Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Pattern Hack: Making A Cute Little Raccoon Costume

Halloween at the Sew Can Do house wouldn't be complete without at least one handmade costume.  This mama has been very short on sewing time lately, but it's the first year baby #5 is trick or treating so she needed a mommy-made costume.  This one reflects her personality to a T: Cute Little Raccoon.

My youngest daughter's nickname is Trash Panda (another name for raccoons).  And for good reason.  She is always into something.  Preferably a trash can, package of food or neatly organized container.  Her little arms are crazy strong - she's ripped boxes open to get at what's inside, done pull-ups to climb onto things and is the reason we have locks on practically every cupboard and all the toilets.  We have to keep our bedroom trash can 5 feet off the ground whenever she's awake or the contents will be everywhere in 30 seconds.  Like you would do with an actual animal.  She likes to rummage outside too:

So being a rascally raccoon for her first "active participant" Halloween seemed the obvious choice:

This hooded romper design is ideal for smalls for Halloween.  Cuddly fleece makes to soft & warm and easy to move in.  The zip-up front makes it quick to get on & off:

The hood has the perfect shape so that the animal face shows well, but little ones can still see out underneath it.

And of course it's got the classic raccoon tail at the back:

Just like the real thing, the tail has enough dimension to look the business, but not drag on the ground or get stepped on:

I really didn't have time to draft a complete pattern from scratch, so I found this great current one piece costume to hack, Simplicity 9347, which is a throwback 80's style Care Bear.  It's the ideal base for any animal costume and, quite honestly, it was very cost & time effective to use.  It was on sale for $2.  The cost in sanity and mom-hours to draft one up would've been WAY higher.  Smarter not harder is key when sewing!

This pattern is pretty a straightforward sew.  I definitely would recommend it.  The fit is generous so wearing clothes underneath is an option which is really practical for chilly Halloween nights.  My daughter is an average size 20 month old, so based on the measurements the 1/2 size was the right fit (I did have to cut a couple of inches off the pant length before I attached the rib knit cuffs though).  

On to the Pattern Hack!

So the key changes to turn this Care Bear costume into a cute raccoon:

- Add a raccoon face (I created this PDF Pattern)
- Make the ears pointed 
- Add a striped tail
- Turn tummy applique into an oval

You can download my free layered Raccoon Face pattern HERE.  It would probably work as a mask too.  Just print actual size (no scaling) and cut out.

Following the pattern directions to make the romper comes first and then when it's time to sew up the hood piece, this is what I did next....

Cut out my raccoon's mask from the black fleece, including the eye holes:

Then cut the white fleece outline piece:

I also cut a large oblong piece of light grey fleece to be the backer for the face applique to make it stand out more from the hood fabric.  Then layered them on the hood piece before it was sewn up and top stitched each layer in place:

I used the included ear pattern piece for general size, but extended my ear pieces and made them pointed, then attached them according to the pattern directions & stitched up the rest of the hood and sewed it to the neckline.

I hand stitched shank buttons for the eyes and a pom pom for the nose:

I needed to create a tail from scratch so I cut a 5 inch wide by 16 inch long pair of strips from my grey fleece and from the black and cut them to curve inward and to a point at one end:

Then I free form cut the black pairs into some zig-zag shaped sections to make the rings on the tail:

And top-stitched those onto the grey tail pieces, then stitched them together, right sides facing, trimming the seam allowances down. 

I turned the tail right side out, stuffed it with some poly-fil and then slip stitched it to the backside of the costume by hand:

Then the little raccoon costume was good to go!

Seeing her wandering around in costume, trying to get into mischief is just like seeing the real thing in action.  It's a role she was born to play.  

 Happy Halloween!

And if you're looking for more DIY costume ideas:


  1. You are very creative and she looks adorable. I love raccoons!

    1. Thanks Danette! We've become fans too thanks to this one;)

  2. This is such a CUTE costume. Love love love! It's a feature at this weeks Handmade Monday :-)

    1. Thank you Julie! So honored to be featured. Have a great Halloween!!


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