HALLOWEEN 2016: Catwoman

So my daughter has somewhat of a mullet. She was born with almost a full head of hair, but concentrated around the “party in the back.” She has these wispy curls happening, too so it was only a matter of time until someone commented that she looks like Florence Henderson from the Brady Bunch. I thought for Halloween I could be Alice and my husband could be Sam and our little Biddi could be Mrs. Brady. How Cute!

So I knocked out this quick little dress from some leftover fleece scraps. The orange print is more versatile than they seem at first glance–it goes with white, coral, red and pink. I think What Not to Wear used to demand that no Halloween outfit ever make its way in to regular rotation. Sage advice but I am making an exception for this dress.

The fabric is cotton fleece and has been versatile for the late summer/early fall transition. It is lightweight enough that even in mild summer heat she could wear it during the day. Currently, with tights and a sweater it is warm enough for the chilly weather we are having now—Fall is about layering, even for toddlers I suppose. As the weather gets even colder I can add another layer beneath it–a long-sleeve white onesie or tee.

Basic Bodice Sloper

For the pattern, I just took a basic bodice and attached it to two rectangles sewn into a tube panel for the skirt. At that point, it was too tight along the legs, so I added the godet panels to create some ease so she could run around.

Inserting Godet into a Sloper Dress

A godet is basically a triangle set in to a slit which adds more flare for an A-line look. I would have preferred to include the flare within the skirt pattern itself, but given limited fabric a godet is the more frugal option.

After I made the Brady Bunch outfit, we found out our friends will be traveling to our house for Halloween with their 2 year old son in tow as Batman. Since Bid loves cats and points them out incessantly in all of her books, we thought Catwoman would be the perfect costume for her. Plus she has been wearing that dress all the time and her hair has outgrown the flippy mullet look these last few weeks.

I had some random black knit fabric hanging around. It is athletic type fabric that I planned to use to make a top for myself for the gym, but the fabric is perfect for Catwoman. It has some stretch, but it is pretty taught and will keep her warm when we are trick-or-treating–it reminds me of a Spanx-like fabric.

Freehand Drafting Catsuit

I started the garment by using the same bodice pattern as the Mrs. Brady outfit, but freehand sketched legs on to the bodice, leaving plenty of room in the bottom region for diapers. Because the fabric has so little stretch it was a little tight on her ankles. I let out the seam allowances as much as possible, about half an inch on each leg. I used a decorative stitch to overcast the raw edges since moving the seam so close to the edge is a recipe for a wardrobe malfunction.

I created the arm pattern based on her measurements, but like the legs I wanted the arms to be extra long. That leaves open the option of creating a thumbhole, ala Lululemon. Biddi was able to get in and out of the catsuit through the neck hole for fittings, but it needed a center front zipper once the arms and hood were attached.

Finally, I needed to create a hood using her measurements and draping. Well, I didn’t need to make a hood–Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman wears a mask and ears and no hood. Just in case it gets chilly, I thought a hood would be a wiser choice. I used my own head and draped fabric; the thought of trying to drape a hood on Biddi just was not an appealing option. As you can see, the perimeter of the curved edge is much longer than the neckline seam, so I needed to create gathers to cinch in the hood, unless I used seaming to create the effect–again Toddler Hoodie fittings not sounding appealing. I used two parallel rows of stitching at 1/4″ and 1/2″ to create gathers between the shoulder seams.

I made a mask which stood no chance of being a mask, but it was a cute headband that communicated “Catwoman,” I thought. I set a smaller grey triangle on a larger black one. Next I attached the ears to a purple felt mask and finally topstitched on a 1″ wide black elastic. I had to keep making the eyeholes larger because she refused to keep it on. I referenced a timeline of Catwoman that was really cool that I found on Pinterest. After seeing the many iterations of the character, I picked purple for the mask as an ode to the comic book version of Catwoman–a lot of versions wear purple and black together, but for some reason the movie version stick to all black.

Batman and Catwoman

I thought I would need to create some kind of tail, but it turns out Catwoman doesn’t usually have one! She carries a whip instead, and apparently Anne Hathaway packed heat but that seems super-inappropriate. I couldn’t foresee Baby B carrying anything for more than 6 seconds before losing interest and I certainly don’t feel like carrying a whip around the entire time we are out!


All in, the costume probably cost $10 for the fabric and zipper (the material for the mask I already had from Biddi’s felt board). I saw some costumes for sale for $20-30, but making the costume was pretty fun so I think it was worth it. By the end of the night, Biddi threw her mask from the stroller, so running around she looked more like a ninja than a super-villian, but that is toddler life!

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