Handmade Toddler Firefighter Costume
Does your little one want to be a firefighter this Halloween? I created this fun toddler firefighter costume using a Butterick sewing pattern. Read how I created my own fabric that was perfect for this firefighter costume!
Hello Crafty Friends! With Halloween right around the corner it’s that time of year to finish up Halloween costumes. This year my son went as a firefighter, and I had a lot of fun making his costume. I could have purchased a costume, but I really enjoy making costumes for my kids each year. This firefighter costume was no exception! I love how cute it turned out. A big plus – this costume is great for dress-up and pretend play!
The rest of our family dressed in theme to match the firefighter! My daughter dressed up as a little black cat, and my husband (whose shoulders my daughter likes to ride on) dressed up as a tree! I dressed up as a Dalmatian dog.
My kids had fun pretending the cat was stuck in the tree and the firefighter was there to save the day. The idea came from one my kids’ favorite books, Maisy’s Fire Engine, where Maisy the mouse saves Little Black Cat who is stuck on a roof.
The Firefighter Costume Pattern
To create the firefighter costume, I chose to use Butterick Pattern 3244. The pattern is really cute and comes with four other costumes we could make in the future including a cowgirl, cowboy and astronaut.
Finding the Fabric
After finding the pattern, the trickiest part was finding the right fabric! The pattern called for vinyl felt, which I couldn’t find anywhere! Our local Joann Fabrics had yellow felt sold by the yard but it didnt’ have the shiny, fire-resistant look that real firefighter jackets have.
To make the yellow felt work, I found a yellow utility fabric at Joanns that was very thin and a bit see-through. On their own the felt and utility fabric didn’t look quite right, but layered together they looked perfect! I found black felt and the same utility fabric in black to use for the stripes and collar on the jacket and the gaiters.
Flatlining the fabrics took a couple extra steps but I think it was worth it! Flatlining is when you layer two fabrics together to create a piece of fabric that will treated as one. Often this is done when you have a decorative piece of fabric that needs more stability.
Flatlining the Fabric
To create the new layered fabric, I flatlined the felt and utility fabric together for each pattern piece in the coat. The felt would be on the inside with the shiny, utility fabric facing out. I used the pattern to cut all of the coat pieces from felt. Then I pinned those pieces to the utility fabric and cut them again.
Flatlining the stripes of the jacket was a little trickier. The pattern assumed I would be using black felt which did not need to have the edges finished. The stripes could be cut to size and just applied to the jacket. The utility fabric I purchased however frayed and did need to have its edges finished. This meant I could cut the black felt following the pattern but when it came time to cut the second layer from utility fabric, I needed to add seam allowance to the edges so I could wrap the utility fabric edges under, covering up all of the raw edges.
Below you can see the two front pieces of the jacket – one showing the utility fabric side, the other showing the felt side.
After cutting the layers of fabric from both fabrics – felt and utility fabric, I was able to flatline them together. I stitched around all of the edges, about 1/4″ from the edge, to hold the layers together. This seam would be hidden in the seam allowance of the jacket and never be seen. I applied the black stripes following the directions in the pattern and finally had all of my jacket sections ready!
You can see below how after flatlining the fabrics together, I was left with jacket pieces that could then be treated as a single layer of fabric when stitching the jacket together. I repeated this process for the other pieces including the collar and gaiters until all of my pieces were prepped. After that I was able to follow the pattern directions and assemble the jacket and gaiters.
To finish off the costume, I purchased a plastic firefighter badge and a black firefighter hat from a costume store. It was hard finding a black firefighter hat that wasn’t super flimsy. I wanted something my kids could add to their dress-up stash after Halloween. My son wore black pants and a black shirt underneath and the costume was complete!
Even with the extra steps it took to create, I was happy I made the costume. I really love sewing for my kids and Halloween costumes are so much fun. I think this costume will also be great for everyday dress-up fun!