Created by: Little Lizard King
Hi everyone, I’m Jane, and I am a designer for Little Lizard King. I was so thrilled to be given the opportunity to blog for fabric.com for Halloween!
My youngest son has been begging me for a bird costume and I had been brainstorming ideas. My first thought was that it would get way more wear if I could think of a way to make it something he could put on all by himself. At the age of 4, independence is a huge factor in how often something gets played with or worn in our house. The Little Lizard King Yogger pattern was the perfect choice for the pants and I used the Ravenna raglan pattern for the top. Once I settled on my patterns, I was excited to get started!
For this bird costume you'll need knit fabrics in a variety of bold, bright colors. I used the following knits for my costume, and the colors were amazing:
- 3 yds. Kaufman Laguna Stretch Jersey Knit Royal (this is the main fabric)
- 1/2 yds. Kaufman Laguna Stretch Jersey Knit Orange (bird legs)
- 1/4 yd. Kaufman Dana Jersey Knit Fern Clover
- 1/4 yd. Kaufman Catalina Interlock Knit Red
- 1/4 yd. Kaufman Dana Jersey Knit 4.8oz Yellow
- 1/4 yd. Telio Stretch Bamboo Rayon Jersey Knit Sky Blue
Two of Little Lizard Kings popular patterns, the Yogger and Ravenna patterns, pair perfectly to create this costume!
Preparing the Pants/Yoggers
The pants were extremely easy! I simply followed the step by step instructions provided in the Little Lizard King Yogger pattern. I chose the full length pants option and simply created the look of bird legs by manipulating the color placement.
To create the look of skinny bird legs, I used the orange colored knit for the bottom most fitted part of the yoggers. I used the royal blue colored knit for the top, bubble part of the yoggers, to mimic the wider thigh of a bird leg. The yoga style waistband made the pants super easy for my son to slide on and off without assistance.
Because the Ravenna Raglan top was designed for girls, I sized up 2 sizes for my son so it would have a looser fit. I also omitted the waistband and wristbands and just extended the pattern pieces 3 to 4 inches longer so they could be hemmed normally.
Preparing the Wings
This is the part of the tutorial where I kind of winged it……pun intended. But I will walk you through the construction step by step.
First, I laid out my front shirt piece and one sleeve. I placed the sleeve at an angle because I wanted to cut the wing in way that would allow him to raise his arms without the shirt pulling up. I measured the length of the sleeve and the length of the shirt from the armpit down. I then cut my wing flaps (as mirror images) 1.5 inches shorter than both of those measurements and rounded it down. This is also where I said that I winged it. The angle of the wing flap and sleeve do not have to be identical and there is no exact way to round the wing flaps.
You are now ready to add the feathers. My feathers were about 4 inches long by 3 inches wide, but this is personal preference. I stacked up a few of my knits and cut several at a time. When I added the feathers to the wings I started at the very bottom and worked my way up. Once I had a row in place, I would sew across the entire row to attach them all at once. Use a matching bobbin thread color so the thread is not noticeable on the back side of the wing.
Continue adding rows of feathers.
When you reach the upper part of the wing, start angling the feathers slightly. By the top row, the straight raw edge of each feather should be flush with the raw edge of the wing.
You will now enclose the top raw edge of the wing in binding. Cut a strip of knit 1.5” by a measurement that is half inch longer than the top wing width. Flip the wing, wrong side up. Place the strip of knit across the back of the wing, lining up the top raw edge of the wing with the long raw edge of the knit binding. Sew to attach.
Flip the wing right side up and trim the seam allowance.
Flip the bias up. Tuck the short raw end in towards the wing. Fold the top raw edge of the bias to the seam and then fold it down again to enclose the top raw edge of the wing. Sew to attach.
Your finished wing will look like this. Give the feathers a good steam press and baste them down the straight side of each wing (if desired).
Finishing the Top
Cut an oval for the center of the shirt. For easier application, back the oval with wonder under and then apply it and topstitch it to the shirt front.
Sew the raglan shirt front, shirt back and sleeves together as directed in the pattern. They will now make a continuous loop.
Place a wing on the shirt front, right sides together. The top wing binding should begin directly under the underarm seam. The straight raw edge of the wing will be lined up with the straight raw edge of the shirt. Baste in place. Repeat with other wing.
Fold the back of the shirt over onto the front of the shirt. Line up the sleeve, underarm seam and side raw edges. Sew to attach using a stretch stitch. Repeat on other side.
Turn the shirt right side out. Following the directions in the pattern add the neck band to finish the neckline. Hem the sleeves and bottom of the shirt 1/2".
The only step left is to tack the wing bias to the sleeve seam of the shirt so it looks like one piece. I tacked the wing about every 1.5 to 2 inches with a quick hand stitch.
The bird hat is something I quickly drafted for my son. I extended the center piece of the bonnet to a little peak to create the look of a bird. I also sewed three pairs of feathers, right sides together, with interfacing sandwiched in between. The interfacing helped them stand up nicely. I basted the bottom of the feathers together to make them easier to work with and to keep them positioned the way I wanted them. I then cut a small slit in the top of the hat and inserted the feathers. To secure them I sewed across the opening and the base of the feathers from the underside of the hat!
That's it- you're done! I hope your little trick or tweeter has a great Halloween and loves their costume. This costume idea could easily be modified to be a bat or a butterfly!