Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cat in the Hat Costume Tutorial

I searched on pinterest for costume ideas for the Cat in the Hat. I found a tutorial for the hat, but nothing for the costume. It looked fairly easy though... so I used my favorite costume as inspiration and set off to make a costume.
Have I ever mentioned that I can be cheap?! Many put it delicately, and say I tend to be frugal. Whatever the word, I wanted to make these as economically as possible. Using things that I already had or could buy for cheap. I saw costumes at ToysRUs for $30 a piece! And they wouldn't even fit the kids. I used lots of things I already had and bought a few pieces of material and a plain black shirt. I think the total cost of this costume was under $10.
I found a good tutorial on pinterest, which led me here. I changed the color pattern to match the Cat in the Hat book. My son is especially particular on details like that! I couldn't figure out how to attached the hat to the brim. I did something crazy, I'm sure. But it's attached and wearable! On the brim, I cut out a ring that was sandwiched inside the brim. I didn't like how floppy the brim was by itself. I have some mesh plastic canvas (available at the craft store) that I used in a knit hat with a brim. Works great! and it's washable too.
I didn't have it in me to make a long sleeve shirt. I had plenty of black fabric, but I thought a $3 shirt from WalMart was worth it! I used white felt (from the hat) for the belly. Cut an oval shape for the belly and pin. I did a single stitch around the edge and done. You can probably do a zigzag stitch around the edge too. This will probably launder better.
Bow Tie
I'm sorry that I don't have pictures for this part! I did it in parts over the course of a couple of days, sick as a dog, and I just spaced on grabbing some pictures. But here's the jist. I used red felt (from the hat) and free handed a basic bow tie shape. I used the book as a guide. I also free handed the piece of the bow tie hanging down, because I wanted to make that separate and attach it later.
I sewed along the outline of my bow tie on 2 pieces of red felt, sandwiching them together. I left one side of the bow tie open so that I could turn the bow tie inside out. Then I did my best attempt of a blind stitch to close it up (felt doesn't iron well). I was being cheap and didn't have red thread, so I used white. I have some parts where the white is showing a little, but it not very noticable. But red thread definitely would have been better!
I did the same thing for the piece of the bow tie hanging down, flipped it inside out. I cut out a small strip of the red felt and wrapped it around the center of the bow tie to look like the knot of the bow tie. Hand sew that onto the back of the bow tie. Then hand sew the dangling piece to the back.
Hand sew the entire bow to the shirt, and done!
I think WalMart sells winter knit gloves in the baby section for .99 cents. I can't remember if they had white ones or not... I feel like they did. But Ethan wanted 3-fingered gloves, like the cat. When I looked through the book... sometimes Cat has 3 fingers, sometimes 4, sometimes 5. But Ethan requested 3, so here we go!
I had a white t-shirt that my husband let me use for a pair of pants for a different costume. I was able to cut out enough fabric for a pair of gloves too. I outlined another pair of gloves that I already had, just for size guesstimation.

 I pinned 2 pieces of fabric together and cut it out with a thumb, and 2 fingers together on the top. Often in the book, Cat looks like he has a thumb, 3 middle fingers together, and a pinky. But I thought that would be uncomfortable and difficult to put on.

Fold the bottom hem of the gloves twice and sew.

Sew the outline of the glove. Try on for size, and adjust sizing as needed. I needed to sew closer on the fingers. Trim the excess fabric. Get especially close on the inside on the fingers.

Flip inside out, and gloves are done! Not form fitting, but good for show.
I used a template here for how to make pants out of an old t-shirt. There isn't a real tutorial on it. Basically you cut out the legs, sew the inner seam (where the crotch is). Then sew each leg shut. Sew an elastic band on the waist and hem the bottom. Pants done!
I had to think of a way to have a tail, but still have it comfortable. We plan on going to a couple harvesty events, and I didn't want his tail bothering him while in his car seat. I decided to make it detachable with a button. Sew a button on the back of the pants on the waist band. He doesn't seem bothered by the button. Then you can attach the tail for show.
Now buying a $3 pair of Granimal pants from WalMart would have been much easier! But I wanted plain, black pants. Everything has a design or stripe down the side. This wasn't that hard, and made from an old t-shirt.

Sew 2 pieces of fabric together, with a rounded end for the tail. This will make a tube. Flip it inside out and stuff it with poly fil.
I found out the hard way that the fabric I had on hand would leak of fuzzy pieces of poly fil. So I took all the stuffing out, and put a plastic inside the tail, and then re-stuffed the tail. It's a crunchy-sounding tail now. Oh well! And it doesn't have white fuzz seaping out anymore.
Leave the opening of the tail without poly fil. You can do a blind stitch to close it up. I just did a single stitch with the edges folded in to make for a nice seam. His shirts hang over, so you can't really see the stitching anyway. Then sew a button hole to attach the tail to the back of the pants.


  1. Has anyone told you that you are amazing!!! This is so cool.

  2. Awesome job. And I thought I was crafty wow you are amazing.