Thursday, November 17, 2011

Biscuit the Dog Pajamas (Costume)

I love it when I can make Halloween costumes double for pajamas.  The kids love that they can "dress up" to go to bed any night they want and I feel like my trouble making or buying the costumes is SO much more worth it.

Even though it's well past Halloween, you could use the same ideas to make a special pair of kitty or doggy pajamas as a Christmas gift...pajamas are a favorite Night-Before-Christmas present for our kids so they have something special to wear for opening gifts in the morning.

As we were contemplating Halloween costumes this year, Hubby broke one of the cardinal rules...NEVER suggest a Halloween costume to the child unless you have an idea of how you will make or buy it easily.  He suggested to Sweet Pea that she should be Biscuit the Dog for Halloween, and she latched onto the idea.

If you're a regular reader, then you might remember this video of Sweet Pea "reading" her Biscuit books.  The Biscuit books are a little boring as adults to read, but a great first reader for kids just starting to read.

I was really not in the mood this year to put a lot of work into making Halloween costumes, so I was less than thrilled, even though I thought it was a cute idea.

Fortunately I found a pair of size 5T foot pajamas in the closet just in time.  Firecracker hat outworn them, and even though they weren't quite the same color as Biscuit in the books, the first Biscuit book starts out with "This is Biscuit.  Biscuit is small.  Biscuit is yellow..." so I knew if it was yellow, Sweet Pea would be happy.

I didn't have time to take tutorial pictures and I was making it all up as I went along, but I'll share enough tips that you should be able to make your own.

Sweet Pea is just barely wearing 2T (she's small for her age), so 5T was way to big.  This is what we started with (please ignore the mess).

It turned out perfect that the pajamas were a couple sizes too big, because when I shortened them, I ended up with some scraps to make the tail and cover up the embroidery.   I had her put the pajamas on, and then marked where the wrists and ankles should go.

When I cut them off, I added about an inch, so I could fold the ends over and make a casing for the elastic.  (Although I wish I'd added another extra inch or two because they creep up a bit on her while she's sleeping.)  I had to cut through the zipper to make these short enough...which is really easy.  Just make sure the pajamas are zipped up when you do it.  My sewing machine didn't have any trouble sewing past the zipper.

I also marked where to put her tail before I started cutting.
I used the extra I cut off the legs to make her tail.  Biscuit's tail bends up all the time in the books, so I figured I should stuff it.  I just used some left over batting I had, and pushed in as much as I could to fill it up.
I love how it pops right up when she bends over.
Biscuit wears a red collar, so I made some wide "bias" tape out of a red t-shirt.  (I didn't really cut it on a bias since t-shirt fabric naturally has some give to it.)  I just sewed it on over the existing collar.
The real Biscuit doesn't wear a dog tag, but I figured it would make her easier to recognize, so I pulled out my metal stamp set and made a little zipper pull with a washer.  It also helps Sweet Pea pull the zipper up herself.
Then that cute flower decal on the front needed to be covered up.  I found a picture of Biscuit online and printed it off in black and white.  Then I took some of the fabric from shortening the sleeves and traced the Biscuit picture with an ultra fine-tip sharpie by holding them both up to the window.  Then cut out around Biscuit and sewed it over the flowers.  Becca loved that her costume had the picture of Biscuit.  I've also used sharpies for embellishing burp cloths (here and here) and we've washed the Biscuit costume several times and it hasn't faded at all.
Then as a last touch, Biscuit needed a hat to keep her real ears warm while trick-or-treating and to make her feel more like a puppy.  I used an old T-shirt with about 5% of spandex in it, so it was really stretchy.  I used a hat we had on hand and traced it to get the size right.  Then I cut a rectangle piece to fold over as the headband part.  (If you're unsure how to do this, there are lots of patterns for baby hats out on the web.
I used some scraps and traced Biscuits ears as best I could...this was definitely the hardest part of the whole costume.  I sewed two pieces together and turned them right side out.  (Make sure to trim the seam allowances around all the curves!)  Then I sewed the ears onto the hat by hand.  She loved shaking her head back and forth to feel that the ears were there.

And we had a very happy Biscuit for trick-or-treating.
She's also worn her costume to bed at least half the nights since then...

...and during the day plenty too.  She carries her Biscuit books around with her more than ever.  It was easier convincing her to put an apron on over her costume to eat, than it was to get her to put her books somewhere other than the table.

And if you're looking for a more traditional way to make some pajamas for Christmas...I'll have some others to show you soon.


  1. What a sweet, sweet puppy. Great photos, and a cute way to make the costume. I used to love making Halloween costumes that could double as pj's. I remember a kitty-cat costume I made for you MANY years ago!

  2. I would have loved this as a kid! Dogs Rule! Yeah Biscuit!

  3. Very cute costume. I didn't know you could just cut the zipper like that and sew over with the machine. Great tips!

  4. Ha ha son is wearing his brown monkey costume/pajamas to bed every night too! I always make sure we can use Halloween costumes as jammies again as well, so I laughed when I read that part on your post.

  5. That is so cute, and so practical. What a cutie she is, and looks like she likes dressing up in her costume at bedtime too.

  6. that turned out great she is so so cute I'd love you to link this to my party at

  7. That's such a cute costume. I love the idea of a costume that doubles for PJs. Makes so much more sense.:)


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