Is the anything cuter than a baby dressed as a baby animal? No, I don’t think so. This Little Lion Cub is my adorable nephew. For his first Halloween – he requested a costume that was cute, cozy and warm. And this Lion Cub costume, created by his very creative and talented Grandmother, was purr-fect for a cool Halloween night!
Lion Cub Body
Similar to the Curious George costume. Deconstruct an old pair of pajamas in your child’s size and use it as a pattern. Cut faux fur one inch (or more-it’s better to make the costume larger when estimating the correct size and adjust if needed, rather than make the costume too small) larger than the “pattern” to account for the seam allowance.
Before pinning the front panel to the back panel, pin the zipper into place on the back panel with the front of the zipper FACING the material. Stitch into place either by hand or machine. At this point there is no access to the zipper from the outside of the material. Don’t worry.
Pin the front panel to the back panel down the sides (not the arm holes) with the outside of the material (fur) touching. I added a small diamond shaped panel to the inside of the crotch to give the area more room so the material wouldn’t bunch. Once the crotch panel was in place, stitch the front panel to the back panels together at the inside leg seams.
Fold the arm panel in half lengthwise to find the center of the shoulder and pin the arm panel to the center of the top of the shoulder hole. Correctly angle the sleeve and continue to pin the sleeve around the arm hole. Stitch the sleeves to the arm hole, hem the sleeves then stitch the length of the arms.
Now, back to that zipper! Once the front, back and arms are attached, turn the suit right side out and cut the material down the length of the zipper.
Lion Head & Mane
To construct the Lion head cut 2 pieces of material as shown below. The piece shown at the bottom of the photo (16″ x 9″) extends from one side of the head to the other. The piece shown at the top of the photo (7″ x 6″) covers the back of the head. A piece of the same material 3 inches wide and approximately 15 inches long was folded in half lengthwise and 1/4 inch folded under then attached to the neck to create the collar.
Lion ears were created with a piece of fur measuring 7 inches wide x 5 inches long. A piece of pink material was place on top of the inside of the fur material. The top end (7″ wide side) of the material (with the pink material inside) was then tightly rolled down onto itself about 2-3 times then gathered at the bottom. Excess material at the bottom of the ears was cut off leaving just enough material to attach to the top/sides of the cap.
The fur for the mane was cut to cover the “head” from side to side (plus a little extra) and front to back. Two slits were made in the mane and the ears were pulled through. The fur on the cap needed a little plumping at the top and around the sides so a little volume was created by pinching an inch or so of the fur from one side of the head to the other behind the ears and across the top and loosely hand stitching the row. One row didn’t do the trick so another was added. The fur was then stitched up the back and attached at the front under the chin.
Velcro was stitched to the end of the strap which attached to Velcro stitched onto the collar.
Lion Tail & Paws
Measure and cut the desired length of the tail x 3 inches wide. The fur was rolled around a piece of rope to give it a stiffer appearance then closed by hand stitching. The end of the tail also hand stitched.
The paws were created using two pieces of white felt and interfacing which was placed between the two pieces of felt to give it some stiffness. I had scraps of black faux leather from a previous costume which I used to make the paw pads. The paw pads were attached to one felt circle then the two felt circles with the interfacing circle between them were sewn together. The completed circles were then placed and pinned on a square of fur, face down and on the back side of the fur. At this point you cannot see the paw pads when you turn it over. Then, with scissors, cut the fur around the circle to expose the paw.
For the Paw “hands” – cut another square of fur approximately the size the of fur square which has the paw pads. Pin the squares together, fronts facing. Machine stitch the front of the paw to the back of the paw leaving the area open at the wrist (see photo) and sew around the circle of felt. Turn the material right side out. Stitch the back flap of the paw to the inside of the sleeve at the wrist and fold the front flap of the paw inside the sleeve. This will create an opening which allows the hand to come out. If that access is not wanted then stitch both flaps to the inside of the sleeve at the wrist.
The white paw “pads” for the feet were created the same way but were made a little larger and an extra piece of faux leather material was added to the inside the circle for stiffness. The fur was attached differently to form to the feet. Once the white circles with paw prints were sewn together, a piece of fur cut to a length that would wrap the circles and to a height that would cover the ankles. The fur was wrapped, pinned and stitched around the circle with the fur facing the inside and the circle with paw prints visible (see photo). Sew the back of the paw closed. Two darts were also stitched up the front of the paw from the toe to ankle. Once stitched, turn the paws right side out.
The paws can be sewn onto the legs or elastic can be added around the ankle of the booties keep the paws from falling off. Here are pictures of front and back of the finished costume. A little blue ribbon was tied in a bow – for extra cuteness.
This little baby loved his little Lion Cub costume! And we loved him in it!