For those of you who love the show Parks and Recreation as much as I do, you’ll have seen the most recent episode, all about gendered scouting groups in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. If you’re interested in watching the episode, you can catch it online here.
The episode is fantastic, and the design of the Pawnee Goddess and Pawnee Rangers costumes rules. I was so in love with them, in fact, that I decided to make my husband and I a set for Halloween! In a couple days, I’ll show you how my husband’s and the doggie costumes I’ve whipped up to go along with our Parks and Rec theme turned out!
hunter green bandanna
2 1/2 yards of wide yellow ric rac
1 1/2 yards royal purple fabric
yellow star patches
a variety of other iron-on patches of your choosing
newspaper or tissue paper
ironing board or towel
royal purple thread
Lay your t-shirt on some of your news- or tissue paper. Trace the shape of the shirt except for the sleeves on to the paper, creating a pattern for the back panel of your soon-to-be Pawnee Goddess vest.
Eyeball the curve of the sleeves as best you can, connecting the would-be armpit to the shoulder.
Fold your paper in half and trace the curve drawn on to the other half of the pattern. Cut the pattern out.
Pin the pattern to your purple fabric and cut out the shape, adding 1/2″ of seam allowance to all sides.
Unpin the pattern piece from your fabric, cut it in half, and cut out the two front panels of your vest, again adding 1/2″ of seam allowance.
Pin down your 1/2″ of seam allowance on all but the two sides shown on both front panels of the vest. The two sides that don’t need pinned down (hemmed) will be sewn together to create the vest. Sew what’s been pinned.
Pin and sew the arm holes, head hole, and hem of the vest for the back panel.
Pin all panels together, carefully lining up the shoulder and side seams. Sew the shoulder and side seams. Turn your vest inside out!
It was at this point that I realized I needed to change the “neckline” of my vest. Turn your vest wrong side out and pin down the front opening of the vest. It will look like lapels, like this:
Sew along the folded edge to create the proper neckline on your vest.
Next, pin your ric rac along the edges of the right side of your vest, down the front opening and around the back of the vest. When you reach a corner, fold the ric rac over and pin it down, as shown in the second picture below.
Your finished vest will look like this before you add patches:
Now, unwrap your iron on patches and have fun placing them as you see fit. The gold stars and Pawnee Goddess badge on Leslie Knope’s vest go on the left breast. (See?)
Once you’re excited about the placement, heat up your iron based on the patches’ package directions. Place your bandanna over the patches and iron the patches in place.
Turn your vest inside out, and iron the patches from the back to secure.
Since my iron was hot, I also ironed the packaging wrinkles out of my bandanna. To get the right bandanna look for the costume, I folded mine in to a triangle.
Then, I rolled it from the fold side toward the opposite corner.
Finally, try the whole getup on! Put on the lavender t-shirt, vest, and the bandanna loosely tied around your neck. Forgive the weird self-portrait, but I had to try for my best Leslie Knope impersonation while in this costume!
If you’ll notice, I haven’t made my Pawnee Goddess seal badge yet, but I’ll post a tutorial if I have the chance to get mine made my Halloween!
PS: My full disclosure embarrassing moment of this post: The only lavender t-shirt Jo-Ann Fabrics carried when I visited their Chicago store was totally a maternity shirt. It’s basically just long and stretchy. I’ll be the first to say “LOL” at myself in this situation. Oh well. Happy Halloween!