Step One: Choose an acceptable shirt – such as the long-sleeved one hiding in the back of your husbands dresser that you’ve seen worn once for 5 minutes. Even then it was obvious that the sleeves were much too short. Make sure it’s stretchy and warm – knits and fleece are great for this.
Step Two: Measure your child’s, or your own, head. Take two measurements – One around the biggest part of the head, where the brim of a hat normally sits. The second measurement is taken from between the eyes over the head to the base of the skull. Don’t worry about being exact, we mainly are making sure that we make it big enough to fit properly on the noggin and isn’t too small.
Then add an inch for seam allowances to both measurements. If you are going to reuse the seam along the bottom of the T-Shirt these are your final measurements. If you need to add your own hem, add an extra 1″ to the eye to nape measurement.
Reusing hem – Declan’s head circumference is 20″ and the eye-to-nape measurement is 15″, so after adding seam allowances I have a measurement of 21″ x 16″. Now divide that measurement by 2, which equals 10.5″ x 8″.
Not reusing hem – Declan’s head circumference is 20″ and the eye-to-nape measurement is 15″, so after adding seam allowances I have a measurement of 21″ x 16″. Then I add an additional inch to the eye-to-nape measurement which is now 21″ x 17″. Now divide that measurement by 2, which equals 10.5″ x 8.5″.
Step Three: Lay out the shirt you found and cut two rectangles using the size we determined above. If you don’t have the child around to measure, Declan has a pretty standard sized 2yo head. I like to iron the shirt out flat and cut the two pieces at the same time using a rotary cutter. Make sure to feign innocence when your husband finds you shredding his old “paintballing shirt”. You’ve never seen him go paintballing anyway.
Step Four: With wrong sides together, sew together one long side of the rectangle. Now grab a ruler and make a mark 3/4″ in on the unsewn long side of the rectangle. Make another mark 1/4″ in at the top. Connect the marks using a ruler to determine your seams for the short sides of the rectangle. This, along with the standard 1/4″ seam, will ensure that the skully will fit around the head without gapping. Sew up the seams you just drew.
Now your skully should start to take shape.
Step Five: Fold the opening up by 1/4″ or whatever you would like. Press and sew to form the bottom hem. Turn right side out. Viola! It’s seriously as simple as that.
To make the little ears, cut some strips from whatever fabric – I like to use strips of the knit T-Shirt because it will stop unraveling if you stretch it out – and tie them at the corners using a square knot. The size of the ear determines the final shape of the skully, though they all look the same while being worn.
Little adornments are easy to make if you happen to have some HeatNBond laying around. Basically just cut out your shape from a coordinating fabric, iron the HeatNBond to the wrong side, peel the backing and iron it onto the Skully in the desired location. I then go around the edges with a Zigzag stitch just to make sure it stays on and give it a cute little flair.
You can also use one long rectangle and fold it in half so there is no seam in the top.