Hm, I think this panda costume worked better in my head than so far in reality, but hopefully it’ll look good tomorrow, out and about on Shushan Purim day. For one thing, I hadn’t realised just how much too small DD’s white hat is these days…
Still, it meets my criteria for a baby costume of:
- Being as comfortable as her normal clothes to wear and put on/take off
- Not making anything in good condition unwearable other than as fancy dress
- Being cheap, quick and easy to make
So, just in case anyone out there thinks this is an idea they’d like to improve upon here’s how I did it.
First, you’ll need a white hat and one-piece outfit that both fit the baby, and a pair of opaque black women’s tights. (These last are going to be cut up, so this is how to use up any with holes or runs that mean you can’t wear them any longer. If they’re in particularly bad shape you might need to choose parts from more than one pair.) You’ll also need a small sheet of card and some small safety pins. Tools needed are scissors, a glass and a pen/pencil.
The feet ends of the tights will go over baby’s legs, so measure generously and cut these off. (You can trim later if they’re really too long.) Cut another small piece from each tights leg for the ears, then the remainder will make the black part of the costume body. I forgot to take pictures of these parts but basically you need a large hole in the tights where the two legs join. This will go over baby’s head, with the legs as sleeves.
To make the ears, cut two appropriately sized circles out of thin card (I found the base of a small glass was a good size), fold each in half and cover with the small pieces of tights leg you cut earlier.
Use the safety pins to carefully attach the ears to the hat at the seams, so that the metal doesn’t touch baby. This is where I’d really recommend sewing, especially since a hat with ears is cute even when not in fancy dress. In that case you wouldn’t want card stiffening, however, as it’s not washable. Still, this way certainly does work.
This is the longest stretch of metal I could find inside the hat, and I’m probably going to redo that pin.
And that’s it. Now just place it all on the baby. There’s enough friction in tights material that you probably don’t actually need to attach the legs to the main outfit, but if your baby’s already crawling and pulling them up is getting annoying a couple of carefully placed safety pins would probably work there too.
- Ancient Panda Custom: Why Zoos Wait 100 Days to Name Baby Pandas (livescience.com)
- Chinese Researchers Wear Panda Constumes to Fool Cubs (weirdasianews.com)
- Baby Panda Cow! (squee.icanhascheezburger.com)
- Cute pandas play for web hits (thesun.co.uk)
- Celebrity costume conundrum (ask.metafilter.com)
- Simon Parry dresses in panda suit to convince infant he’s one of the family (dailymail.co.uk)