Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Darth Bear

Miss C. loves Darth Vader. He's her buddy. Her imaginary friend. And he's got a fun show at Disneyland that we watch every time we go.

Disneyland is a big deal in our house. We spend months planning and talking about each trip, and Miss C. loves to comb over the park maps with her daddy, who also happens to be a huge Disneyland fan. 

Last winter, Miss C. asked me to make a Tinkerbell costume for her... and then promptly realized that her bear needed one too. I couldn't resist, and spent the last few nights before our trip whipping up an identical doll-sized version of her costume for her bear to wear on our trip. 

I hadn't thought much about her bear's wardrobe recently, but clearly Miss C. was thinking about it quite a bit as our most recent trip to Disneyland drew near because just a few weeks before we left she popped the question...

Miss C.: Mama? My bear. He needs a new Disneyland costume.
Me: He has his Tinkerbell costume. Does he need a different one?
Miss C.: Yes. He needs a Darth Vader costume.
Me: You want me to make a Darth Vader costume for your bear?
Miss C.: Yeah. He needs a cape and a helmet. Just like Darth Vader. See? (Holds up Darth Vader action figure to demonstrate.)
Me: Okay, sweetie. I'll see what I can come up with.

I won't lie to you. I secretly panicked when she asked for this. I knew the cape would be a snap, but the helmet. Eek! I've never attempted a doll hat before, let alone a helmet! 

Miss C.'s pattern.
After a few deep breaths, I dug through my stash and started sketching out the cape pattern. At this point, Miss C. took a deep interest in pattern making and decided that she needed to make a pattern for me to use on this project. 

My daughter is a task-master by the way. No sooner had I finished the cape than she mentioned that her bear needed boots just like Darth Vader. I told her I wasn't sure I knew how to make boots and she quickly pointed to her pattern saying, "You can make it, Mama. Looks, it's on my pattern!" Thankfully, I'd just seen a cool baby socks tutorial on Made by Joel that would be perfect for some Vader-esque boots. 

The helmet was on the back burner. Even though she asked about it every day I couldn't bring myself to start it. I was too scared. With the boots complete, though, I had run out of excuses. I made a test version using some leftover craft felt and though it was way too small for her bear's head, it was a start. I took a leap of faith and slowly started cutting and sewing the helmet together, fitting it to her bear's head while Miss C. slept at night. I didn't even make up a pattern... and somehow it worked! My husband suggested a chin strap to keep the helmet in place and suddenly it was done!

Or so I thought.

Miss C. was pleased with the helmet, but then informed me (two days before we left on the trip) that her bear might be cold without a shirt... one like Darth Vader's shirt. No problem! I already have a doll shirt pattern on hand, so I hand stitched a felt buttons and lights panel then added it to the shirt front piece before sewing it all together... the night before we left!

I had so much fun making this new costume for her bear. Miss C. was so pleased she dressed him in it nearly every day during our trip to Disneyland last week. And I'm pretty sure he liked it too.

You can find this project linked up at:


  1. Oh my, you have one lucky daughter!!! I've got make my son one of those hats for him. Actually, I think I'll try making one for me too. I can't wait for next winter! ha. Hmm, I think I'll try making a shirt too. Wow, you've started something big here I think.

  2. Thanks, Joel! Life-sized helmets sound awesome!!! I hope you post them on your blog! :D

  3. Seriously the cutest thing I've ever seen. You're such a good mommy! I love her pattern too, adorable!!

    1. Thank you, Julie! She is such a sweetie and so sincere - I just about died laughing when she pointed to her pattern and told me to use that to make the costume. :)