Tutorial: Baby's Ant Costume, Part I Body

So, I've turned my little princess into a little ant for Carnival. Her first! And as I was making this costume, I was thinking about making a tutorial to share with you. 

So, you'll need: 
fabric - I used 1m of the black flannel; and just a few red flannel scraps I had from G.'s Christmas Dress.  
elastic - I used white for the body (legs) and black for the hat. 
scissors - I used a zig zag one to save me from overcasting the seams, which is fine, since she'll wear it once or twice. And a scissors for paper. 
black and red thread
brackets - I used 8 small ones (or you can get those ready to sew ones).
buttons - I used 3 for the front bodice
paper and pencil - to trace your patterns
your baby's clothes - to copy a pattern

1. So, to start off, grab you child's clothes that you've chosen to copy the pattern pieces. The one I chose, had the next pieces:

1. front bodice - cut 2x
2. back bodice - cut 1x on the fold
3. collar - cut 1x on the black fabric and 1x on the red fabric
4. little piece of the back pants - cut 1x
5- sleeves - cut 2x
6. front pants - cut 1x on the fold
7. back pants - cut 2x

After you trace your pattern, transfer it to your fabric. Add seam allowances (I used 1cm for all, except for legs and arms, I used 2cm seams. In the front pants, I used a 3cm seam in the middle _ fold side. Also in the front bodice, I made it 2cm). Pin it all and cut, like you see in the previous picture. 

For the ant's two extra arms, you'll need to cut a rectangle with 16cm x 52cm. Fold it in order to get a 8cm x 52cm rectangle. Pin it all around, give a round shape to all corners and sew. Find the middle of it and cut it into half. Turn it around, and you have the extra arms ready to fill. Leave a little seam allowance here too. 

To make the front bodice, just fold the 2cm seams in the middle to the inside. On the right one, sew 3 buttons, and on the left side, make the 3 buttons holes. 

Next thing you're gonna do, is lay the back bodice, and on top the front bodice, right sides together. Sew the line on the shoulder. After you do, your piece will look like this (previous picture). 

Pin the sleeves to the arm holes, with the bodice open like in the picture. Then sew it. Then "close" the sleeves, pin it and sew again. 

When you're done, turn it around, button it up, and it will look like this:

Let's get to the bottom now. Fold the 3cm seams and sew it. You should press it with your iron too. I didn't, because I'm lazy and only did that in the end. You might have to cut a straight line right in the middle so every seam goes it's right side. I know there are better ways to make it, but I just made it like this. 

After filling your extra arms, pin them about 6-7 cm from the waist.

Then, put the back pants on top, right sides together and the arms inside. Sew the seams. Turn it around and it'll look like this:
I did not take a picture, but I did sew the two pieces together of the back pants, and added the little piece that stays in between also. Which is that little piece of fabric you see in the picture above. 

Sew top and bottom together. Your ant's body is almost complete, but there's still a little to get done. 

Use the elastic, just slightly smaller then the width of the pants, pin it 2cm from the seams, and sew it with a zig zag stitch. 

Let's make some bias tape, shall we?! 

Cut some strips perpendicular to the fabric's line, which will make your fabric more stretching. I wish I could explain it better. Pin the strips like you see in the picture, right sides together, and sew it. Press the seams open, and cut out the excess fabric. 
Since I don't have any bias tape machine, I have been looking for an easy way to make my own, and the one you see in the 4th picture, was the most perfect solution I have came up with so far. I use two large pins, and pin it into my ironing board, one down and one up. I then pass the fabric throught it, and iron press it on the other side. You might need to give it a hand sometimes... it's not 100% perfect but it works quite well. 
Once you have pressed it all, fold it in half and press again. 

Pin the bias tape on the wrong side of the fabric - in the back part of the pants. Start in one leg and go all the way through the other. Sew it.  

Then turn it around, fold and sew on the right side. Your bias tape is in the right place now. 

Add the brackets, I sew mine by hand. Fold a 1cm on the bottom seams, and then fold 1cm more. Pin and sew. On both legs. Now close you brackets up and your little ant's body is done. 

PS. I just realised I somehow lost some photos, for example, the ones from when I added the collar to the rest of the pieces. That's missing in this tutorial. Well, I have sewed it somewhere between the process. First sew the red piece right sides together, and then turn the black one to the inside. I personally, hand stitched it. You can use the machine if you prefer. 


  1. This a really cute ant costume - something I never would have thought of trying to make! You did a fantastic job.

    I thought you and your readers might be interested in a Creative Costume Contest that is happening over at http://www.halloweenhero.com/costume-contest-2013.html - and the best part, there is a $250 Grand Prize. Just thought I'd share in case you'd like to enter.

    Thanks again for sharing how you made this costume, step-by-step.


    1. Thank you Peter!
      The contest sounds interesting, I'll think about it.


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