Introduction: "Snuggie" Character Costume
Second Prize in the
Summer Sewing Contest
This cute costume is made of warm fleece and is great for wearing out on Halloween or just chillin' around the house. Good luck choosing which Pokemon you want to create your costume after!
I got the idea for this after my good friend Max purchased a pair of Pikachu Pajamas. With a hefty price of 74 dollars (on that site), I figured I could do one better and make my own for a fraction of the price. 40 dollars of fleece later, me and my other friend Evan set out about making our own Charmander and Meowth costume.
However, I didn't document the making of those costumes. It didn't cross my mind until we wore them to our band's first performance and after the show nearly every person we talked to asked me where I got those. Everyone seemed dumb-founded that I sewed them, and soon people were requesting Pokemon "Snuggie" costumes of their own.
That's is what this Instructable will cover. A few friends making their own Pokemon costumes, under my guidance. Naturally, I wont be making one for each Pokemon out there, but you can get some ideas about how it's done, and create your own!
These costumes aren't supposed to be an exact "spot on" copy of the character you are choosing. They have more of a melty vibe going to them, and keep in mind that most of this is meant to be floppy so you can be comfortable in them. We don't want any wires to hold up tails, because that would just be uncomfortable.
Also, I encourage you read through the entire thing before you get too exited and start crafting your own.
Step 1: The Pattern and Some Size Issues
This project is rather forgiving since the whole idea behind this is that it is floppy and blanket like, so it doesn't need to fit well.
You can go about cutting your material a few different ways. One is to make patterns like I did and then lay them over the fabric and cut it out. Or you can just free hand it, by drawing the rough dimensions on the fabric and cutting it out without creating the pattern.
Body and Legs (Cut out 4 of these)
The body piece is the largest part of the project. Remember to modify the length of the leg section if you're much taller than 5' 8'', but you don't need to change the body part of the main piece. Cut out 4 of these.
Sleeves (Cut out 2 of these)
Simple enough. With the dimensions given in the picture below I had enough extra fabric to hem the sleeves, and they are still decently long. If you need to make the sleeves longer, extend the 22'' dimension to the size you need.
The hood is made up of 4 different pieces of fabric, and 3 different patterns. I would call the hood "Jedi sized", so you really shouldn't need to do any modification to this part of the project.
This is something that will vary depending on the Pokemon or character you choose to model your "Snuggie" after.
This pattern is taken almost directly from the Pikachu Pajamas that my friend Max ordered. These were not made for 6 foot tall men, they were made for tiny Japanese girls. Thankfully me and Evan are only 5' 8'', so the design here fits us fine, but if you're over that height I suggest making the legs longer and wider to accommodate your different height. You can see the Pikachu costume on Max and how the legs are shorter, the body is fine, but the legs will need to be made larger if you're tall.
Step 2: Materials
Fleece is the first and most important thing we need to get to complete his project. This is also something that will limit what character you can create your costume after depending on what colors are available. I also suggest waiting for a sale to purchase your fabric. It ended up costing most of these guys somewhere between 20-30 dollars (while there was a sale).
Now for the amount you need. If you’re following the pattern directly you will only need 2 ½ to 3 yards. If you’re going to extend the legs you’re going to want 3 to 3 ½ yards. With the smaller amount you will have enough to complete it. Some people just like to be on the safe side.
You also need to consider buying more fleece for different parts of you character. Do they have a different colored belly? You will need to buy more fleece. Plan accordingly.
-Appropriate color thread
-Buttons, zipper or Velcro
-Felt- for eyes and other small character designs
Step 3: Cutting Out the Body
The easiest way to cut out the body is to fold the fabric so there are 4 layers. You have to cut some of the pieces apart from the folds, but I find it works the best. The pattern is a little too wide for cutting it this way, but not to worry the body is very floppy anyways. The legs are the only thing you may want to widen.
If you are adding length or width to the legs this is the time to do it. Take a look at Aaron’s pictures to get some ideas (dark blue).
Step 4: Sewing the Body
The first part of the body we will be sewing together is the back seam. Now you have to think about if your character has tail, or if you just want to go back and do that later (like we do).
Now onto the back seam, pin it up from the bottom of the crotch to the top of the neck by laying the two pieces on top of each other.
Next you need to lay out the back part of the costume so the seam you just sewed is on the ground. Layout the two body pieces you have left to line up with the outside edges. Pin from the bottom of the leg to the bottom of the armpit to create what will be the side seams.
For this next part you need to lay it out flat again. Keeping in mind that it should still be "inside out" with all the seams showing. We will be pinning and sewing the crotch and shoulders.
The only areas we aren't sewing are the bottom of the legs, and the arm holes. So, now we have a sweet vest with leggings that you can try on!
NOTE: The front of the costume will be open right now. Meaning, there should be no front seam sewn.
Step 5: Cutting Out the Hood
The hood should be quite simple to cut out. Everything fits on the fabric easily. Just remember that you need to cut out two of the “Hood Piece #2”.
Side Note: Your character’s head may be a different color, the hood is the head. So, cut out the appropriate color.
(I didn't take as many pics of people doing this)
Step 6: Sewing the Hood
Sewing the hood is probably the hardest part of this project. If you like to plan ahead and already have your character’s face cut out and designed you can sew it on the hood now before you attach it to the body. If your character has ears, now is also a good time to sew them on (if you plan ahead). We just end up doing ours later.
The first two pieces of the hood we will be sewing together are the “Hood Piece 1” and “Hood Piece 3”. We want to find the center of the “Hood Piece 1” (which should be at 18’’) and pin “Hood Piece 3” to it. The pictures do much more justice to explaining it, than my words.
Next we take out the two pieces “Hood Piece 2”. You can go about this part two different ways, but I find it easier to just pin one side of this piece at a time.
Choice 1: Pin “Hood Piece 2” onto “Hood Piece 3” starting with the point next to the part we just sewed on. Sew that up, then move on to Choice 2.
Choice 2: Pin “Hood Piece 2” onto “Hood Piece 1” starting with the point next to the part we just sewed on. Sew that up, then move on to Choice 1.
That was probably more confusing than it needed to be, and you can figure it out from the pictures.
Step 7: Cutting Out the Sleeves
The sleeves are super easy to cut and assemble. They consist of a 20’’ by 22’’ rectangle, and shouldn’t need any modification.
Step 8: Sewing the Sleeves
Sewing them is also very easy.
We start by finding the side that is 20’’ long. Fold it in half, so now we have a 10’’ by 22’’ rectangle. Pin where the fabrics meet up and sew up the sleeve.
Step 9: Attaching the Sleeves
For attaching the sleeves we need to body piece to be inside out. The sleeve, however, will be right side out.
We want the seam of the sleeve to be at the bottom of the armpit when we sew the arm on, so keep that in mind. Now we need to flip up one of the body flaps and attach pin the sleeve from the inside.
Pictures will explain this much better than be, but be warned. We sewed sleeves some of the sleeves on the opposite way, with the seam on the outside (inside out), and had to redo them.
I will make the annotations appropriately for this step so you know which ones are the "correct" way.
Step 10: Attaching the Hood
To start pinning the hood on, we first need to find the collar of the body. Once that is found line up the small rectangle (Hood Piece #3) with the middle of the collar.
Only pin that piece to the collar for now.
Next we need to find the ends of “Hood Piece 1” (the long one) and find the ends of the collar as well.
Pin the ends of “Hood Piece 1” to their respective ends of the collar.
You should probably have a little extra fabric from the hood, so we will pleat it and fold it over our first rectangle we pinned on. Do this for both sides and pin the rest of the hood on.
The hood should be ready to sew now.
Step 11: Time for Creativity
Up til now has been all about following the pattern and creating the base of the character. Starting next we need to get creative and begin making this strangely colorful "snuggie" into a recognizable character.
This will vary for each person and each character. Some are easy to finish, and some are hard.
But this is where the directions part of this Instructable ends, and the advice section begins.
I'll show you how and what we did for the characters we chose, but keep in mind you may have to create something completely different. These are just to give you ideas!
Step 12: Finishing Details (Snorlax)
Up til now we've had the entire front of our costumes open. But for the sake of using less Velcro we want to sew up a foot or so from the bottom of the crotch.
Once that is done we need to measure out how big we want the tan belly of our Snorlax to be. To cut out the belly piece I just folded the tan fleece in half to make the dimensions I previously measured. When we cut out a half circle we get a full one once we unfold it.
Place it on body to make sure it fits right. Once you're happy with the size if the belly we need to make a split down the top of it to where we sewed earlier in this step. Some simple measuring will help you get the cut right.
Now we will pin and sew the part we just split to the body. Next, we will pin the rest of the belly to the body and sew that on.
Looking much better now.
The legs ended up being too long so we decided to hem them, along with the arms. This also makes the costume look much nicer.
I find it much easier to just do the ears along with all the other "creative" parts of the project, rather than when the hood is being sewn together. We will need to split open part of the hood to fit in the ears we cut out.
Making a pattern on paper for the face is a good way to experiment on designs. Remember we want the face of the character to fit completely on "Hood Piece 1". If it goes much farther back, the face will be on top, or back of your head, rather than the front.
I made a few changes to the design after the paper pattern.
You may need to do some of the sewing by hand for details on the face.
Snorlax isn't really that exiting, so I figured "Hey, why not". These were a pain to make and sew on. I ended up sewing the smaller (hand) claws on by hand.
Aaron chose Velcro as his way to close up the costume. The original "Pikachu Pajamas" use buttons and go all the way down to the crotch. Velcro is much easier, and we got away with only using four 1'' pairs.
On a side note: My Charmander costume I originally made uses a scavenged wet suit zipper. It rocks.
Step 13: Finishing Details (Poliwhirl)
Belly and Swirl
Just like Snorlax, we need to sew up part of the front corresponding to the size of the zipper we bought.
Next we need to find a large circle shaped thingy (I chose a hula hoop) and cut out the white part of the belly. Then I found a smaller circle and cut out a piece of black.
To make the swirl I just kept cutting the edge off the black circle keeping about an inch away the whole time. Turned out great, and it was the perfect amount, too.
Now we need to pin and sew the black swirl to the white belly. This takes a while.
Next we need to lay out our belly-swirl over our body to find out how far we need to cut down to make room for the zipper. Make the cut, and then pin and sew that onto the body.
Pin the rest of the belly-swirl to the body and sew it on.
Hem the sleeves and legs so they look awesome and fit better.
Cut out some circles in black and white, just like the characters. Pin them in place to see if they look good. First time I tried they were too far apart and looked more like The Cookie Monster's. I sewed on the large white circle with the machine and did all the other smaller details by hand.
I attached the zipper last. It's as simple as pinning it on and sewing.
Step 14: Finishing Details (Piplup)
Finished on 8-10-10
First thing I did was sew up part of the front flaps. I only got 4 buttons and that didn't seem like enough for the whole length.
Next was cutting out the dark blue details on Piplup's body. I started by measuring the width I needed then folded the fabric I was going to cut in half, to get a symmetrical shape.
I then cut out the white circles for the front of the body.
Pin and sew on the front blue parts, and the white circles.
Next we need to make the tail, which will attach into the back blue part. Sew the tail into the dark blue body part before attaching it to the body.
Pin and sew, then you're all done with the body details.
Just like all the other ones, I hemmed the legs and arms.
The faces just look better if you keep them on the long hood piece. I started trying to make it larger, but it just looked horrible. After trimming it down multiple times, and trying it on a few times as well. I found a configuration that worked.
All the larger pieces were sewn on with the machine but the small eye details were done by hand.
I've never done buttons before. It turned out well, and looks pretty snazzy too.
Step 15: Finishing Details (Quilava)
Finished on 9-2-10
The first thing we did with the body was sew up part of the front flap according to the length of the zipper we bought.
Next we went about cutting and measuring the blue back piece. Once we got that the right size we sewed it on.
The fire butt was our next task. She cut out a design out of felt and sewed it on top of the blue piece.
Just like all the other costumes we hemmed the arm and leg sleeves.
The blue hood piece was probably the hardest part about doing this pokemon. We had to consider the "fire mow-hawk" and also the placement and size of the ears. This part resulted in a lot trial and error sizing. Once we got he right shape she attached the fire, and then sewed the whole piece to the hood.
Next we cut out some ears and sewed them together.
Getting the eyes to be the right size was quite difficult. It's just a matter of creating some that are too big, then trimming them until they look right.
Make sure to pin the eyes on to test them. Then sew them on when they're in the right place.
Sew on the zipper. Then you're all done!
Step 16: (Chancey)
Finished on 10-29-10
The first thing I did was sew up part of the front. I sewed about a foot of it up, from the crotch. Then, I cut out a stencil for the "egg pouch", and cut out that piece on bring pink fleece. I modified the stencil for the "egg", and then cut out that piece.
The only other detail Chansey has is its tail. I just cut out a shape that seemed right, and sewed together the two halves. Flipped the piece inside out, and sewed it into the back seam.
Just like all the other ones, I hemmed the legs and arms.
I started with cutting out pieces for the "dreadlock" things that are on Chansey's head. Once I had all six of those cut out, I sewed them together, making each "dreadlock."
Next I cut out pieces to the face. I got it right the first time, so I sewed it onto the hood, by hand, after finding the correct placement.
Once the face was sewn on, I pinned on the "dreadlocks" and used the machine to sew those to the hood.
I went with Velcro on this one. I was trying to keep it as cheap as possible, and Velcro is also the easiest to sew on.
Step 17: (Totoro)
Finished on 11-20-10
I stared with cutting a belly piece out of tan fleece. A good way to keep it symmetric is to fold the fabric in half, and cut out a half circle. Next, I cut out the little "mustaches" that go on Totoro's chest. They were a little big, so I ended up needing to trim them down to fit all of them on there.
Sewing the "mustaches" onto the belly is the next step. This takes a while.
Once that's done you can pin and sew the belly onto the main body. Remember to sew up part of the main body piece.
I made the tail very wide, and ended up needing to cut a slit horizontally in the back of the costume to attach it.. I pinned it like you would a sleeve, and sewed it on that way. Now there's a secret tail pocket.
Just like all the other ones, I hemmed the legs and arms.
Cut out the desired shapes for the ears, and sew the pieces together. Flip them inside out, and decided where you want to attach them. I ended up stuffing the ears with polyester fiberfill.
The face is pretty simple, except for the mouth. This one was a commission, and after showing the customer some pics of the face, we decided to change it's mouth to being more "cute." You can see these changes reflected in some of the final pictures.
I did buttons again for these next two. This time I used the automatic buttonhole on my sewing machine. Once I figured it out, it worked quite well.
Step 18: (Snorlax #2)
Finished on 11-20-10
This one is almost identical to the first Snorlax I made. This was a commission, hence the repeat of characters.
I found some better colored fabric for this once, and just about the only changes I made were to the claws. Instead of making them out of 2 pieces of fleece, I just used one. It ended up looking a lot nicer, and is much easier to do. Plus, it's more comfortable.
Step 19: Final Notes and Comments
Again, this depends a lot on what character you are doing. You could finish a character like Snorlax in a day, but you might want to set aside a weekend to finish some of the more detail oriented ones.
Anything and everything! If you're cold throw it on. Need a sweet costume for Halloween, make this! Or if you just like dressing up as derpy looking Pokemon, this is for you!
I haven't actually washed any of these yet. I am assuming you can wash it just like you would any other fleece blanket.
Here are my suggestions:
1. Turn your fleece item inside-out to prevent piling
2. Machine wash at in cold water with a mild detergent.
3. Machine dry at a low temperature, or just let it air dry.
I get comments emailed to me, so if you have any questions or need any help feel free to drop me a line.
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed.
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