Halloween at Disneyland

So I have a nephew, who I love very much. He has a birthday every year, like so many people seem to. Birthdays are interesting affairs for everyone, but generally for children they're far more important because they've only had a handful of them, and they mean family gathering around saying nice things, and special mum-made minecraft cakes, and - most importantly - presents! 

His grandmother decided this year to go above and beyond this year, and take him to Disneyland. She took me when I was young, and we had a wonderful time - lots of amazing technicolour memories, and a few hilarious photos! So she decided to repeat the experience, but with a younger model. Of course, she didn't just take an excitable eight year old, she took me too... 

It was delightful. 

A magical kingdom full of strange flora, dancing hay bales and pumpkin-headed men. We rode rides, we ate sugar fried in sugar, we queued like it was going out of fashion and we took photos! Well, actually, I took photos - over 1400 of them. Mostly of me and the family looking amazed, but also a lot of bright colours, shiny plastic and gorgeous costumes. 

And when I say gorgeous... 

Who doesn't love fall? Or Autumn, if you're into that kind of thing. The smells, the colours, the textures. Crunchy leaves in tones of gold and cinnamon, gentle breeze bringing colour to the cheek, conkers, pumpkins - an excuse to layer up and wear that favourite scarf. 

Anyway, fall in Disneyland is something completely different and supersonically luxurious, as well as downright ridiculous with the singing ghosts and the stupid carved pumpkins wearing top hats. My nephew isn't as swept away with Halloween as I am, despite him being born a few days before the day itself - something I am utterly jealous of! But nevermind, I'll just wait until he's a bit older and wants to start celebrating his birthday with insanely over decorated house parties and blurry underage drinks that are more sugar than flavour. He'll be glad to have an auntie as demented as me then... 

Anyway, enough about Halloween at Disneyland. Let's talking about sewing, that's pretty much the whole point of me even writing any of this posts. Rerouting back to my nephew and his birthday demands, I didn't want to just get him any old thing for the event - there's no point buying something when I can make something! 

So my nephew and I have a lot in common, we like stupid jokes, cat videos on the Internet and brightly coloured crime fighting super humans! He has the Lego Marvel Superheroes game on his Xbox, and now knows all of the names of all these tiny cuboid little dudes - but not a lot else to feed his growing obsessions. Lucky for him, he has an auntie who has been collecting and reading comic books and Marvel movies since way before he was even a twinkle in the eye.

(He also has an auntie willing to spend her free time researching and reading up on the superheroes that someone slipped under her radar, but the less on that, the better...)

One of the superheroes I introduced him to happens to be the estranged best friend of Captain America, and cold blooded assassin the Winter Soldier. I happen to be a little bit in love with Captain America, and it was impossible not to notice the long shaggy mane and raccoon eyes of Mr Sebastian Stan playing the dynamic and silent James 'Bucky' Barnes. Needless to say, my love for Bucky rubbed off on my little charge, and now he loves the Winter Soldier. 

So what does he want for his birthday, from his stitching auntie? Well, of course... 

He wants a hand stitched 'metal' arm, to match his auntie. I started off with a zip up sweatshirt with grey and 'leather' panels from the high street, and unpicked the hem along the left arm to make sewing a little easier. Because I was using grey fleece on black jersey, I knew machine stitching it was going to be a nightmare, and I wanted all the little gaps to be precise, so I opted to hand stitch it. I started with a patched red star in the centre of the shoulder and stitched the grey panels, starting from the middle and working out before lining the edges up. I did my best to follow the patterns on the Winter Soldiers arm from the movie, but obviously I couldn't recreate every single interlocking panel, so I picked out the most prominent features and lined them up the best I could, working on a smaller scale. Overall, it turned out really good! It's just on the right side of subtle geekiness, but still looking cool and stylish [unlike my ultra fashionable Captain America sweatpants].  

My little soldier loves it, and lucky for him it can go through the wash without much harm! It won't fit him forever, so he best make the most of it now! 

Now to template up that Captain America shield...