I love World Book Day and seeing all the fantastic outfits the kids wear to school.
Reading is really important for our children in so many ways. My husband Mark and I have read to both our children right from picture books when they were just six weeks old. There’s nothing nicer than snuggling up in bed with your child, reading a story to them and falling into an adventure together. It’s my favourite time of the day.
World Book Day started in the UK back in 1998.
It’s a great idea for children to bring their favourite book characters to life for the day.
We had a few to choose from, and this year for World Book Day, right at the last minute, our son Jacob wanted to go as Fantastic Mr Fox. The wonderful classic book by Roald Dahl.
Now I know some parents get all cross and spoil the fun a bit by adding pressure on themselves to make an amazing outfit.
It is entirely up to you and your child how much or how little effort you put in. The kids don’t care, they will probably have taken off their World Book Day outfit 10 mins after getting in to school!
I love to sew, but I am not great at it, but I do love to try and make an effort. If anyone is adding stress to me - it’s myself!
You can make World Book Day as complicated or as simple as you like. There are so many books out there, so stop adding pressure on yourself, we’ve got enough to stress about haven’t we?
This year our son Jacob, wanted to go as Fantastic Mr Fox.
I said, ok, no problem with a smile, and immediately clicked on to Pinterest on my phone, and started pinning anything that resembled Mr Fox.
Pinterest has been a lifesaver on more than one occasion. This was my go-to place for inspiration.
One night, after reading his bedtime story, in one quick search, with Jacob looking over my shoulder, we had found our version of Fantastic Mr Fox.
I have lots of pins on Pinterest with sewing projects I know I will never have time to do.
But I do like a deadline!
World Book Day 2019 - 3 days to go…
Walking at a quick pace, I hit all the charity shops on our local high street looking for items for Jacob’s costume.
I was in and out of those shops like my life depended on it. Marching on a mission.
After just over one hour, I had been into 7 charity shops and for a small amount of money, a total of £8, I had bagged the following items -
1 children’s blue bow tie
1 children’s blue waistcoat (the picture I was working from, the waistcoat was yellow, but I thought I could make a new one and use this one as a template)
1 pair of small ladies jeggins - brown
1 ladies small jacket (never worn, brand new from Forever 21) - navy
I also may have bought a pair of shoes and a top for myself!
So, feeling very smug, I called at The Range shop on the way home. I love this place, it is a crafting heaven.
I leave The Range armed with Snazaroo face paint in orange, white and black and a couple of sponges for good measure. OK, so the paint cost £3.50 each, so yes, I spent more on the face paint than clothes, but I would use the face paint again..right?
I also spotted a very cheap pair of yellow curtains in The Range’s value section. £3, what a bargain!
These curtains were going to be Jacob’s new yellow waistcoat.
I also bought some crafting wire, to make the ears stand up. And a plain cheap headband to stick them on to.
I have lots of fabric in my stash, if I’m honest, my name is Adele and I am a fabric hoarder, there, I said it. But it came in real handy for this as I had some brown and white fur already, so hey, at least I didn’t have to buy that!
I do have a very high expectation of myself and the things that I do, I always try my best.
So, I wasn’t happy that the bow tie was blue, so I decided I would make one myself. I have never made one before, so again, my friend Pinterest was there to rescue me. It has velcro and everything!
It was easier than I though actually, so I had a cute child size bow tie made out of some of the yellow curtain.
I faked the waistcoat, by this, I mean, I folded the blue one I bought, in half and used this as a template. I drew around this onto the yellow curtain fabric, and because it was quite thin, and it’s cold outside, I made 2 of the front and 2 of the back.
I sewed these together first, ironed them to press the seams, folded them out, then sewed them together at the shoulder and the sides.
Then I just tacked a square of brown fur and a bit of white fur behind the neck on the waistcoat.
Voila! One waistcoatey looking item.
I found some old gold buttons, so they were perfect. I sewed these down the front to make it look like a waistcoat, but with half the effort.
I made a template for the ears on a piece of cardboard, then I bent the craft wire to form the ear shape.
The next step was to wrap a thin strip of the brown fur around the headband and glue it in place at each end.
Then I used a hot glue gun to stick the 2 bits of ear-shaped wire onto the headband.
Next, using the cardboard ear template, I traced around the shape onto some brown felt, 4 times. Then I sewed 2 ears together, right sides together, leaving the bottom open.
Once I had turned out the ears, I placed them over the wire, and hand-sewed the bottom closed while catching in the fur on the headband at the bottom.
As I was now covered in brown fur, and sneezing from it getting up my nose, I took a long rectangular piece (adjust to the length you need) of brown, and a small piece of white. I stitched the white piece on to the bottom of the brown piece. Then folded it, right sides together, and stitched down the length of it, leaving the top open for turning the right way out.
A bonus of being a fabric and craft hoarder means I have lots of haberdashery bits too, so I had a bag full of stuffing I bought ages ago, but never used. That came in handy for filling the tail. I then stitched it shut. This would be attached with a safety pin to the waistcoat at the back.
The navy blue ladies jacket was too big, but I just tacked up the sleeves. I wasn’t going to attempt to modify this shoulder-padded, lined jacket. That’s just too scary.
I was still sewing on buttons at 11pm the night before!
We woke up early on the morning of World Book Day, as I had never done any face painting before. This could make or break the whole look.
With a squiggly Jacob moaning his nose was itchy, and moving when I was trying to draw a thing black line, we managed to get there.
And there we have it. My not so complicated, expensive in anyway, didn’t take me that many hours to make, Fantastic Mr Fox children’s costume for World Book Day.
I am very proud of the overall look and I have made things I never have before.
Even though I know when World Book Day is, I always leave it until the last minute, but I work better on a tight deadline.
I do like a challenge!
Follow my Pinterest boards to see my inspiration and join Our Family Life on social media.
Share your pictures of your children on this World Book Day in the comments, I’d love to see them.