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The Traveller (Halloween Costume)

Create a Halloween costume of the classic ghostly villain from your favorite '80s ghost movie. All from a basic body suit and a few miscellaneous materials.

The Traveller (Halloween Costume)

With a premade body suit, the addition of some chiffon, netting and a few fabric-covered foam balls, you can have a fun Ghostbusters-themed costume that just needs a bit of makeup to tie it together.

Steps

Step #1: Get a body suit as the base of the costume

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The Traveller (Halloween Costume)The Traveller (Halloween Costume)The Traveller (Halloween Costume)
  • This takes a lot of the hard work out of this costume - this is a formfitting outfit, and trying to sew stretchy material will be quite a challenge.
  • Try searching for ballet or dance supplies (unitard / body suit) to match your size.
  • The important part is that the body suit should completely cover your arms and legs.
  • In the second picture, the costume is almost complete, but this should give you an idea of the sort of body suit you're looking for to start with.

Step #2: Gather materials

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The Traveller (Halloween Costume)
  • Foam Balls
  • Usually sold as Christmas ornaments in craft stores - get a couple of different sizes ranging from 1/2" to 2" diameter.
  • Shiny fabric
  • You want it to be metallic/glittery, and stretchy, since you'll be wrapping the foam balls with these. In this project I use silver lamé.
  • Sheer fabric
  • Pastel colored (iridescent for best effect). Here I used chiffon. If you can find iridescent chiffon, you may not need the multiple colors.
  • Light-weight netting with multiple hole sizes and color. I used a small-hole sliver metallic and a large-hole white glitter.

Step #3: Cut foam balls

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The Traveller (Halloween Costume)
  • Take at least 3-dozen of the foam balls, and cut them cleanly in half.
  • You might find a cutting board and serrated knife handy.
  • BE CAREFUL. The foam can cut very easily or skitter away, and you could slip.
  • Use more of the smaller sized balls than the big ones - they create a better textured effect.

Step #4: Cut Fabric and Wrap the Foam Balls

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  • Cut the silver lamé into shapes large enough to wrap around the edges of the foam hemispheres.
  • The back doesn't have to be pretty - stitch the corners of the fabric to each other, pulling it taut as you go, one corner at a time. Pull the fabric nice and snug so that you have a smooth metallic dome.
  • Make sure you knot your stitches really well. This is what holds the balls to the outfit and if the knots fail, the balls will fall off.
  • Take some of the wrapped balls, and re-wrap them with the chiffon for some variety.

Step #5: Sew silver balls to body suit

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  • They should follow curvy S-patterns around the entire body. Mix sizes as you go.
  • Do this on the suit as its being worn - otherwise you run the risk of binding, wrinkling or tearing the fabric when it is worn.
  • Sew each ball individually, knot it off and move on to the next one.
  • If you sew multiple balls in single line / stitch, the suit will probably not stretch correctly, and you'll tear it putting it on.
  • Don't just sew the foam to the suit - make sure you are sewing fabric on the balls to the body suit.
  • Pull up a corner of the body suit, pull the needle through the fabric and make a good knot. Now you can pull the body suit away from the body while you sew. Pull up the body suit for every stitch so the wearer does not become a pin cushion.

Step #6: Sew layers of fabrics over the suit

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The Traveller (Halloween Costume)The Traveller (Halloween Costume)The Traveller (Halloween Costume)The Traveller (Halloween Costume)
  • The goal is to add a shimmering, ghostly texture to the entire outfit.
  • Interleave layers of chiffon and netting around the entire body - make sure to drape over the silver balls as you go.
  • As you go, tack down the fabric with simple stitches and knots.
  • The fabric should be mostly form-fitting - keep it close to the body with frequent stitches/knots. It should not billow or hang.
  • Again, do this with the costume being worn to make sure it looks and feels right.

Step #7: Check fit and wearability

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The Traveller (Halloween Costume)The Traveller (Halloween Costume)The Traveller (Halloween Costume)
  • Have the wearer take off / put on the costume a few times to make sure nothing pulls or snags.
  • Look for any weird or bare spaces and fill them in with additional material as you prefer.

Step #8: Hair and Makeup

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The Traveller (Halloween Costume)The Traveller (Halloween Costume)The Traveller (Halloween Costume)The Traveller (Halloween Costume)
  • This costume needs some ghostly makeup to really bring it together!
  • Black eyeshadow - above the eyes and along the nose, cheekbones and forehead/temple accents.
  • Light foundation, with fine powder glitter for glow.
  • Short, spiked hair - if you have long hair, pull it up in a ponytail and frizz the heck out of it straight up. Lots of hairspray.
  • Red designer contacts if you like.
  • Be sure to check the film for your inspiration. Dont forget that you need strut and attitude to pull it off!

Conclusion

Fun costume with no sewing machine needed, but you do need lots of time for hand-sewing all the parts together.


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