Monday, November 2, 2015

Leopard in a Dress Costume

Little Bug wanted to be a kitty this Halloween, and when I showed her pictures, she immediately jumped on the leopard tutu costume, of which there are many variations out there in internet-land.

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.

Of course, there is also a matching tail. This one is made of the furry fleece, just a tube, closed on one end and turned out so the seaming is inside, stuffed with poly-fill and attached to elastic.

And then there is the tutu. I went with one of the no-sew tutu patterns floating around the internet. My local Joanne's had beige sparkle 6" tulle rolls, but no black or white, so I had to order those colors off of Amazon. The waistband is just 1 inch elastic. I thought it would be a fun project for us to make together, but it turns out it was a bit advanced for her, so I ended up doing it all myself, which was fine.  I'm not sure I'm sold on this kind of was simple, but seems to not be very durable, the tulle strips get all tangled up and seem to be pulling down out of shape. But it certainly was easy, so there's that.

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!

After Trick-or-Treating!
Mom the Lion Tamer/Ringmaster with her two wild animals!

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