Halloween How-To: The Hamburglar

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My costume this year is a classic from my childhood - The Hamburglar.  Remember him?

I was super stressed about what to be this year, because last year's costume was so cute (remember?).  This year, my pals and I decided not to do a group costume.  But I still wanted to look cute because we are going to the law school/med school party again this year, and I'm still holding out hopes of meeting a cute med student.  After googling "cute Halloween costume ideas," I eventually found my way to What I Wore and her Use-What-You-Have costume ideas.  Well, I didn't really use what I had (unless you consider roping my mother into sewing with me "using what I had"), but for around $50 (or less, if you already have a hot glue gun, a hat, and a cape), I ended up with a super cute, pretty unique Halloween costume, as well as some costume basics I'll be able to recycle in future years.

The Dress & Mask
1 1/8 yards black felt - $3.50
1/2 yard white felt - $1.50
1 2-inch roll of Stitchwitchery - $9.00
1 package braided elastic - $1.00

The Tie
1/6 yard red felt - 50¢
1 sheet each of brown, tan, and yellow craft foam - $3.00
1 hot glue gun - $7.00
Extra hot glue sticks - $7

The Hat
1 "Mexican Cowboy"/Bandit hat - $13.00
1 yard yellow grosgrain ribbon - $ 1.50

The Cape
1 knee-length black cape - $15

The Dress
To make the dress, the easiest thing to do is to take a shift dress that you like the way it fits.  It's best if it has no zippers or buttons, so that you don't have to put one of those in in the costume to get a similar fit.  I used this dress, which I got from Zara a couple of years ago and still love:

Christmas in the KD House - 2008 (still miss it!)

Take your black felt, fold it in half, and lay the dress out on it.  Tip:  I prefer felt for costumes so you don't have to do any hems.  Trace the outline of the dress with chalk, being sure to add enough extra around to allow for seams - a half-inch or so.  Cut out half the dress, and then make a book fold and cut the rest.  By folding it longways, you know that both halves are going to be even.

Once the halves are cut, sew the top and the sides.  You may need to trim the front half, if the neckline on your base shift is lower and you want the costume to be the same.  I also had to trim the armholes in the front to get it to lie flat - word to the wise.  :)

After you get the dress sewn, it's time to add your stripes!  Lay out your white felt and cut two-inch strips across the width of the fabric.  You should get about 7, 72" long strips.  For the sake of ease, use the Stitchwitchery to attach the strips of white felt to the black felt dress.  Follow the directions on the package, but basically, you lay the Stitchwitchery onto the dress, lay the felt strip on top of that, a damp dishrag on top of that, and then iron with steam (use the wool setting).  Be sure to leave yourself a little extra overlap of both Stitchwitchery and white felt so that you can fold it over the back of the dress, like this:

Once you've finished the stripes, you're finished with the dress!  It's super simple and I love my version.  Next up, the tie.

The Tie
 The tie is super simple.  Cut out a tie shape (basically, an elongated diamond) out of that strip of red felt you bought.  Then take the foam and cut out your pieces of the hamburger.  I used four, with one on the very tip of the tie to hide where I attached it to the dress and the other three staggered along the tie.

You will have PLENTY of foam, so you can keep cutting until you're happy with the pieces.  Tip:  I cut out the beef patties first so that I could trace the cheese pieces along the top of the patties for a fitted, melted-cheese look.  After the pieces were cut out, I glued them onto the felt with hot glue and glued the tie to the dress.  Be sure to use plenty of glue, in case someone thinks it would be fun to pull on it (because you know there will be SOMEBODY).

The body of the costume is now finished!  Congratulations!

The Cape
At this time of year, you'll be able to pick up a short cape from one of the local Halloween shops that pop up around town.  If you're like me, your cape will have a stupid little "vampire" collar that you can either cut off or just tuck under the body of the cape.  Easy peasy.  If you don't want to buy a cape, you can do what Jessica Quirk did in her version (What I Wore) and use a bath towel.

The Hat
Alas, I am not a floppy hat girl so I didn't have a black hat like Jessica did, so I bought a "Mexican Cowboy" hat from the costume shop.  Add a wide yellow ribbon around the top and you're done.  Plus, if I want to be Zorro in the future, I've already got the hat.  ;)  Tip:  Tie the ribbon on instead of gluing it, so you can reuse the hat later.

The Mask
Use this template to make a mask that fits pretty well.  My first version, I freehanded and it ended up being way too small.

Once you've gotten the mask cut out of the black felt, poke a little whole on either side and tie your black elastic around it.  Tip:  Make sure to measure the elastic around your head so your mask doesn't slide down your nose during Thriller.

Add either some black pumps (for med student meeting) or some red Converse sneakers (for walking the neighborhood with the kiddos) and you're done!  Robble robble and happy Halloween!

If you follow my how-to, I'd love to hear about it/see photos!  I'll be posting photos of my costume on Halloween once I wear my costume - I can't wait!

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