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Black Labrador Costume

My four year old daughter wanted to be Chevy (our black Labrador dog) for Halloween. At first I wasn’t sure how in the world I was going to pull that off without spending a fortune, but my mom had an old black fur coat that she didn’t want any more.

I still wasn’t sure how to do it so I just started sewing. I left the arms of the coat intact and they became the legs and the butt. I just sewed together the pointy tops from the shoulders with a tail in the middle.

The tail was just a long cylinder of fur with a wire in it. Then I took two pieces big enough to cover the front and the back of her and sewed them up the sides and sewed them to the legs. The front piece I cut in a V at the bottom so it would match up with the legs.

I now had it up to her shoulders when it hit me “how am I going to get her in and out of it?” So I sewed some straps across the shoulders that I attached with safety pins so we could take it on and off. I then made the arms kind of like a shaw. I took two pieces long enough to go from the tips of her fingers to the middle of her back. I then sewed them up like sleeves to just past her elbows and then attached the two pieces together in the back. Then she would just slip them on and with it all being black fur you really couldn’t tell that the arms were not attached to the rest of the costume.

For her collar I took a scrap of blue fabric and sewed it into a tube that I safety pined around her. The license on the collar was an old one from Chevy’s collar. She really loved that part. To finish her off I took her beautiful blond almost white hair and put in pigtails right over her ears and sprayed it all black with black hairspray. I used black face paint all over her face and neck. The only parts of this costume I bought were the nose and teeth. The nose was brown so I covered it with the face paint too. The teeth were .25 cent vampire teeth. She loved it! She went around barking at everyone. She even barked instead of saying trick or treat. When she got down on all fours at a quick glance you really thought she was our dog.

We took her to the Halloween parade/costume contest in our town and she won first place in her age group out of about 20 or 30 kids. That night we realized once it got dark she disappeared being all black. Not something a parent wants. So the next night for trick or treat we had to light her up a bit with reflective arm bands, a glowing cat necklace and a flashing pumpkin pin on her back. All that black was a bit hard to get out. I would have to wash her hair four or five times and she had a gray cast to her hair for about a week but it was worth it! She wore that costume almost everyday for months. At Christmas she would wear it with a Santa hat. I had to resew the thing about five times because I didn’t originally expect it to get so much use. I also ended up putting in buttons for the shoulder straps. A four year old doesn’t do well with safety pins when they have to go to the bathroom in a hurry.

Total Spent: $5

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