My youngest has known since July what she wanted to be for Halloween this year. She wanted to be Millie from Team Umizoomi this year. It’s been “Mommy, where’s my Millie costume? Mommy, where’s my Millie costume?” a couple times a week lately. Only trouble is, no one makes them yet. I had to make it myself.

I really like how it turned out. It was a lot of work, but came out well.

Shirt and pants were easy. Pulled them out of her regular wardrobe. Not like it’s at all hard to find pink pants and long sleeve tops. A pink sundress, however, turned out to be impossible to find by the time I started looking. Everything had the wrong kind of print, nothing plain and no floral patterns. I had to make that myself.

I found a cheap sundress pattern, and some pink floral print fabric. I bought more than needed for the pattern, as Millie has that hood. Sewing the dress was basically following the pattern, although I wish I had flared the skirt out more. Following the pattern exactly left too little room for my active girl to run, and she has already pulled some of the stitches on one of the side seams at the bottom of the dress.

The head was a real bear to make, but I love how it turned out. First round, I just made a hood. It had to be separate from the dress, because the dress zips up in back. I just used a hood from one of her other outfits, cut the fabric a bit bigger than the outline, and added straps to the front.

Hated the way the hood looked. It just didn’t give enough of the “Millie” impression to me. The head was simply too small. If you know the show, the characters’ heads are huge, and I wanted that look in the costume.

Then inspiration hit while picking up the kids’ toys one day. I found her bike helmet. Made a cover for it, including a strap to go under her chin and fasten at the side. That was really tough, as I had no pattern. It was estimate, cut, sew, put on the helmet, adjust, sew, cut, pinch, tack down… until the thing finally worked. The chin strap fastens to one side, as it was easier to make a single strap and add velcro to the side than it was to have it fasten under her chin.

The ribbons for her hair were tricky too. I used wired ribbon for stiffness, but it needed more for that first part. My husband got the brilliant idea to trim some strips of hardware cloth, cover them with painter’s tape (couldn’t find the duct tape), and make a little pocket for them to go into the ribbon. These bent nicely into shape so that the ribbons went up for a couple inches before curling down. I cut slits into the fabric of the hood, and bent the hardware cloth into an L-shape. The hardware cloth was hot glued to the helmet so that everything would stay in place, and the ribbons stitched to the hood to make it all look good.

The yellow around the face is just regular ribbon, but I cut up a headband to make the yellow ponytail holders. It just gave them more dimension. Fortunately, the straps to the bicycle helmet just so happened to be yellow too, so they blended in nicely.

This is the most effort I’ve ever put into a homemade costume, and I’m so glad it worked out. Nice part is, the dress can still be worn anytime. A few kids her age knew exactly who she was, and just loved the costume.