Grey Worm and a Jeepney: DIY no-sew costumes
Updated: Jun 5
I'm a frustrated artisan. I enjoy making things with my hands but I have two problematic traits that keep me from becoming a true-blue craftsman: I'm clumsy and I'm impatient.
I often find myself figuring out shortcuts and easier ways to do things that require neatness and tedious labor such as sewing. An obvious alternative would be to use a sewing machine but I don't have one and I've only needed to make costumes for twice in the last two years. The first time was for Halloween 2016 and the second time was for my brother's company costume day which, oddly enough, was in December 2017.
Felt is my material of choice because it's hard enough to maintain structure, soft enough to wear comfortably, and sturdy enough not to tear. Not to mention all you need is some hot glue or spray adhesive to keep it all together.
Click through for some deets on my first attempt:
I made a rough pattern. And by rough I mean it had no measurements on it. Just a small-scale drawing of each piece I planned to cut. The biggest piece was an inverted T shape that made up the back and the belt around the waist. The breast plate was just a rectangular piece glued to the back. Then there were the three smaller pieces for the shoulders and the neck. The neck piece was a sort of Y shape. Both the belt pieces and the neck piece were "secured" with cut out ends of two child's belts. I didn't have to sew anything. I used hot glue for everything from the felt pieces to the studs to the belts. He puts it on like a stiff t-shirt with belts at the back of the neck and the waist.
My second attempt was for by brother's Tatak-Pinoy company costume party the next year. I'd saved the excess black felt from the Grey Worm project and bought white, gray, blue, and yellow felt. I wanted to give the jeepney colors from the Philippine flag but they didn't have red felt.
I posted a video of it in action but here are the stills:
I made it to be worn like a vest with a long cape-looking back. He kind of looked like a superhero. The front opens up to become the sides of the jeepney. The sign above the windshield was a floppy piece he could flip over his shoulders when transforming. I attached wheels on the back sides, as bracelets around his wrists, and a spare tire by his left shoulder. The back/butt part was a pillowcase draped over the back of his belt with the long black "Sweet Lover" piece spray-glued on to the edge.
All felts and studs were from Carolina's, Market! Market!. I tried to make these as simply and as low-cost as possible. Each took me a total of about a day to make and cost me about 500 pesos each.
Yes. My cheap, lazy self is proud.