Friday, 11 February 2011

How to make a lion costume

Mt daughter's school seems to have a dressing up day every week, we had pirate day, people who help us day and this week it was circus day. Pirate day was easy, old shirt, my belt, scarf and a few cardboard accessories. My cricut came in handy, I cut out the Jolly Roger on the Paper Doll Dress Up cartridge from white vinyl and stuck it onto black fabric that I had lying around. A bit of face paint and she was done. On the way to school she said:
Mami, I like pirate day...but I would rather be a princess!
People who help us was easy, too. I persuaded her that all the girls would come as nurses (which most of them did) and that a chef would be a good costume. I made her the outfit ages ago, the colours were all her choice! This time she opted out of the face paint, I had suggested a curly moustache, she wanted to be a girl chef. That is ok, too. We used some felt doughnuts and biscuits and a wooden spoon as accessories. Today is circus day and K had decided as soon this day was announced that she wanted to be a lion. We had nothing in the house, so I got to get my sewing machine out...I didn't complain. You might have guessed by now, that I really like dress up days and get a bit carried away.
I had a look on the Internet and then made up my own costume.
We copied the shape of a hood onto orange fabric that was folded right sides together, we added seam allowance and about 3 inches at the bottom.
I sewed these two pieces together and zigzagged the rough edges.
K then ripped brown, orange and beige fabric into strips (we used my scrap bag
and found loads, don't try to make them uniform, the rougher the look the better), we used some felt strips, too. I then placed the first line of strips along the seam on the hood and zigzagged them down. The next lines of strips were arranged in a u shape around the first line, about 11/2-2 inches apart. I then cut 4 u shapes out of brown felt for the ears and sewed two together around the round edge, leaving the straight bottom open. I filled them with cut offs and sewed them on between the lines at the front of the hood.
I used some shorter strips of fabric for the fringe and sewed them on along the top front edge of the hood.
I would have sewn this hood onto a brown t-shirt, but we borrowed one from friends, so I used safety pins.
We cut some elastic for the arms and legs, knotted them into a circle and just knotted some strips of fabric on.
We used a 3 inch wide and about 24 inch long strip of orange fabric for the tail, before we sewed it together we cut brown, beige and orange fabric into 3 by 6 inch rectangles (roughly) and folded them over to go at one end of the long strip of orange, with the rough edges meeting at the bottom and the fabric lying on top of the long strip). The long strip of orange was folded over lengthwise (now measuring 11/2 by 24 inches). Then I started sewing at the end with the extra fabric (it should be on the inside of the tube). This is a bit tricky, you might have to do this bit by hand if you put in too much fabric. I then sewed along the long side leaving the top open. The next step was to turn the tail around and cut the fabric at the bottom into strips. I attached mine to a brown pair of leggings. You could stuff your tail, but we liked it unstuffed better.
We added some face paint in the morning and this is it.

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