The Nutcracker

Christmas is over, and we’ve (literally) burned the Christmas tree, because nothing says “Recycle!” like when the city charges you each time you put your dumpster at the curb for pickup. You’d be amazed at how conservative you can be when you are determined to produce as little garbage as possible (although if I weren’t a disposable diaper-using mommy, it would be even less). Technically, burning the tree probably doesn’t count for recycling, but it sure warmed us up on a cold day! Anyway, it seems a little late for this Christmas post, but I’ve been in a glorious German Christmas food coma for the last two months.”

Sometime in the fall of 2012, my husband came up with the idea to do a Nutcracker cosplay and photo shoot. I thought it was the most brilliant idea I’d ever heard, and I offered to continue bearing his children, which was a good thing because I was about 5 months pregnant. Our enthusiasm was interrupted, however, by business trips on his end, “leisure” trips on mine (with two kids, it’s never leisure), and THEN, at the beginning of November, we found out we were going to move to Germany with three weeks’ notice. At that point, everything else took a backseat to complete pandemonium.

Move… new baby… spring… summer… fall… One year later, we finally made this shoot happen. And all things considered, the hardest part was finding a large, well-lit, indoor Christmas tree. My daughter’s dress was the same one she wore for the My Fair Lady shoot, and I made a jacket for my son to match a nutcracker we had (the tutorial for that is below the pictures), borrowed a hat from my husband’s college days, and called it good.

A basic guide on how to do a Nutcracker themed children's photo session with costume, prop, and location ideas and tutorials

A basic guide on how to do a Nutcracker themed children's photo session with costume, prop, and location ideas and tutorials

A basic guide on how to do a Nutcracker themed children's photo session with costume, prop, and location ideas and tutorials

A basic guide on how to do a Nutcracker themed children's photo session with costume, prop, and location ideas and tutorials

A basic guide on how to do a Nutcracker themed children's photo session with costume, prop, and location ideas and tutorials

A basic guide on how to do a Nutcracker themed children's photo session with costume, prop, and location ideas and tutorials

A basic guide on how to do a Nutcracker themed children's photo session with costume, prop, and location ideas and tutorials

A basic guide on how to do a Nutcracker themed children's photo session with costume, prop, and location ideas and tutorials

For the processing, you can get this and other Lightroom presets from my Etsy Shop.

JACKET

Can I be honest? I think I’m finally reaching the point where, with SOME costumes, I recognize that whatever I make will be worn for about 30 minutes, so it doesn’t have to be PERFECT, and it doesn’t have to be something I would be proud to show the insides of to my seamstress grandmother. That said, here’s how I cobbled together a jacket in about an hour.

First, I was copying a nutcracker we already had, so it took out most of the creative guesswork. If you are copying, you can do the same.

1). Here are the pieces I cut, minus the sleeves, which I seem to have forgotten to take pictures of. You know the shape, right? Looks like the wardrobe lady in Beauty and the Beast.

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2). I decided to put the split in the back so that I could just put a strip of velcro down the back rather than making things fancy and working in the buttons up front. That made all the embellishing a little easier. In the end, I didn’t even to the velcro; I just safety-pinned the jacket on my poor son. 🙂 Anyway, the second step was to ribbon and button up the front.

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3). I sewed the shoulders and sides together.

4). I embellished and sewed the sleeves, then attached them to the jacket. Almost finished!

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5). I added ribbon around the neck, some shoulder caps, and I cut a plain belt (which was also safety-pinned on). Final product?

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