One of the things I love most about Halloween is unusual costumes and I absolutely love when my kids are that something a little bit different.
My youngest is in love with octopuses. We have an ever-growing collection of stuffed octopuses slowly overtaking the bed so it kind of felt like a bit of a face palm that I was struggling to come up with a costume idea for our toddler and my husband had to point out the obvious.
Normally I over-plan and have every little detail figured out before I start cutting, but I was really dragging my feet this year to get started and hit the point where I just needed to start doing. I threw together this quick little sketch and just kind of muddled my way along from there.
I started with a basic hooded jacket pattern I had laying around and sketched out some tentacles at the bottom of the main body. The coat sections and tentacles were cut as one long piece. I didn’t want to have to deal with trying to attach the tentacles separately.
The great thing about octopuses is that while having 8 legs, they’re not particularly symmetrical so I didn’t have to worry about equally distributing the legs. With their stretchy bodies and undulating movement, I felt an asymmetrical look was more realistic. Each of the front sections had two tentacles, the back had just two, and each arm had a tentacle. I thought it was important to incorporate the arms as tentacles – otherwise the arms would just be these extra odd-looking appendages.
I do have to say, one of my favorite moments from trick-or-treating was when one candy-giver was so enamored with the arm tentacles that she had to give two pieces of candy – one for each.
The whole costume was done with an outer layer of fabric with a fleece minky dot inner lining. I thought the minky dot was perfect for the underside of the tentacles.
I gave the tentacles their curve by sewing elastic to the inside of the top layer of fabric. I started by stitching the end of the quarter inch elastic in place, then stretching it as I used a zig-zag stitch to sew it in place. This gave the fabric a nice natural curl.
I would recommend that you stretch more than you think you need because once I started stuffing the tentacles I found the stiffness of the fiberfill took away some of that curl. I also overestimated the length I needed to make the tentacles and they were dragging terribly on the ground. That made for a terrifying tripping hazard! I hand sewed a gathering stitch on each tentacle to pull them more off the ground and give them a little bit of additional curl. They ended up just the perfect length!
After stuffing the tentacles, instead of sewing straight across the bottom of the coat I stitched curves up closer to the armpit. This both gave more of an organic feel to the whole thing and made lower tentacles look like they attached closer to the arms, so there weren’t these two weird tentacles randomly sprouting out from the middle of the body.
The eyes were scrapped as I was running short on time I didn’t even know where to start with them. I also didn’t stuff the hood. I felt it looked fine as it was. Also, my toddler isn’t a fan of things on their head and I thought that a stuffed hoodie might be asking too much.
Like all my kids, my toddler quickly learned that a weird feeling costume was a small price to pay for a bag full of candy. I’m not going to lie – it felt good to hear people say “Awww, look at the cute little octopus!” when they open their doors. I hope my adorable octopus brought the people handing out candy a bit of joy. I know it made my night hearing their reactions to the sight of an cute little octopus standing at their door, and watching my kid have an amazing first night of trick-or-treating.