Friday, October 26, 2012

Dinosaur Costume

So this year I fully intended to make Abe a Buzz Lightyear costume for Halloween. If there is anyone who can outshine George in his eyes, it's Buzz. For months he's been running around the house yelling "To ininity...and beyond!" so I figured this costume would be a big hit. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of asking him if he wanted to dress up like Buzz for Halloween. He gave me a flat out "No." What?! How can you idolize someone and not want to dress up as them for Halloween? (I'm pretty sure I was Punky Brewster for at least three years running!) So now what? I could either make a rather complicated costume and hope that he liked it, or come up with a Plan B, but every other idea I offered with was shot down as well. 

Then along came dinosaurs. Abe's been somewhat interested in dinosaurs for awhile now (mainly thanks to Rex on Toy Story), but after seeing a couple episodes of Dinosaur Train, and then watching The Land Before Time at grandma's house a few weeks ago, he's become obsessed. Completely obsessed. Each morning, sometimes before he even eats breakfast, he asks me to make Littlefoot (or Spike...or Sharptooth...or Cera) out of Play-doh. Then he carries my Play-doh creation around for the rest of the day as he plays, eats, and even sleeps (bringing it back for repairs whenever a foot or tail falls off). Incidentally, I've become quite skilled at morphing a brontosaurus into a stegosaurus, triceratops, and even a T. Rex!

Although my hands are incredibly dry from playing with Play-doh so much, his new love for dinosaurs couldn't have come at a better time. It solved my Halloween costume dilemma...and this time I knew I wouldn't even have to make a pattern because I pinned some great dinosaur costume tutorials months ago!


I started by gathering my materials:

hooded sweatshirt and matching sweatpants 
1/2 yard gray fleece 
1/4 yard yellow felt
small bag of Polyfil

I bought the sweatsuit on sale at Target for $12, and picked up the rest of my supplies at Joann Fabrics, where I spent a whopping $6.90 (after using a bunch of 40-50% off coupons). So for less than $20 I've got a costume that he can wear for Halloween and general dress-up, and the pants at least can be reused as everyday clothes.


I followed two different tutorials pretty closely, only adding spots on the tail, pants, and sweatshirt for a little extra embellishment. It went together really fast too! I think I started on it around 8:00 last night, and was done before midnight, even after taking a break to put Abe to bed.


Abe loves his costume (especially the tail) and seems happy with the fact that he can take off the sweatshirt and tail without any help from mom. I wanted to get some pictures of him running around in it outside, but it's been cold and rainy, so I just followed him around the house with my camera. But this costume is made for Minnesota (meaning it's warm!), so when he started getting too hot, he decided it was time to take it off.


For the dinosaur hoodie, I followed this tutorial from Living, Loving, Learning Naturally. She suggested cutting a line down the back of the hood and sweatshirt, inserting the spikes, and sewing it back up. At first I was nervous about basically destroying the hoodie, but then I realized that I wanted to keep the dinosaur costume intact for dress-up purposes anyway, so there was really no point in trying to keep the sweatshirt in pristine condition. Plus, her technique made this part of the costume sooooo easy! FYI I cut two lines - one from just below the neck seam to the top of the waistband, and another from just above the neck seam to the hem at the edge of the hood. That way the hoodie is still held together in critical places and I didn't have to worry about a weird seam on the front of the hood.


My only addition to her design was the felt spots I stitched onto the front of the sweatshirt. It looked a little plain from the front without them.


I added a couple to the sweatpants too. Otherwise, the sweatpants were left as is.


For the dinosaur tail, I followed this tutorial from Running with Scissors. I followed her instructions except when it came to the spikes. I made those from felt (2 pieces stitched together to help them stand up), and they're all individual pieces instead of one long row of spikes. I mainly did separate spikes to make it easier on myself. My sewing machine and I don't get along, so rather than try to pivot around the point of each spike (like I'd have to do if I was working on a full row of them) I just did two separate lines of stitching up the sides of each triangle. If you look closely they're not perfect or very professional looking, but I only wanted to throw my sewing machine out the window once during this whole process, so I'll take that as a win!


Oh, and the other spot where I strayed was the velcro. I only had self-adhesive velcro (which I'm not entirely sure is meant to stick to fabric), but if there's one thing I hate more than sewing buttonholes, it's sewing velcro. I just stuck in on the waist straps and miraculously it has stayed put! Once the tail was fully assembled, I stitched a few spots here and there and voila! 


Instant and adorable dinosaur. I must be part T. Rex because I could just gobble him up! 

Anyone else making Halloween costumes? How's it going? I'm so glad to be done early this year. I'm pretty sure I finished his wolf costume just before we headed out trick-or-treating last year!

26 comments:

  1. love the yellow/ gray combo! Great costume for colder weather and I'm glad the dino tail worked for you!

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  2. I just finished helping a friend make a dinosaur, oh sorry I mean Godzilla, costume for her 13 year old. It's funny how close it is to the little kids costumes.

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  3. I love how you added the spots and the colors you used! Awesome. Thanks for stopping by my blog to let me know you'd made it! you were clever not to cut through where the hood and sweater are sewn together, that was awful for me to get back together!

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    1. Yeah, my only sweater options were gray, black, or navy blue, and I loved the one you made so I pretty much copied the whole thing. Hope you don't mind!

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  4. That dinosaur costume is awesome! If it's not raining here Wed. night, I'm not quite sure what Simon will wear. Like you, it's pretty cold this time of year, and his Superman costume won't quite cut it! I especially want to make those tails for my kids, but I'm a little afraid they'll just walk around knocking stuff over...

    Are you dressing up this year? I've seen so many wonderful prego costumes!

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    1. Haha! I haven't really thought about it. Most of the prego costumes I've seen creep me out a little bit...

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  5. How precious! It reminds me of the sweatsuit costume my mom made me when I was about that age: a leopard!

    Erin @ The Great Indoors

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  6. Your dinosaur is so cute!...and the costume too!! :)
    I'm wanting to make something like this for my 2-year-old. You mentioned that you intended the costume to be worn for play after Halloween as well. We know how clean and tidy 2-year-olds are. Have you needed to wash your dinosaur sweatshirt? How does it hold up in the washing machine? I would assume the tail is not machine washable, but I'm hoping the sweatshirt is.

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    1. Thanks Erica! He actually wears the sweatshirt quite a bit so we have washed it a number of times. So far it's held up really well. The felt pills when you wash it, but other than that it looks good. I don't think I've ever washed the tail but it should be machine washable as well. It's just like a big pillow! If you use velcro on the tail, just make sure it's closed before you put it in the wash or it will stick to everything!

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  7. I made this costume for my son in navy with red spikes. I am really happy with the result. :) Thank you for presenting a polished costume in a really accessible way. I am not an experienced seamstress and feel I gained some confidence in tackling this one.

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  8. This is so lovely! Adorable. The link to the spikes tutorial no longer works. Could you please explain the process in a few words. Thanks!

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    1. Cut a line down the back, then with the right sides together sandwich your spikes between the two layers with the points facing in (you should only see the edge at the bottom of the spikes from the outside), and then sew a seam up the back. Hope that helps!

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  9. That's super helpful! Thank you! Purim is at the end of this week (it's our Israeli Halloween...) and I needed a quick, creative fix for my little one. I'm so impressed by how well designed your Dino came out, the embellishments and colour - just perfect! is there any stuffing or are the spikes just two layers of fleece?

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    1. They're just two layers of felt stitched together.

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  10. That is just about the cutest thing ever. Not only is it cute but it looks incredibly comfortable!

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  11. Hi, absolutely love this!
    do you know where I can find the tutorials for the hoodie and tail? the links don't seem to work anymore.

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  12. You can find the hoodie tutorial here: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:vqcQI-QyXa8J:www.livinglovinglearningnaturally.com/2011/10/diy-spiked-dinosaur-hoodie.html+&cd=8&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

    And the tail here: http://www.running-w-scissors.com/2011/03/dinosaur-tails.html#.VCm1ffldVFY

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  13. Is there another link for the sweAtshirt tutorial? The link above sent me to some weird shopping website.

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    1. If I remember right, I basically cut a line up the back of the sweatshirt and hood (but I left the hem of the shirt, hood, and the seam where the hood meets the shirt intact). Then pin your spikes between the two layers, and sew a seam up the back. Hope that helps!

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  14. Hello there! I was searching online for DIY dino costumes for my two sons (3yr and 9 months old) and stumbled across your page. I fell in love with your costume! I hope you don't mind but I pretty much copied it for my 3 yr old and made another one with blue spikes for my 9 month old. I did not cut the hoodie like you. Instead, I cut a piece of felt like a diamond shape, then sewed it onto the hoodie in the center and sewed the 2 sides of the felt up. I'm happy with how it turned out. Thank you! My 3yr old has been wearing it everyday. I will post pictures soon on my tumblr (serene_mayhem) and credit you and your page.

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    1. Awesome idea! That sounds so much easier. They are super fun for kids. My son still wears his! :-)

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    2. Here are some photos of the finished products. Everyone who has seen them thought they were store bought for $$$. Thank you again. There's been a lot of roaring in my house! http://serene-mayhem.tumblr.com/post/101385646257/yea-im-a-dinosaur-so-like-rawr-and-stuff-very

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  15. Holy smokes this is adorable! Totally going on my list

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  16. Love this, have the supplies and am ready to sew! How big are the spikes (height? width at base) on the hoodie and tail?

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    1. The spikes on the hood are about 3.5 inches high and 3 inches at the base after being sewn on. I'd add an extra half inch to both those measuements when cutting. The spike at the tip of the tail is 3 inches high and slightly less than 3 wide. The one at the top is 4.5 high by 4 wide. I just cut them a little bit smaller as I went down the tail.

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