Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lady Bug Costume/Backpack Tutorial

Lil' Hoot LOVES purses, diaper bags, back packs, lunch bags - anything with a handle. I went to sew up her Halloween costume - a lady bug - and discovered it could easily be made into a pillow-style "back pack" as well. In honor of Elsie Marley's Kid Clothes Challenge Week, I share with you my process. The measurements I use gave me a 12-24M size. You can certainly enlarge it for an older toddler and if you need any help doing so, just email me.

Tune in for a $5 version of the Lady Bug costume and a Giveaway.


1/2 yd. red fleece
12" black felt square
1/3 yd. sew-in interfacing
1 yd. - 1" black mesh
2 - 1" black strap adjusters
10" zipper
12" plate (or circle template)
16" plate (or circle template)
lids/circle templates of various sizes
chalk/marking pen
straight pins
measuring tape

1. Using circle templates (I use plates) and chalk, mark two circles on the red fleece and cut.

2. Take the 16" circle, fold it in half. Stitch 1/4" away from the folded edge. Open sewn circle. This seam creates the divided wings of the lady bug.

3. Creating the black dots. I wanted dots of different sizes so I simply looked around the house and chose lids that were the sizes I wanted. Trace the lids (or other circle templates) on the felt and cut.

4. Arrange, pin and sew on black felt dots. Sew close to the outer edge of the circle.

Tip for sewing circles.
Go slowly and stop with the needle down to raise, turn and position the circle as you sew. Keep your eye on the outer edge and stop to turn the curves rather than pulling the fleece, which will stretch if pulled.

5. Install zipper. I used the tutorial found on the Sew Mama Sew blog - Zippered Pocket Tutorial.

6. Determine the position of your straps. Ideally you can measure the child from armpit to armpit to determine placement. However, if you cannot then I suggest you use a well-fitting article of their clothing and measure from there. I placed the top of the straps approximately 7" apart and 3" from the top of the circle. I placed the lower strap markings 3" below the top markings.

7. Make straps. Overcast all cut ends of the black mesh. Slip the black mesh through the strap adjuster as shown. I do not cut the opposite end until after I complete step #8.

8. Fold over the end 1/2" and stitch closed as shown.

9. Cut the black mesh approximately 1" from folded, sewn seam. Overcast the raw edge with a zig zag stitch. Fold over 1/2" and sew closed.

10. Pin the strap in place as shown on the bottom marking. Be sure to place sew-in interfacing underneath before sewing. Sew strap to fleece, double stitch for added strength.

11. Cut two 13" lengths of black mesh. Overcast the raw edge with a zig zag stitch. Fold one end up by 1/2", the other end under by 1/2" and sew each end closed.

12. Place top strap on top marking with the folded edge facing down.

13. Pin the top strap in place and sew. Be sure to place sew-in interfacing underneath before sewing. Sew strap to fleece, double stitch for added strength.

14. Feed strap through the strap adjuster as shown. Fold strap end under 1/2" and sew closed to enclose raw edge.

15. Repeat steps 7-14 (except #11) for the second strap.

16. Open the zipper slightly (so you can pull the piece through once sewn together.) Place completed 12" circle on top of 16" circle, centers aligned, right sides facing.

17. Pin in place starting with the 4 "corners". I designed the top larger than the bottom on purpose, which means that it will take some scrunching and stretching to fit to the lower.

18. Pins are your friend! Just keep pinning and stretching the fleece to fit, it will create a domed shape and more room for stuffing once completed.

19. Stitch around the circle. Flip right side out, check your seams. If everything looks good, stitch around the circle a second time for added strength.

20. Flip right sides out, stuff with a pillow form, make your own circle pillow, or let your child stuff it how he/she chooses! Pair with black pants and shirt for a Halloween outfit. Tune in next week for a $5 version of the Lady Bug costume and how to make an antenna headband.

1 comment:

  1. Great tutorial! I love ladybugs, nice to have this in case one of my g'kids wants to be a lady bug someday :)