I decided to approach it by making several matching pieces that together would work as a costume, but separately could work for daily wear or imaginative play.
|The facepaint sort of makes the costume... and fortunately, she was totally into it this year. I ended up using Natural Earth Paint, purchased locally but you can also get it here. I was skeptical at first, but it worked rather well, and I love the earthy tones-- they are perfect for a leopard-face.|
The dress pattern is the MADE First Day Dress. I've raved about this pattern here. This time I sewed it up in leopard print dancewear fabric that I picked up at Joanne's. Since I was sewing in a very stretchy knit, I took 1/2 inch off of each of the side seams, skipped the back closure, and bound the edges with a strip of knit. Actually, I got only partway through binding the edge of the sleeve and ended up liking the way the strip acted like a little cap sleeve. I also left the skirt un-hemmed. I made matching tights in the same fabric, just traced off of a current pair of her leggings.
To keep my little Leopard warm, I made a little leopard shrug out of a furry leopard fleece. I traced one of her sweaters as a pattern, leaving it at a cropped length with no front closure. I did a simple hem on the fleece, turning it up once and topstitching it down.
For the ears, I made a fleece hat with ears. I thought it would be a fun hat to wear this winter, and would keep the ears more secure than a headband or clips, while also providing warmth. The pattern was traced from one of her favorite hats, and the ears were improvised. The hat is fully lined with micro-fleece.
I think her girl-sense finds the hat to be a little un-cool-- sometimes she won't wear it. And on this particular day, she wanted to wear the tutu under the dress, like a petticoat. She is an interesting kid!
|My Leopard and Lion!|
|Mom the Lion Tamer/Ringmaster with her two wild animals!|