I finally made the Captain Barnacles costume that I promised Ali a few months ago. He loves the TV series The Octonauts, and I like it too - it's cute, and a little bit educational. I have to admit though, I put off making the costume because I was worried about the details and making it look like the one on the show - if there was a commercial one available I would have happily bought it.
For anyone who does not follow The Octonauts, Captain Barnacles is Polar Bear who lives in an underwater command centre called the Octopod and, with his fellow Octonauts, helps sea creatures in danger. He looks like this:
(Image source here)
I used two Oliver + S pattern to make the costume - the Sandbox Pants and Nature Walk Pullover. I did a contrast waistband with a couple of yellow felt stripes on the pants, to look like Captain Barnacles' belt, and left off the drawstrings but otherwise followed the pattern. I modified the Pullover pattern so it had a small metal zipper at the neck (Ali was very specific about the zipper), and stitched some arrows on the collar with a zigzag stitch. I also left off the front pockets, because I wanted the top to tuck in to the pants so the waistband/belt would be visible and thought the pockets might make it too bulky. There are already four pockets on the pants anyway.
(sorry for the blurry phone picture, this is the only one I have where you can see the waistband of the pants)
The hat was totally improvised, and isn't exactly the right shape - and I attached the ears to the crown of the hat, rather than under the brim because I couldn't work out how to do that in a way that would stay on a four-year-old easily. The Octonauts logo on the hat was printed on to that inkjet printable quilting fabric (I got mine here).
I used quilting cotton from Remnant Warehouse, because it offered the best choice of colours, and then felt to interface the collar and hat brim. There are also scraps of felt on the ears and belt. The ears and tail are made from leftover fur from this hat, and are safety pinned on, rather than sewn, in case he wants to be a diferent Octonaut character in the future.
I'm so happy to have finally finished this, because I had been feeling burdened by the weight of four year old expectations, and especially because Ali is pleased with the finished product. I'm also glad to have finally tried out the Nature Walk Pullover pattern, which I've had since the start of 2011 but haven't made up before. This time I made a size 6, and it's quite slim fitting, so I think next I'll try a size 7 in a heavier-weight fabric, so it can be worn over a t-shirt, and include the pockets.