Cole loves animals, but his brother convinced him he needed to be something scary for Halloween. After some deep thinking he settled upon a lion, which he decided is scary enough. I took him to Jo Ann to pick out fabric. He settled on a light brown fleece for the fur, and a darker brown fur for the mane.
I also looked at the lion costume patterns, but they were really complicated! I decided to stick with my trusty Woodland Animal Pattern from Running with Scissors, which I’ve already used for lots of costumes. Cole’s getting so big that I had to blow it up by 10% in Illustrator! I decided to use some white minky fabric for the belly because we couldn’t find any darker brown fleece that went well with the light brown he picked. The main body of the costume came together quickly; I just needed to improvise a 1.5″ tube for the tail:
The mane was a bigger challenge. I started by cutting out a mane based on the hood pattern from the woodland animal costume. To test out how it worked with the body, I put it over the hood and had Cole try it on. The brown furry fabric just didn’t look right:
I did a lot of Google image searching for lion costume manes, and then went back to Jo Ann to look for a better fabric. I found one that looked good, cut out a slightly bigger mane than before. Again we tried it on before sewing:
We both liked the color! So I cut some lion ears out of the light brown fleece, sewed them onto the mane, and then sewed the front of the mane to the front of the hood. Almost there, except the fuzz from the mane kept getting in Cole’s eyes:
We ended up adding a baseball hat to keep the main out of his eyes. He also requested some lion cubs. The end result was one happy four year old!