Tutorial: Baby Salmon Sushi Costume

salmon sushiI’m about a month late, but I thought I’ll post some pictures from this year’s Halloween!

I dressed Pon Pon up as salmon sushi. Yes, sushi!  lol Does this depict Asian stereotype? Perhaps. But I’ve been wanting to dress her up in this costume ever since I came across a random picture of a sushi baby a few years ago (even before she was born)! This is Pon Pon with her dad, at the Mom Expo in Calabasas.

We were there with our friends Kerry and Carmela, fellow new parents, and their four months old, Baby E! Pon Pon and Baby E both dressed up as salmon sushi (because sushi always come in two pieces), and we called them the Wild (salmon) Pair! They were a hit at the Expo, and they received mini pumpkins for having the cutest costumes!

Making the costume was pretty easy, even though it took couple attempts to perfect it.I made a boxed, rectangle cushion and stitched on twill tapes evenly on the front to make it look like a delicious piece of fresh salmon.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to make the salmon sushi costume, if anyone is interested in making this for next year’s Halloween. You can change the fabric color and turn it into any kind of sushi, like red for tuna and yellow for egg. You can even dress up your pet dog with this!

pink lineCut the Fabric
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Cut out the following panel pieces from your favorite orange cotton fabric:

Sushi panels

  • Panel A (make two): 9” (width) x 15” (length)
  • Panel B (make two): 9” x 3”
  • Panel C (make two): 3” x 15”

You can adjust boxed cushion size based on your baby’s body size. I recommend making it slightly bigger, for the gag effect.

pink lineSew the Panels Together
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Sew on all the panel pieces together, right sides together, except for the back panel (the second Panel A), leaving a three-inch opening on one side between Panel A and Panel C.  This allows you to turn the pillow inside out when you sew on the back panel.  I used a quarter inch sewing allowance.

Salmon figure

pink lineSew on the Twill Tapes
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I used twill tapes to create the white lines on the salmon sushi.  I picked it up at a local JoAnn’s but you can purchased it online too.  I used Wright’s Wide Twill Tape (4 yards, 0.25 in wide).

Mark the center of the sushi with a erasable fabric chalk or pen and sew on the tapes, on an angle, on one side.  I used a zig zag stitch and sewed on both top and bottom of the tape for security.

salmon figure 1

I found that gluing the tape first before sewing it on the fabric was extremely helpful.  I tried using pins but that was too much of a hassle and the tape never stayed on straight.  I used a regular glue stick because I don’t own the one made specially for fabrics and it worked well.

Sew on the other side of the pillow with twill tapes.

salmon figure

Here’s what mine looked like after I sewed on the tapes.

salmon

pink lineSew on the Back Panel
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When you’re done with sewing on the tapes, sew on the back panel all the way around Panels B and C, right sides together.  Snip off each corners (careful not to cut off the sewed on parts) and turn the pillow inside out.  Iron the pillow and get rid of any wrinkles.

Fill the pillow with your favorite cotton plush filling, and hand stitch the opening closed.  You’re done with sushi!  Yippeee!

pink lineMake the Nori Belt
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Now, it’s time for you to make the Nori (seaweed) belt.  Measure your baby’s girth using a measuring tape.  Make sure to place the finished sushi pillow gently on his / her back before you wrap the tape around so you can get the accurate measurement.  Pon Pon was 32 inches, and I made the width five inches.

nori figure 1

Fold each end of the fabric twice and sew on the fold, to eliminate any annoying loose threads coming out of the fabric.

pink lineSew on the Velcro
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Cut the long velcro strips into three, three-inch pieces.  velcro

Sew the “hook” pieces on the right side of the fabric, placing each strip evenly.  Sew on the “loop” pieces on the wrong side of the fabric, also placing each strip evenly.

That’s it!  Dress up your baby in a white outfit and you got yourself a little sushi baby!

sushi halloween

I regret not taking pictures along with way to provide better instruction but I hope you found this to be helpful.  I think there are other wonderful tutorials on the web so definitely check them out by searching, “baby salmon costume,” or something along the line.

Happy sewing!

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Food Tasting

The best thing about having a wedding – aside from marrying the most awesome guy in the world – is free food tasting! Many places charge for tasting, but ours was included in the package. Woot woot!

Kevin and I got to try two salmon dishes, two chicken dishes, and a vegan dish, along with six appetizers during a sampling session at our wedding venue last week.

It was a tough decision but we picked our favorites. I hope our guests will enjoy our menu selections!

Full O’ Life

Breakfast (10:00 a.m.): Smoked salmon sandwich (with onion but no avocado this time) and a cup of coffee with creamer and agave nectar for breakfast. I was bummed that my morning conference call got cancelled today.  I was actually looking forward to this call (it was a staff meeting) since I haven’t talked to some of my teammates in a while. I would hate for it to be March already when we finally exchange the Happy New Year greeting. Oh, the joy of a virtual team!

Lunch (1:30 p.m.): Met up with friend Noelle for lunch at Full O’ Life Natural Food Markets and Restaurant in Burbank. I’ve shopped there before but never ate there so I was really excited. I was also excited to see my former Yahoo colleague to catch up! We had a really great conversation over the salmon plate that I ordered, that came with dinner salad and baked yam. It was a little pricy at about $14.00 (for such a small portion) but it was really delicious.

Dinner (7:30 p.m.): Smoked salmon, onion, and avocado salad and a piece of ciabatta bread for dinner … and two glasses of wine with my sister.  I was having so much fun with her that I forgot to take photos.

Workout:  I worked out with my sister at a neighborhood park / baseball field today. My legs started cramping up so I wasn’t able to do some of the moves and I was extremely bummed.sadI really need to shed some excess weight so I’m not putting too much pressure on my legs and back. A minimum of one hour cardio from now until the Los Angeles Marathon and the wedding … it’s the trainer’s order!

Haircut:  I don’t know what came over me but I cut my bangs the other night in the bathroom. I’m not sure what to think about my new hair-do just yet. I think I was a bit depressed last week because it was my birthday week. Birthdays are meant to be a celebration but I get a little emotional during this time of year. And I missed the dinner party that my parents planned for me last Saturday because I thought I was coming down with something.cryBut I’ll get over it in a few days and I’ll be back to my usual, cheery self hopefully very soon.

I know it’s a little narcissistic of me to post pictures of myself, but I wanted to put the before and after shots here for my records.  Please forgive me.

Fear Factor

I’ve been pretty obsessed with photographing my daily food intake lately. My sister (a personal trainer who is training me for my upcoming wedding) is making me complete a daily food journal, and I thought it would be a fun idea to document everything that I put in my month, to accompany it.

This is like the modern version of “enikki,” a picture diary that we had to keep in elementary school in Japan.

Breakfast: I had breakfast at 10:45 this morning – a very late start. I started checking work emails and lost a track of time. I had a bowl of rice, miso soup using the leftover broth from last night’s mizutaki, and natto.

Natto is a Japanese delicacy made out of fermented soybeans and is usually enjoyed poured on top of steamed white rice. We Japanese eat this for breakfast, while our American cousins eat eggs and bacon in the morning.

I was a bit hesitant to post a fairly large photo of this dish because the visual of stringy rotten beans can be Fear Factor-ish and understandably unappetizing for some. eek Thank goodness there is no “scratch and sniff” feature here … as natto can be pretty stinky.  But it’s actually very delicious once you overcome the initial fear, and its health benefits are second to none.

Lunch (2:30 p.m.): I made a harusame soup thing, using the leftover miso soup from the morning. I boiled  ¼ head of cabbage and added some harusame to the broth, and enjoyed it with some gomadare, ponzu, and Sriraccha.  I wish I had some green onions to sprinkle on top for some crunch and color.

Snack (3:45 p.m.): A cup of Costa Rica coffee brewed using the French Press, with a splash of almond milk and homemade caramel for the at-home version of designer Caramel Maccchiato. I’m convinced that the French Press brews the best coffee.  I also ate one stick of the Korean chocolate bar.

This is the homemade caramel sauce I received as a Christmas gift from my soon-to-be sister-in-law. She is a wonderful cook and an amazing woman. And as for the gift … this is the best caramel sauce I’ve ever tasted. I have to be careful not to polish the entire jar in one sitting.

Dinner (9:00 p.m.): I had my favorite smoked salmon sandwich (with mayo, onion, and avocado) after I returned home from playing tennis with Shannon (and burned what we think or hope was about 450 calories). It was such a fun workout session and even funnier because I don’t know how to play tennis  … at all.

Hitting the Spot: Jake’s Famous Crawfish

jake-mussellMaya and I went to The Yoga Space in Downtown Portland Saturday morning to take what we thought was a beginner yoga class. We should have known better by looking at eight or so very limber yogis stretching when we walked into the studio, that this was not for newbies like us, and was intended for someone with gumby-like flexibility and Ninja Warrior agility. But ignorance is bliss – we ended up surviving the class safely in one piece (but barely).

Needless to say, we were famished by the time we finished the torture, I meant, the practice, and we rushed over to a seafood restaurant that Maya’s brother-in-law Jeremy recommended we should check out. Unfortunately, the restaurant was closed, probably due to the holiday weekend, which left two hungry girls stranded and antsy.

We drove for a few miles and found Jake’s Famous Crawfish, which, at 2:00 p.m. was still crowded with patrons, so we rushed in.

We ordered our “usual” – fresh oysters and steamed mussels. You’re not seeing double here. These are two separate orders of different oysters. We couldn’t decide between two kinds our server recommended so we decided to get both.

jake-oyster-1

jake-oyster-2

We were so hungry that we almost forgot to take photographs but what you see here (whatever is left of it) is salmon with horseradish sauce that I ordered, which was absolutely to die for (the fish was so moist, juicy, fresh and flavorful),

jake-salmon

… and Maya’s Parmasean crusted, pan fried rock fish which was as delightful.

jake-rock-fish

When we were done with these dishes (with a couple of glasses of wine and cocktail each kicking in), we were both ready to hurry home to take a nap … and nap we took. We passed out around 4:30 p.m. and I didn’t wake up until the next morning!

Jake’s Famous Crawfish
401 SW 12th Ave
Portland, OR 97205-2397
★★★★☆