Ambitious Homemade Winkie Costume – The Witch’s Guard from Wizard of Oz
Has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember… try to create a spot-on Witch’s guard (Winkie) costume with all the details of the movie character.
I’ve seen many pretty cheezie outfits offered online recently (some near $200) and negated the urge to purchase. Thought I could do way better.
Everything seemed to be inline for the opportunity this year. I recently retired from the graphic design business as did my sister who was a high school home economics teacher and extremely creative behind the sewing machine.
We had the time (entire month of Oct.) so we joined forces. What fun working with my sis!
Guess that was the magic combo. Me the architec and designer, she the construction manager.
Being the 75th Anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, this made perfect sense and fueled our mission to get as close as possible to the real deal.
I did many hours of research online, gathering images and reading about the materials used in the building process.
Found some great stuff and proceeded to measure me up for the material needs
Nearly the entire costume was thick felt. Gray, Ecru, Black and Orange. (great Halloween colors!)
All the pieces were either doubled or backed with interfacing. The most time consuming part was designing the front and back triple-appliqued florishes on the top gray skirt. All hand designed on the computer by me. Then traced, hand cut and ironed on with special dry mount backing material.
My sister was the pattern maker and craftmaster. She came up with brilliant construction plans of how this enormous ensemble was to come together and fit.
To detail out each individual piece would take too long, but as you can see in the photos there’s a lot going on, so to speak.
Used much velcro, some hot gluing went on and a lot of pre-planning and thinking prior to construction.
The guard bonnet was a high school marching band hat underneath. Created a higher profile with material batting with a wicker basket on top. The the fur went on with hot glue. Pretty tricky at times.
The belt and chords were all white cotton rope dyed orange. The tassles were really tough to find and make that large, so I opted to use wooden balls, drilled out at each end. Then created the frayed ends with more untangled orange rope. These took a 4 days to make from scratch. Lots of guess work went into these.
The boots were entirely my creation since the photos of the Winkie boots are very scarce and poor quality. They wore clog-like wood shoes, I think, with spat-like coverings. Didn\’t have the time or ambition to make those. I came up with a brainstorm!…
Found a product at Fleet Farm called Slip-Ons. Giant slip-on plastic slippers for farmers to wear when coming in from the field to the house. (I guess) For the top boot shank I used wool felt Sorrel liners. Contact cemented those in the Slip-Ons and wrapped the matching fur like the uniform has around the foot base to fill in the gaps. Voila! Winkie boots!
The cool and very unique spear was fun. Cut it out with a jig saw from a pattern I made from an online photo. There was a Hollywood auction of one of these spears which provided me with an auction catalog photo. Perfect. Then imbellished the spearhead pretty close to the original.
Must put an end to this rambling, as I could go on and on detailing out each complex unit of the costume. If you study the phots for long time you’ll get the idea of the entire wardrobe. All in all this took about 40 hours to complete. Materials…$200. I bought a lot of fabric on sale, too.
Final words… It was pretty heavy and constricting at times. Not anything you would want to wear indoors for very long. I was outside at a downtown block party and did much pub crawling. Weather was 40 degrees. Perfect for me!
As the photos display, I was only one of 14 people in our party of Oz characters. We rented a bus and traveled 25 miles to hit the downtown costume parties on Halloween night. People went nuts when they saw us. We took over every bar we ventured into. Halloween was never better!!!!