When Parker first told me he wanted to be a ninja for Halloween, I wasn’t thrilled because I don’t like the association with violence. On the other hand, I thought “easy costume!” Then he clarified that he would like to be “Cole ZX,” one of the LEGO Ninjago characters. So that left me studying a tiny minifig trying to figure out how to recreate all the bits and pieces that go along with that character.
I decided to go easy on myself and start with purchased clothing: black fleece pants, a top and a ski mask, all from Target and all items of clothing that Parker will wear all winter. Plus, it can be very cold here on Halloween (last year, we got almost two feet of snow a few days before Halloween. This year? Who knows if we’ll even have Halloween with this storm coming).
Parker also decided he didn’t want whatever you call the thing that Cole wears on his back to hold his swords. So that left whatever you call the thing that Cole appears to have wrapped around his shoulders. Parker thinks this is “armor.”
I bought half a yard each of brown and light tan felt ($2.99/yard at Jo-Ann’s), which was way more than I actually needed, 2 yards of brown strapping and two sets of gold D-rings. I made a pattern by tracing the black fleece top onto newsprint and then sort of drawing what I thought the front and back of the armor/vest should look like.
Once I had a basic pattern, I tried it on Parker and modified it a bit, making the back longer. It occurred to me later that I could’ve just made a super-simple vest out of one layer of felt, but I decided to get a bit fancier, so I made two: one out of the dark brown felt for the lining and one out of the light tan felt for the exterior. I then sewed the two vests together, right sides facing out, all along the perimeter, close to the edge. If I had some brown bias tape on hand, I could’ve used that to finish the raw edge (or left it unfinished, it’s felt, it won’t fray). But since I had a ton of brown felt leftover, I cut it into 2-inch strips and sewed strips together until I had one piece long enough to go around the whole vest. (I think it was about 96″ total). I sewed the binding strip to the front of the garment, using maybe a 3/8″ seam and then folded it around to the back and sewed it in place. I didn’t pin, I just held the binding in place and sewed “in the ditch” on the front. My original plan was to finish this earlier, scan my pattern and post it here for others who want to make the same costume but I ran out of time. Hopefully I will do that eventually, and it can be a resource for next year!
For the silver “armor” or whatever it is, I cut squares of silver duct tape I had leftover from some other project. For the shoulder thingies, I stuck strips of the tape to gray felt, cut it into strips and rolled the strips into rings, with each one fitting into the one before it. These are just sewed in place by hand with a few stitches. The vest looks a little big in these pictures, but for actual trick-or-treating, he’ll be wearing another shirt under the fleece, so I think it will look better once it’s a bit more filled out.
For the mask, I cut out the shape out of cardstock and then covered it with more tape, and then sewed it in place by hand. I didn’t go crazy stitching it because I want to remove it after Halloween so he can still use the ski mask all winter. The belt, which could’ve been a bit wider, was made from leftover fabric from my sofa slipcovers. I added a few loops of elastic to hold the weapons more securely.
Here’s a shot of the main pieces: