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How To Make A Halloween Ladybug Costume For A Kitten

Rogue cat lover. Shelter kitty mom who learns by her teeny mistakes. Fortunately, they guide me with compassion for my human limitations.

Kitten In Ladybug Costume

Three-month-old kitten in a ladybug costume.

Three-month-old kitten in a ladybug costume.

Make Costumes For Cats

We cat family folks are a fierce and tenacious bunch.

To us, it seems that pet retailers grossly favor dogs, offering many more toys and clothing than they do for felines. These retailers are missing plenty of opportunities to sell us clothing for our little darlings!

In the meantime, though, the creative crafters and sewing people among us can make clothing and costumes for our cats.

We'll have them ready for Halloween, Purim, and Mardi Gras.

More Views Of Halloween Kitten Costume

This kitten makes a long, thin ladybug with his costume.

This kitten makes a long, thin ladybug with his costume.

Top view of kitten's ladybug Halloween costume.

Top view of kitten's ladybug Halloween costume.

Kitten ladybug costume.

Kitten ladybug costume.

Mistake To Avoid If Your Cat Is Under Age One Year

It's only one - but it is a biggie:

measuring your fluffy bundle too early and forgetting she or he will grow like a weed every week before Halloween!

Measuring Too Early

Boy oh boy, did I mess up here.

Because I enjoy holidays, I start preparing way in advance. For my new, precious kitten born in July, I mulled over many ideas for a costume for him.

After considering ideas which fit for someone tiny (a peanut, a shrimp, and so on), I settled on the ladybug idea. The fire engine red would contrast nicely with his fur color, whereas the brown of a peanut costume would make the outfit almost invisible on his orange-brown coat.

Then, I went the easy route: I purchased a small red doggie shirt at a pet store to be the base of the costume. Amend that: I purchased size XS – extra small – as for a teacup Chihuahua. That was because my little boy weighed 1 and ¾ pounds when I bought the shirt in early September.

When we got to early October, he had doubled his weight!

He had become 3 and ¾ pounds and would not fit in the shirt. The moral of my story: Kittens grow! (Duh.)

If you heed my advice but still do not trust your estimation of your kitten’s growth, have some elastic or extra fabric on hand.

Do I Look Like A Longshoreman?

The kitten fit the red shirt when he tried it on a month before Halloween.

The kitten fit the red shirt when he tried it on a month before Halloween.

Kitten in a red extra small doggie shirt from a pet store.

Kitten in a red extra small doggie shirt from a pet store.

Supplies And Tools For Making Kitten Ladybug Costume

Supplies

  1. Red pet shirt that you think will fit your kitten on Halloween (overestimate growth to be safe!)
  2. Red fabric about 4 inches by 10 inches
  3. Red thread
  4. Black fabric paint or permanent marker

Tools

  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Needle or sewing machine




Red fabric (a washcloth) and a red pet shirt.

Red fabric (a washcloth) and a red pet shirt.

How To Make Ladybug Costume - Step By Step

1. Try the shirt on your kitten. You may need to snip the neck opening to enlarge it as I did (see picture below) for it to fit over her dear head.

2. Then measure your kitten from neck to back legs. If this measurement is less than 10 inches, you will need to adjust the length of your fabric ladybug oval. Cut an oval from your red fabric. This will be the wings in the closed position.

3. Sew the oval it onto the shirt in this manner:

Attach one short end to the neck back of the shirt and sew across. Then sew down the center line of the oval (if you think of the oval as an American football, this is where the threads are) and it is the "spine" of the kitty.

If you desire, you can also sew from the neck halfway down the sides of the oval to keep it from being brushed up and out of position.

Some of the oval "wings" fabric should extend beyond the shirt bottom.

4. Use your black marker or paint to paint a light line down the center of the oval - this represents the split between the 2 wings of the ladybug.

5. Then paint spots on the back.

I put a black line at the neck of the costume for a hint of the ladybug's black head.

An oval of red fabric for the ladybug costume's back.

An oval of red fabric for the ladybug costume's back.

Sewing is required to make the costume.

Sewing is required to make the costume.

Use a permanent black marker or fabric paint to make ladybug spots on the kitten costume.

Use a permanent black marker or fabric paint to make ladybug spots on the kitten costume.

Enlarging a "Too Small" Ladybug Costume

If the shirt no longer fits your kitten as Halloween draws nearer, first try enlarging the neck with a vertical slit.

If that is not enough room for your growing kitten, cut the front open, as if it was a cardigan sweater.

Then, measure the circumference around your kitten's neck and belly. Make red fabric strips about one-half inch wide to sew across the shirt opening to hold it on. Attach to one side only.

With the rescue procedure, at least it is easier to sew the oval onto the back along a midline. After doing all your sewing to put the oval on the shirt, then sew the other side of the "extender strips" onto the shirt.

From there, follow the procedures above.

One Way to Adjust the Costume

This was my original slit to make the shirt neck opening big enough to pull over the kitten's head.

This was my original slit to make the shirt neck opening big enough to pull over the kitten's head.

When More Adjustment Is Required

I had to cut the red doggie shirt entirely down the front center to adjust for the kitten's body groing and getting bigger all around.

I had to cut the red doggie shirt entirely down the front center to adjust for the kitten's body groing and getting bigger all around.

Straps Go Under The Belly

Making sure the extension straps are long enough.

Making sure the extension straps are long enough.

A view of the wrong side of the kitten costume with extender straps.

A view of the wrong side of the kitten costume with extender straps.

The finished kitten ladybug costume.

The finished kitten ladybug costume.

My Kitten Is Worth It!

There is a lot I will do for my cat family members, and this is just one of the ways I love them up!

The fellow in my photos is now a very healthy, happy six-year-old cat. He is a great boy!

Awwww.....

My cute little kitten Cincinnatus trying on the shirt part of the ladybug costume.

My cute little kitten Cincinnatus trying on the shirt part of the ladybug costume.

© 2012 Maren Elizabeth Morgan

Comments

Maren Elizabeth Morgan (author) from Pennsylvania on August 26, 2013:

Hi Bishop55 - you are right about costume wearing not being something cats crave. However, they (or SOME of them) can tolerate it long enough for a photo shoot!

Rebecca from USA on August 25, 2013:

This is adorable! My cat would be so mad if I did this to him. hahah! you provided great instructions on how to do this too!

Maren Elizabeth Morgan (author) from Pennsylvania on May 13, 2013:

Thanks, Peggy W! I love to make sewing creations, so of course my cats are "victims." ; P

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 13, 2013:

The last time I dressed cats was when I was a child and I used some large doll clothes. Ha! Your little kitten is so cute with her ladybug costume. Voted up and useful and pinning this to my cats board.

Maren Elizabeth Morgan (author) from Pennsylvania on October 19, 2012:

Well, that "shame" thing does seem to come into play. Our cats who have been "costumed" do seem to slink lower to the ground as if they want to disappear!

Jill Spencer from United States on October 19, 2012:

What a sweet little kitten! So patient. My old termagent would never put up with this! We tried sticking a Santa costume on him a few years ago, and he hid out under the tree in shame. Very creative!

Maren Elizabeth Morgan (author) from Pennsylvania on October 17, 2012:

Thanks, perlongnina!

perlongnina on October 16, 2012:

cute

Maren Elizabeth Morgan (author) from Pennsylvania on October 14, 2012:

Thanks, randomcreative. I am trying to train my new kitten so that he thinks it is perfectly natural. One of my cousins regularly dressed her cats in doll clothes. I think they tolerated it because they could "feel the love" coming from her. :)

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 12, 2012:

Oh my that is too cute for words! How awesome for anyone who has a cat that will let you put clothes on it!

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