Sunday, August 25, 2013

The claw!

In February, I participated in Princess Half Marathon weekend at Walt Disney World.  Maybe you remember how painstakingly I worked on a couple of costumes for the events? I attempted matching to Cinderella's colors for the half (until it got too hot, that is) and did a Cheshire Cat costume for the 5K.

Pretty soon after I returned from WDW, I already had a couple of costumes in mind for the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend: Peter Pan and the alien from Toy Story!

Disneyland Half Marathon weekend has 3 main events: a 5K and 10K on Saturday morning and a half marathon on Sunday morning.  I'm not doing the 5K (thought it might be too much), but even if I were, it would be next to impossible to wear different costumes for the 5K and 10K (the timings are just too close together). So I'll be doing 2 costumes just like at Princess Half Marathon.

The inspiration for my Toy Story alien costume
The Peter Pan and alien ideas came to me rather easily but implementing them was another story.  I thought maybe my mom and I could hack it out, but I ended up asking an Etsy seller if she could help me sew the pieces together.  The Etsy seller's name is Jennifer, and she runs RunRunCostumes (no pun intended).

Anyway, I had pre-purchased some athletic clothes as well as some fabrics (since at the time, I'd thought my mom and I would do the costume together) in purple, blue, and green colors for the neck and waistband on the alien and for some "petals" (for lack of better word) on Peter.  The original 2 clothing pieces I bought were already pretty similar to the alien's outfit so I thought, if nothing else, I could at least do a simple color match to him.

After discussing the costume with Jennifer in detail and hearing her ideas and how confident she was about putting the whole thing together, I paid a deposit to Jennifer and then shipped all the pieces to her.  And then I waited.

Finished alien
Jennifer did an amazing job -- I was really happy with her communication and sewing expertise and vision for the costumes.  She had my costume pieces for awhile (couple of months), but I didn't care since she checked in with me so frequently and sent me pictures of the work in progress every so often.  (And I still had plenty of time before the race at the end of August.)

I had originally imagined the purple collar on the alien to be pretty flat, but Jennifer had bigger ideas: she wanted to put a tube kind of thing inside the collar!  She tried a couple of different tube styles before arriving at 1 that would work, and I know she had to swap out my original purple fabric (which was just straight cotton) for some fabric that was more "stretchy" (I think spandex-y or "swimsuit" material).

When I found the original tank top, it was on a clearance rack but was only available in XS size.  So either I had to make the XS work or try to find another similar tank or shirt that would be such a close (exact, actually) match to the top.  Like any smart woman, I bought the XS and crossed my fingers that things would work out ok.  (What? You've never done that with a pair of shoes?  Liar.)

As it turns out, when Jennifer went to put the "belt" part on the bottom of the shirt, sewing something onto the shirt would sort of go against the original stretchiness of the fabric (which was crucial since the XS is a bit....snug).  So Jennifer had me take some more measurements of myself and then she did something awesome:  the "belt buckle" is actually removable (it's just velcro'd on) and underneath the belt buckle is some elastic to allow the shirt to still stretch. (Now all I had to do was stay the exact same size. Easy peasy, right...?)

Lastly, Jennifer experimented a bit with putting the "pizza planet" logo onto the shirt.  (And yes, I'm aware the Nike logo sort of interferes with it...but whatevs, that was by my choice.)  The end result (of the logo) seems pretty solid.

So Jennifer did the shirt (sewed the neck piece, including the tube; sewed the belt, including the elastic; ironed on the logo).  Did I mention Jennifer did an amazing job? There were no modifications to the shorts.  (Can I just say that I feel a in these shorts!  Yikes, they are shorty short and snug. But I do think I'll be a little glad they're shorts (and not capris) given the recent hot spell in SoCal. When in Rome...)

But the costume was still a bit incomplete.

The alien's hat!, as created by
The Thread House
For the alien, I knew it had to involve a hat with some kind of giant eyes.  I was originally going to make my own hat using a visor and by hot-gluing styrofoam balls onto it, but after seeing the quality of Jennifer's work, I knew the hat couldn't be half-ass.

That's when I got in touch with another Etsy seller, Sophie from The Thread House. She normally makes animal ears (on headbands) for children, so I thought this might be right up her alley. I sent her a few messages describing what kind of custom help I needed and was surprised she was willing to take on the task!

I didn't see any progress pictures from Sophie until she already had everything on it except the antenna.  And I was soooo impressed!  (Even without the antenna, it looked amazing!)

So I had the hat, the shirt, and the shorts.  But the costume was still a bit incomplete.

That's when I added bright blue Zensah calf sleeves to give the impression of the alien's long pants and bright green arm sleeves to give the impression of the alien's hands (arms).

Now my alien costume is complete!

Way back in March, I didn't really care which one I wore for which event (Peter or the alien for the 10K versus half). Somewhere around June-July, I decided I would be wearing Peter for the 10K and the alien for the half.  So, I'll be the alien for the half.

So what will be different on race day?

  • SoCal has been having a hot spell for the last 1+ week, so I doubt I'll end up wearing the arm sleeves but whatever.  If nothing else, I'll have them on in the pre-race pictures.  
  • I'll also need something to carry my "fuel" (GU or pretzels) and stuff, so I'll be wearing some kind of a belt under the fake alien belt.  Hopefully, it won't create too much of a bulge under this outfit since the whole thing is so ... skintight snug.  
  • I also just noticed that the pictures here don't have the "tube" part (on the neck) tucked inside (as Jennifer designed it) will definitely be tucked in on race day.

Curious how much this whole thing cost me?  I can probably break down the cost for you, but the amount is kind of embarrassing, so I'll just keep it to myself.  I always planned for this costume to be a little more expensive so that I could use it at another race....  (Really want to get an idea of the cost?  Send me a private message, and I just might tell you.)

So?  What do you think - did I nail it?  


  1. LOVE IT! You definitely nailed it! As for the cost, sometimes you gotta splurge a little in life. :)

    1. Thanks, Kim!
      It's certainly easier to justify the money when each item is bought separately and is lower in cost...

  2. Oh my goodness, I LOVE this! I have one of the little green aliens that I carry around and take pictures of at the parks and I've been thinking of dressing as one for one of the races!

    1. Thanks! It turned out to be such a great costume!