Sew for Halloween: Inspiration for Boy Costume with Ascot Tutorial

Haven Acres Top Charlie Dress Mashup Square copy

Written by Vanessa of East & Eden

Well ... it's October and Halloween is right around the corner! Have your kids decided what they want to be? Do you need some inspiration? There are many patterns in the UpCraft Club catalog that can be easily adapted for costume ideas. Today I will be focusing on the School Boy Vest pattern by Sew Much Ado. I also have a step-by-step tutorial on making an ascot for your own kiddo. In a simple internet search, I came across all of the following costumes that could be built around the School Boy Vest ... pirates and pop stars and cowboys, oh my!

School Boy Vest Costume Inspiration Links to original images: Popstar Steampunk Robin Hood AbeLincoln Biker Pirate Magician Cowboy Madhatter Construction Worker Joker Woody   School Boy Vest Vampire Costume 09

My little guy was firm in is Halloween costume decision ... Dracula. He HAD to be Dracula. Easy enough. I could work with that. A cape, vest and ascot and we were on a roll.

School Boy Vest Vampire Costume 10

The School Boy Vest is my go to for all my vest wardrobe needs. I have made four vests since I purchased the pattern a year and a half ago. The pattern is professionally drafted, pieces together nicely and the instructions are clear. You end up with a professional looking garment every time. My son is 3 1/2 and a bit on the small side, but with a big toddler tummy. I decided to make him the size 4 School Boy Vest. It fits perfectly.

School Boy Vest Vampire Costume 06 School Boy Vest Vampire Costume 07

For the vest, I used a grey textured satin with a black lace overlay on the front. I used black cotton sateen for the pockets. I chose the faux welt pocket option. The pattern also includes true welt pocket pattern pieces and instructions. The grey satin was very thin and slippery, so I decided to interface those pieces with a light/mid-weight Pellon fusible interfacing.

School Boy Vest Vampire Costume 05

I must say, he's looking pretty dapper ;)

School Boy Vest Vampire Costume 03

Oh, and he LOVES his "Drac" costume. The vest is a statement piece and the bright red ascot pulls everything together. Keep reading for the tutorial on making an ascot...  

Ascot Tutorial

You will need the following supplies:

  • Paper and tape
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins/clips
  • 1/8 - 1/4 yard of fabric depending on size
  • Coordinating thread
  • Iron
Let's get started:
Ascot Tutorial UpCraft East & Eden-1


Begin by taping two pieces of paper together to form one long piece.

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Next, using your ruler, draw a straight line down the center of the paper. This line will serve as a measuring off point to keep the ascot symmetrical.  

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In order to find out how wide to make the center of the ascot, measure the collar of the shirt that it will be worn with. In this case, I will be using 1.25" as the measurement for my 3 year old. Your measurement may be smaller or larger depending on the size of your child.  

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We will now draw the lines for the center of the ascot. In the previous step, we determined the center of the ascot should measure 1.25" tall. Adding 1/2" seam allowance to each side (1" total), we now have a width of 2.5". We will measure half of this width in each direction from the center line to get the entire width (1 1/8" +1 1/8" = 2.5"). In order to determine the length of this line, measure around the neck of your child. My son's neck was 9". Now, we need to subtract a 1/2" and divide by 2 [(neck measurement - 1/2") /2]. For this example, we end up with 4".  

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Now, draw two vertical lines parallel to our center line (one on each side) using our calculated measurements. For our example, the line is 1 1/8" from the center line and 4" long. Repeat on the other side of the center line.  

Ascot Tutorial UpCraft East & Eden-6

Next, we need to determine the width of the ascot ties. Measure across the vest in which you will be tucking the ascot. In this example, the School Boy Vest in size 4 is about 3" wide at mid neckline.  

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From the last step, we know we need to fill about 3" of width. To this number we will add seam allowance (1" total) and an extra 1/2" for fullness. Therefore, our width is 4.5" total, 2.25" to each side of our midline. We need these width lines to begin 1.5" down from the ends of our previous lines drawn. Line up the ruler.   Ascot Tutorial UpCraft East & Eden-8

Draw dots 1.5" down from your previous line and out 2.25" from your midline.  

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Connect the ends of your 4" lines to these dots width diagonal lines.

  Ascot Tutorial UpCraft East & Eden-11

Now we need to determine how long the ties of the ascot should be. Measure from the center of the collar down to at least mid-vest. Remember that tying the ascot with eat up some of the length. In this example, I determined the ties should be 9" long.

  Ascot Tutorial UpCraft East & Eden-12

Measure from your diagonal lines down the length you determined in the last step. Draw a dot on the midline at this length.  

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Draw a light guideline perpendicular to the midline guide at the dot you drew in the previous step. Also draw another light guideline 1.5" above your length guideline.  

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Now draw two dots on the last guideline, each the same width from the centerline that you determined for the ascot tie width. In this example, our width measurement was 2.25" in each direction.  

  Ascot Tutorial UpCraft East & Eden-15

Now you just have to play "connect the dots" and connect the width dots and bottom point.  

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Here is a picture with all of the measurements we just made. Now cut out your pattern piece. It's time to cut out our fabric.  

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Place your pattern piece on fold. We need to cut 2 pieces. If you want your ascot to be reversible, you can choose two different fabrics.    

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Now pin/clip your two pieces with right sides together.    

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Sew around the border of the ascot with a 1/2" seam allowance, leaving a 2" opening so the tie can be turned right side out. Clip your corners after sewing.

  Ascot Tutorial UpCraft East & Eden-20

Turn the ascot right side out through the 2" open seam, using a turning tool or chopstick to push the corners out and make them crisp. Press with an iron.  

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To finish the ascot, you can choose to sew up the 2" opening with a ladder stitch for a seamless look. Alternately, we could also topstitch the opening closed.  

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You're finished! A shiny new ascot!   I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Join me tomorrow when I share the details of making my daughter's costume :)

School Boy Vest Vampire Costume 01

The School Boy Vest is a fantastic pattern that can be morphed into many different looks and costumes. We would love to see what you do with the School Boy Vest. Tag us on instagram @upcraftclub and @eastandeden with the hash tag #schoolboyvest

October 12, 2015 by UpCraft Club
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