With our two year old being obsessed with not only ducks, but also the Wonder Pets, Ming-Ming was the ideal costume for her. I decided that this year my daughters’ costumes would cost nothing. I succeeded by using up remnants of fabric, some purchased before we even had children, and items in our closets.
The main piece of the costume I made with cheap fleece. Any stretchy fabric that doesn’t fray can be used. Since fleece is warmer, it is the ideal fabric for the chilly fall weather. The concept can be used to make many Halloween costumes, not just those from the Wonder Pets. The cape and hat can be added to their dress up box, and the leggings transferred to her drawer for daily use.
Since you don’t need to finish off any edges, not even the hems, this is very quick and easy to make. If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can easily do this by hand. If you do own a sewing machine, use either a zigzig stitch or an overlocker. You’d like a stitch that allows stretch.
I used a loose-fitting sleeveless dress as a template. I traced around it, adding a few inches onto the hem length, but coming in drastically at the bottom. I made my curve too wide. If you come in narrow enough at the hemline, you can avoid adding elastic to the bottom. I found leaving a 8-9 inch opening to be ample. Make sure the fabric stretches width-wise.
If you choose to, you can add sleeves to the costume. If the thought of sleeves scares you (it is only the last two years I’ve braved making sleeves), skip this step and dress your child in a long sleeved yellow t-shirt. I used a sleeve pattern from my favorite kid’s sewing book, in one size bigger than necessary. I made the sleeves wider at the end to try mimic a bird’s wings.
Place the front and back right sides to together. Pin and sew at the shoulders. Repeat for the sleeves. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect, the costume is baggy and the fleece stretchy and forgiving of any mistakes.
Lay the piece flat, right sides together. Line up the sleeves, side pieces and hem. Pin and sew from the sleeve tip to the bottom. If you skipped sleeves, just sew from the armpit to the hemline. I’ve found if the neckline and bottom have a circumference of at least 18″, it slips on and off very easily.
For the cape, use any t-shirt, fleece or felt fabric. Even an old green t-shirt will be perfect. Fold the fabric in half. Measure your child from the neck to the floor, subtract a few inches and use that as your length. Measure around six inches inward from the fold on one end. Use your tape measure to make sure both the length on the fold and the one you’ll cut are the same. Cut it on the fold using the above shape as a guideline.
To add the elastic, turn the top edge over about 1″ and sew it down using a straight stitch. This will create a casing/tube to feed the elastic through. Cut a piece of elastic about 8″ long. Feed it through the casing using a safety pin. Tack it down very well on one end, then the other.
To finish the cape, cut two strips of fabric 8″x1″. If using felt, one strip of fabric will suffice. Sew the pieces together along the edges. This also helps stabilize the thinner fabric. Add velcro to both ends. Pin and sew it to the one top corner of the cape. Since your fabric doesn’t fray, you won’t need to finish any edges.
To create a Ming-Ming hat, you could use any brown hat, and add googles. Sadly, I couldn’t find a single plain brown hat. I therefore created a pattern out of a simple fleece hat that fit her, added longer sides to it, and made the front part higher. Brown fleece or heavier knit fabric will work perfectly for the hat. Just make sure that when you cut it out, the fabric stretches width-wise. Sew the two halves together and there you have the hat! To keep the googles from falling off, I sewed them on in the front and sides using three or four simple long stitches.
If you need help with the hat, check out these cool animal fleece hats. Their hat instructions are easy to follow and include patterns.
I added orange leggings made from a pattern in the same book. If you have never made clothing for your kids before, leggings are the easiest thing to start with. You can use a pair of your child’s current leggings as a pattern or try this free pattern I found online. Personally I think yellow leggings would’ve looked better than orange.
To make the costume even more authentic, you can add Ming-Ming shoes. Nick Jr. has a template for them. I just couldn’t see my daughter keeping them on for more than 1min.
Dress up your toddler and let them fly away to rescue all the animals they can find!