We were also able to find a White Rabbit costume for Marvin, but taking a picture of all three of them was like herding cats. Or maybe it was just like herding children and pets.
With so much advance notice from Ms. B., I was more worried about finding an Alice costume for a tween that didn’t look slutty (this irritation is a whole ‘nother blog post) and less worried about finding a mouse costume for the Peanut. As much as I sew, my first instinct has never been to sew my children’s Halloween costumes. Frankly, once you factor in materials and time spent working on the costume, it’s usually just cheaper and easier to buy a costume.
But as we got closer and closer to Halloween, I wasn’t seeing infant mouse costumes in the stores, and wasn’t finding them online for a price that was reasonable. So I decided to make them myself. Once I decide that I will sew something myself, then I usually try to find a pattern that can help me. I started with a McCall’s pattern for an infant’s jersey cap and ended up with a hat that looked like this:
Fail McCalls. Fail. So, I decided to go it on my on. And that’s why this blog post: For any other mom (or dad, let’s be fair) who is told their baby needs mouse ears, here’s how I did it.
You will need:
A “sample” hat that you know fits your baby; t-shirts in the color you need (gray for mouse); pipe cleaners (optional); a disappearing-ink fabric marker; embroidery floss; and felt in your ear colors (gray for the outer ear, pink for the inner)
Step One: Lay your sample hat on your t-shirt and trace around it with your marking pen, leaving a 5/8″ seam allowance all the way around.
Cut this out through both layers of your t-shirt (you should have two hat shapes). Repeat so that you have a second set of hat shapes: Two for the outside of the hat (gray in my sample) and two for the lining (teal in my sample). Pin the outside pieces and the lining pieces together, right sides facing, and sew a 5/8″ seam all the way around the top of the hat, leaving the bottom open.
Step two: With the right sides still together on your pieces, bring the side seams together and use your marking pen to round off the top.
Pin your hat together (just to make sure it doesn’t slip while you are sewing) and sew along the line you have marked. This gives your hat a nice rounded top. Now, technically, you could stop here, hem the bottom, and have a perfectly serviceable baby hat. But, we’re going to add ears.
Step three: Cut four outer-ear pieces from your gray felt and two inner-ear pieces from the pink. Using your embroidery thread, sew the inner-ear pieces onto two of the outer-ear pieces. Pin an ear piece with the inner ear sewn on to a plain ear piece and use your sewing machine to edge stitch around the outside of the ears.
At this point you can insert a pipe cleaner along the inside edge of your ears to help them stand up. I ended up feeling that the Peanut’s ears were stiff enough without the pipe cleaners.
Step four: Attach the ear pieces to the seams of the outer hat using your embroidery thread and a simple overstitch. Bring your thread up through the inside of the hat, and end on the inside of the hat, so that your knots don’t show.
Step five: With the right sides of the outer hat and the lining facing each other, pin along the bottom edge of the hats and sew a 5/8″ seam all the way around, leaving an opening for you to turn the piece right side around.
Turn the hat right side out, press your seams, and edge stitch around the bottom to close your opening. Place on baby. Voila. Dormouse.