Sunday, January 26, 2014

Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme Costume

A friend came to me in distress over her 5-year old daughter's school assignment. She had to choose any character from a Mother Goose nursery rhyme and come to school dressed in that costume. They needed my help and I was happy to oblige. With all of the typical little girl options like Bo Peep, Little Miss Muffet, Jill and Old Mother Hubbard,  I expected to make a pretty dress. I was delightfully wrong. She wanted to be the clock from Hickory Dickory Dock!

My first thought was, let's paint a cardboard box and call it Christmas! Turns out, that would not do because she would wear it all day and would not be able to sit in cardboard. It would need to be fabric, but still maintain the shape of a wooden object. I did not know how to begin, but I was intrigued by figuring it out.

I was doubtful I would find a pattern so I decided to make one. After ruling out cardboard I quickly ran to Kroger and grabbed a few brown paper bags. With my "Little Miss" as a stand in, I got to work.

Trying a template
Pattern pieces cut
After drafting the pattern, I cut the fabric for the body and the accents like the clock face, pendulum and the mouse.


Clock face and body

I added stiffer felt to the back of the clock top to help it stay up.
The costume is made in two parts with a body and a head piece. I stitched most of the costume using my serger. It gives a clean finish to the seams, is faster than my sewing machine and with the differential feed does not warp the felt as it was sewed. When I used my machine to sew the accents, I used a 4mm stitch length. The head piece has a cardboard platform to stay flat and an elastic strap to stabilize it under her chin.

I used purchased numbers for the clock numbers and made a little mouse to run down the clock at 1 o'clock.

Here is the delighted darling in her completed costume. She and her mom were delighted with the end result with one exception. I was told that I missed a crucial detail...

The mouse needs a piece of cheese! That is why she ran up the clock in the first place, right? I quickly ran to my studio, made some cheese and was told it was now "perfect". Could I ask for anything more?

Happy Sewing!


  1. Ingenious! And you made the mouse, too?! You are definitely an overachiever.

  2. Absolutely adorable. My great niece would be ectastic and over the moon to wear it.