BF Costume Pattern Instructions

Essential Body Suit

All of the costume patterns need the Body Suit. There are five pieces: left side, right side, 2 sleeves and the neck facing.

The Body Suit needs to be made with stretchy knit fabrics. There are two patterns provided: one for super stretchy knits such as spandex, which stretch in all directions. The other pattern is for less stretchy knits and knits that only stretch in one direction.

Start by sewing the sleeves to the left side and right side:

The side of the body pattern is only cut part way down, so the leg doesn't have an outside seam. This partial side seam does shape the upper part of the body and makes it easy to stitch the sleeve inside the armhole.

First, hem the sleeve. Then stitch the sleeve to the armhole. Last, stitch the side seam and continue all the way down the sleeve to the hem of the sleeve. Do the same on the left side piece and the right side piece.

2. Put the left side and the right side together. The front seam and the back seam are the same. The front will be stitched all the way up. The back seam will be stitched a little more than halfway up, leaving enough space for Baby Face to step into the body suit.

3. Finish the neck with a stretch knit binding using self fabric. (T-shirts have a stretch knit binding around the neck, for example. The fabric is usually a rib knit in the same color as the rest of the t-shirt.)

Cut a piece of stretch fabric 1 inch wide and 6 inches long. This is more than you will need. Fold it in half lengthwise. Stitch one end shut across the end, and turn it right side out.

Stitch the binding to the neck of the body suit, starting with the finished end. I never measure my stretch knit binding because it varies depending on the fabric I'm using. I stitch the stretch knit binding to the neckline, stretching it as I go.

~~ Not too much stretch or the neck will end up too small.
~~ Not too little stretch or it will look like a ruffle.

When you get to the end, cut off the excess binding and leave a little extra to tuck in. You can give it a stitch or two to make it stay tucked.

Then stitch velcro for a neck fastener. The finished end should be the end that shows on top.

4. Turn the body suit so the legs are now separate and folded in half. Stitch the legs in one long seam: start with one foot, go up and around and down to the other foot. Turn the suit inside out and you're finished.

Essential Hood

Most of the costumes require a hood. The hood is very simple but must be made of stretch knits, as does the body suit.

If your knit fabric is thin, you can double it. This white fabric was not very heavy so I doubled it to make the hood heavy enough.

1. Stitch the back seam of the hood first and then stitch the dart at the crown of the head. This dart is essential for giving the hood some shape.

This photo shows the dart at the crown of the hood. The dart gives necessary shaping to the hood.

2. There is stretch knit binding around the face and around the neck. Apply the stretch knit bindingon the hood the same way you did for the neck of the body suit, stretching it as you go.

~~ Not too much stretch or the neck will end up too small.
~~ Not too little stretch or it will look like a ruffle.

3. You can insert ribbon through the neck casing and tie the hood, or you can use velcro to fasten it under the chin.

Ears for the Bunny, Cat, Mouse or Antennae for the Bumble Bee will be applied last. The Snowman doesn't have any ears.

Here is what we've done so far: body suit and matching hood.

Snowman Pattern

To make the Snowball suit for the Snowman, stitch three pieces together for the front and three pieces for the back. Then stitch front to back at the sides, but only stitch part way up the sides to the dots as marked on the pattern. Those are your armholes.

You can finish the inside seams of the pumpkin, or just leave it, depending on what fabric you are using. Knits may not need any finishing on the edges.

Apply our stretch knit binding to the neckline and bottom edge of the Snowman suit. Neck: start at one armhole opening and stitch the stretch knit binding to the top edge of the snowball suit.

When you get to the other armhole, just push the two edges close together (almost overlapping) and continue stitching the binding all the way around to the other arm opening. Do not close the arm opening. You want to leave one side open in order to get the doll into the snowball.

Be sure to use a stretch stitch such as zigzag whenever you attach the stretch knit binding. Don't pull the neckline too tight when you apply the binding. The body suit, the hood and the snowball suit all go under the doll's chin and all those layers can be rather bulky. So you need to allow enough room for the layers of clothing underneath the snowball.

I used ribbon to tie the neck together on one side of the snowball suit, but you can also use velcro. I think velcro works better. I used velcro on the Bumblebee suit.

The leg bindings are made with stretch knit binding again. You can cut this piece a little bit wider if you want to. On the snowball suit you can see that the leg binding is a little bit wider than the neck binding.

Start at the center back and stitched the stretch knit binding all the way around, using zigzag or your favorite stretch stitch. When you return to center back, stitch the ends together and cut off the excess binding.

Not quite finished yet! ... Put front and back together at the center point, and stitch front and back for a space of approximately one inch to make the crotch. I used a zigzag stitch along the very edge of the binding. This makes two leg openings, as shown below:

The snowball suit is finished. We recommend using short pile plush fabric for the snowball suit.

Originally I tied the neck with ribbon, but that got in the way so I changed it to velcro.

You need to stuff the snowball body with tissues or polyfill to round it out. It's easy to push some stuffin's in the armholes and fill up the body while it's on the doll.

Finish with black pompoms on the front (you can use fabric glue or sew them in place.)

We purchased mittens and a scarf to finish our Snowman, but you can easily make them.

The carrot is stuffed with a bit of polyfill and I used E6000 to glue it to the doll's nose. E6000 can be cleaned off later. Make sure you use glue that can be removed. Liquid Nails or Superglue cannot be removed later. Or, use an elastic cord to tie the carrot to the doll's face. The elastic can go under the hood and tie in back.

Our snowman is wearing matching white slippers. Most cartoon drawings show our holiday snowman with white feet, but you can give your snowman some black boots if you want to.

Snowman Hat

The black felt hat is quick and easy to make. It is supposed to be an old slouchy hat so we didn't iron it. The photo is intentionally faded so you can see the seams on this dark black felt hat.

The brim is cut on the fold and does not have any seams except for the center hole. The side of the hat is a straight piece 2 inches wide with one seam.

Sew the top of the hat on last.

You can topstitch the seams with zigzag to help them lay flat. Felt can be somewhat bulky and tends to stretch when ironed. So we topstitched the places that we wanted flat.

Essential Slippers

Slippers can be made of felt or self fabric. The way you make them will vary with the fabrics used.

KNIT FABRIC... The white snowman slippers are made with double fabric throughout. I stitched the tops together and turned them to finish the edges. You need to use very small seams, less than 1/8th inch.

FELT... If the shoes are made with felt, use matching cotton bias tape to finish the edge of the shoe. Sometimes I double the sole, sometimes not. Depends on how thick the felt is. I don't double the upper piece: if you use bias tape to finish the edge then the shoe has enough reinforcement.

The felt that is sold at flea markets for cleaning your car is very nice for making doll shoes because it is very thick felt. Color selection is limited, but I've found some very nice pink and yellow felt.

You MUST gather the toe of the upper piece, or you won't be able to fit it to the sole of the shoe. Run the gather stitch all the way around the outside edge of the upper, with most of the gathers clustered around the the toe. The sides should not be gathered.

When you turn the shoe and smooth the seam, the gathers won't show. You do need to stitch very close to the edge, as close as possible, or else the shoe will look gathered and you don't want that. The gathers won't show if the seam is less than 1/8th inch.

Copyright (c) 2002, 2012 Cynthia Stevens All Rights Reserved