Quick & Dirty Cosplay: Pet Costumes | Miranda Harper | Skillshare

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Quick & Dirty Cosplay: Pet Costumes

teacher avatar Miranda Harper, Seamstress/Cosplayer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (33m)
    • 1. Welcome to Pet Costume Basics

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Measuring Your Pet

    • 4. Materials & Rough Sketch

    • 5. Drawing the Pattern

    • 6. Layout and Cutting

    • 7. Sewing the Cape

    • 8. Sewing the Headpiece

    • 9. Wrapping Up

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About This Class

Let your pet get in on the cosplay fun! In this class, we'll make a basic 2pc costume for a pet consisting of a cape and a headpiece. We'll talk briefly about pet safe materials. Major skills we'll cover are how to take measurements and draw a pattern.

Skill level is beginner, but does assume a basic knowledge of sewing machine use. If you're unfamiliar with basic sewing machine stitches, worry not! Just check out my free class:

Quick & Dirty Sewing: Machine Crash Course

These same concepts could also be used to make a child's costume or even an adult costume; just adjust your measurements.

For the demo, I'll be making my dog Rufus a Nibbler costume. You know, that weird black dog-like thing with three eyeballs from Futurama? Cute right!

Supplies you'll need:

-Fabric- Amounts will vary based on your size of pet. I bought 1/2 yards of each color I'm using.

-Small amount of stuffing

-Ruler and tape measure


-Velcro for fasteners



-Paper to draw your pattern on


Meet Your Teacher

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Miranda Harper



Well hey there! My name is Miranda and I teach sewing classes here on Skillshare. I've been sewing for almost 20 years, have degrees in Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising and been a freelance seamstress/designer/tailor for almost 10 years making everything from prom dresses to swim wear to cowboy vests. I also have a day job as a graphic designer and I love to paint, cook, watch comic book TV shows and hang out with my dog.

I think sewing is an incredible skill that everyone should have, even if all you do is replace buttons and hem pants. Those things are important. When you take my classes, you'll learn basic skills to transfer to other sewing projects and I'll throw in a few industry tips to make your sewing life easier. Enjoy! 

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1. Welcome to Pet Costume Basics: Hello. Welcome to quick and dirty cosplay pet costume basics. Today we're gonna learn how to let our pet get in on the cosplay fund. What will make today as a costume consisting of two pieces, a cape and a headpiece, we'll learn about some pet safe material. How to take your pets measurements. Sketching your costume ideas, which will be your class project. How to draw a simple pattern using your pets measurements the marking, cutting and construction of your costume for the demonstration. I'll be making a nibbler costume for my dog. This is Nibbler from future Rama. In the next video, we're gonna talk about the supplies that you will need. 2. Supplies: 1st 1 to talk about the supplies you'll need, you'll need fabric. I'm using fleece. I will talk a little bit about other pet safe materials in a later video they are mounting . Lee will be determined by the size of your pet just for your reference on my for my dog, I bought 1/2 yard of the black and the red fleas and 1/4 yard of the white. Please, you'll need paper to draw your pattern on. I'm using drafting paper, but you can use regular copy paper or even a paper grocery bag. You might need a little bit of stuffing. If your costume has an antenna on the headpiece or any kind of ears, you'll need thread A tape measure to take your pets measurements, pins, scissors, a pencil to draw with Velcro to use for fasteners. A straight ruler to help draw your pattern. An optional is a curved ruler to draw curved edges and some bottles. I'm using the small paint bottle to make a rounded corner on my pattern, and I'm using the large bottle is a guide to make the eyeball on my costume. You don't have to do these. I like rounded corners Just because I think they look nicer and you may or may not need a large bottle to make a circle. Based on what costume you juice up. Next, I'm gonna show you how to take your pets measurements. 3. Measuring Your Pet: Now I'm gonna show you how to take your pets measurements. We're gonna take three measurements, and my dog did not want to sit still while being filmed and being measured, So I'm just going to show you in pictures. First, you're going to measure the circumference of your pets head, and that is from in front of the ears toe underneath the chin. My dogs had his 19 inches. You're also going to measure the circumference of the neck, which is where the color would usually sit and on. My dog was also 19 inches. That's including all those lovely skin rolls. And then you're going to measure the length that you want your cape to be. I measured mine from the top of where the neck is like the top of Worth collar would sit and then down the back, as far as I had wanted to go so you could make your cape a shorter as long as you want. I just decided to make mine 10 inches. When you draw out your pattern, you remember to add 1/2 inch on all the sides for seam allowances. So with that in mind, my neck measurement is actually 20 and my head measurement is actually 20. And then I would make sure that maybe add, you know, 1/2 inch or so more to allow for the Velcro overlap to fasten up. Next, we're going to talk a little bit about pet safe materials, and we're going to do your rough sketch. 4. Materials & Rough Sketch: Now we're gonna talk about pet safe materials and do your rough sketch. A personal favorite fabric of mine is police. I make my dog his beds out of fleas, so he automatically associates this with comfort. You want to make sure you use a soft fabric, consider what you would dress a small child in. Not that a pet is a child, but the same rules kind of apply used softness like T shirt in its of soft flannel or police. These are the best. They'll be the most comfortable for your pet. Think about what you would like to dress your pet. As as I mentioned in the beginning, I'm gonna dress my dog as nibbler, and this is Nibbler. Keep it simple, you know, you know it's a pet, so it's not used to wearing clothes. I would avoid masks or hats that cover the ears because it might make your pet skittish. It might even make them afraid, because suddenly they have something over their face. So let's do a sketch. Let's sketch out your pieces. So here is my very rough sketch of my costume. Here's my cape. This is the head opening this little square, I Here's where I'm gonna put a piece of Velcro. Here's my headpiece. Down here is where I'm gonna put my other piece of Velcro and then Milo eyeball stock. And this is what mind costume is basically gonna look like? No, let's look at maybe some variations that you could do. You could dio, um, of, like, really generic alien So you could make this whole thing green. Give him a little green nub thing, Rico, You could maybe if you have a dog and a cat ears and I mean fun. Now, you This is like, this is for humans. Dogs don't know what you're doing to them, so they don't care how your dressing them. You can make a unicorn Hopes unicorn. Don't be fined. Could do a princess hat and that'd be cute. And if you had a pink one, you could make the cake like purple or something. I don't know. Whatever you want, you could even skip this all together and put like a Superman logo on the back of your cape or like a Batman logo or something. I mean it. You unity, do anything you want, and fleece is like nice I like to use police because it doesn't fray on that edges. So you want a ham it so you could just so it on straight. And it's a lot easier anyway, you know, pick a thing, sketch it out. This is what your class project is gonna be is just your of sketch. So if you want to make your costume, that's also great. But you don't have to for the class project up next, we're going to draw out the pattern. 5. Drawing the Pattern: So now I'm taking my dogs measurements, and I'm going to block out my pattern pieces onto a piece of paper first, I'm gonna make a straight edge here because my paper is a little jagged. Now I have a straight edge to work from, and I'm going to mark down from the top three inches because I'm adding 1/2 inch to for my seam allowances. So in the end, this piece is gonna be two inches wide, so I'm making it three inches wide to make room for those seam allowances. I'm just measuring three inches down from the top down a little ways, and now I'm going to do one more and I'm gonna make a line all along. My marks thereby. Marks will be straight, and I'll make a line that's 20 inches, which is the 19 inch diameter of my dog's neck, plus 1/2 inch personal allowance. Now I'm gonna draw out the Kate portion, and I'm going to start by finding the halfway point of the neck piece on marking there, and then I'm going to draw a straight line down 11 inches, which is the 10 inch measurement that I took, plus half inches for seam allowances, which I actually didn't really need to do. But I did anyway. And now I want there to be a four inch extension on each side to wrap around my dog's neck for a fastener. So I'm gonna mark in 4.5 to make 1/2 inch seam allowance and then draw straight down. So I did that on the first side and I'm going to do it again on the second side mark in 4.5 inches and then draw straight down. I'm going to draw the bottom of my cape, but I'm just going to connect those lines that I drew. Now I'm gonna add a little bit of a curve to the neck line. Just a little sit a little nicer. I'm taking my current. I'm just going up like that. I started it at the halfway point and just curved it off of the edge of the paper. Now this is optionally. Don't need to do this part. I just like doing it because I think it looks nicer. Now. I'm going around. The corner is a little bit, and I took my paint bottle there and I'm just pushing it up against the edges of my lines and making a little rounded corner. I'm just using this of the stencil. Basically, you don't have to do this part either. I just like rounded corners. I'm going to draw out the headpiece, and I'm going to start in the same way that I did. The collar piece marking now three inches from the top. This headpiece is also gonna end up being two inches wide. So I'm making my pattern piece three inches wide to accommodate for seam allowance. You do that cup more times. And then the circumference of my dog's head was 19 inches. And so I'm gonna make a line that's 20 inches again to accommodate for seem all at once just lining up my ruler here along my marks. Okay, Now I'm gonna make a little mark where I'm gonna put a slit for the eyeball stock. So I'm finding my centrepoint again, which would be 10 inches, Um, because those pieces 20 inches, and then I'm making just a little mark. That's maybe an inch long. And that's where I'm going to slip the fabric to sew in the eyeball stock. You know I'm been around my corners just like I did before. So now you said have some pattern pieces that look roughly like this. Your measurements will obviously very based upon the size of your pet. Maybe your pet is bigger or smaller. Maybe you have a cat and not a dog. Just make sure that you have enough space on those ends to wrap around their neck and the head and have enough space to fasten up. Next, we're going to work on layout and cutting. 6. Layout and Cutting: Now we're gonna do the layout and cutting. I've got my fabric here, and I'm spreading it out. It is a double layer so that I get to pieces. I'm gonna lay My pattern out here is well, like can It's a little roly and I'm pending just pinning it all down on my speed These videos up because I actually pin very slowly, and there's no reason for you to watch me do that. So I speed up the video a little bit here. So I get this all nice and pinned down, and then I'm going to cut it out. I'm cutting through two layers of fabric. There's a cake. Now I'm gonna do the headpiece the same way I'm cutting through two layers of fabric and I'm going to cut this band out, okay? And then for the little eyeball stock, I'm just gonna kind of guess what I want. This is about 2.5 inches wide, and I'm gonna fold it in half. And so it along the side there. And then I'm gonna cut a little tiny circle for the dot of the eyeball. Now I'm gonna cut the actual piece for the eyeball. So I've got my bottle. I'm just gonna trace around my bottle, and it's through two layers of fabric there. Now, I'm just gonna cut out this circle or two circles cutting out too soon. It's my amel stock. Next, we're gonna So the cape. 7. Sewing the Cape: Now we are going to So the cape. So I've got my to Kate pieces here, and I'm gonna lay them directly on top of each other. Make sure that edges air all lined up. And I'm gonna pin around the top edge and the little extensions, and that's all I'm gonna pin around because I'm gonna I'll show you why in a minute. But I'm just gonna so around the outer edge of the neck part. So that's the only part that I'm pinning down, put in one more pin and then I'm going to cut off the second layer of cape. But I'm gonna leave a little bit. There may be about 1/2 inch that I'm going to leave past the neck edge. You kind of see it there. Now I'm gonna so this down. I'm using a straight stitch and 1/2 inch seam allowance. Just like when I said that I pin slow and I cut slow. I also stitch really slow, so I'm not going to show you my whole sewing process. I'm just gonna do this one little section because I'm using the state the same stitches for all of the pieces. So once. I mean, I'm not going to do anything different sewing wise than what I'm doing right now. I was taking my curves really slow. I'm lowering the needle whenever I lift up the foot. I'm going to finish going around the whole edge and back stitch when I get to the end, and then I'm gonna come back with the video, and I'm gonna show you how to turn this right side out. Okay? Now I am trimming the seams because I don't want the extra bulk and no seam allowance. So I'm just gonna trim it close to the thread stitching, but not all the way through the thread stitching. Obviously, it ends up being about 1/4 of an inch that I take off, and I just do a little clip right in the corner there so that it turns right side out a little nicer and be sure you don't clip through the stitching thread. Now I'm gonna turn these right side out. I'm just gonna wiggle it with my fingers until I get it out there. Just takes a little Lingling. Okay, so here we go. And now you see where that edge turned in from the sewing from the seam allowance. I'm going to pin down that little extra to use as, ah ham around that one edge around both edges. So it's just the extra seam allowance that turned in from where I made that seem I'm gonna pin all the way down I'm not gonna finish the bottom edge because this is fleece and it won't fray. So I don't really have to And now I'm gonna so all along this edge and come back So now, so down my edge and I'm going to attach my Velcro. I'm cutting off about a one inch piece and I'm going to take thes soft side and attach it to the inside of one of the neck extensions. Maybe right about there, and I'm gonna put across pin in there, and then when I sew it, I'm just gonna so around the edge of the Velcro. So not that in place. And now I'm gonna fold my extensions over to make sure I put the hook and loop side on the right way. Gonna put across pin in that and I'm going to sew it around the edge of the Velcro and then I'll come back and we'll finish up. So now my cape has all is all sewn up. I'm going to clip my threads, clip all those threads, and then fasten it together. And there we go. So a small update. After I tried this cape of my dog, I ended up moving the Velcro more towards the ends of the cape to make more room for his neck. So I suggest that you try this on your pet before you attach the Velcro up. Next, we're gonna So the headpiece 8. Sewing the Headpiece: now we're going to. So the headpiece, this is a little bit more complicated than sewing the cape. So I recommend you watch this video through one time before starting to so your headpiece. So I have the pieces for my eyeball stock here, and the first thing I'm gonna do is fold this black piece in half and I'm gonna so it along the long edge there's and then turn it right side out. And then I'm going to center my black dot on one of those white circles and pin that down and so around the edge. So now I've done that, and I'm going to trim the same on my black piece. Just so there's less bulk in there, and I'm gonna turn it right side out. And this takes a little bit of wiggling cause it's kind of small. So there we go. I'm gonna put a little bit of stuffing in there just a bit. Stuff it down in there, and then I'm going to sandwich this between the two white circles. Kind of like that, so that when I turn this right side out, it will be sticking out like that. Okay, so I'm gonna pin this down altogether. And I'm gonna leave a space where the end of that Blackstock is. And I'm gonna so around the edge of the white circles, remember, you don't want to catch the black piece in your seem, So be sure you leave enough room so that that is free. So now I'm stone around the edge of my circles. Want to clip my threads here? I'm gonna turn this right side out and see. There it is now. All nice. Okay, I'm gonna turn it back in, and I'm gonna clip the seam allowance around the circle. Now, this just makes the rounded curves lay a little bit better. Just be sure when you're doing this. You don't cut through your thread. You want to cut just barely to the edge of the fred in, turn it right side out. And then I just made it a little bit more of a round shape. Okay, Now I'm going to stuff this eyeball. I'm gonna kind of swish it towards the bottom because I wanna have enough room to so down the edges and close up the circles, so it's kind of moving towards the bottom for now that I'm gonna fold over these raw edges and I'm gonna pin this opening shut. You want more? Okay, Now I'm gonna so around the edge of that, and I am going to show how I'm selling it because you can see there. I'm using a zipper foot, and that is so that I can get really close to the edge of the fabric. And I'm running the outer edge of that foot along the edge of my seat where I want to go. And it takes a little bit of fun angling. I'm lowering the needle with hand wheel a lot and turning just because this is kind of a tight circle. Okay, make sure you back such a The end dreads. Now I have a stuffed. I'm all now I'm gonna attach the eyeball to the band, so I'm gonna take one layer of my fabric laying the pattern piece on top, centered. I'm gonna fold it over and I'm gonna snip right where I put that little center line. And now I have a place to insert my eyeball stock right there. So I'm going to push the stuffing towards the top of the stock and I'm going to slip it into that little slit of that judge that I just cut, okay? And their sandwich dried in there. And now I'm gonna so this down still using a zipper foot so I could get really close to the edge. I wouldn't put a pin in there, so it kind of stays put, Okay. And then I'm gonna so that down, making sure all the layers are getting caught in this seem so just pay really close attention when you're stitching, miss to make sure that you got everything Canaan's. Then once that is done, I'm just gonna check around to make sure that I did get it all the way and there I did. And then I'm gonna take the extra part from the stock. I'm gonna full it forward, and I'm gonna so it down from the outside. And this will just add a little bit of stability to my eyeball stocks. Little maybe stand up a little better. And now I have attached that. Now I'm going to attach the backing peace and I'm sped this video up because I take a long time to pin like I've mentioned before. Okay, I'm gonna sandwich this piece with the apple stock, which is the front to the backing. I'm going to pin it all the way along one long edge and down the ends. I'm gonna leave an opening that's about five inches long where I'm going to turn it right side out. I'm just making sure that I have all my edges lined up. Once I'm finished pinning, I'm gonna So all along the edge where I pinned and I'm gonna leave that section open, then I'm gonna come back and show you the rest. Okay, so now I'm finished sewing. I am going to trim the ends on the seam allowance so that the curbs don't have a lot of bulk in them, just like I did on the cape. I'm not cutting off a lot. Maybe about 1/4 of an inch, okay? And now I'm gonna turn this right side out. So I'm gonna reach through that opening that I left to grab the ends and pull them through , and then I just kind of wiggle it with my fingers until it gets all the way turned out. There we go. So now I'm going to fold over the edges. on the opening, I'm going to pin those shut, and then I'm going to go back to my sewing machine. I'm gonna sew it shut. I'm also gonna so all the way around the edge, just like I did with Cape. And really, you don't have to do that. But I'd kind of like the way it looks. So I'm going to do that and then come back and finish. So now. So now all the way around the edge of this headpiece, I've closed off the opening, gonna clip my threads, and I'm going to cut another piece of Velcro. That's about an inch. I'm going to grab the fluffy side and pin it onto one end of this. I just want to make sure it meets up. Right Then when I saw the Velcro, when I so it just like I did on the cape just all the way around the edge, I'm gonna attach the hook side and make sure that it is going to meet up correctly. That's why I fold it over, put a pin in and so it and come back. Okay, so now I have attached my Velcro when I trim my threads again and then fasten the Velcro. And then there we have a hippies. Now we're gonna wrap this all up and put your put in his costume. 9. Wrapping Up: So now I'm going to wrap up and talk a little bit about dressing your pet. I use lots of treats to get my dog to wear this costume. A great way to get your pet comfortable with wearing clothing if they're not used to it already is to use treats. What I did is I held a treat in my hand as I was putting the cape around my dog's neck. And then once I finished, fasten the Velcro. I immediately gave him the treat. This creates a positive association with wearing the costume. I don't know if this works for cats because I don't have cats, but it does work for dogs. Don't make your pet continue toe. Wear the costume if they become uncomfortable. Pet costumes are for human enjoyment. Animals don't know they're wearing cute clothing, and mostly they don't care, either. It's just for us to be happy. You can also use the same process to make a costume for a child or an adult. You'll have to adjust your measurements, but you'll measure on the same areas the neck, the head and the length of the cape. Just add a little bit extra to your neck and head pieces to give ah space to wrap around and fasten. We're at the end. I hope you enjoy this class. I hope you learned something. I hope you have fun. And if you did, please leave a thumbs up. This gets my class higher in the rankings and lets more people discover my classes who want to learn about cosplay and sewing. If you'd like more so inspiration and more pictures of dogs, you can follow me on Instagram at Muricy Rue And, as always, stay tuned for war quick and dirty cosplay and quick and dirty sewing classes Happy, costly.