My 16 year old son, Erich, asked me to make him this costume based off of the Invader Zim cartoon. The character is called GIR and one of his disguises is this DOG costume.

To make this costume I started with a pair of solid black sweats. I bought some lime green fleece material and using the sweatshirt as my pattern I sewed the green fabric directly to the seams of the sweatshirt around the arms/shoulders, the shoulder to neck, and around the collar. I left the green fabric loose on the sides and longer than the sweatshirt.

I used the same green fabric to construct GIR’s head. The head was a little tricky to create. I used a 1 pc length of the fabric, a sheet of plastic mesh for some stability and I wrapped the fabric around the mesh and sewed on the 3 open sides to hold mesh in place. I then made a pocket inside the fabric where the top of the head was and stuffed it with batting that is approx 2.5 inches thick to lift the head/hood off my son’s head some and give it some shape.

I then wrapped the mesh panel around the sides and tacked it at the top corners to hold it in place and create the face part of GIR. Then I wrapped the back half of the fabric around the sides towards the front and using an iron on fusible no stitch strip I connected the panels and ironed them closed, thereby making a cylindrical shaped hood/head.

I used a 5 in’ Styrofoam ball, cut in half and rounded off on the flat edges with a knife, to make the eyes. I used black fleece to make the circles behind the Styrofoam eyes and to make the pupils. I have cut-outs for my son to see thru on the inside part of each black part of the eyes, but they do not show up well, which was the intent…to see but not be obvious :O)I used a hot glue gun to attach the pieces to costume.

I used the same black fleece to iron on the “sew” lines on the face, back of head, and the back of shirt pieces. I used a piece of the mesh covered in red fleece to construct the tongue, and I used a hot glue gun to glue into place.

I used plastic mesh covered with batting and black vinyl to construct the tail and ears, using a hot glue gun to glue the layers together and to seal the seams. For the ears I slid them down between the layers of fabric (where I had curved it to shape the cylinder) and I hot glued them into place so they would stand up straight. For the tail I hot glued it to the shirt and tacked the corners with thread to help hold it in place.

To make the “zipper” down the front I used a strip of silver vinyl like trim and I hot glued it down the middle and used a black marker to draw the zipper teeth on. I cut a small piece of the same material and made a “zipper pull” out of it.

My son wore a pair of black fleece gloves to complete the costume.

Overall, this costume took me 3 nights and about 15 hours to complete. I made it from scratch (no patterns, just a visual from a picture of GIR) and only cost me $30-$35 including the sweats.

Invader Zim Costume