It's a Jolly Holiday - Part 1

Well, I've definitely got may hands full with Halloween costumes this year! Mary Poppins has always been one of my favorite movies, and has always been on my bucket list of Halloween costumes. There are two looks you can go for with this get up, and I opted for the chalk drawing outfits. That way, Riker can be in on the action as a penguin. We'll see how well he learns to dance in the next 11 days ;)

One of the best things about this costume is all the little details. I haven't finished much yet, but I've got (almost) everything I need - just waiting on a package, and I need to go to the fabric store for some flowy material for the skirt. Here are some brief descriptions of what I've completed so far:

  • Burt's Hat:

At a costume shop, I found a boater's hat that had the wrong colored ribbon around it, but considering it was less than half the price of the next best hat I saw (which also had the wrong ribbon) I decided to buy it, and put new ribbon on it myself. Getting the ribbon off was probably the hardest part, because I didn't want to ruin the hat by using blades, or by pulling so hard I stretched/broke anything, so I just had to peel the ribbon slowly away.


To get the right look, I bought thick red ribbon, medium orange ribbon, and thin white ribbon, and sewed them all together. I then used fabric glue to glue the ribbon the the hat, and even created a little bow-like accent where the ribbon started and ended.


  • Mary's Hat

This was probably one of the scariest endeavors, because I knew that finding the right hat at a reasonable price was pretty much out of the question, and making a hat is a daunting task. Luckily I found a simple white hat at a costume shop, which served as my blank canvas. I also bought about 3 yards of white tulle, which ended up being way more than enough, but was cheap enough that I'm not out too much. Plus I'm sure I can find a good way to use the rest someday.

First I cut long 6" wide strips of the tulle, folded it over several times, and pinned to the brim of the hat. I was able to use my sewing machine to attach the tulle because the brim is so wide and flat. Then I added the chin strap by cutting a strip and bunching it a bit to create a little opacity, and pinning it to one side of where the brim meets the top of the hat. To measure how long it needed to be, I just put the hat on my head, and wrapped the strap around, and roughly estimated where it should be. Luckily the tulle is a little stretchy, so I didn't have to be super precise. Once measured, I pinned that end into place, and used my machine to sew both ends to the hat.

For the top of the hat, I cut a 3 yard by 24" strip , and folded it so it became a 3 yard by 6" strip. I pinned the end and started wrapping and bunching the fabric around the top of the hat. To attach it, I used a needle and thread, going up through the bottom of the hat, and then right back down, and tying on the inside. I did this a few dozen times to make sure the tulle wasn't going to unravel anywhere. If you look closely, you can definitely see where I attached the tulle to the top of the hat. This might be all the hat needs, but I decided to add a tulle bow. I may or may not keep it. I could also embellish it with small flowers, but I don't know if I'll spend time or money on that detail this year.

  • Penguin Dog Costume:

Best pose I could get...

To make this, I used the Tigger outfit from last year as the shape of the pattern (kind of a large "U"), and added a hood, wings and a bowtie. I was kind of flying by the seat of my pants, especially because I know keeping it on Riker may be difficult. It was hard enough to get him to pose in it! Plus he gets wayyyy too excited when the doorbell rings, so the trick-or-treaters may not even get to see his outfit. 

Can I take it off yet, mom?

The hood is a half circle, folded in half, and stitched a long the flat side, then attached to the cape part. The beak is just an orange attachment to the top of the hood, and I cut out white circles and drew black dots on them with sharpie for the eyes. I might add a chin strap to keep this in place, because it sort of falls whenever Riker moves. The wings are free-handed, black on one side, white on the other. I attached them to either side of the spine on the cape. I made a small red bow and attached it to the front, since the penguins have red bow ties.

To keep the outfit on Riker, there are velcro attachments in the front, and an elastic and velcro strap that goes under his chest. Also, almost everything is double layered to make the outfit sturdier, and to keep Riker warm.

  • Burt's Blue Bow Tie:

While this isn't something I fully made, I did have to be a bit creative. I'm trying to not spend a fortune on these costumes, so when I found a regular tie in the perfect shade of blue, I snatched it up. I then had to figure out how to convert the tie into a bow tie. Luckily I found a great YouTube video with simple, easy to follow instructions to accomplish this, and I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.

Of course, I have a lot of things left to finish: Mary's white and red dress, her umbrella, her spats, Burt's blazer, and I still need to find white shoes and a cane for Nathaniel, but I'm super happy with my progress so far, and can't wait to share more with you!