Monday, 7 October 2013

Feeling Sheepish–Another Costume Tutorial

I was asked to help make 6 sheep costumes for a school production – to fit a group aged between 12 and 17. So four fluffy,fleecy creamy white throws [125 x 150cm] were purchased from Primark [£5 each]

These are one-size-fits-all. I think costumes that fit too snuggly are less versatile in the long run – these will go on anybody – the stars or the understudies.

IMG_0834Now take three of the throws and fold them lengthways [150 x 62½cm] Cut them to make 6 strips. These will be the tabards. You will also need a hooded garment to make a paper pattern for the hood


Cut the hems off the fourth throw, and fold it into four lengthwaysIMG_0837

Now draw round your paper hood pattern three times [reversing one shape as shown, to leave a larger gap] and cut out the six hoods. Here’s a clever tip – draw round your closed hand – and it will give you exactly the right shape for droopy sheep ears. Cut twelve of these from the remaining bit of the fourth throw. You can get some out of that gap between two hoods, and the remainder from the fabric on the left of the strip


The fabric sheds horribly – so I found I needed to overlock everything – but I sewed the back seam and the little front seam under the chin.I tried the hood on, and got Bob to pin the ears in the correct place, then sewed each ear firmly around the top.


The tabards just needed side seams [leaving a 25cm slit for armholes, and a 15cm slit at the hem] and a head hole. To get the right size hole, you need a 7” plate [18cm] Draw round it and cut out. Trust me on this, it will make a hole to go over the average teenager’s head! Now find those hems you cut off earlier, and they can be cut into lambs’ tails and sewn on the back of each tabard.


For ease of dressing, I did not sew the hoods to the neckline, although you could do that if you wanted to, I suppose.

The sheep will wear long sleeved black teeshirts and black leggings underneath. And there you are. All you have to do now is vacuum the hundreds of bits of white fluff from the sofa, and the carpet!


If you were to be making these for younger children, for a Nativity play or something, then I would suggest folding one fleece lengthways as before  [150 x 62½] and cut across, to make two tabard pieces 40 x125, and use the remainder for 2 hoods and 4 ears. And cut off the hem at the end to make 2 tails. A 6” plate should make an adequate head-hole.

On the subject of Nativity Costumes, my main tutorial for that is here. It has proved to be one of my most viewed posts [around 2000 hits!], and has been repeatedly pinned and re-pinned on Pinterest. It is good to feel that one’s blog is proving useful!


  1. Ewe know I can't sew,I feel a bit sheepish,but I won't bleat about it.
    Jane x

  2. I wish you and blogging had been around years ago when I had to do fancy dress things for parties etc. Perhaps there would have been less tears.

  3. Thank you so much Angela, the cast will be trying on their costumes tomorrow ready for the performance next Thursday... now all I've got to do is work out how to pin a cardboard tree to a wheelie bin!!! x

  4. Thank you so much for helping Emma out with this, I can come up with the ideas for costumes but lack the skills to make them happen. Hope you managed to get all the fluff sorted!! had a similar experience in a science lesson today with a large roll of cotton wool....


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