Introduction: Christmas Story Bunny Costume
My brother-in-law needed a costume to wear to his family's Christmas party and asked me to make him Ralphie's deranged Easter bunny/pink nightmare costume.
I couldn't pass this up.
You can buy a similar costume online for $100, but where's the fun in that? This only cost around $30. Plus a lot of hours of course, but it was worth it.
(That's me with my best attempt at an unhappy Ralphie-scowl.)
Step 1: Pattern
When I sew stuff, I enjoy making up my own patterns.
But making up patterns isn't what most people would consider fun, so I've included a PDF with scale drawings on graph paper of all the pattern pieces, along with some construction details that might be helpful. You'll still have to lay everything out full scale, but I figured someone who was willing to do the work would find it useful.
The body section is just a big floppy jumpsuit, so I didn't need a terribly precise pattern for it. The hood pattern, however, took a little more effort and required some trial and error before I came up with the right shape.
This pattern is designed for anyone around 6 feet or so, and upwards of 200 pounds. Skinny people can adjust it accordingly. Or eat more.
Step 2: Body and Sleeves
The body section is made from two pieces. The pattern is laid out so the sides are on a fold, which eliminates the long unnecessary seams on the sides.
The two body pieces are joined with a seam along the back, down to the crotch.
The two sides of each sleeve are sewed together along the bottom. The half-sewn sleeves are pinned to, and then sewed into the sleeve openings on the body section. (This process is upside down to how most sleeves are attached to shirts.)
A seam is made across the tops of the sleeves and each shoulder.
Step 3: Ears
Each ear is made from two pieces of fabric. The back pink piece is slightly bigger than the front red piece, but the seams are made keeping the edges even. When turned right-side-out, this makes the back of the ear curl around the front slightly.
To increase this effect, I added a pleat down the middle of each ear.
Step 4: Wiring the Ears
The ears needed to be adjustable, but stiff enough to hold their shape. To do this, I used some plastic coated copper wire from the hardware store that felt like it had the right amount of flexibility.
About three feet of wire was used for each ear. It was bent in half, inserted into the ears, and lashed in place with waxed dental floss. Hand sewing with waxed dental floss makes things really secure. I'm not sure where I picked this trick up, but I use it a lot.
The two loose ends of wire were wrapped tight with masking tape.
Step 5: Hood, and Attaching Ears to It
The hood pieces are sewn together, with the ears carefully sewn in place as well. These were placed about four inches back from the front.
When the needle got close to the wires, the machine was hand-turned and the fabric adjusted so the needle went over the wires without hitting them.
The inner hood lining was sewn together and sewn in place, but only along the front of the hood.
Step 6: Ear Support Structure
I struggled with this step for a while, trying to figure out the best way to do it.
For the ears to stand up straight, yet still be sturdy and adjustable, I concluded that I needed to make an under-structure to attach them to.
This under-structure was made from stiff cardboard, hanger wire, and masking tape. The wires from the bottom of the ears were bent as needed to keep them upright, and hot glued to the cardboard piece.
Step 7: Hood Padding
Batting was added to create some padding in the hood and help conceal the cardboard ear support piece. Pieces of batting were spot hot glued around and to the cardboard, and to each other.
The lining was then pulled over the batting/cardboard structure, and the outer hood layer was stitched to the lining along the existing seams. The hood was then closed up with a seam around the bottom.
Step 8: Attach Hood and Zipper, Finish Legs and Sleeves
The hood was attached to the body section, and the front tabs of the hood were trimmed even with the front opening of the body section where the zipper was to be attached. Then the zipper was installed.
Legs and sleeves were finished. Elastic was added to the sleeve cuffs.
This photo may give you an idea of the beastly mass of pink fleece I was wrangling at this point.
Step 9: Fluffy White Tail
A fluffy white tail was made and safety pinned in place. (It's removable in case you need to sit down.)
Step 10: Mittens
Mittens were made using an oven mitt as a pattern.
Step 11: Slipper Ears
I bought some fake Croc-type shoes at Walmart for the bunny slippers. These particular shoes had fuzzy liners, which were nice. The liners were removed, and then later replaced once the pink covering was on.
The ears for these were made much like the ears for the hood. These were attached with lots of hot glue.
Step 12: Slipper Covering
After a pattern was made and a practice covering was found to be adequate, covers were made for each shoe. These were stretched and glued in place.
The liners were replaced and glued back in with hot glue.
Step 13: Slipper Details
Bunny faces were added with black yarn, felt, and googly eyes. That's it!