This is a really simple Halloween costume to make. It’s basically a tail added to a pair of leggings. This will transform your little angel into a little devil in a trice. All you need is an old pair of red school tights and some stuffing material. If you haven’t got a sewing machine, it’s no problem to hand sew. If a devil outfit isn’t what you want, use old black tights instead to make a cat’s tail.
What you need
- A pair of old school tights
- Soft polyester filling
- Leggings to wear
- Marker (eg dressmaking chalk liner)
- Sewing machine
- Needle and thread
Step one – cutting
Lie the tights flat and using chalk, mark out your tail on one of the legs. The length depends on the height of your child and the size of the pair of tights. The one I made was about 45cm. Draw a long diagonal line from around the heel to the crotch so that you end up with a long tapering piece open on one side. See left. You end up with a a long taper, narrow at the tail end and fat at the top for stitching onto the leggings. Cut along the chalk line.
Step two – sewing
Simply sew up the open edge so you end up with a long gradually tapering shape. Turn this right side out. This will be easy as the fabric is stretchy, but the end of a knitting needle could be useful for the pointy end.
Step three – stuffing
Simply stuff the tail with polyester filling. Don’t cram the filling right to the pointy end – you don’t need to. Gently add it along the length, keeping it as even as possible. Don’t overstuff because you want the tail to have a swing to it.
Step four – making the devil’s point
If your tail is for a devil’s Halloween costume, you want a point at the end of it. Cut a diamond shape about 7cm across the centre and 14cm end to end, so that when you fold it in half you have a triangle about 7 x 7 x 7cm.
Hand sew along one edge. Turn right side out and add a little bit of the polyester filling to give it some bulk.
Step five – sew the point to the tail
Step six – position the tail
This is where you need your little devil in person wearing the leggings to position the tail. Carefully pin it into position and then (without the devil in person) hand sew it into position, tucking in all the edges and making sure that the fat end of the tail is evenly spread to look as ‘natural’ as possible.
Alternative – a cat!
The leggings are simple and if your child’s like mine, they’ll be worn year after year at countless parties. All you need to do is add accessories. For Florrie (pictured as a devil at the top), we’re talking a black t-shirt, devil horns and fork from a dressing up shop. You can also make some horns from the same red tights and stitch onto a thin hairband. Martha wears an inexpensive cat mask but could easily just have had two black tiangles of fabric or paper stitched onto a hairband to get the black cat look.
What does this cost?
You should be able to make a costume like this from stuff you have in the house, but here’s an idea of what some things cost.
- Old tights – £0.00
- Polyester filling £5.99 1kilo bag from Amazon (enough for dozens of stuffed toys etc – useful to have in)
- Devil horns £0.00 if you make your own – £2.93 from Amazon
And for more costume inspiration how about this book: The Best Ever Kids’ Costumes from our shop