Like much of America, I have totally gotten sucked into the Glee craze! It's a show about the outcast kids in high school learning to have confidence and pride in who they are and not what people try to label them as. Plus they constantly burst out into song!!! What's not to love? Haha For those of you not familiar with the show, the cheerios are what they called the cheerleaders. I feel like they are one of the most recognizable costumes from the show, since everyone else is dressed in fairly normal clothes.
As Halloween 2010 was approaching I was working on 2 costumes for my boyfriend and I to wear to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at Disneyland, but finished them early and decided it would be fun to make something a little more "cheerful" to wear to work for our Halloween party. Thus the Cheerio/Cheerleader idea was born! I rummaged through my fabric boxes to see what I had laying around. To my surprise I actually had everything I needed for the costume in my craft nook! So I found some reference images, sketched up a plan and started working!!
When I was looking for reference images of the Cheerios, I found out that had 2 versions of skirts, one was their official skirt and has all the slitted pleats, the other was their practice skirt, which was just a little fitted mini skirt that's red and black matched up with the shirt (aka the shell). Since I only had a couple weeks to finish this, I decided the pleated skirt might be a bit too ambitious, so I went with the practice skirt as seen in the reference image (Photo A). You can see in my sketches (Photo B) that I played around with the idea of both skirts, but even in my sketches I recognized the pleats complexity.
With my design figured out it was time to start pattern making, and that meant breaking out the muslin! Within an hour I had a rough pattern draped on Bell, my dress form (Photo C). It was so helpful to have Bell, as I was able to figure out the seam placement, and get the right fit for the shell! The next day I started cutting out the actual fabrics. In order to get the red and black cleanly on the white pieces, I used these iron on transfer sheets called "Heat'n Bond" I had left over from another project. It allowed me to turn the black and red panels into iron on patches that easily attached to the white base shirt (Photo D). Next up I used the Heat'n Bond to turn my ribbon into iron on pieces as well, this was very tedious!!! It was sorth it though, as it kept all 3 ribbon colors straight and ready to attach to the shirt (Photo E). Once ironed down I proceeded to sew the edge of each ribbon. The Heat'n Bond worked better then pinning the ribbon onto the shirt, and I felt I was able to get much straighter smoother lines with it already being attached to the fabric (Photo F)! Finally it was time to sew the rest of the shirt together! I attached the side panels and shoulders (Photo G). It was time to try it on, to make sure everything was fitting appropriately (Photo H).
C) D) E)
F) G) H)
With everything fitting as it should, it was time to add the thicker black trim to the side of the shirt (Photo I). It was really starting to look like a Cheerio Shell at this point! With the black trim attached, it was time to get started on the skirt. The skirt was really simple, I was able to draft the basic shape off of a little mini skirt I already owned. I used the Heat'n Bond again on the skirt to attach the red panels, then sewed it all up (Photo J). Once I added the black trim to the skirt, I pinned in the zippers to both the skirt and shell. It was time to try it all on and make any last adjustments before sewing everything in place (Photo K). I also was able to figure out where to hem the skirt, which is why the bottom looks so wonky in that picture. I cut off the extra fabric from the skirt, leaving just enough to hem, and laid it all out. Seeing how everything lined up both in the front (Photo L) and back (Photo M) felt really rewarding. I finished the hem, sewed in the zippers and called it a night. It had only been 5 days and it was already coming together!!
I) J) K)
No cheerleader is complete with out her trusty pom poms (Photo N)! The cheerleaders on Glee used the fluffy round plastic ones, and I was able to find them for a great price at OmniCheer.net under Pom Poms>In-Stock Cheer Pom Poms. They shipped them fast and I got them in plenty of time for Halloween! I also ordered a pair of red cheer briefs from them, which came with the Pom Poms, I wanted to be authentic, and I didn't have time to make the briefs (and for $5, why bother? haha).
Everything was in place, I just had to make the WMHS Logo to go on the front of the Shell! Since I don't embroider, and I couldn't find the correctly shaped iron on letters at Jo-ann's, I decided to go the old fashion crafty rout! I used felt and fabric paint! I used white and red felt, that I cut out in the shape of the white background and the red letters (Photo O). Once attached, I used black fabric paint to outline the lettering (Photo P). When it had dried, I hand stitched it to the front of the shell, and at last the costume was complete (Photo Q)! I am so pleased with how it turned out, and it's time to get my Glee on!!! hahaha
When Halloween rolled around I threw on my costume and skipped to work! Well, I drove, but I skipped down the hall once I got there!!! I had so much fun wearing it, and made up silly little cheers all day. That night I picked up Josh from the airport, and he had brought his red practice jersey to wear. It was just great, I think we looked especially Glee-ful at the party that night! Just check out our awesome photobooth pics! hehehe
*********************IMPORTANT PLEASE READ*********************
Thank you all so much for the incredibly overwhelming response to this post! It really is such a compliment to have so many fellow Glee fans show an interest in my costume. I have received many e-mails/posts/requests asking if I am either selling, or willing to make and sell this costume. At this time, my costumes are my personal hobby, and while I love making them for my friends and I, it is not something I'm doing as a "job" or for income. So I am sorry, but I am not accepting commissions at this time. As for the costume, I am not selling it at this time. However, if I ever do decide to sell any of my costumes, I will be sure to post about it on this blog for you all to have first dibs! Again, thank you so so much for the interest in this costume, it really is very flattering. I will of course be happy to answer as many questions as I can if any of you want to make your own at home. I have thought about trying to translate my pattern into a tutorial for people to follow. Is that something you all would be interested in? Also, The Split Pleated Skirt is still on my to do list, and will hopefully come about soon!