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Matryoshka Dolls Costumes

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Matryoshka Dolls - Homemade costumes for groups

Matryoshka Dolls

More views: (click to enlarge)
Photo #1 - Matryoshka Dolls Photo #2 - en route to party/ makeup closeup Photo #3 - sketch of costume Photo #4 - base colours painted on Photo #5 - back of costume Photo #6 - buttons up close
Costume type:  Costumes for Groups
Categories:Halloween Costumes, Toys and Dolls Costumes

This homemade costume for groups entered our 2012 Halloween Costume Contest.

A word from Sarah, the 'Matryoshka Dolls' costume creator:

Total cost: $200 ($40 per person)

Materials: Foam, red and yellow fabric, red and yellow rose buttons, elastic, acrylic paint. You will need a sewing machine and thread.

Total time: 3 days (based on one person crafting)

Inspiration and steps in detail:

The inspiration for our costume actually came from us girls. See, we’re all different heights and dress sizes- not to mention from 4 different countries; Ireland, England, Scotland and America. We’re the same of something- 5 expatriate girls living in Sydney who LOVE HALLOWEEN, but are vastly different in size. And then the idea just hit when passing a billboard with a Matryoshka doll: they are all the same; they are identical in colour, hair and faces but different in their sizes- it worked out perfectly!

When researching the Matryoshka dolls, I came across an old legend/fairytale which essentially was about a grandmother, mother and sisters all rushing to the youngest sisters side in a time of need and hugging her so tightly they all became one. These five girls in this costume are all twenty somethings who left our home country and family to start anew. We rely on each other for support, have grown together and understand each other’s struggles. We are a family that love each other and as such are an integral part of each other’s well being. And just like the Matryoshka dolls, we have become one.

[But the best part of this costume was not only how incredibly happy it made these girls, but to have everyone knew exactly what we were! Tons of people shouted words of approval and bombarded us for photos- especially a group of Russian expatriates who were thrilled at the idea and nostalgia it brought them! ☺ Making other people happy made the effort and time put into the costume worth it]

Then the process started with a sketch and a yard and a half of thin/cheap foam from clark rubber (Australia). A template was made and the girls were fitted in the foam and recut.

(If you’re making this costume in the US, you can buy large coloured foam sheets at select craft stores. This will actually be cheaper and easier for you to accomplish the same look as you can completely skip the fabric covering step and go right to sewing and painting).

I then bought the cheapest red and yellow fabric – as the foam I purchased was white-and used spray adhesive to attach it to the foam- mostly to make sure it would stay in perfect place for sewing. Once all of them were covered and dry they were quickly run through the sewing machine on a regular stitch. The back skirts were attached and small darts/cutouts were put in. This was so that the costume could fit up over the hips and then be buttoned for a more form-fitting look.

Once all the dolls were stitched up the cream background was painted on with acrylic paint. Once dried over night, the base colours were added for flowers and leaves. Once the 5th doll had its base colours the 1st one would already be dry enough to start outlining. Once dry over night, elastic was added to the face cutouts and buttons were sewn on.

The most important thing to get right with the costume is to make sure everyones height is correct, which can easily be adjusted with heels!

Rating: 4.2 of 5. Votes: 30

30 votes
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