I love to make costumes for all 6 of my kids, for my 2 year old identical twin girls I wanted them to be a set, so we used costumes I made previously, and paired them as Homemade Caterpillar and Butterfly Costumes. Cost to make them – free.
I had used fleece I had on hand that was given to me when someone cleaned out their fabric stash. These colors are great outside, easy to see and they practically light up, making it easy to keep an eye on them when they are out at night.
To make the caterpillar, I cut out a hooded sweatshirt and sweat pants from Kwik Sew’s book ‘Sewing for Toddlers’ using a bright green fleece, with black arms to minimize the child’s arms and make her look like a worm. I then cut straight stripes from dark green fleece, and wavy stripes from black fleece. I machine stitched them on top of the fabric along their long edges, before assembling the outfit. Fleece is great for costuming, because you can leave the edges unfinished, to make creation faster.
I also hand sewed on yellow dots (I looked at photos of several caterpillars to get ideas). I then made 12 legs from fleece (each one 2 pieces of fleece, sewn on the edges and turned right side out, then hand stitched in place).
For the butterfly (this is actually the second one I’ve made, and some angels, I learned a lot about making wings) I used medium weight wire hangers (light ones bend too easy and don’t hold their shape, real heavy ones are too hard to bend.)
I shaped the hangers to a desired shape and size, and overlap multiple hangers at least 2 inches and secure them and any sharp points together with duct tape. Each wing takes 2-4 hangers depending on wing size.
Once the wing was the desired shape, I laid it on the fleece, and cut around it adding about an inch. I brought that extra over the wire and slip stitched it on to itself. I then cut sets of dots, spots, and blobs from bright blue and pink spandex and a few from the fleece and hand sewed them onto the fleece, in a mirror image pattern.
I connected the wings with about a 6 inch wide strip of black knit. Then I made long straps 2″ wide of black knit and connected it to the top of wings, with a loop at the bottom of the wings for it to pass through, to make adjustable back pack style straps. A black stretchy arm band was added part way onto the wing too for stability of the wing so it didn’t flop. the back-pack is put on, arms through the arm bands, then it is brought in front, pulled tight, and tied around the waist – thus it has been worn by kids age 2-10, who just need to dress in black whatever warmth they need for the day.