Yay, it’s time to make one of the FUN parts of the costume!
and today we’ll be adding the mane to the center seam of our hood.
For this step you will need:
your hood pattern piece – a tape measure – a pencil – a clear grid ruler
a rotary cutter – a self healing cutting mat (not pictured)
First, make a small mark along the top of the hood showing where you would like you mane to begin.
It should be far enough behind your stitch line (the pink) so that it doesn’t get caught in the fold when you line
or face the front of your hood, so I like to start mine between 1″ and 1.25″ back from the cut line. (the blue)
**If you are making a Unicorn character; you will need to leave extra space for the horn.**
The pattern I am sharing has a 1.5 inch base so I suggest beginning the mane roughly 2″ past your stitch line.
Use your measuring tape to determine the distance from your new mark around the curve to the stitch line at the lower back of the hood. It doesn’t need to be an exact measurement, but you should have a rough idea of the length from the front to the back of your mane.
This next part was easiest to explain using paper, so bear with me…
You’ll need to cut a rectangle the length of your hood measurement by the length that you’d like the hair of your mane to be.
For my particular hoodie; the curve of my hood was roughly 15″, and I like to cut my mane to about 7.5″ long. (so my rectangle is 15 x 7.5) The height measurement is your own personal preference, and may change from one character to the next. Fluttershy has a much longer mane in the show, so if I wanted to reflect that I might use a 15 x 12 rectangle instead. (7.5 seems to be a good length for kids since it is less likely to be tangled.)
*Helpful Hint – if you cut your rectangle with the longer edge (hood measurement) following the stretch of your fabric,
the strands of hair will be on the vertical grain, and be less likely to stretch out of shape if they get pulled.*
Once you have decided on the size of your rectangle you’ll need to begin cutting it into strips to form a fringe. Again, the strips could be any width, but I’ve found that I personally prefer 5/8″. Continue across the rectangle until you reach the end, and discard any small leftover bit that doesn’t divide evenly by your measurement. Just be sure not to cut entirely through the rectangle. The strips should still be attached along one edge.
If you are sewing a multi-colored mane like Rainbow Dash’s, you’ll need to divide your hood measurement by the appropriate number of colors and piece them together accordingly. For Rainbow Dash I have found that four 5/8″ strips of each color (for a total of 24 strips) works well for most toddler sized hoodies. Remember, you do not need to meet the full hood measurement (15″). It is simply a guideline.
You will need to repeat the process at least once so that you have two rows worth of fringe to run from front to back on each side of the hoodie. You could add more rows if you’d like, but please remember, your sewing machine will probably not be able to stitch through more than four layers of fleece very easily and you may have to sew this seam by hand. Also, if you add too many rows, the hood becomes too heavy to stay up on it’s own, and you will need to add a very tight drawstring to keep it in place. (definitely no fun to wear.)
Once all of your strips have been cut, transfer the original markings to your hood, and begin to pin the mane in place.
Here’s an example of what Rainbow Dash should look like…
…and this is one of my Twilight Sparkle versions.
(This picture shows three layers, but I later went back and removed one.)
Pin a row of fringe along each side of the hood, and then baste the pieces in place.
After the fringe is securely basted, sandwich the mane between the two hood pieces
and stitch through all four layers along the curved edge of the hood.
If you’d like, go back and finish off the raw edge with a serger, zig zag,
or second row of straight stitches to help reinforce the seam.
And this is what you should have when you turn the hood right side out! Isn’t it lovely?
We’ll stop there for today, and pick back up tomorrow with the zipper and the rest of the hoodie.
How is everyone doing so far?
My Little Pony Sew-along Links