Birdie decided what she wanted to be for Book Week over a year ago, and has been biding her time waiting for this moment. The Paw is one of Chris’ books from his childhood and has now become Birdie’s favourite book! It’s the story of a little girl called Leonie, who becomes a cat burglar at night, stealing caviar from the rich to feed stray cats. I was so excited to help bring her dream to live and I had so much fun making The Paw Book Week costume with all it’s over the top details!
She loves this costume so much and I’ll get to all the details, but first i think i should show you the inspiration because it’s so cute in all it’s 80’s/90’s glory! We’ve got a tracksuit, a hoodie, cat ears, a tail, high top sneakers and to top it all off, a Bum bag! We had to skip the watch with 27 functions and the suction knee caps pads to climb buildings. My skills don’t extend that far haha.
There’s a lot going on here, and I don’t know where to start! So i think I’ll start with the fabric.
Birdie wanted this to be as close to the book as possible, and I knew immediately there was no way we were going to find that fabric. So we decided to make it! I took some of the organic french terry we have in the studio and some gold glitter paint (after much consultation with Birdie it was decided that glitter was imperative). First we cut out our pattern pieces, then we cut a sponge into the rough shape and then we stamped all over the fabric! it was really fun! I’m super glad we stamped before sewing because it made life easier.
For The Paw symbol on the tee I used some contact plastic to make stencils and then stamped with some block printing ink i saved from eight years ago when i experimented with block printing tea towels and gift cards. See, all that hoarding totally paid off haha. I will never throw out craft supplies! The ears were printed the same way.
Now on to the patterns! For Birdie’s track pants I used the trusty Mini Hudson pants. This is a pattern I adore and will recommend and use over and over again. If you have kids, get it, the end.
The tail is just a simple tube with a rounded end. I’ve made so many cat tails for my girls that at this point it’s become second nature haha. I attached the tail to the back of the Bum Bag so that if she go tired of wearing both throughout the day she could just take them off and put them in her bag as one piece. I think it will be easy to remove the tail from the Bum Bag in the future if she just wants to wear the Bum Bag on it’s own.
For the Bum Bag/Belt bag I really wanted to make one as close to the book as possible. I looked at so many Bum bag patterns and really struggled to find one that looked the same. I ended up using a pattern by Proper Fit which was the closest to it, and then i made some alts to get it to look right. The pattern is obviously adult size, so i just printed it at 75% to make it Birdie size which worked well. If I’m really honest, I really didn’t like the format of the pattern with only video instructions. This was my first Bum bag and it was more of a frustrating experience than i think it needed to be. For strap length i went for a combo of what Birdie needs now, with enough length for Bunny (who is 6 years older) to make sure it would fit an older kid. I’m pretty happy with decision, because Birdie is already super in love with this Bumbag and i think she might be wearing it constantly from now on.
For the hood I used the hoodie from the Brindille & Twig free raglan hoodie pattern. I fully intended to sew the entire hoodie sweatshirt, but unfortunately, book week at our kids school was postponed to much later this year due to COVID and as a result it was much to warm to wear a sweatshirt. We had to compromise with the hood and trackies only. Birdie took the blow that she had to wear a tee rather well actually. The ears we improvised, and the whiskers are pipe cleaners that i sewed on for the day, but will need to remove when we wash it.
And now I have to make a terrible confession. I did not make the tee shirt! I know. The shame. The horror. Please don’t judge too harshly, I was a tired mum by this stage and couldn’t bring myself to sew another thing. I bought a plain white tee from AS Colour and attached the hoodie to it.
The only thing she was disappointed about was the shoes. But honestly, it was such a hot day I was feeling guilty enough sending her to school in a hoodie and trackies in the heat. In retrospect I think it was a good call because there’s no point in looking cute if you’re overheated!
One of the great positives of Book Week being delayed this year is that Halloween is now only days away, which means we’ve got the Halloween outfit sorted too. So I’m feeling mightily smug. ALSO this is huge, but Birdie managed to keep this entire very white outfit clean ALL day. My mind is blown. But I’m still glad we followed The Rules.
Seeing how much Birdie loves this costume is everything to me. I love Book Week and getting to make my kids something special and unique makes all the intense panic sewing so worth it! I can’t wait to show you what I made for Bunny and Buddy this year!