Not even Wicked Witches can live without some cute companionship. So, little Annika was my baby Flying Monkey.
Our Wizard of Oz book was a handy reference when I wondered what color our Flying Monkey should be.
Alright, grey it is! One of the good things about having lots of kids and saving their clothes in an untold number of apple boxes is that, well…I always have lots of clothes to peruse for their costume potential! It’s also nice that we’ve had both boys and girls, because this boosts my options.
We don’t have many grey clothing items for our baby girls, but we do for the boys! I remembered this cute, grey cardigan that went to an outfit I bought when Elliott was a baby.
I dug further into our 9-month Baby Boy box and found a grey, long-sleeve onesie. I decided that Annika could wear it backwards to hid the graphic on its front.
Grey, ruffle leggings and grey socks completed the main part of the monkey costume. Now for the accessories that would add the magic to this ensemble!
I already had this grey beanie hat from the Dollar Tree. I also already had some scraps of grey fleece fabric for the ears.
I cut four monkey ear shapes from the fleece (two for each ear).
I took the four ear shapes and stacked them into sets of two. I stitched around the edges of each set, using the edge of my presser foot as a guide. Then, I sewed the two layers together with a U-shape in their middles, to add some extra ear-detail. As you can see, they are not perfect mirrors of each other. I did this in a huge hurry! Next, I pinched a small pleat in the middle of each ear edge and stitched together to create some dimension to the ears. The final step was quickly tacking the ears to the sides of the beanie cap, by hand, with needle and thread.
Now for the wings! I saw this funky, little bat-wing thing at the Salvation Army thrift store. Then, I walked past it. Then, I walked back and threw it into my cart. It was $1.00. I still have no idea what this thing really is. It might be a dog costume cape! It has a bit of Velcro at the wing tips that may have been designed to fasten at the neck of a costumed canine!
Whatever this thing is, I needed to turn it into wings, so I gave it a skeletal support: Enter a wire coat hanger, a wire cutter and some pliers! I cut the top off the hanger, straightened it, and then re-shaped it to correspond with the wing shape.
I created large hooks at each wing tip. Then, I hand-stitched around the wire near the top of each hook and at each angle point in the wire and in the center of the wings. The wire scoots around quite a bit, but the large hooks keep the wire from slipping all the way out of the stitching.
At this point, all the costume pieces were ready! If I had more time, maybe I would have also made a tail and a vest and a little fez hat to be more faithful to the design of movie monkey costumes. However, I never have more time, and I am pleased that these simple pieces were able to achieve the overall look I was going for!
Here’s our baby monkey!
One great thing about re-purposing clothes as costumes is that it’s easy to design the layers around how warm or freezing it happens to be on Halloween!
So, you may have noticed that I already had everything I needed to make these costumes except for the wings! So, the moral of the story is that you should probably be like me and keep everything you own that has costume-making potential. I mean, I have to justify my possession of at least a dozen apple boxes full of fabric, somehow. Add those to all the aforementioned boxes of children’s clothing, and, well…Our basement is like Smaug’s lair. Except it’s full of fabric, clothes and sewing materials, not jewels. I guess that makes me the dragon guardian, but I’m the friendly kind that likes to share. Whenever I go down there, the chorus to Madonna’s “Material Girl” takes on a whole new meaning. Oh, boy, I need help!