Oct 26, 2010

Max Costume Pattern and Tutorial

It's been 24 hours since I posted it and already 41 people have downloaded my Max costume pattern at Burdastyle.com! It may be a small achievement, but I'm pretty stoked. It's the first pattern I have posted at this super rad open-source sewing website. I hope there are many, many Maxes running around next Sunday. The world would be a cuter place because of it.

I can't seem to attach a PDF to a Blogger post, so if you want to make your own Max, you can download the PDF at Burdastyle.com here: http://www.burdastyle.com/patterns/toddler-size-max-costume.

The instructions follow the jump:

-1 1/2 yards white fleece
-large scrap of fun fur
-lightweight interfacing
-four buttons
-4 pipecleaners (also known as “chenille stems”)


• Lay the pattern pieces on your folded fabric, making sure grain lines are correct. Cut out the following, marking all notches (especially sleeve notches and on ears and hood):
-Front body (2 self)

-Back body (2 self)

-Sleeve (2 self)

-Front facing (2 self, 2 interfacing)

-Back hood (2 self)

-Front hood (2 self)

-Ear (4 self, 4 interfacing)
-Tail (2 in fun fur)

• Warm up your iron and press the interfacing pieces to the four ear pieces and the front facings. Set aside.

• Straight stitch a row of big stitches along curve of shoulder seam on sleeve pieces, 1/2 inch from the edge. Straight stitch a second row 1/4 inch from the first row toward edge of shoulder seam. Set aside.

Make it!

EARS: Pin together 2 ear pieces, right sides facing. Stitch together two sides 1/4 inch from edge, leaving the side with the notch open so can turn it rightside out. Repeat with the other ear. Turn right side out and press.

HOOD: Pin together the front and back hood pieces, right sides facing, with the unsewn side of one ear piece sandwiched between the two hood pieces. Line up the notches on the ear and hood pieces. Turn right side out to check that your ear is pointed in the right direction and adjust if you need to.

Straight stitch together just along the edge with the notch. Trim seam allowance. Repeat with the other side.

Right sides facing, pin together both halves of the hood and straight stitch seam along the top of the hood. Trim seam allowance. Turn under front edge of hood 1/2 inch (the edge that will frame the face) and straight stitch. Set aside for now.

TAIL:  Pin together tail pieces right sides facing, and stitch together stopping where the tail narrows. That way it will be easier to turn right side out. (I used my machine, but it wasn’t easy because the fun fur is so thick. Plus I worry about clogging up the machine with furry bits. So when I do it again, I will sew mine by hand. If you have the patience, sewing it by hand will be just as good. So long as you sew the tail to the body with your machine, it will be strong.) Turn tail right side out, and stitch together by hand the parts that are still open. Set aside.


Pin together front and back body pieces at the shoulder seam, right sides facing. Straight stitch together. Clip seam allowance. Repeat with other body pieces.

• (When sewing something for a small child, I find sewing in the sleeve BEFORE sewing up the side seam makes it easier to assemble. Otherwise it’s tricky to sew around such a tight curve.) 

So lay flat one half of the suit with the sleeve opening facing you. Grab one sleeve and gather the stitches along the shoulder seam slightly.

Match up the sleeve piece to the sleeve opening on the front and back body. (Make sure you have the correct sleeve piece by looking at the notches: the left side will have two notches to match up with the back body piece, while the right side of the sleeve will have only one notch to match with the front body piece. Line up the side notches and pin together. Then line up the shoulder seam notch and pin, gathering the two rows of big stitches on the sleeve to make the sleeve cap fit properly into the sleeve opening. Pin the sleeve all the way around to the shoulder seam. Straight stitch sleeve to shoulder seam all the way around. Clip seam allowance. Repeat with the other side.


Now it’s easy to sew one long seam all the way from the sleeve cuff to the leg hem. Just pin together front body to back body up the side seam and continue pinning through the armpit to the cuff (right sides facing, of course). Straight stitch, and clip seam allowance. Repeat with the other side. If you want, go back and reinforce the stitches at the armpit (so that it holds tight when the wild rumpus starts).

• The next seam you’re going to sew is the one down the center back. You’re also going to stick your tail into the seam so it gets sewn right in as you go. 

Pin together back body pieces along the center back seam, right sides facing. Sandwich the open end of your tail between the two back pieces about four inches up from the bottom edge. Straight stitch all along the seam, backstitching over the tail to reinforce it. Clip seam allowance.

• Now we’re going to stop sewing up the major body pieces for a moment to tackle attaching the hood and front facings, which I found helpful to put in place before sewing up the front crotch.

Pin your hood to the neck opening, (right sides facing) matching up the center back seam on the hood to the center back seam on the main body. The shoulder seams should also line up with the seam on the hood where the front hood and back hood are put together.

THEN: With right sides facing, pin the front facing to the front body all along center front seam. When you get to the top, where the hood is pinned to the neck opening, overlap the facing on top of the hood along the neck opening. So you will have a little sandwich: front body, hood, then front facing. This way, once sewn, you will turn front facing right side out and the edge of your hood will be nicely hidden between the body and the facing. 

Straight stitch together the front facing and front body. Then straight stitch the hood to the neck opening. Turn facings right side out and press.  

• Pin together front body pieces at crotch curve, right sides facing. Pin up to the facings, but you will only straight stitch the seam about 2 1/2 inches. Then turn right side out and pin the front body closed, where your buttons will go. Now topstitch the crotch curve from the bottom of the facing to the inseam. This way it will lay a little flatter once the costume is buttoned up. 

• The last seam you will stitch to close of the garment is the inseam, which you can straight stitch in one long rows of stitches from one leg to the other.

• I didn’t include buttonhole markers in the pattern because you could either go with four medium size buttons or three extra-large ones like I did. If you choose extra-large buttons like mine, you may have to sew your buttonholes by hand. My machine’s buttonhole foot wouldn’t let me use such a big button!
Anyway, get your lovely child to try on the suit, and then mark where you want the top button to be. Take it off her again, and then mark the bottom buttonhole. Mark off the other one or two (depending on how many you want) buttonholes, and either follow your machine’s instruction manual to sew buttonholes, or handstitch.

• Mark where the buttons are to go on other side and stitch to costume using your machine or by hand.


Add whiskers by sewing four (or two, if you're tired of sewing now) small buttonholes along the edge of the hood where it meets your child’s cheeks. Bend a pipecleaner and thread each end through one buttonhole. You will need two pipecleaners for each side.


  1. Hey there, I can't seem to get to the download!!!

  2. nevermind.. haha I got it!! Thank you so much for making this public! I can't wait to attempt to make one for my little girl!!!

  3. Yay! If you make one, send me a photo. I'd love to see it. I still have to get my act together and make Lucy a crown too!

  4. So I'm using your tutorial to make a Max costume for my kid, the pattern couldn't be downloaded so I'm putting it together myself. But I can't figure out the front facing. Exactly what does it do and where does it go?

  5. Did you figure this out yet? I was away for a bit and didn;t get to this...The front facing runs the length of the front where the buttons go. It provides a little stability for the button holes.

  6. My daughter has been asking me for a max costume! This is perfect, would you mind sharing the pattern again? The link above doesn't work.



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