I recently took a trip to the fabric store in hopes of finding inspiration for a new project. I found some black fleece on sale and immediately started brainstorming. Endless possibilities filled my mind, but I kept coming back to the idea of making some sort of outfit or costume for my small and adorable lap-dog dog, Cricket. My husband and I adopted Cricket from the humane society, so don’t know his exact age or breed. But from what the vets could tell us, he is a Yorkiepoo (Yorkshire Terrier and miniature Poodle mix) and is about 2-3 years old.
Aside from the fact that I love DIYs and making my own unique items, there is another reason I wanted to make Cricket a dog costume. The problem comes down to his size…. he has the height and short and skinny legs of a Yorkie but a wider torso and longer body of a miniature poodle. Bottom line, he doesn’t fit into the standard sizes available for dog costumes!
Once I decided on turning him into a bat, I started by looking up all the different bat costumes for dogs that existed online. I knew I could make something a bit cuter, so I sketched out some designs based on elements I liked from different costumes. From there I separated the sketch into the different sections for how I would need to piece it together. I took all the measurements from my dog and modified pieces in accordance to these measurements. I then began drawing out the pieces on the backside of the fabric with a fabric marker. Once the general size and shape of the pieces were cut out, I started pinning them together and fitting them onto cricket to ensure I was getting the best fit. Tailoring an outfit with a ‘dog model’ may seem like an impossible feat, but Cricket has an abnormally calm and patient demeanour. This helped me tailor his outfit to his specific size while he sat still and I pinned everything together. I did this part in steps so that I could make sure everything fit correctly and the size wasn’t effected by the location of the pins. After getting all the pieces together I hemmed the hood length to make sure it was far enough down his face that I could put large eyes on top, but not too much that he couldn’t see. I then hemmed all the legs so he wasn’t stepping on the fabric. The ear holes were then marked, cut, and then the edges of the slit were sewn down for a cleaner look. I used cardboard for the wings and drew one wing, cut it out, traced the second wing, and cut this out as well. Larger pieces of similar shape to the wings were made with fabric and sewn overtop of the cardboard pieces. Once both wings were made, I attached them to his body (I put the costume back on him prior to this so i could mark the positioning of the wings). Next came the eyes. I found two different sized buttons at the fabric store: one small and black and the other large and white. I stacked the small one on top of the other and marked the positioning of them on the hood with a fabric marker. At this time, I affixed the eyes to the hood. This was the only part that I really had to sew from hand. The last step was final adjustments where I took in any loose fabric and changed anything that didn’t look quite right. And that’s it, a bat costume was complete! The best part was that this only cost $10 to make. If you’d like to see more pictures and video of this DIY bat costume, check out Cricket’s Instagram account.
With my future posts I’m hoping to include step-by-step instructions (with pictures) of how I put together the pieces. I’ll also try and putting together sewing patterns for the costumes and tell you how to modify each part based on your dog’s size. For now, you’ll just have to enjoy some pictures of the final results!
Follow me for more DIY ideas and comment below if you have any suggestions for dog costumes/outfits I should make.