Ha. So many of you guessed what my third little kiddo would be,
after seeing the Marry Poppins and Bert costumes. Smarty Pants!
There was no other choice, right? Our baby girl HAD to be a penguin. Ooooh, I was so excited.
I just have to say that I laughed out loud while I was making this costume. I just kept imagining it on her…….and would sort of giggle while sewing on the beak or stuffing the white belly full of batting. And then, when I finally slipped the finished costume on her almost 8 month old chubby self…….I gushed. It was just so much fun to see her turn into a little plump penguin. And then when she flashed her little gummy smile when I finally slipped the penguin hat on her head, the whole costume seemed complete.
Even if you aren’t using the Mary Poppins theme, you have got to give this penguin suit a try.
It’ll make you smile. Really big.
(It isn’t a super sensitive process with difficulties with fitting things perfectly. So give it a try, even if you’re a semi-beginner.)
But come on, are you seriously looking at that face and not smiling?
(If you aren’t, you better come on over and I’ll let you hold her. That’ll fix ya.)
And everything from the head down to the toes…..is super soft fleece.
Warm and cozy for baby (or child).
And of course, every penguin needs little webbed feet.
How else is she supposed to waddle around?
I could just smooch her to pieces.
And with this little munchkin in our family now……..she made our Mary Poppins theme complete.
(Ha…..no, that’s not why we had another baby. I wasn’t thinking ahead to Halloween. Though, hmmm, maybe we should keep that in mind.)
There’s something about seeing a vision in your head……and then seeing it come to life. I know you know what I mean.
It makes my heart so happy when it works out (because yes, there are many sewing catastrophes in my life!!)
And just because I couldn’t help it……I made a little video.
Feel free to jump into their little make-believe chalk painting with them. (I won’t tell your boss if you’re at work!)
Now click play and turn up that sound………
Ha. Makes me laugh.
And makes me want a Mary Poppins costume in my size! :)
. . . . .
But back to this perfectly plump penguin…
Would you like to make your own penguin costume?
To make this in about a 9-12 month size, I purchased the following:
- 1 yard black fleece
- 1/2 yard white fleece
- 1/4 yard of orange fleece
- 1/2 yard of white felt
- 1/8 inch wide elastic (for the bodice and the feet)
- 1/2 inch wide elastic (for the wings)
- 7 inch black zipper
- batting for feet, optional (I used a bit from my stash)
- double sided fusible web (I used a few small pieces from my stash to help construct the beak)
First of all, I used a dress of my little girl as a template to create a pattern for the top shape. There are no sleeves on this costume, so don’t worry about cutting those out. (If you need help with using an existing dress to create a pattern, click here.) Cut out one shape for the front piece and then 2 pieces for the back because you will add a zipper along the back. Be sure and add an extra 1/2 inch to that center section on each side for a seam allowance for the zipper. (I also curved the shape of the bodice outward, so it was more like an A-line shape. Not too drastic though. Also, I gave the bottom hem a little curve too, just so the side seams wouldn’t be pointy at the bottom because of the A-line.)
Then, along the front of front piece, place a curved white strip down the center. Sew along each side and at the top.
Then sew the two back pieces together along the center seam with right sides together (using a 1/2 inch seam allowance) and then add your zipper to the top. (Need help with zippers? Click here.)
Then, place your front and back piece together, with right sides together and sew them together along the sides and both shoulders, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance (or whatever allowance you gave yourself when cutting out the pieces). Then turn the whole thing right side out. (And sorry, no picture for this step.)
Next, cut some strips of fleece on the bias (so that they curve) are wide enough to be sandwiched around the top and bottom edge of the neck and arm holes. I cut my fleece about an inch wide. I also used a strip of bias-cut white fleece along the white section of the neckline and then black for the rest. I didn’t tuck each edge under like bias tape because the fleece doesn’t fray……and it would be really bulky for me to try and tuck all those edges under. (Confused about cutting bias-cut strips? Click here.)
Next, stuff batting between the white section and the top black section, from the bottom.
Then sew that bottom closed.
Then cut another strip of bias tape (mine was 2 inches wide) for the bottom of the penguin suit.
Sandwich it around the bottom edge and sew in place, leaving enough room near the fold of the strip to fit a safety pin and elastic through.
Thread some 1/8 inch elastic through the bottom until it cinches it in just enough…..and then knot the ends of the elastic tight and then sew the rest of the strip closed.
For the wings:
I just free handed a wing shape (see below) and then cut out one wing piece in black and the other in white (make sure to include a 1/4 inch seam allowance). Then I cut 2 pieces out in felt and 1 piece out in double sided fusible web, that were 1/4 inch smaller along both sides and 1 inch shorter at the top. (Just as a help……..I wanted my wing a few inches longer than my little girl’s arm and plenty wide enough to cover her arm and look like a substantial wing. So take that into consideration while cutting your wing pieces.)
Place the web between the 2 felt pieces, iron them together and then place them on the “wrong” side of the black wing. Then sew all the way around, a 1/4 inch in from the outer edge of the felt.
Next, place the white piece underneath the black piece (so that the black and white pieces are laying with right sides together) and pin them together. Then sew along both sides of the wing, leaving the top open. While sewing, sew right next to the white felt but don’t sew through the felt. Only sew through the black and white layers of fleece.
Then trim off the point of the wing, turn the wing right side out, iron it flat, then attach it to the penguin bodice. To do this, fold over the top edge of the wing a 1/2 inch, center it along the top shoulder seam of the bodice, then line up the top edge of the wing right along the neckline. Sew it in place with 2 seams next to each other.
Along the back side of the wing, attach a piece of elastic for an arm to slide through. (The placement of my elastic falls right above my little girl’s elbow so that the wing/elastic aren’t in the way when she bends her arm.) Be sure that the elastic isn’t too tight on your subjects arm.
For the hat:
Start off by making a basic hat shape out of black fleece. Be sure that the stretch of the fleece is going left to right…..so that it will stretch as you put it on your subject’s head. I made my hat following my tutorial here…..but I didn’t make the brim of the hat. I just made the hat long enough to cover the head, plus another 1/2 inch along the opening of the hat, to be folded under and zig-zagged closed.
Then cut two triangles for the beak, sew them together (with right sides together) along the 2 sides. Then iron a piece of felt (that is slightly smaller) onto one side of the triangle with some more double sided fusible web.
Then trim off the point of the beak, turn it right side out, iron it flat, then zig-zag the opening closed.
Then position the beak on the front of the hat and then sew the beak down right, right next to the zig-zag stitches. (I also hand-stitched the beak down near the base of the hat from the back side, just to keep the beak from flapping around. But I only went through the bottom layer of the beak so that you can’t see it from the top.)
Then cut two large white circles, then zig-zag some black circle down to the white circles. (I placed my black circles a bit down from the center of the whites. But it’s up to you.)
Then zig-zag the eyes right down to the hat, overlapping the beak just a bit.
Now, the feet:
These little feet kind of fell together last minute. I had a different idea in mind….but it didn’t work. So this is what I came up with. Keep in mind that this is for a costume so it’s not finished completely nice…..because the batting can come out. But no worries, it’s just a costume.
First, cut out 2 large webbed feet shapes. Cut a small hole (the size of the child’s ankle) near the bottom of the foot. But not too low because you need to sew around the opening of the hole plus you need some seam allowance near the bottom of the foot when sewing the two feet pieces together.
Then cut a 1 inch wide piece of bias-cut fleece (just like you did for the arm and neck holes for the penguin suit up above) and start sewing it around the opening of the hole on the one foot. Sew slowly, adjust, and make sure that you are sewing through both layers of the strip, above and below the foot piece.
Leave a 1 inch opening and thread some 1/8 inch elastic through.
Cinch the elastic in (so that it’s comfortable around the ankle), then knot it off and then sew the rest of the strip closed.
Then place the 2 feet pieces together (one with a hole and one without), with right sides together and sew all the way around. Trim of the points of each toe.
Then turn the foot right side out through the circle opening, point to tips of the toes out (I know, they’re not really toes!!) and then stuff with batting. You don’t want too much batting in there or a foot won’t fit in there……but you want enough to plump out the foot.
Keep in mind that this type of sole isn’t for heavy walking outside. It was creating with a non-walking baby in mind. So adapt as needed and have fun with it! :)
Lastly, I just added a quick little black bowtie shape right to the front. Totally forgot a picture but the bowtie shape is nothing more complicated than the bow shapes that I made for these little hairbows here. (But without the extra tails on the backs.) Then I just hand stitched it right to the front.
And the leggings:
Oh, those are just those super thick cotton tights from Wal-Mart. Easy.
And that’s it.
A compete little penguin suit……ready for dancing with Mary Poppins and Bert.