Flounder costume tips
Last year a friend’s daughter was going to be Ariel for Halloween and my friend wanted their baby to be Flounder. She asked if I could come up with something suitable for him, as he was only 8 or 9 months old at the time and she wanted something nice, comfortable and uncomplicated. The picture below shows what I came up with. A few people have asked how I did it, so I’m going to put some tips here now. It is definitely not a tutorial, just a guide on how I did it. No doubt there are many other ways, but this is what I did.
I used an old pattern from McCall’s for the hood. The number is 4529, but it must be out of print, as I couldn’t find it on their site. I adapted the pattern to make it a suitable size for the baby. I had a small 2 year old around at the time, so that helped!I used yellow broadcloth for the hood, though of course you could use any yellow fabric you like. I interlined the hood with fleece for stability and comfort.
For the stripes, to be perfectly honest, I took out a book from my daughters’ bookshelf with a picture of Flounder and hand-drafted the stripes on paper. I then cut out the shapes from two shades of blue felt, which I purchased either at Fabricland or Michaels, not sure which. For the fin on the hood, I also drafted it on paper, allowing a little extra for seam allowance. This fin was then cut out, one from each colour of felt, cut into the sections, then I alternated the colours before sewing them together. I used polyester batting to give the fin dimension. The front two section of the hood fin are individual and again stuffed with polyfil to make them stand up.
I sewed the front and back of the hood together, then placed the fins along the seam line, pinned, then sewed them in before sewing the back of the hood together. I then positioned the stripes and sewed them on to the hood before placing the lining right side down onto the hood exterior. I sewed all the way around, leaving a gap for turning. Turned it all out, pressed, then topstitched. I used snaps instead of hook and loop tape for the closure under the chin.
For the armbands, I measured the circumference and length of the boy’s forearm and made a simple sleeve of yellow broadcloth. Before sewing it into a tube, I made the fins, again using 2 colours of blue felt, but I did not stuff these, as it was not important for them to stand up like the ones on the hood. I them pinned the fin into the seam allowance, with right sides together, and sewed the two sides of the sleeve together. I then made a casing in each end of the sleeve to insert the elastic, before turning it all right side out.
This is the text from Flickr for the outfit: “Completed hood and fins for “Flounder” costume for baby boy. I had a basic hood pattern for a 4 year old and adapted it for a baby. Used my daughter’s Little Mermaid book to figure out the stripes and fins and incorporated them into the hood. Made in yellow broadcloth and blue felt. Interlined with fleece for structure and comfort. Secures with 2 snaps at the chin. Armband fins are elasticated and fit on the baby’s forearm over his sleeves.”
If anyone is interested, I can scan the sketched stripes and add it to the post.