Original Homemade Layer by Layer Wizard of Oz Costume (Lion, Scarecrow, Dorothy and the Tinman)



This is my 2014 homemade Halloween costume. I was thinking of what I might want to do this year and saw my daughter’s Wizard of Oz dolls on the sofa and began to formulate an idea about how to make something really neat. I got my mom to help me in adapting a pajamas pattern into these outfits. There are close to 100 hours put into this costume and its various phases. I thought it would be easiest to transition through these costumes by taking them off like “stripper pants”. I had about 10 yards of cloth put into the costume from the Joanne’s fabric store.

The Lion was the outer-most layer. The head structure was adapted by comparing to a sweater hoodie. The hair is brown yarn that was sewn to strips of brown cloth. The loops were cut out and then the strands were separated by sticking a pencil into them and then came out to give the mane volume.

The suit was basically made like a jump suit. I tried to go for all cloth that would be thin and easy to come off. I chose a thin golden vinyl cloth. We placed the shirt patterns and pants patterns together, pinned it down and then cut it out to achieve the “all one piece” to make it easier to remove. I then sewed some rounded hands to cover the layer below. The feet were shared with the layer below.

The next layer was the Scarecrow. I pieced the hat together using a spread fan pattern that was sewn together in the form of a top had, but let it flop over. When I wore it, I had a cold pack under the hat to try to stay cool, and it worked.  I also had two additional cold packs pinned under each arm that kept me pretty cool. The scarecrow had to be cut out of different pieces and sewn together as it needed different colors. I made a burlap hood with a flap that folded back to stay out of the way in “Lion mode” and then come down and attach after the Lion head was removed. I wore work gloves over the hands.

Dorothy was next and I had sewn together white and blue checkered cloth and white cloth to make the shirt/dress top and straps.  I then had a skirt that was attached below the shirt at the waist to get it  an all in one look.

For the Tinman, the skirt came off and then the fake Dorothy legs with ruby slipper foot covers to reveal tin man legs/pants. I reach down into the front of my pants and pulled out the Tinman top that had hands sewn in as well as an attached head piece. I had to tuck it into my shorts, otherwise, it would have slid down into my leg and made it hard to pull out. I also had an axe sewn around a flyswatter Velcroed to Dorothy’s back that I could pull out.

I made all the details for the Tinman such as the funnel hat, ears, nose with hole, jaw cover. The cloth soaked up paint and that made a little bit of a mess, so that was not ideal. I would use permanent marker next time. The bad part was the cloth was all shiny and it was hard to make out the details of the outfit.

I went on stage for the contest at work. The lion came off and everyone cheered. The Scarecrow head would not come off. The “rope” that I had around the neck had somehow gotten caught under my chin and I could not get it off to save my life. The crowd went from cheering to crickets. Someone had to come up and help me get it off. The rest went well and folks cheered and I won best individual in the contest there.







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