Here is a simple sewing project for your baby to become The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. It's a costume, but it's also a swaddle! So you don't need a special occasion for your baby to wear it. Though my older daughter is having her school Book Fair soon and baby sister might just drop by wearing this cute number!
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Step 1: Materials
Various shades of green fleece fabric, each no more than 1/2 yard
Felt in red, yellow, green
Thread in green and red
Elastic garter band, 210"
Step 2: Cut Strips
1. Measure baby's chest.
2. Add about 10" to baby's chest measurement. My baby was about 21", so I added another 9" to make 30".
3. Cut 30" long strips of various shades of green fleece fabric in various widths. I used 5", 6", and 7" widths. I made a total of 10 strips.
4. Cut a large 12" circle of green fleece fabric.
Step 3: Connect Strips
1. Arrange strips in the order you would like to sew them.
2. Pin the first two strips together, good sides facing in.
3. Sew two straight stitches along the edge, far enough apart to allow for a garter channel (this is where the garter would be pulled through). My stitches were about 1/2" apart for 1/4" wide garter.
4. Pin the next strip.
5. Sew as in step 3.
6. Continue to pin each additional strip and sew together making sure every strip sewn has a garter channel, until all strips are connected.
Step 4: Gather Bunch
1. Cut garter elastic to baby's chest measurement. I cut to 21".
2. Using a safety pin, slide garter elastic through the first seam/garter channel. Make sure you are hanging on to the end of the garter so that the back end of the garter is always out of the channel.
3. Once the garter has been pulled through, tie a temporary knot to make sure the garter is secure.
4. Continue steps 2 and 3 for each seam/garter channel, until all seams are gathered/bunched.
Step 5: Sew Sides
1. Still working with the seams facing out (good sides facing in), match the open edge of the fabric.
2. Sew edges together, carefully untying the garter as you pass each one and sewing/back stitching each garter several times securely.
3. Continue to stitch down the edge of the fabric, repeating step 2 for every time you pass a garter.
4. Once the edges are sewn together, trim the garter with scissors.
You're almost done the caterpillar body!
Step 6: Finish Top
1. Find the top of the caterpillar body. Pin the seam to allow for a 1/2" garter channel.
2. Stitch the garter channel, leaving about 1" opening.
3. Through the opening, slide the safety pin with garter. Make sure you hang on to the back end of the garter so that the back end doesn't go through the channel.
4. Sew the garter ends together securely with several stitches.
5. Sew the opening shut.
Step 7: Finish Bottom
1. Pin the green fleece fabric circle to the bottom of the caterpillar body.
2. Sew two stitches along the edge to make a 1/2" garter channel.
3. Secure a safety pin on a garter elastic and slide through the garter channel making sure you hold on to the back end of the garter so the back end doesn't slide into the channel.
4. Sew the ends together with several stitches securely.
5. Sew the channel shut.
Step 8: Turn Outside Out
The caterpillar body is done! You may now turn the fabric outside out!
Step 9: Hat
1. Cut a large 16" diameter red felt circle.
2. Sew a 1/2" garter channel around the edge of the circle, leaving a 1" opening for the garter to go through.
3. Measure your baby's head circumference and cut a garter elastic with the same measurement. In this case, it's 16"
4. For the last and final time in this project, slide the safety pinned garter elastic through the garter channel making sure ends meet at the opening.
5. Sew the garter elastic several times securely.
6. Sew the opening shut.
Step 10: Hat Turned Caterpillar Face
1. Cut yellow and green felt for the eyes. Blue/green for the antenna. Dark green for the nose (not shown in first pic).
2. Using fabric adhesive, glue together the yellow and green felt.
3. Using fabric adhesive, glue eyes, nose, and antenna on the hat.
Your baby is now ready to be the Very Hungry Caterpillar!
First Prize in the
Book Character Costume Challenge