I’ll Get Those Plumbers: Koopa King Costume

I’ve been more in sewing mode than I have in blogging mode lately. If you happen to follow me on Instagram (I’m @carihomemaker), you may have noticed a lot of in-progress sewing that hasn’t made it’s way over to finished blog photos. Hopefully I’ll get around to blogging at least the most interesting stuff, like a silk charmeuse cocktail dress, a stripey BHL Sophia, and matching mother/daughter Gertie Strawberry fabric dresses from vintage patterns.

I don’t know if the project for tonight’s post qualifies as exactly “interesting”. What it lacks in sharp sewing techniques and gorgeous finishing, though, it completely makes up for in sheer silliness.

Bowser Koopa 3Have I mentioned what a big imagination my youngest son, Ace, has? Usually he wants to be a Superhero type, but just this once, he thought he’d like to be the meanest, toughest villian out there, Bowser Koopa. Bowser Koopa 8I suggested that perhaps his favorite stuffed animal side-kick would like a princess dress so he could capture him/(her?) Ace didn’t think that would be something that Puppy-Puppy would be into at all. So we just took pictures outside from a variety of angles. We found no fire-flowers or special leaves that would give him a raccoon tail. I guess that made the photo shoot safer for me.

Bowser Koopa 7

He did wear this to school last week on superhero/villian dress-up day. I was surprised that he said a bunch of kids didn’t know what he was supposed to be, even when he told them what he was. Is Super Mario not a thing anymore? The newest gaming system we have is a Game Cube; my kids might be stuck in the 90’s or even the 80’s, I do have a set of the original Mario 3 cartoons and an original 8-bit Nintendo.

Usually I like to follow patterns pretty closely, so it’s fun to mix it up once in a while by making something that really has no pattern or instructions and just see where things go. I didn’t want to acquire additional supplies for a silly costume, so I managed to use 100% stuff out of my stash for this project.

Bowser Koopa 5

The bodysuit is the same pattern as the Batsuit I made for Ace last year. I cut it out of green 4-way stretch jersey, then used a platter (yes, like what I serve dinner on) to trace off a bit of gold 4-way stretch jersey fabric in an oval shape to lay across the front for a tummy section. I got a BIG hug when I showed Ace that gold fabric. Apparently shiny costumes are extra-special. Other than laying the gold over the mid-section of the bodysuit, the construction of the suit was exactly the same as the Burdastyle pattern. I probably should have used a walking foot or some type of stabilizer to keep the fabric from bubbling/warping and otherwise creating unintended folds where the zipper is attached, but it’s a costume so I sloppily let it bubble.

Bowser Koopa 2

The back “shell” section is completely removable. I used the platter again and traced off two oval shapes. The part that sits against the back is a woven fabric and the outer shell is a knit, so when I stuffed it, it bubbled out like a shell. I used ready-made piping in the seam and some elastic belting for the straps. He can put on the shell like a backpack, and take it off when needed for lounging or restroom needs. The tail is attached in the seam between the front/back shell pieces, so it comes off with the shell as well. The tail is also made of stretchy fabric, and the only seam is along the top of the tail. Where the seam is, the fabric is more stable, so the tail naturally curves upwards. The seam also gave me a spot to put in some spikes which are gold flannel-backed vinyl fabric squares folded twice so they are triangle-shaped with no raw edges exposed. The shell is also spiked, with circles cut of the same gold flannel-backed vinyl as the spikes and pulled into a cone shape attached with a zig-zag around the cone perimeter. The cones aren’t stuffed, though it might have been better if I had stuffed them so they wouldn’t be as prone to collapsing.

Bowser Koopa 10Bowser Koopa 11

The head-piece of the costume is again from that Burdastyle superhero pattern. I cut it off in the front so it doesn’t cover the face. I used fold-over elastic to finish the front edges. The crown is again made of flannel-backed vinyl (which doesn’t fray so I didn’t need to finish the edges) I stitched it into the headpiece at the top in 4 sections so it doesn’t flop around. The horns are made of felt. I drew what looked like a 2-D view of cartoon horns and cut 4 of them, then stitched them together in pairs. I left the seam allowance to the outside, since they were too bulky to turn, and stuffed them with a little polyester foam. I stitched the horns into the top of the head-piece too. So far everything perched atop the head seems to be stable enough that it doesn’t flop about when he’s wearing the outfit and even though the pattern wasn’t drafted for things to be sewn into that area, it doesn’t seem to have caused fitting issues.

Bowser Koopa 1


Overall, I have to call this one a win. He (obviously) loves it and even though I wouldn’t want to be working on this kind of project all the time, once it a while it’s pretty fun. Besides, how could I possibly resist this face asking me to make him something to wear so he can play dress up?

Bowser Koopa 4


Stash-busting stats: 9 projects this year. 18 yards (counting the t-shirt/leggings I made for Guinevere from this same green fabric, while I had everything all set up)


6 responses to “I’ll Get Those Plumbers: Koopa King Costume”

  1. […] Feeling like you just can’t get enough of that face? This project is posted on my own blog too. […]

    1. Ace Avatar

      I absolutely loved this growing up and even though it no longer fits I still think of it often

  2. Kathryn Avatar

    this is brilliant!! Your wee boy obviously loves it! I haven’t add any fancy dress costumes for my wee boy yet but when I do I hope they’re as fun as this one!

  3. Liza Jane Avatar

    Oh my goodness, that’s one adorable villain! I love those dress up days at school. So much fun.

  4. ladykatza Avatar

    I saw this when you first posted on IG and thought “oh, how fun is that!” Even if it is a slapdash make it is 100 times better than what you can buy at the store.

  5. Ace Avatar

    I absolutely loved this growing up and even though it no longer fits I still think of it often

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *