A dragon costume is a simple project that shouldn’t take too long, even for the most inexperienced of seamstresses. All you need is a pre-made jumper with a hood, some fabric and sewing supplies, and this guide!
The base for the costume is a one-piece jumper or sleeper in any suitable color, such as green, red, purple or blue. (Pink or white work nicely for girls, as well.) Ensure that this fits the baby beforehand, of course. Then take a trip to the fabric store or see what you have lying around to fashion the wings, fins, and tail. A shiny fabric in a contrasting color (again, green, red, blue or purple do nicely) is best, along with some stuffing to give these accessories their shape.
Wings – Anything goes here, so feel free to design your own pattern! The easiest method is to sew a square with a bit of stuffing in it, and create horizontal ridges in it using a sewing machine. Then, pinch one side of the square together and secure it with stitches to create a fan shape. Repeat the process with another stuffed square, pinching the opposite side so it will be symmetrical to the first fan. Sew these directly to the jumper just below the shoulders or fashion a small round pillow to stitch them to and attach that to the back of the jumper.
Fin – Draw a pattern of a fin, with a concave bottom and at least three points on the top. (Leave a generous amount of space along the edges for stitching.) It should measure about 3 inches in height. Cut it out and then lay two pieces of fabric together to cut from the pattern. Stitch around the edges, leaving an opening big enough to insert the stuffing, then turn the piece inside out. Fill it with the stuffing and close the opening, then sew the fin to the hood of the jumper. Alternately you can try creating a fan similar to that of the wings, and attaching it to the hood as the fin, or fashioning two large ears out of fabric.
Tail – For this, sew a conical tube of fabric in the same color as your base jumpsuit, and attach triangular pieces of another color of a stiffer fabric. The tail can be as long or as short as is comfortable for the baby – ensure that it is not too bulky for him or her to sit against.
Belly – This part is optional: cut out an oval of fabric in the contrast color and stitch it to the front of the jumper. Alternately, you can run a section of the contrast color all the way down the front of the costume, starting at the neck.
Eyes and Nostrils – Another optional variation is to attach felt or plastic googly eyes to the hood, a little bit below the fin, and two black felt circles for nostrils.
Claws – Depending on what type of jumper you have, you may have the option of adding felt claws to the sleeves or feet of your base. Putting the claws on socks or mittens works just as well.
Ensure that your baby is comfortable in the costume – if he or she will not tolerate the tail or claws, the outfit is fine without them. Customize the design as much as you like until you find something both you and the baby are happy with.