Aug 12, 2010, 5:39 PM - Pennywise costume from Stephen King's It
I've decided to go as Pennywise for Halloween this year, because the big party has a "Movie Monsters" theme. I did a search and there are questions about his makeup job and bald appliance, but didn't see anything on the actual costume. I'm going to start looking for clown costume patterns, starting with ones made by Simplicity. I'm sure I'll be able to find one with no problem, but I have a few questions before I get started. There's a part of the costume that looks like a jacket, with blue or teal and purple stripes. Is this actually a separate jacket or is it sewn on? Is there a close match for the material or is it strips of alternating colors, sewn together? The ruffled collar looks to be three layers - two outer layers of something white and textured, and a center one with a smaller version of the stripes on the jacket. Does anyone know for sure what the colors should be?
Last edited by Bizarro Lois; Nov 8, 2010 at 5:55 AM.
Reason: added photos
Aug 12, 2010, 6:29 PM - Re: Pennywise Halloween costume
At about 1:15 where he gets out of the chair, the vest appears to be a seperate peice. There's a few more scenes in there where it lifts up off the suit. Of course, there was probably more than one costume and some of them might have been sewn on, depending on what was required.
YouTube - Scariest Movie Villains: Pennywise the Clown
Aug 12, 2010, 7:17 PM - Re: Pennywise Halloween costume
Aug 12, 2010, 9:42 PM - Re: Pennywise Halloween costume
I think that pattern will work well. I must say, I support this project 150%!
Aug 13, 2010, 6:16 PM - Re: Pennywise Halloween costume
For the face, if you don't want to go for the make up, this mask is a good option for me. I used it for a pennywise costume some years ago and it is really impressive.
You can find it at darksidestudio.com.
Aug 13, 2010, 8:18 PM - Re: Pennywise Halloween costume
Thanks for the mask suggestion. They're a little out of my price range at the moment, so we'll see once I have a little of the costume finished. How do the mouths on those work? I've never worn a full mask that the mouth isn't just cut out. I have no problem doing the full makeup job either.
Tomorrow, my mom is dropping off a pattern she had around the house, because I remembered that my dad dressed as a clown once. We'll see if that fits and if not, I'll got with something similar to the pattern I posted.
I'll also need to start looking for the contacts and clown shoes. I'd welcome any suggestions for sources.
Last edited by Bizarro Lois; Aug 13, 2010 at 9:18 PM.
Aug 13, 2010, 8:29 PM - Re: Pennywise Halloween costume
Years ago when I played a psycho clown in an on-running improv soap opera (don't ask) I did some research into proffessional clown costuming and found out a little known fact...so here it is:
A lot of the older style clown costumes like Pennywise' are cut in such a way as to imply length in the arms and shortness in the legs.
It can be done by lengthening the arms and lowering the crotch area.
The over-all effect is to make the clown appear more "ape-like" which is basically a site-gag making the clown look odd and humorous before he/she even does anything.
Hope that helps!
Please post pics when your done!
Last edited by Mutant-Enemy; Aug 13, 2010 at 10:45 PM.
Reason: I don't spell so good.
Aug 13, 2010, 9:17 PM - Re: Pennywise Halloween costume
Great point. I actually saw a picture of Pennywise where this effect seems to be used. I thought it was the way he was standing.
Edited to add: I know that when his teeth start to elongate his eyes are yellow with red edges. Are they the same color when he's in his normal mode? I'm trying to find a picture that shows what color his eyes are in those scenes.
Last edited by Bizarro Lois; Aug 13, 2010 at 9:26 PM.
Aug 13, 2010, 10:16 PM - Re: Pennywise Halloween costume
No, his eyes are just Tim Curry's eyes in the normal scenes.
Aug 13, 2010, 10:42 PM - Re: Pennywise Halloween costume
I recall from reading the book and seeing the movie that it's mentioned that the reason the creature took on the guise of "Pennywise" was to get close to children and the big part of that disquise is believability...hence, I make the deduction that the only time the eyes would appear as anything but a normal human's eyes would be when the creature felt it had it's victims fully in it's grasp.
That and the scene where the book comes to life showing the old carnival coming to town and the clown climbs up the lamp post to get closer to the edges of the picture, I'm fairly certain his eyes are normal.(Oh! Look up...there he is.)
But you have to decide which of the many frightening sides of Penny-Wise you want to show with your costume, so I wouldn't rule out contacts all together but if you really can't afford them you should also remember...Clowns can be very naturally frightening anyway!
remember Bozo? I used to get chills just watching him walk out on stage!
Another brief story you may find interesting...
About ten years ago I started adapting the comic book: "A Cotton Candy Autopsy" for the stage. I planned on it being set very minimalist with the Clowns of the piece being completely authentic so as to make them the focus. It was very important to the over-all believability of the piece because they were supposed to be professional clowns. I decided while writing it that they had to be 100% authentic in every detail.
(I'm kind of a stinker that way)
Want to know what put the Kabosh on me ever staging it?
During the budgeting for costumes I went out and priced genuine Clown Shoes (like those worn by Tim Curry in the Movie)
In my adaptation of the piece there are Five Clowns and shoes alone would have run $3750.00 as professional Clown shoes ran, at that time,$750.00 a pair.(No Joke!)
I got told by a lot of people, "Just use those plastic ones you can find at costume rental places", but the problem there is plastic shoes click when you walk which is no good on stage and they LOOK like plastic.
No REAL clown with any amount of respect for his craft would be cought dead in plastic shoes.
Anyway, there's my story...My end point being, if you want your Penny-Wise to have that real edge of believability you should go in for some leather Clown shoes that are hand stiched if possible with crepe soles.
Any fairly good leather worker should be able to throw something together for you if you find him soon enough.
I only wish I had had the contacts back then that I have now! Here's a link that may be helpful:http://www.clown-shoes.com/make%20yo...%20shoes.shtml
Again, good luck and if I can be of any help let me know!
Last edited by Mutant-Enemy; Aug 13, 2010 at 11:09 PM.
Aug 14, 2010, 6:28 AM - Re: Pennywise Halloween costume
I had seen that pic before, but couldn't tell what color his eyes were, thanks for the clarification. The "friendly" version is the one I wanted to do, because I wouldn't have to worry about the teeth either.
Also, if I'm going to try and get clown shoes, I won't want to spend the money on contacts. Nice to have one less expense to worry about. What I do with the shoes will depend on what I can find. I definitely won't be getting $750 leather shoes made
So...any guesses on how the stripes should be done? I'm going to have to start shopping for fabric soon.
Aug 15, 2010, 2:29 PM - Re: Pennywise Halloween costume
I'm thinking about getting clown shoes similar to these. Black Plastic Clown Shoes - Costumes
I know they're not real clown shoes, but if I can't find more modestly priced ones, they'll be the best I can do. Maybe I can coat the bottoms with something so they don't make that clunky plastic sound. For what they are, I don't really think they look that bad.
Aug 22, 2010, 12:37 PM - Re: Pennywise Halloween costume
I found this image, which shows the yellow of the suit sticking out from the vest, so that convinces me that the vest is separate. For some reason, I was thinking that the striped sleeves were part of a fake jacket. Now I can see that the vest isn't even the same color. I guess it's just been a while since I've watched the movie.
Any ideas for a good fabric match for the vest?
Aug 22, 2010, 1:45 PM - Re: Pennywise Halloween costume
As far as clown shoes go, search places like ebay. Stay away from costuming sites since you really do not want those plastic clown shoes, they are very hard to walk in.
I was searching for clown shoes for another costume and found a decent pair made of vinyl, with a rubber shoe, for about $20 on ebay last year.
Aug 22, 2010, 3:30 PM - Re: Pennywise Halloween costume
Thanks for the tip, Minx. I've watched a whole bunch of clips featuring Pennywise on YouTube, and none are clear enough to give a real definite view of the fabric used for the vest. I'm thinking a velour or brocade with shiny threads woven in. In some scenes it looks like there are shimmery spots, maybe purple, pink, or blue. There's a fuschia ribbon or piping going around the edges.
I think for the striped sleeves, I might have to stitch the stipes together, because I still haven't found anything close to that fabric.
Also, is it my imagination or does the suit open in the front? I don't see it opening and closing between the pompoms, but there's kind of a line going down the front center. I'm not really sure what else that could be.
At least having the separate vest might make finding a pattern in my size easier.
I still need to find a ball that I can cut like another member did for underneath my bald cap and a wig, along with some scar wax or something, so I can smooth out my eyebrows.
Aug 22, 2010, 9:29 PM - Re: Pennywise Halloween costume
I just found an eBay auction for a custom Pennywise costume. I'm not going to buy it, but I like the reference it provides. Of course, I don't know where the maker got his/her information, but I might use some of the suggestions for colors, fabric, etc. Since this is an active auction and not my own, I won't post the link. But I'll include some of the text. If you really want to see it, just do a search for "Pennywise clown costume" and it should come up. Here is part of the description:
"Turquoise & Purple Satin Striped Fabric Has 1/4" Purple Ribbon Sewn on Between Each Stripe on both the collar and the sleeves. (just like the costume worn in the movie!)
Yellow bottomweight cotton (a heavier weight cotton) is used for the body of the costume and has a 19" zipper down the center front with 3 large Orange Poms Poms alongside the zipper (these are safety pinned on for easier removal for laundering). There are 2 rows of thin black ribbon sewn onto the ruffle at the ankle
Black vest/bolero for this costume is made of a short pile black fur fabric and is trimmed with RED Satin
Collar has 4 rows of ruffles."
The only thing I'm not sure I agree with is the color of the ribbon on the ankle ruffles. I always thought there was one purple and one fuschia.
Aug 25, 2010, 3:19 PM - Re: Pennywise Halloween costume
I found this pattern at my mom's house - she used it for my dad a few years ago.
It's a few sizes too small, but I might just try and resize it, because patterns in my actual size are hard to get, and the suit will have to be super baggy anyway.
Aug 25, 2010, 4:21 PM - Re: Pennywise Halloween costume
I have the custom made pennywise costume from ebay..I bought it a few months back and its currently on the way to me Was shipped from the US on 19th and is at uk customs at the minute.. I'll post a few pictures of it when it arrives if you like
Aug 25, 2010, 5:19 PM - Re: Pennywise Halloween costume
I would suggest picking up the DVD and making screencaps of your own for reference pics. That way you can pick and choose what you need. The resolution would also be a lot better than youtube and the tiny pics you get during a Google image search.
However, I have it at home. If you like, this weekend, I could pop it in and grab a few.
Aug 25, 2010, 5:57 PM - Re: Pennywise Halloween costume
That would be awesome. I'd love to see some better pics of it. I had asked the seller where he/she got his/her reference, and the only response I got was "Look on the Internet."
I'd love to make some screengrabs. Could someone tell me how? I can play DVDs on my XBox 360 or my PS3. My pc probably plays them too, but I haven't tried yet.
Aug 25, 2010, 6:18 PM - Re: Pennywise Halloween costume
Your PC should have a DVD ROM as a standard part of your CD disk drive. Just pop it in and the computer should recognize it. The first time you're using it, it may ask you to set the region. So you have to set the region to where you are. Once you do that, it will play. Then you just go to scenes you want and hit your screen print button. Then copy and past the image into a picture program. Ta-da! You have a screencap.
Sep 3, 2010, 5:03 PM - Re: Pennywise Halloween costume
It looks nice. I'm not sure that's the same one I referred to, because the vest fabric on the one I saw was described as a velour or pile fabric. In screen shots, it does look like it should have some kind of design. I thought the edging around the movie version looked to be magenta or purple, as opposed to the red described in the auction I was talking about. I agree that the stripes on the ankle ruffles should be two different colors though. Either you got a different suit or the seller made multiples with a few variations. Thanks for the pics!
Sep 3, 2010, 8:10 PM - Re: Pennywise Halloween costume
I was also wondering if the suit you got opens in the front. In pictures, Pennywise always looks like he has a black zipper or something else that creates a dark line going up the front. How are your pompoms attached?
Sep 3, 2010, 8:11 PM - Re: Pennywise Halloween costume
How'd you know that? Where do I get these? Should I buy them in my actual size or a little larger and stuff them? (I have fairly small feet and want to make sure they don't look too bad in the suit.)
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