The Great Pumpkinhead Project
The Great Pumpkinhead Project is finished. This is my costume this year. Inspiration was Jamie Wyeth’s Pumpkinhead: Self-Portrait.
If you would like to make this pumpkinhead to wear, here are the dimensions and the mouth I drew (or draw your own mouth). If you don’t want to wear it, skip the zipper and elastic, stuff with newsprint, close the bottom and stick it in a pot. Click on the link, draw out a pattern and add 1/2-inch seam allowance. The link also includes the mouth I drew.
I used 1 yard glitter fabric
Chain sew units in pairs using 1/2-inch seam allowance. Secure the stitches at the beginning and the end. Note that the bottom is larger than the top, so always match up the tops. Press seams open. If you have a sewing ham, it will make the curvy part easier to press. You can also use a large, empty pincushion or a rolled up towel.
Sew boning (2-1/2 yards) on the seams starting 2-1/2 inches from the top, Cut each piece 12-inches long with garden shears, Slide the boning out of the casing and cut off 1-inch. Adjust the casing so you have approximately 1/2-inch of empty casing at each end. You will then be able to stitch the top and bottom as well as both sides of the casing. I used a zipper foot for ease of sewing.
The boning comes on a roll, so use the natural curve for a round shape, like this.
Now sew the pairs together and add boning on the seams as before.
Sew the last two seams together until there is approximately 11-inches left; backstitch or secure the stitching and then baste the remainder of the seam. Do not add boning. Put in a 7-inch skirt zipper, with the zipper pull approximately 3-1/2 inches from the bottom edge. Follow the zipper directions or use your favorite method. Remove the basting stitches. If you are making a decoration, you can omit the zipper.
Evenly pink the top edge. Gather the stem area, just above the top of the boning. I marked some lines to make it even all the way around. Stitch with heavy duty thread (I used Dual Duty Plus Extra Strong Button & Carpet Thread) or double a strong thread. Use a running stitch, make a knot at the end and then stitch around again to secure.
Put the pumpkin head on and make some marks where the eyes should go. If you wear glasses or sunglasses you will have a hard surface to make chalk marks on and prevent poking your eyes out. Pin on some triangles, making sure they are centered over your eyes. Turn the edges under approximately 1/4-inch and stitch on. My triangles were approximately 4-inches on each side. If this is for a decoration, you can make the features any size and shape you wish.
This next step is a little tricky, but it will give you great visibility and your face and eyes will not show through. Carefully make a little slit through both layers of the center of the eye and then clip to each corner, being careful not to clip through the stitching. Turn these edges to the inside and stitch. I didn’t worry about the corners.
Layer some tulle — I used 16 layers of black tulle; just accordion fold the layers, using enough to cover the hole with seam allowance for stitching. Pin to the inside and stitch this from the outside.
Trim the tulle, being careful not to cut your pumpkin.
I found it hot inside so I also cut some holes in the nose section, but this is even trickier because the boning goes through the center.
Trace the mouth pattern on the dull side of freezer paper. Cut out on the line and iron to the wrong side of your black fabric. Place the pattern on the bias for ease of turning. Cut out the fabric with 1/4-inch seam allowance and press the edges under, following the lines of the freezer paper. Remove the freezer paper. Pin the mouth on and stitch. I hand appliqued.
Press under the bottom edge approximately 1/2-inch around. I stitched on some clear elastic just to the give the bottom a little shape. I did not stitch the elastic to the zipper sections, but just stitched the edges of those sections starting below the zipper. I learned something new (by reading the directions). Stretch the elastic several times before stitching.
I also wrapped some green wire around the stem and made a tendril, wrapping the wire around a dowel.
If you’re making a decoration, you can skip the bottom stitching–just stuff with loosely wadded newsprint and loosely stitch the bottom closed. If you stick it in a pot, it will stay in place. Otherwise, you have to add some kind of weighted bottom. I’ll show you my whole costume after Halloween. Have a Safe and Happy Halloween. Remember to set your clocks back at 2:00a Sunday morning (heehee).