Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hooded Sweatshirts Make Great Costumes!

I am pretty crafty but I have never had the time to sit down and really figure out how to sew.  I can do buttons and hemming my pants but beyond that I am rather impaired.  When I plan musicals I really have to rely on my parents help putting things together and sometimes they are as sewing illiterate as me, so I have had to do my research.

What I have found makes a great costume that are versatile and easy no sew/bit of sewing are hooded sweatshirts!  Here are a few examples of the costumes my parent have made.

6 Geese-a-Laying

4 Calling Birds

The pictures above are from the performance we did of Randy and Jeff's Five Golden Rings.  I buy adult size sweatshirts so that they are a bit baggy.  This is helpful because then students can where leggings underneath and they feel a bit more covered.  These were made using some cotton fabric from Joann's, felt, the sweatshirts and I also found a stiffer material for the beaks but I'm not sure what it is called.  You can find it near the felt in Joann's.  The fabric was used to create wings that attached along the bottom of the sleeve and then down the side of the sweatshirt.

These costumes are from our performance of Randy and Jeff's The Princeless Princess.  They were made using the same materials as the other costumes.  Both projects were no sew!


  1. Adorable! We did a pep-rally last year where the kinder teachers dressed up like dinosaurs. They used hooded sweatshirts, and it was great! So cute.

    1. Oooh! I think I will have to come up with a concert series revolving around dinos just so I can put some kids in costume! :)

  2. Such cute costume ideas. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Where can you find plain adult size sweatshirts? I really need to come up with some Australian animal costumes and I think sweatshirts would be a great starting point. Also, where did you find green leggings, orange leggings, etc?

    I would also love to know how you go about asking parents for help. Do you just send out a newsletter? Go to PTO meetings and ask? How do you start to form those contacts? I'm really struggling with that part of getting parents involved.

    Finally, do you put students in charge of parts of their costumes? I.E. tights, red shirts, sweatshirts, etc. Or does it all come out of your school budget?


    1. There are a few places you can find sweatshirts but I like to start at Target. They usually have plain sweatshirts in both the men's section and the little boys section. Sometimes the boys XXL and XL are big enough to cover the leggings. I have also ordered them through Amazon.

      I often provide the bulk of the costume for my students but things like leggings are something the parents are responsible for. I make sure to state this in my contract at the beginning of the year so that I don't have any issues come concert time. I try to put parents in charge of as little as possible because it can be hard for them to find what they need. I have a better idea of what I want for the costume, so it's easier for me to purchase things for the kids. If it is something that they are going to need privacy to change into, then I ask parents to provide the item. Most of the costumes parents make for me or that I purchase can be slipped over clothing. To help with this, I charge an activity fee at the beginning of the year that covers a chorus shirt, costuming and any other needs.

      After talking with my chorus Mom's I have found that they order the leggings online or purchase white leggings and use Rit die to get whatever color they need.

      I email my parents frequently and send email newsletters once a month. Anytime I need help I ask and usually within minutes I have several responses. When we first opened the school I didn't have that many volunteers but I have found being sociable is a great way to form these relationships with the parents. Recognizing faces, talking to them in the hallway and most importantly recognizing them for any effort they have put into your program. When a parent helps me, I recognize them in our program, talk about them at the end of concerts and send them hand made Thank you cards made by the kids. Actually, my kids love this too because they get to sign the inside with whatever color they want! Kids are so easy to please. :)

      Another way to encourage parent involvement is to support your PTO. My PTO are so supportive because I support them. This year we are performing at the Barnes and Noble book fair. Not really a huge deal on my end because I always give a winter performance but for them it means 90+ kids and their families attending the event.

    2. One more question and hopefully my last about these... How did you attach things like the large eyes on your frog costumes or beaks on your bird costumes without sewing? I was thinking a hot glue gun, but I'm not sure how you got things like the eyes to stick up like that and not fall off.

    3. Fabric glue. I think my parents just ran a bit of glue along the beaks and attached them with just the glue. I would imagine you could also use hot glue, my Mom uses hot glue on everything and it works 95% of the time. The frog eyes were stuffed and then attached with glue.


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