: A while back my sister texted me that she was watching it. I asked her how far along it was, and then guessed – based on the passage of time – the scenes and dialogue. And I was RIGHT. Like I said, obscene.
So earlier this year, or maybe even last Halloween, I came across a picture of a Stay Puft Marshmallow Man baby costume. And even though I was newly pregnant, I knew the baby HAD to be that. Definitely must. MUST!
Except there are a grand total of 2 blog posts on the entire internet showing you how to make it (neither of which are that detailed). And ridiculously expensive costumes available on Etsy ($50+ for just a screen printed onesie . . . no) and Party City. But the Party City one is expensive, looks cheesy, seemingly is always out of stock, and the type of Halloween costume I hate – where it has eyes and looks like the character is eating your baby’s head.
I’ve made Halloween costumes before, and am an amateur sewer, so I figured let’s give it a shot. So I’ve resurrected my abandoned blog in case other Googlers out there desperate for this costume can maybe get some inspiration!
I started by trying to figure out what to do for the outside shell. I didn’t want to make it myself, but it was really hard finding a plain white pj jumper anywhere. Eventually I came across the “Infant fleece bubble romper” from Dharma Trading (I discovered they mainly deal in “clothing blanks” for tye-dying). My son will be 5 1/2 months on Halloween, but is a big dude, so I decided to get the 12-month sized romper (the next size down is 6 months) – as too big is better than too small.
I made a simple liner for the jumper out of the free white T-shirt from Dharma for being a new customer. I found a 9-month sized basic PJ pattern here. I didn’t spend a whole of time making that, and ignored the finishes (cuffs, etc) because it would be unseen on the inside. It would probably be a lot easier to just repurpose a light colored PJ jumper and cut it to fit your costume.
Before sewing the liner in, next I needed to figure out how to do Mr. Stay Puft’s fat rolls. My first thought was to try a gathering technique – where you sew a straight line and then pull one of the strings, bunching the fabric together. So I bought heavy duty thread and attempted this. Bad idea. The tension would just not work right with the bobbin, and it kept bunching thread on the bobbin side. So I tried using regular thread in the bobbin, and the heavy duty thread up top. Still – bad idea. No more bunching, but the thread kept breaking like I was initially afraid of. Back to square one. But eventually I figured it out – elastic!
The rest of Mr. Stay Puft’s costume consists of his bib and hat. I ended up purchasing 2 sheets of 9×12 blue felt, and one sheet of white; some basic red (wider) and white (thinner) ribbon; a 2-yd package of 1/4 inch braided elastic; and a 20 oz bag of fiber fill (I maybe used 1/3 to 1/4 of it).
The romper was definitely big to begin with, so I did try shrinking it ahead of time (not 100% sure it worked, though). I started by turning the romper inside out and pinning one end of the elastic to the bottom arm seam. I guessed about the distance, and I wasn’t careful about pinning or measuring to keep it centered. I have 3 kids, and not much time to get this thing done!
After sewing and back-stitching my beginning, I pulled the elastic as taut as possible while pulling the fabric underneath. I didn’t measure or cut the elastic ahead of time, since it’s hard to know exactly how far it will stretch while you’re sewing. I continued all away around until I reached my starting point, finished with a backstitch, and cut off the excess elastic. For the legs, I sketched a basic guide line on the inside and followed that, elastic as taut as possible, from edge to edge.
I then sewed the lining to the outer shell by first attaching the sleeves at the ends/hands, legs at the snaps, and feet. That way I could stuff from the top.
After I stuffed it I figured out it would have been a great idea to use rolled towels or washcloths to stuff the arms/legs before filling. That way, you might not be as likely to overfill to the point where a baby might not fit in there!
Once your rolly body is finished, next is the bib! I just used an uncut piece of 9×12 blue felt. I first tried hot gluing white ribbon around the edges, but you could see the glue line (my ribbon is cheaper/translucent), so I ended up using fusible web. I cut a circular hole in the center, cut open the back edge at the center, and finished by gluing the red ribbon to the underside of the front.
I definitely punted with the hat. I used the next piece of blue felt and made 4.5 inch wide strips. I measured baby’s head to guess how long to make mine. I hot glued the 2 pieces together to make one long strip, and then folded them over from top and bottom so the whole thing was about 1.5 inches wide. I ironed them flat (don’t do what I did and forget to use cover fabric – your iron will melllllllllllt the felt – not a big deal for the felt, definitely a bigger deal having a gooey sticky iron). I tucked end into end and finished with more hot glue (if you want to do letters, do that before this!).
Doing the letters on the hat is definitely optional, but since I already had the fusible web I gave it a shot. I downloaded “Anja Eliane” font for free (it looks like the original “Stay Puft” font on the Mr. SP himself) and printed it in several different sizes. I ended up picking a bigger size because cutting out small letters suuuuucks. I initially tried using extra white felt, but that was too thick to cut with precision. So I started over and used remaining t-shirt fabric. Much thinner = much easier! Follow the fusible web instructions and easy peasy, branded hat!
For the topper, I used the white felt and made as big an oval/circle I could, and then cut 2-ish inch slits every 2-ish inches all the way around. I then tucked the tabs I created into the hat by overlapping them and hot gluing the junk out of it. I still need to attach some sort of neck strap to keep it on his head. Maybe I’ve got some extra elastic for that. Otherwise I’ve left off one minor detail as of now – the button and ribbon on top of the hat. I may or may not put it on. We’ll see!
None of it is perfect, and I half-assed a lot of it, but I don’t really care. Let’s be honest, baby is going to wear this for like 10 minutes total. It just needs to last long enough to look good in pictures!
Here’s my result: