Sunday, November 02, 2008

How to Make a Bat Costume, and also a Jedi Robe with No Instructions

First, she wanted to be a cheerleader. I groaned. Then, she wanted to be a rabbit. I cheered up. Finally, she wanted to be a bat.

It confused me, because bats are neither pink nor sparkly. They do not glitter, nor do they connect in any way with rainbows or unicorns. However, the bat decision was firm and passionate, never mind the fact that I had a cheerleader costume and a rabbit suit sitting ready in the closet. She wanted to be a spooky, scary bat.

Have you ever tried shopping for a bat costume? Not so easy. The only ones I could find were adult costumes like "Naughty Bat" and "Saucy Fire Demon" or whatever. Not that I wouldn't have tried to alter them to fit, but the wings were taller than Sadie, so it wouldn't work. Anyway, she had a specific vision -- bat wings she could extend and fold up, in a swooping fashion. So, I had to make the darn thing. Here's my process, starting with sewing felt half-circles to the seams of a black shirt. The ears were just triangles of felt rolled up and sewed onto a beanie type hat. I cut up some coat hangers with wire cutters and taped them to the wings with electrical tape for support. Then we added some black leggings and face paint:

Then there was the Jedi robe. Right up until Halloween day, Benny was planning to be a "Colonial Man." On Halloween we put on his colonial jacket to give it a test fit, and the sleeves were WAY too short. Apparently he grew. So, I said I could put another cuff on the sleeve and add a cowl around the jacket neck, but Benny decided he would rather be a Jedi. So, hey, I happened to have some brown fabric, but no pattern. This is the result:

He wore his karate uniform underneath. Here they are together:

Look out, Norfolk! Bat and Obiwan Kenobi are on the hunt for some candy!


  1. Anonymous7:12 PM

    Great, great costumes. Adorable children.

  2. alright, you are just WAY too creative! =)

  3. Wow, they're so cute! I love how proud your daughter looks with her bat wings.

  4. I find this totally adorable! Hailey and Drew were dead set on being bats this year for Halloween too! Definitely hard to find a good bat costume! Hailey was also specific about the big wings that she could open and close...actually, about a week before Halloween, she saw some commercial for batman wings that would pop open when you pressed a button and she wanted those. She asked daddy if he could make her some..haha! Anyways...the kids are adorable!

  5. Anonymous11:15 AM

    The beginning of your bat costume journry sounds just like the one I had this year I almost broke down and got one of those little miss bats with the short skirts and funny wings but then I found your instructions and o my it is a fabulous costume I finished it in 1 afternoon and i am not a sewing person but it looks great and Bella is so happy with it thank you so much

  6. Anonymous9:09 PM

    Thank you! My daughter wants to be a bat as well, and I was looking for some kind of face paint idea. I love it!

  7. Anonymous5:22 PM

    Thanks for the great idea for a bat costume! My daughter was set on being a bat and I had no idea how I was going to make it. Your idea worked great and now I have my own little bat. Thanks again!

  8. Anonymous2:02 PM

    Thanks so much for sharing your creativity. My daughter wants to wear a dragon costume to go to see the movie, "How To Train Your Dragon", and I think a green version of your bat costume will work perfectly! Thanks again!

  9. I'm a homeschool mom of a preschooler and 3rd grader. I'm so glad I found your blog. My 4 year old boy wants to be a bat and I'm trying to figure out how to make his costume. I'll try several of your ideas. I love the ears!

  10. Anonymous11:27 PM

    You are SO right - it is impossible to find a true bat costume for children (why? I have no idea...) and I was so grateful to find your idea for creating one at home. I do not sew, at all. Not even a button. So the fact that I could follow your pattern to the approval and elation of my picky seven year old son speaks volumes to the simplicity and creativity of your idea. Thank you!!!

  11. Anonymous2:11 PM

    and for us who cant sew. Fuck you.

  12. Anonymous3:26 PM

    People like you are so fucking smug.