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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

T-shirt Costume Tuesday #2 - Calvin and Hobbes

Law school can be fun in the ways that it's an extension of college.  One similarity is parties, including Halloween parties.  Halloween may be my favorite holiday, in no small part for the costumes.  I love making my own, helping other people with theirs, and seeing what everyone else comes up with.  My first year of law school was the first time I could convince my guy to really dress up and my first opportunity for a couples costume.  We finally decided on Calvin and Hobbes.

Unfortunately the clearest picture we have

While Hobbes is usually taller in the comics, he's also sometimes shown as the stuffed animal.  That was a great solution for us because I really like wearing a costume and he wanted to be as close to normal as possible (look at how much more adventurous he's gotten in just a few years: from Calvin to Jack).  But, the most important parts of both our costumes were t-shirts and neither required any sewing.

Calvin was easy:  Black stripes drawn on a red t-shirt with fabric marker, black jeans, and black converse.  The jeans cost something like $40 at Bob's Stores, but in a world where clothes are scarce for 6'7" people, they became one of his favorite pairs and he still wears them years later.  Walmart had cheap knockoff converse, and red t-shirts are easy to find.  I always have a black fabric marker, but they can be found anywhere you buy crafts (Michaels, Joann Fabrics, Walmart, etc).  But, unless Calvin is carrying a stuffed tiger, that costume needs a Hobbes to compliment it.

Hobbes was a little more complicated:  I started with 2 orange t-shirts in my size.  I originally had the idea to make tiger stripe cutouts in an orange shirt and layer it over a black shirt, but that didn't work well for the top and I couldn't figure out how to do the skirt like that.  So, I changed my method.  I got a couple of the 8.5"x10" (?) sheets of black and white felt to decorate the orange shirts.  I kept one shirt intact for the top, but cut the other shirt straight across right under the armpits for the skirt.  I checked how they fit and marked where to put the white for the chest and tummy.  One the white was hotglued on (which held really well), I cut stripes from the black felt.  I figured they didn't have to be perfect but tried to make them look like tiger stripes.  If you don't want bare arms and legs or additional parts to cover them, you can do the same method with a long-sleeve shirt or sweatshirt and pants (leggings or sweatpants maybe).


I included more accessories to flesh out the tiger look.  The lower arm sleeves are orange felt sheets.  I wrapped them around my arms and pinned where they fit.  I used my hot glue gun to finish them and added more black felt stripes.  They slid right on since the top was slightly larger than the wrist part.  I orgered tiger-stripe tights from  Regular orange tights with stripes drawn on would work too.  I bought a black giant chenille stem pipe cleaner from Michaels for the ears and tail.  I basically made a headband with round ears with part of it and looped the rest to a belt that I wore over the skirt.  It was a cheap, easy way for those parts, but there are plenty of ears and tails already made for sale.  Finishing touches were white gloves and socks.

The Hobbes part sounds pretty complicated, but it wasn't that hard to pull off.  And it looked good and was comfortable!  This was one of my favorite costumes, partially because it was my first couples costume.  I could even use it again since it's held up so well over time.  Plus, it can just be a normal tiger costume!

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