Simplicity 2519, LARGE SIZE DOG COSTUMES, copyright 2009 Simplicity Pattern Co. Inc.
One day back in 2010 or so, I got a phone call from a friend who was like, “hey, wanna make a shirt for an iguana?” And I was like, “Of course I do.”
So the parameters of the project were: I would come in, meet with the tv show’s costume designer, and then take home the iguana’s measurements, photos from several angles, and two size large men’s shirts to use for fabric to make the iguana’s shirt, and then two days later I would bring them a shirt and the scraps and fill out a time card.
Shirts instead of yardage because the iguana needed to match with a human actor in an existing garment. Like twinsies.
I would not get to have a fitting with the iguana (because it’s a notorious diva) (jk) (only because of time restraints).
I had never made a costume for an iguana before, and I didn’t (and still don’t) have an iguana mannequin at home, but on the drive home I figured iguanas are shaped pretty much like dogs when you get right down to it, so I swung by the JoAnn Fabrics and bought four or so doggie costume patterns. Not to use directly, but for reference for things like the weird way an animal’s neck sits on its body, and the angle of the sleeves, how they point forward instead of down like a person’s. That sort of thing.
This is one of the patterns I bought that day. Didn’t use this one, the other three were more helpful as references, but, I mean, you can’t get rid of a pattern like this, which is why I still have it.
Oh, and the iguana shirt was a success. That was one well-dressed reptile.
Just now I made View A, the rabbit costume, for Trixie, who is a good dog.
Black polar fleece, cut from sweatshirt that my husband was tired of. And pink silk for the inner ears.
Trixie is a fluffy white poodle-ish sort of dog, very lamb-like in appearance. I think the black will look nice on her, but it occurred to me while making it that this might be a doggie hair magnet. Whoops.
Trixie is not my dog, though.
And as a non-dog owner, I was completely mystified by this keyhole opening you can see in the photo above.
It is at the back of the neck, where the back of the hood meets the body. The pattern piece and pattern instructions refer to it only as Faced Opening, and I stared at it for the longest time wondering if it was some kind of air vent or something and could I just skip it? What was it even for?
And if it was an air vent, wouldn’t the dog collar be in the way?
Finally, thoughts of dog collars clued me in: it’s there so you can clip a leash onto the collar. Duh.
This pattern has 3/8ths seam allowance. Thank you thank you I love you pattern.
3/8ths of an inch is the width of the cover stitch pressed foot, and also the distance from the edge of the overlock blade to the needles. Which means that you can just cruise the presser foot along the cut edge of the fabric and everything is sewn in the right place, no trying to line up with a guide or anything.
I learned this one on the job, a stitcher came over and said, “next time you cut for the cover stitch, please use 3/8ths inch seam allowance, it is easier for me.” And easier means more accurate and faster so I was happy to oblige.
I am so pleased to see a commercial pattern that knows this trick and is making the sewing easier for us too.
The only change I made with this rabbit costume was cutting the length shorter and skipping the pompom tail, since Trixie has a nice fluffy white tail of her own.
3 hours. Polar fleece, so easy, no seam finishing.
Another thing that helped the time: I had all the supplies in house. Velcro, elastic, interfacing for the floppy ears, thread, fabric. Here’s to keeping well stocked.
Sew It or Throw it:
Sew it. The tuxedo needs to be made.
*Exciting update* Here is Trixie! Costume is too big, but Trixie has her own personal in-house tailor, so no problem. Hahahaha Trixie you are a bunny.