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Halloween Costumes 2011: Penguin (from Mary Poppins)

If you’re looking for inspiration, you can find all sorts of DIY Halloween Costume Ideas HERE.

halloween costumes

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Ha.  So many of you guessed what my third little kiddo would be, after seeing the Marry Poppins and Bert costumes.  Smarty Pants!  Mary Poppins found here and Bert found here.


There was no other choice, right?  Our baby girl HAD to be a penguin.  Ooooh, I was so excited.

I just have to say that I laughed out loud while I was making this costume.  I just kept imagining it on her…….and would sort of giggle while sewing on the beak or stuffing the white belly full of batting.  And then, when I finally slipped the finished costume on her almost 8 month old chubby self…….I gushed.  It was just so much fun to see her turn into a little plump penguin.  And then when she flashed her little gummy smile when I finally slipped the penguin hat on her head, the whole costume seemed complete.

Even if you aren’t using the Mary Poppins theme, you have got to give this penguin suit a try.

It’ll make you smile.  Really big.

(It isn’t a super sensitive process with difficulties with fitting things perfectly.  So give it a try, even if you’re a semi-beginner.)

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But come on, are you seriously looking at that face and not smiling

(If you aren’t, you better come on over and I’ll let you hold her.  That’ll fix ya.)

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And everything from the head down to the toes… super soft fleece.

Warm and cozy for baby (or child).

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And of course, every penguin needs little webbed feet.

How else is she supposed to waddle around?

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I could just smooch her to pieces.

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And with this little munchkin in our family now……..she made our Mary Poppins theme complete. 

(Ha…, that’s not why we had another baby.  I wasn’t thinking ahead to Halloween.  Though, hmmm, maybe we should keep that in mind.)

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There’s something about seeing a vision in your head……and then seeing it come to life. I know you know what I mean.

It makes my heart so happy when it works out (because yes, there are many sewing catastrophes in my life!!)

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And just because I couldn’t help it……I made a little video.

Feel free to jump into their little make-believe chalk painting with them.  (I won’t tell your boss if you’re at work!)

Now click play and turn up that sound………

Ha.  Makes me laugh.

And makes me want a Mary Poppins costume in my size! :)

. . . . .

But back to this perfectly plump penguin…


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Would you like to make your own penguin costume?

To make this in about a 9-12 month size, I purchased the following:

  • 1 yard black fleece
  • 1/2 yard white fleece
  • 1/4 yard of orange fleece
  • 1/2 yard of white felt
  • 1/8 inch wide elastic (for the bodice and the feet)
  • 1/2 inch wide elastic (for the wings)
  • 7 inch black zipper
  • batting for feet, optional (I used a bit from my stash)
  • double sided fusible web (I used a few small pieces from my stash to help construct the beak)

First of all, I used a dress of my little girl as a template to create a pattern for the top shape.  There are no sleeves on this costume, so don’t worry about cutting those out.  (If you need help with using an existing dress to create a pattern, click here.)  Cut out one shape for the front piece and then 2 pieces for the back because you will add a zipper along the back.  Be sure and add an extra 1/2 inch to that center section on each side for a seam allowance for the zipper.  (I also curved the shape of the bodice outward, so it was more like an A-line shape.  Not too drastic though.  Also, I gave the bottom hem a little curve too, just so the side seams wouldn’t be pointy at the bottom because of the A-line.)

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Then, along the front of front piece, place a curved white strip down the center.  Sew along each side and at the top.

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Then sew the two back pieces together along the center seam with right sides together (using a 1/2 inch seam allowance) and then add your zipper to the top.  (Need help with zippers?  Click here.)

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Then, place your front and back piece together, with right sides together and sew them together along the sides and both shoulders, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance (or whatever allowance you gave yourself when cutting out the pieces).  Then turn the whole thing right side out.  (And sorry, no picture for this step.)

Next, cut some strips of fleece on the bias (so that they curve) are wide enough to be sandwiched around the top and bottom edge of the neck and arm holes.  I cut my fleece about an inch wide.  I also used a strip of bias-cut white fleece along the white section of the neckline and then black for the rest.  I didn’t tuck each edge under like bias tape because the fleece doesn’t fray……and it would be really bulky for me to try and tuck all those edges under.  (Confused about cutting bias-cut strips?  Click here.)

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Next, stuff batting between the white section and the top black section, from the bottom.

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Then sew that bottom closed.

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Then cut another strip of bias tape (mine was 2 inches wide) for the bottom of the penguin suit.

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Sandwich it around the bottom edge and sew in place, leaving enough room near the fold of the strip to fit a safety pin and elastic through.

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Thread some 1/8 inch elastic through the bottom until it cinches it in just enough…..and then knot the ends of the elastic tight and then sew the rest of the strip closed.

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For the wings:

I just free handed a wing shape (see below) and then cut out one wing piece in black and the other in white (make sure to include a 1/4 inch seam allowance).  Then I cut 2 pieces out in felt and 1 piece out in double sided fusible web, that were 1/4 inch smaller along both sides and 1 inch shorter at the top.  (Just as a help……..I wanted my wing a few inches longer than my little girl’s arm and plenty wide enough to cover her arm and look like a substantial wing.  So take that into consideration while cutting your wing pieces.)

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Place the web between the 2 felt pieces, iron them together and then place them on the “wrong” side of the black wing.  Then sew all the way around, a 1/4 inch in from the outer edge of the felt.

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Next, place the white piece underneath the black piece (so that the black and white pieces are laying with right sides together) and pin them together.  Then sew along both sides of the wing, leaving the top open.  While sewing, sew right next to the white felt but don’t sew through the felt.  Only sew through the black and white layers of fleece.

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Then trim off the point of the wing, turn the wing right side out, iron it flat, then attach it to the penguin bodice.  To do this, fold over the top edge of the wing a 1/2 inch, center it along the top shoulder seam of the bodice, then line up the top edge of the wing right along the neckline.  Sew it in place with 2 seams next to each other.

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Along the back side of the wing, attach a piece of elastic for an arm to slide through.  (The placement of my elastic falls right above my little girl’s elbow so that the wing/elastic aren’t in the way when she bends her arm.)  Be sure that the elastic isn’t too tight on your subjects arm.

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For the hat:

Start off by making a basic hat shape out of black fleece.  Be sure that the stretch of the fleece is going left to right… that it will stretch as you put it on your subject’s head.  I made my hat following my tutorial here…..but I didn’t make the brim of the hat.  I just made the hat long enough to cover the head, plus another 1/2 inch along the opening of the hat, to be folded under and zig-zagged closed.

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Then cut two triangles for the beak, sew them together (with right sides together) along the 2 sides.  Then iron a piece of felt (that is slightly smaller) onto one side of the triangle with some more double sided fusible web.

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Then trim off the point of the beak, turn it right side out, iron it flat, then zig-zag the opening closed.

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Then position the beak on the front of the hat and then sew the beak down right, right next to the zig-zag stitches.  (I also hand-stitched the beak down near the base of the hat from the back side, just to keep the beak from flapping around.  But I only went through the bottom layer of the beak so that you can’t see it from the top.)

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Then cut two large white circles, then zig-zag some black circle down to the white circles.  (I placed my black circles a bit down from the center of the whites.  But it’s up to you.)

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Then zig-zag the eyes right down to the hat, overlapping the beak just a bit.

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Now, the feet:

These little feet kind of fell together last minute.  I had a different idea in mind….but it didn’t work.  So this is what I came up with.  Keep in mind that this is for a costume so it’s not finished completely nice…..because the batting can come out.  But no worries, it’s just a costume.

First, cut out 2 large webbed feet shapes.  Cut a small hole (the size of the child’s ankle) near the bottom of the foot.  But not too low because you need to sew around the opening of the hole plus you need some seam allowance near the bottom of the foot when sewing the two feet pieces together.

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Then cut a 1 inch wide piece of bias-cut fleece (just like you did for the arm and neck holes for the penguin suit up above) and start sewing it around the opening of the hole on the one foot.  Sew slowly, adjust, and make sure that you are sewing through both layers of the strip, above and below the foot piece.

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Leave a 1 inch opening and thread some 1/8 inch elastic through.

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Cinch the elastic in (so that it’s comfortable around the ankle), then knot it off and then sew the rest of the strip closed.

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Then place the 2 feet pieces together (one with a hole and one without), with right sides together and sew all the way around.  Trim of the points of each toe.

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Then turn the foot right side out through the circle opening, point to tips of the toes out (I know, they’re not really toes!!) and then stuff with batting.  You don’t want too much batting in there or a foot won’t fit in there……but you want enough to plump out the foot.

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Keep in mind that this type of sole isn’t for heavy walking outside.  It was creating with a non-walking baby in mind.  So adapt as needed and have fun with it! :)

Lastly, I just added a quick little black bowtie shape right to the front.  Totally forgot a picture but the bowtie shape is nothing more complicated than the bow shapes that I made for these little hairbows here.  (But without the extra tails on the backs.)  Then I just hand stitched it right to the front.

And the leggings:

Oh, those are just those super thick cotton tights from Wal-Mart. Easy.

And that’s it. 

A compete little penguin suit……ready for dancing with Mary Poppins and Bert.

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This post is sponsored by:



Ashley Johnston

Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!


  1. Kristie says:

    So stinking cute! I can’t help but giggle to my self about how darn cute that chubby little penguin is! All 3 costumes are darling! Can’t wait to see what you come up with for next year! Your Halloween costume posts are my favorite every year!

  2. Jessica says:

    Wow! You are amazing. Your kids look so cute in their costumes. I love that you made them all with a theme. I still have no idea what my daughter is going to be. She keeps changing her mind.

  3. Janny says:

    This is perhaps the best group costume idea I’ve ever seen. EVER. I love it! And they turned out so well. Amazing.

  4. Erica says:

    Amazing costumes — truly. What a talent you have (and very lucky kids!)

  5. beth says:

    Oh, Ashley, you just made my day!! As I was watching and singing along ( yes, I know all the words ! I’m 56 and watched a gazillion times ) my previously bad day became all new. How can you be sad while singing that song? Your precious , adorable children are truly blessed with a mother like you. Not just for your sewing skills but for the fun and love of life that you give them. Thanks so much , I’m not missing my grandson quite as much right now , instead, looking forward to when I will see him again.

  6. Jennifer says:

    Your costumes are ADORABLE, AMAZING, MAGNIFICIENT!!!!!! Your little models are DARLING in their outfits. You are truely amazing!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing with us.

  7. noemy says:

    OMG!!!! simple amazing, agree with everybody you are so talented, and your kids are very cute, thank you for sharing…

  8. megan says:

    These are truly some of the most amazing costumes. And the baby penguin completes the ensemble. I love it!

  9. amy c says:

    oh my goodness!! the costume is fantastic but your baby is sooooooooo cute!! just darling. want to squeeze her little cheeks. :) again, amazing costumes. you are outrageously talented.

  10. Brittney says:

    you are amazingly talented! Thanks for sharing your awesome abilities and creativity with us all!

  11. Lisa W. says:

    These are amazing! I love it!

  12. Amber C says:

    Super Cute!

  13. Liz says:

    LOVE!!!!! That video was so cute I almost cried:) Super duper cute!

  14. Emily says:

    Cutest thing ever!!!

  15. Megan @ The Crafty Conundrum says:

    Wow, these costumes are the CUTEST ever! I love the video of them dancing to Jolly Holiday too!

  16. Elisabeth says:

    These costumes are unbelievable! You are truly an artist! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Chanelle says:

    That video is fantastic. I LOVE Mary Poppins and your costumes are unbelievable. I want a Jolly Holiday costume for myself now! If only I could convince my macho hubby to be Bert…

  18. Christine says:

    Seriously cute! I turned on the video and my little one crawled right over and smiled at it. When it was done, she said “Yeah!”

  19. Kristina Noall says:

    Ha! My husband was right! I showed him what you were doing and told him I couldn’t imagine what the baby was going to be, and this was his immediate guess. You are so talented and I’m so glad you share it with us. I think you should share this link with Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews. :) P.S. Your kids must have the most awesome dress-up box EVER!

  20. Holly@Mimi's Dollhouse says:

    I just found your website and am in LOVE. I wish you could come be my mom!!! You make amazing things and that little penguin of yours is adorable. Thanks for sharing your gift:)

  21. Heather says:

    I was sooo looking forward to this update today! Cutest trio ever!! In fact, if I wasn’t almost done with my 10 month old daughter’s lion costume, she would totally be a penquin! I may have to make her a penquin costume anyway. Love, love, love all your ideas and tutorials-but your halloween costumes are my favorite!!

  22. aimee says:

    Super cute! My kids loved watching the video. They got such a kick out of it! Amazing job!

  23. Annie says:

    WOW!!! These costumes are the absolute cutest I’ve ever seen! I have enjoyed all the costumes you’ve done throughout the years— but seriously, these take the cake!!!! I love love love them!!! You are so talented and creative! Thanks so much for sharing all the awesome things you do with us. You give such great tutorials and instructions- easy to follow and fun! Keep up the good work and have a fabulous Halloween with those three cuties of yours!!!! :)

  24. Kerri says:

    This is the cutest thing I have ever seen!
    I love it!

  25. Michele says:

    You’ve outdone yourself! All three costumes are brilliant!

  26. Susan says:

    Best costumes ever – seriously!

  27. liZ evans says:

    Oh my goodness. THese are darling. SO so stinking cute. I just love them.

  28. Arwen says:

    Now my boys want penguin costumes.

    These have got to be just about the cutest costumes ever. Nice work.

  29. Chrissy says:

    Wow, these costumes are absolutely AMAZING!! I love them and your kids are so beautiful. I am obsessed with themed Halloween costumes as well. Last year my 3 were Jessie, Woody, and Bullseye at 5 yrs, 3 yrs, and 7 months old. This year they are Bo Peep (Toy Story version), Woody (again–he wanted to be Buzz but didn’t like the hood part of the costume), and my 19 month old is Bo Peep’s little lost sheep–hilarious. They even won a costume contest on Saturday. But I take no credit for their costumes because they were store bought. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to be able to sew. I will have to attempt some of your tutorials. :) Thank you so much for sharing!

  30. Jamey says:

    Those are ADORABLE! I wish I had the patience…maybe I will have to start next week, to make next years costumes!

  31. Steph @ Crafting in the Rain says:

    I’m in love with all of it–great job!!

  32. christi says:

    hehehe. i was right on the penguin guess! Adorable!

  33. dannyscotland says:

    Oh, that is to die for! SO CUTE!!!! This is my favorite, definitely. I love it!

  34. Jessica says:

    I just wanted to tell you how adorable this looks. I totally get what you’re saying about the feeling when what you envisioned actually works out! It’s just ridiculously adorable, too bad Halloween is only one day a year.

  35. Deborah Nowland says:

    That is absolutely spectacular and your kids are phenomenal! Put a HUGE smile on my face!!!!! You are amazingly talented. I am a professional seamstress and I don’t think I have ever seen anyone as talented as you! Remarkable!

  36. Lynette says:

    I love this one! I just love it.

  37. Lindsay says:

    I thought the other two costumes were cute but this penguin takes the cake!

  38. Tricia @ SweeterThanSweets says:

    These are truly amazing costumes!! You are so talented. I just watched the video and I love it! My husband does too!

  39. alisha says:

    Oh my goodness…I LOVE it!!!!
    You did an awesome job on the costumes. They are adorable. I loved them so much, I had to show my husband and he thought they were awesome too.
    Happy Halloween!

  40. Jen says:

    SUPER cute! I love it. I had no idea what the little one was going to be. I guess I haven’t watched mary poppins in a while. have a fun halloween.

  41. Amy says:

    I have to say your video was hilarious. I loved that Bert kept throwing his cane!! It made me laugh so hard. And while all that was going on your penguin was just sitting there enjoying her blanket! What a hoot! Thanks for being an Awsome person. It helps to know there are great people in this crazy world!

  42. this is cute! says:

    This is sooooo cute!! I was smiling when I looked at the picture, too bad, I want to hold her! She makes the best penguin ever! I know a girl who is in love with penguins, seriously. She prays for them.

  43. Jessie says:

    So, so cute!! And I love in the video, where her brother and sister are running laps around her, but she just wants to check out the leaves on the grass. What a sweet baby. :) Great job, as always, on the costumes. You make such beautiful things (and people, haha).

  44. Claire says:

    You’ll hear this a thousand times today, I am sure, but OH MY GOODNESS- SOOOO ADORABLE!!! I don’t know what I love more, the hat, the tummy, or those feet!! Ya, it’s the feet. And I am a beginner sewer… as in I can thread a machine and sew a straight line… and this totally looks doable with all your instructions and such great pis! Thank you so much for sharing :)

  45. Christie says:

    You are amazing! This is the cutest ever!!!! Great job.

  46. CREATIVE MIND says:

    How Cute :) Love it definitely *(*

  47. Kati says:

    SO Cute!!!!

  48. Carolyn says:

    Oh my gosh! That is the cutest trio I’ve ever seen! Great costumes and beautiful kiddos!

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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