Sea Lion Dog Costume

Pattern: self-drafted
Cost: $15
Fabric:1 yd sweatshirt fleece + quilt batting

Making a Halloween costume is something I look forward to every year. Since we got Beatrix last fall she has been the recipient of my Halloween sewing, and so this year she got dressed up as a sea lion. Arf arf!

Making this costume was an exercise in drafting. As with any costume, it must imitate the real thing while still being practical for moving, walking around, and in the case of a dog, going to the bathroom. The most challenging part for me was drafting a realistic looking flipper. I started out with a few sketches, followed by some paper pattern pieces. In the muslin phase (pictured below in plaid), I tried out at least five flipper variations until one started to look right. The flippers and tail were then interfaced and sewn together with quilt batting to give them extra body. B was a very patient model!

I am really pleased with the final look. The front flippers drape nicely on her bowling-ball shaped body, and the tail rests just above her own. It's especially cute when she's sitting down. While I originally intended to make her a seal, I was also tempted to add little ears. A study in marine biology will tell you that it's the sea lion that has external ear flaps, so a sea lion it was. 

Here's the costume sans dog. The pattern was based on the Milla Milla sweatshirt pattern, which has a raglan sleeve that I extended down into the fin. Her arms come out underneath the fin, and that bottom part of the armscye is left open like a tank top or a cape. The bottom extends just far enough to attach to the tail, which drapes on either side of her own.

 She is able to walk around more or less comfortably in it, and didn't seem to mind wearing it to a costume part the other night.

Happy Halloween everyone!


  1. fantastic! you might have a sideline in custom dog costumes. (for very specific sized dogs)

  2. I don't know if I can stand it!!!!!!!!! ADORABLE!!!!!!!

  3. I just showed this to my boyfriend and he slightly hyperventilated in joy. I think he might finally understand the point of sewing

    1. Haha yess! While we're usually not making great costumes, it really shows you can make WHATEVER you want!

  4. Béatrix looks so cute in her costume!!!

  5. This is so adorable! What a great idea!

  6. Oh my gosh - absolutely adorable! I think your dog's size and looks were particularly great for this costume! Nice job!

  7. That's just... Wow... So great!

  8. This is phenomenal! I can't stop giggling. Also, thanks for the link to Milla Milla. I think my pups would love a couple sweatshirts now that the temperatures are dropping.

  9. That is simply the cutest thing I have seen for a long time!


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