Welcome to the AmyD Tutorial on Making a Snowman Costume For Your Baby!
Legendary local crafter AmyD made the snowman costume for our November 2012 cover model Sebastian — and then she wrote up and took pictures for a tutorial to make your own snowman costume. Interested in finding out more about AmyD, her super cool products and where they’re sold? Visit her website at madebyamyd.com
We decided to go pattern-free and walk you through how WE would make a costume if we needed to do it while taking care of a baby. With those parameters in mind, we liberally used duct tape and moxie. There are loads of pictures and quite a bit of text. We wanted to explain the whole process. If you are an experienced crafter, feel free to skim! This is made for a baby that weighs around 20 pounds, or between 6-12 months. All babies have different-sized heads. This one is around 17” in circumference.
Keep three things in mind and this will be great.
- It’s not a wedding dress or even a prom dress. It’s a costume. For a baby.
- You are a person with a baby. You are making that baby a costume with your own two hands. You deserve a parade, or a coin minted with your picture.
- We aren’t brain surgeons. If we mess up, no one dies.
I tried to do as little sewing as possible for this costume. Not everyone knows how to sew. Everyone knows how to use duct tape! There is a little sewing, but I kept it short.
- 1-yd white polar fleece or felt. I used polar fleece, but I think felt would have been easier. You won’t use the whole yard, but get a yard in case you make a mistake.
- 1 piece of 12-inch-by-18-inch black stiffened felt.
- Black duct tape. In the photos I use red so you can see it well. Use black.
- 6-12 month-sized long-sleeved onesie
- Men’s small white t-shirt
- Needle, thread (or fabric glue), scissors
THE HAT – The hat has the most steps. We can do this!
Hat Base (the white part)
- Turn your men’s t-shirt inside out. Line up the shoulder seams with the neck open. (See Pic 1)
- Cut along the seam of the neckband from shoulder to shoulder on the side that has the tag (Pic 2). Keep the stitching intact and cut the fabric away from the neck (Pic 3). Only cut shoulder seam to shoulder seam on the neckband.
- Cut the sleeves off. Keep the stitching from the seams on the shirt, cutting the sleeves away (Pic 4).
- Rotate your shirt as seen in Pic5 and measure 4 inches straight up. Mark it.
- You’ll notice you have a sort of square now. The loose part of the neckband is going to be the chin strap for your hat. Bring the base of your hat in around 1”. Cut your “square” (Pic 6).
- Sew around 3 sides of your hat, leaving the face open. (I know I didn’t have to say that. Just thought it was funny) It will look like Pic 7.
- Fold the edges of your square in like in Pic 8 and sew them down. Just a couple of stitches will do. It’s going to get covered by the top hat.
Top Hat - I used red tape so you can see what’s going on. You should use black.
- Cut a strip of stiffened felt that will roll into a tube for the top of the hat. Mine is 3.5-inches-by-12.5-inches. To mark on black felt, you can use a pencil if you have great eyes, a crayon if you don’t (Pic 9).
- Roll it into a tube and pin it. You can either sew this shut or tape it with duct tape. If you use duct tape, blow it with a blow dryer a couple second and press the tape into the felt to really make it stick. Just a couple of seconds though! It melts (Pic 10).
- Trace your tube onto another piece of black felt. This will be the top of your hat and the brim (Pic 11).
- Decide how wide you want your brim to be. I chose 1.5 inches. Expand the first circle by 1.5 inches all the way around. Cut out both circles (Pic 12: See? Mine isn’t a perfect circle either. It’s OK!)
- Place a piece of duct tape around one end of your hat tube (Pic 13).
- Cut about ½” off the end. Save that piece of tape you are cutting off (Pic 14)
- Cut notches into the tape that is on the hat. Like a V-shape.
- Set your hat tube onto your brim tube. Flare out your tape. Blow dry slightly and press the tape into the felt (Pic 15: Sorry it’s a little blurry!).
- Remember that piece of tape you saved? Cut it into strips and press them to the inside of your hat tube on the top. The top of your hat is going to sit on here. Blow dry slightly and press (Pic 16).
- Use a few tacking stitches to sew your hat to your white cap. Have your stitches go through the side and brim of the hat for add stability.
- Tie a piece of fabric around your top hat for pizzazz and to cover the duct tape. It’s your baby, after all.
- Fold your polar fleece in half, right sides facing each other.
- Lay your onesie on top with the shoulders at the fold and mark with a pencil the shoulder and armpit seams (Pic 17).
- Measure around 4 inches from the bottom of your onesie and 4 inches to each side of the hips and armpits and mark with a pencil. I did around 4.25 inches because I wanted it bunchy (Pic 18).
- Cut out the square shape you have now up to the armpits. Cut in toward the dots you made for your armpits and round up to the shoulders (Pic 19).
- Cut your straps. Our straps are around one-inch wide. You can make yours wider but I wouldn’t go thinner.
- Cut out the scoop for the neck. Make sure the front goes down slightly more than the back (Pic 20).
- Picture for a moment a map that you have seen of the globe. You know how it has those cuts in the picture to keep the sphere from being distorted? That’s what you are going to do! You are going to make this flat thing round.
- Trim the corners of your body first (Pic21).
- Cut triangles in the bottom every few inches. Keep them evenly spaced. Our triangles are 4 inches tall and have straight sides. If you want a better circle shape, curve your sides inward, like on the flat map we mentioned earlier (Pic 22).
- Cut out circles for buttons using your black felt. You can use a hole punch to make our buttons look more authentic (Pic 23).
- Sew or glue your buttons down the front (Pic 24).
- Put right sides together and sew or fabric glue your side seams from the armpits down. We left one side open on the bottom because we didn’t have our human model in the studio and wanted to make sure it would be able to close later. We used hook & eye closures for that side.
- Now you need to sew or glue shut your triangle cuts (darts) at the bottom. Fold right sides together to make your seams (Pic 25).
- After sewing all of your bottom cuts together, your costume is finished! It will look like this (Pic 26).
Put it on your baby and take tons of pics! You did it! You deserve a parade. Send us a pic too! If you have any questions at all, just send me an email email@example.com. I’d love to hear from you. xoxo AmyD