Penguin Costume

Even if you've never sewed before, you will be able to make this costume.  It uses a large T-shirt as the base and you stitch in a few pieces of elastic and glue on a piece of white felt for the tummy.  You can make different sizes by using large or small T-shirts. 

You will need:

1.  A black T-shirt, far too big for you child

2.  A large piece of white felt

3.  1/4" wide elastic, about 2 feet

4.  Fabric glue

5.  Sewing scissors

6.  Black thread and a needle

7.  A large safety pin

8.  Orange socks & face paint (optional)

A toddler wearing a penguin costume
Two slits and scissors

1.  You will want the T-shirt to be long enough to touch the ground when your toddler is wearing it.  The sleeves should be long on the toddler's arms.

Turn the T-shirt inside out.  Find the seam on the sleeve.  Carefully cut a slit on each side of this seam on the sleeve's hem.

Elastic threaded through the hem of a T-shirt sleeve 2.  Measure around your toddler's arm.  Cut a piece of elastic that is that long + 1/2 inch.  Attach this elastic to the safety pin and thread it through the hem on the sleeve.
Black thread holding elastic in place

3.  Stitch the elastic together.  If desired, whip stitch the slits back together.  Don't worry if this looks a little sloppy.  It is on the back of the shirt, and no one will be able to see it.

Repeat on the other sleeve.

Scissors cutting two slits along the bottom hem 4.  Find the side hem of the T-shirt along the bottom hem.  Measure 6 inches toward the front and cut a slit in the hem.  Then measure 6 inches to the back and cut a slit in the hem.
Elastic is stitched in place along the bottom hem

5.  Thread 6 inches of elastic into the hem.  Stitch in place on the front and back and stitch the hem closed.

Repeat on the other side.

Out glue on the belly

6.  Turn the T-shirt right side in.  Carefully trim the felt into a penguin belly shape.  Put a thick line of glue around the felt and a few lines across the middle.  Press it firmly onto the front of the T-shirt.  Let is dry for several hours.

A toddler in a penguin costume

7.  Your costume is ready! Have your litte penguin wear orange socks, the T-shirt, and if you like, you can paint a little beak on his or her nose.  (Our little penguin didn't like paint or hats or fake noses)

Penguins are amazing birds.  They can swim, but they don't fly.  We usually associtate them with frozen climates, but some penguins live in warmer parts of the world such South Africa and the Galapagos Islands.  Penguins usually mate for life and the male penguin takes care of the chicks. 

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