Here’s the way I like to tell the story. Greg and I were in Target a few weeks ago, and he said, “Oh, we need to get you a gray hoodie for Halloween.” “Why,” I asked, as I didn’t remember any recent discussions about Halloween. “You’re going to be a shark. I’m going to be Quint, and you’re going to be Jaws.” Oh.
It’s true I didn’t have a better idea for a Halloween costume, so a shark seemed to be as good an idea as any. And since Greg’s philosophy is the comfier the Halloween costume, the better, I knew it wouldn’t be too bad.
So we bought that gray hoodie, and a week or so later we stopped by Joann to get some felt. I was very pleased with their selection, as they had both regular craft felt and stiff craft felt. Of the regular craft felt, we bought one sheet of black (for eyes and gill slits) and two sheets of white (for the belly). Of the stiff felt, we bought one sheet of white (for teeth) and one sheet of gray (for the dorsal fin).
Since Greg is the resident shark expert, he cut out the teeth, fin, and eyes. I sewed the belly on first. I just cut one corner of each 8.5 x 11-inch sheet of white felt into a curve and sewed them to either side of the zipper on the hoodie. This, of course, covered up the pockets, but that was a small price to pay for an authentic shark costume.
Space was a bit tight for the gill slits, so I just sewed three on each side, right under the arms of the hoodie. So much for authenticity (a great white has 5 gill slits on each side).
Next, I sewed the teeth around the hood. I’m sure the regular craft felt would have been fine for the teeth, but I wanted to be sure they didn’t droop, so I used the stiff felt. With the teeth pointing out from the hood, they didn’t poke me or get in the way, so it worked out well. With my belly, gill slits, and teeth in place, I put on the sweatshirt and had Greg place the eyes for me (“lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eyes”). Then I just edge-stitched them in place.
The front was looking pretty good! (And I think the gill slits look really sporty!)
I really didn’t have a great plan for the dorsal fin, but I asked Greg to leave 1/2-inch or so at the bottom of the fin shape so I could attach it.
I ended up making a cut in the middle of that edge and folded one half to the right of the fin and the other to the left. Then I laid the two edges flat on the sweatshirt and sewed them down. The sweatshirt bunched a bit at those two seams, but the fin stayed perfectly erect, even after folding it to one side to ride in the car.
For Greg’s role as Quint (the Robert Shaw character in the movie Jaws), he shaved his beard into mutton chops (what good is growing a beard if you don’t have a little fun with facial hair!) and paired that with a hat from Target, a green jacket from a thrift store, and an old denim shirt.
We wore the costumes to a party last Friday night, and we managed to get a few votes for best and funniest costumes, so we considered that a success. I had to keep my hood up, though, so people could tell what we were.
Greg captioned the photo above: “All you need is love . . . and a bigger boat.”
Part of the reason I decided to sew the costume, rather than glue it, was so I could take everything off and use the sweatshirt. But now that it’s all together, I really like the way it turned out. So I think I’ll leave it intact. You never know when you’ll need a comfy shark costume.