And a Robin cape out of a ladies sundress. And both Batman and Robin were completely costumed for $20.
Authentic details? Not quite. Perfect? Hardly. Easy, affordable, cute and kiddo-adored? Absolutely.
Armed with a picture, a list and a whole lot of luck I hit the Savers Labor Day sale:
Yes, that’s a Snuggie. This pile was the score of the century. Here’s what $20 got me:
And as I walked out of Savers I made it my personal mission to spend not a penny more than $20. Let’s break it down.
I bought a grey turtleneck, grey sweatpants and blue underwear as the foundation of the costume. I was going to sew the white elastic underwear band down but decided not to waste my time as it easily tucked down when we put the costume on. Now his shirt needed a logo. Using yellow and black felt I already had, I printed a logo I found online, cut out the felt, hand sewed it together and then hand sewed it to the shirt. (Have I mentioned I’m a terrible seamstress and hand sew everything?) Off to a good start!
I bought a green long-sleeved shirt, green sweatpants and a red sleeveless t-shirt as the foundation of the costume. His vest needed the “closures” and logo. Using yellow and black felt I already had, I printed a logo I found online, cut out the felt, sewed it together and then sewed it to the red sleeveless shirt. I just eye-balled the four “closure” rectangles based on the shirt size.
This post taught me that Batman cape “wings” can be made with a football! I wasn’t able to draw on the fleece well so I traced the curve of a football onto a piece of paper, cut it out, pinned it on and cut the bottom of the cape. Easy peasy.
I lucked out. After searching the men’s shirt section, pajama section and the blanket section I came up empty. I decided to just comb through all adult (clothing) sections looking for Robin yellow items. I met her in the ladies dress section and realized she just might work.
Using the back of the dress, I cut up the side seams and trimmed the spaghetti straps to the appropriate length to use as ties. Since it was a short sundress, I left the finished edge untouched at the bottom. Cape!
I really wanted to make a Batman Utility Belt but there was nothing that would work (easily) I could find. I settled on a less than ideal solution that got the job done. I bought a black adult belt that fastens with two rings. I cut it to fit my Batman. I decided to just use fabric from the front of the dress used for Robin’s cape and hand sew it onto the belt. I pulled the fabric through the belt rings and hand sewed it to the belt at the top. Then I hand sewed the bottom. Next I trimmed the fabric length-wise and hand sewed it onto the belt on one side. When Batman wears the belt we fasten it in the back. It’s a belt. It’s yellow. I’m grateful it’s dark while we trick or treat. And I checked it off the list.
Robin didn’t have green shoes. I was fixated on not spending more than $20 on these costumes but he needed green shoes. I had the bottoms of the pants that I cut off because they were too long. Then I got an idea.
Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
I turned them inside out, taped them to the bottom of the boot at the right length (so they wouldn’t move), pinned and then hand sewed a seam to match the front of the boot-line. Although I didn’t use the pattern, this tutorial made me feel like I could wing it well enough. Boot covers! (Which need to be taped or pinned to the boots underneath on Halloween since I didn’t sew anything on the underside of the boot to keep them completely covering the boot.)
The boots I bought were a bit too big and the wrong color. Batman got some boot covers too using the same basic method.
Who knew a Snuggie arm could be put to such great use? Two preschooler boot covers out of one arm!
I figured I could fake most of the costume rather easily but after searching high and low for a tutorial and pattern for the mask – remember, I can’t sew – I decided I’d just have to jump in and try. Thank goodness the Snuggie could fit the Jolly Green Giant. I had fabric to spare. But not much. This Red Ted Art tutorial gave me hope and was the basis for my plan. Using my Snuggie “fabric” sparingly for fear that I would have to make 10 versions before I got a Batman-looking mask, I started with a Snuggie arm. I measured the circumference of Batman’s head and promptly did nothing with that measurement. That will be relevant later. I realized that the half-football cut outs looked very much like bat ears and decided to use that as part of my pattern. This is me faking a pattern:
I cut it out and flipped it inside out. I hand sewed the top, both ears and down the length of one side. Feeling quite confident that it was too small, I tried it on Batman. I wish I would have taken a picture because it was laughable. The ears actually looked like ears and the top was fine but his head didn’t fit. Let’s look at the bright side. Now I had a pattern. Sort of. The second time I made it too big knowing that I could re-sew the seam to make it smaller. Which I had to do. But it worked. Alleluia, it worked.
My preschooler has an average sized head and the width of the mask at the widest point (measuring across the nose) is 10 inches. (That’s just the front side of the mask.) Under the bat ears the front width of the mask tapers to about 7.5 inches. The vertical measurement from the top mask seam down the front to the bottom front seam is almost 7.5 inches. For the back of the mask, I kept the length long enough to be able to tuck it into the cape. Remember to add a couple of inches for seam allowances for all measurements. Hopefully these measurements will mean you won’t be doing three versions of the mask like me!
Below is how I figured out where the eye holes would go. This was my third attempt at perfecting the mask. I was not going to mess it up by putting the eye holes in the wrong place.
Step 1: I put the mask on Batman. I gently felt for his eyes and put a sticker (on the mask) in the middle of each eyeball.
Step 2: I traced the shape of eye holes I wanted onto a piece of paper spacing them based on the stickers and cut them out. I held the paper up to Batman’s face and trimmed and evened out as needed. I matched it up with stickers on the mask and pinned it to the mask again. I held my breath as I cut out the eye holes.
I hand sewed around the eye holes because I liked the detail and also added white stitching around the nose and eyebrows like the Adam West Batman.
Batman’s arm cuffs and Robin’s mask, belt and arm cuffs were gifts from Grandma and Grandpa and sort of started this whole return to their obsession with superheros.
And now we wait for Halloween…
Want to see the finished product? Click here.