Easy DIY Dinosaur Costume
(From Old Pyjamas)
Do you have a dinosaur lover at your house? Sweet Pea is into dinosaurs these days. She turned four yesterday and we are busy preparing for a dinosaur-themed birthday party! Her birthday request was for me to make her a dinosaur costume for dress-up play. As a beginner sewer, this sewing project seemed daunting at first! I turned to Pinterest and saw this and this example, got some advice from a friend, looked through my box of fabric bits to see what I had on hand, and then set out to see what I could come up with on my own. What I discovered is a way to make a DIY dinosaur costume that is actually quite easy, even for beginners, and I just love the final product!
First I took a pair of Sweet Pea's favourite old pyjamas that were too small (as it happens, they had a dinosaur printed on the top, which is why they were her favourites.) I used just one leg of the pyjamas to make the tail. Then I found some shimmery green fabric from an old costume that didn't fit. I used that fabric to make the spikes, but you could use the other PJ leg if you wanted to.
To make the spikes: To cut out the fabric for the spikes, first I cut a triangle out of cardboard (I used an old cereal box from the recycling bin). I traced around it on a double layer of the green fabric to get my first spike. Then I trimmed about half a centimetre off each side of the cardboard triangle and used that to make the second spike slightly smaller than the first, and so on so that each spike was slightly smaller than the last (see photo below.) I sewed the spikes (right sides in if there's a right side to your fabric) along two sides and left the third side open. Then I popped them right side out and poked the corners straight with a blunt pencil.
To make the tail: I cut the pyjamas up the middle seam, separating the two legs, and continued down the seam to the bottom of one leg. Although the leg fabric was more or less triangular when laid flat, I trimmed it to make it come to a narrower point at the bottom by simply folding it back into its original 'leg' shape and then trimming freehand.
I laid the open edge of the spikes along the cut edge of the PJ leg - on the right side of the fabric and with the spikes protruding inwards, not upwards in the spiky fashion they end up in. The spikes were in order from the smallest at the end of the tail to the largest at the top. (Be sure that the spike's edge sticks out further than the edge of the PJs.) Then I folded over the PJ fabric so that the two edges were on top of one another, with the spikes inside, and sewed along the whole length together.
Then I turned the tail right side out and stuffed it loosely with a bit of batting. Finally I just sewed straight across the top to close it up, but I sewed it so that the top lies flat across her back, not flat along the centre seam of the tail, if that makes sense. This way when she wants to wear it, I can just pin it to the top of her pants and it will fall flat and be more comfortable.
To make the top: I was going to use the dinosaur pyjama top, but since it was already too small I thought she'd get more use out of her dinosaur costume if I used a larger top, so instead I used an old t-shirt of her sister's. I cut it open up the centre of the back, and followed the same procedure with the spikes as I had for the tail - laying the spikes in size order on the right side of the t-shirt with the spikes poking downwards, then folding the other edge of the t-shirt fabric on top and sewing along the entire length.
Finally, I turned it inside out and was relieved to see that I had a super cute dinosaur costume for my little dino lover!
Have a dinosaur lover in your household, too? Here are some great ideas for dinosaur-themed birthday gifts and party themes - and a sneak peak at what we're doing for Sweet Pea's birthday! [affiliate links]