My Little Pony Costume Sew-Along – Day 2: The Mane

My Little Pony Costume Sew-Along : Day 2 - Adding the mane
Yay, it’s time to make one of the FUN parts of the costume!
If you’ve been following along, yesterday we made our hoodie pattern,
and today we’ll be adding the mane to the center seam of our hood.
My Little Pony Costume Sew-Along : Day 2 - Adding the mane tutorial
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) 

My Little Pony Costume Sew-Along : Day 2 - Adding the mane tutorial

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.

My Little Pony Costume Sew-Along : Day 2 - Adding the mane tutorial

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.
My Little Pony Costume Sew-Along : Day 2 - Adding the mane tutorial

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.*

My Little Pony Costume Sew-Along : Day 2 - Adding the mane tutorial
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. 
My Little Pony Costume Sew-Along : Day 2 - Adding the mane tutorial

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.
My Little Pony Costume Sew-Along : Day 2 - Adding the mane tutorial

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.)

My Little Pony Costume Sew-Along : Day 2 - Adding the mane tutorial

Once all of your strips have been cut, transfer the original markings to your hood, and begin to pin the mane in place.

My Little Pony Costume Sew-Along : Day 2 - Adding the mane tutorial
Here’s an example of what Rainbow Dash should look like…
My Little Pony Costume Sew-Along : Day 2 - Adding the mane tutorial
…and this is one of my Twilight Sparkle versions.
(This picture shows three layers, but I later went back and removed one.)
My Little Pony Costume Sew-Along : Day 2 - Adding the mane tutorial
Pin a row of fringe along each side of the hood, and then baste the pieces in place.

My Little Pony Costume Sew-Along : Day 2 - Adding the mane tutorial

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.

My Little Pony Costume Sew-Along : Day 2 - Adding the mane tutorial

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?

post signature

My Little Pony Sew-along Links

Pony Costume Supply List Day 7 – Pants Pattern
Day 1 – Hoodie Pattern Day 8 – Basic Sweatpants
Day 2 – Attaching the Mane Day 9 – Pony Tail
Day 3 – Zipper Installation Day 10 – Pegasus Wings
Day 4 – Attaching the Hood Day 11 – Cutie Marks
Day 5 – Ears Day 12 – Hairstyle Options
Day 6 – Unicorn Horn Spike the Dragon Pattern Pieces

25 thoughts on “My Little Pony Costume Sew-Along – Day 2: The Mane

    1. Hi Erin! Yes, each strip is 5/8 wide, but you only need to make then into 2 1/2" segments if you are planning to make a multi-colored mane. If you're doing a solid color like Pinkie Pie, you can just make one long fringe and wrap it around the curve. (does that make sense?)

  1. I am making Rarity for my 6 year old and Rainbow Dash for my 3 year old. They saw the costume and I wasn't sure how hard it would be. I looked at the first 3 tutorials and decided you made it totally do-able! I just drafted my pattern today and hope to start sewing tomorrow! Thanks for the great sew along!

    1. So glad to have you along Erin! I can't wait to see your versions! I thought for sure that Rarity was the most under-appreciated character, but so far I haven't heard a single person say they are making Pinkie Pie. What little girl doesn't want to be the fun, party, sugar, pony?…who's pink! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I finally got all the rainbow mane cut out and pinned together and the rest of the jacket ready to sew. Except, I can't get the blasted sewing machine to keep a stitch in the fleece. It's like ghost sewing. Sew all you like there'll be nothing there. I switched to a scrap of a different colour, other than blue and it's easy peasy. I switched back to the blue. No go. I'm going to bed. I don't know if it's my 1960's vintage sewing machine or if I'm doing something wrong but I'll certainly think more clearly in the morning.
    If I have to I don't mind hand sewing the mane or ears but … grrr… Walk away from the sewing machine and sleep on it.

    1. Oh gosh Julie, I'm so glad you went to bed before it got any worse. I'm absolutely terrible ant "just walk away" and have definitely ruined my fair share of projects while sewing when I'm tired. If it's still giving you trouble today I suggest: 1- Completely re-thread your machine. Sometimes that works magic. 2- change your needle. 3- run a test scrap that is folded in half. It sounds like your needle isn't catching the bobbin thread on the bottom. Your machine might be having trouble with the double thickness of the fleece. Hopefully that's not the case though, and a simple re-thread will fix it!

  3. You are amazing! Thank you SO much for sharing this with everyone!
    I am going to make twilight sparkle for my daughter. I was wondering How and When you attached her bangs in the front of the hoodie.
    THanks again!

    1. Thanks Bonnie! The bangs were a last minute addition on mine, but i did it in a way that the stitches were hidden in an existing seam. You can easily finish this part of the mane, and then attach those later if you'd like. Just remember to leave a gap for the horn. You can make the horn ahead of time, but don't stitch it in place until after the bangs are on.

    2. i also realized that there were no instructions for the bangs, but found a quick and easy solution – simply make a lined hood! when you pin the inside and outside of the hood together, add in a shorter version of the mane fringe right along the centre line between the two layers. sew a 1/4" seam and when you invert the lined hood you'll a gorgeous set of bangs with all seams still neatly hidden!

  4. Hi Toni, love your site here, you are an amazing seamstress. My daughter wants to be Apple Jack. I'd love to hear any suggestions you might have for her bangs. I was thinking of just doing them to one side and varying lengths maybe.

    1. Thanks so much! I've been trying to squeeze in one last tutorial about how to do the 2 different style of bangs (Twilight and Rainbow/Applejack), but I've just been extremely swamped. I'm working on 2 more Twilight hoodies today, and a Rainbow this weekend though, so hopefully I'll be able to get the pictures I need in time for a Monday tutorial. If you need dirrections earlier than that, just send me an e-mail and I'll try to muddle through a written explanation.

    2. My daughter loves to play dress up and I didn't want to worry about size limitations of clothing so I decided to just do a hood with the mane and ears sewn on instead of a hoodie. And I will do a belt with the tail and cutie marks. I haven't put Apple Jack's bangs onto it yet but here's what I have so far:

      The hood is made out of flanelette (because the first store had no sale on fleece and it was way too expensive) and the mane out of fleece. Going to get started working on the tail. Thank you so much for helping all of us out. =)

    3. That's a brilliant idea to make the hood separately! (especially great for anyone living in a warmer climate) Looks like you're on you way to an awesome dress-up set!

    4. We live in Canada, I tried to decide if I was going to make her something large enough to go over a snowsuit (if it snows or gets that cold on Halloween) or be worn indoors and then to figure out something else to wear when outdoors. I think the hood was the best solution I came up with not to mention am not very good at sewing and wanted to avoid a zipper at all costs ๐Ÿ˜‰ . I finished the tail belt today with hand sewing on three iron on apples that we had found at the fabric store. My daughter has a costume party tomorrow so she will get some use out of it.

  5. The hoodie construction honestly… scared me (I'm a novice seamstress. I've only ever made pants ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) I decided to purchase a plain white hoodie from (saving myself counting hours of frustration and probably a fair amount of crying- as my daughter's pj pants took me several hours ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) I am wondering if you have any suggestions as to how to attach the mane. Since the hoodie was so cheap I'm really not afraid to slice and dice, but was just wondering if there was a genius workaround. I have considered starting with purple strips that are twice as long, folding them then cutting said strips leaving an uncut middle piece maybe an inch wide. Then sewing that inch on. Would that work ? Assuming of course that that makes sense ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for the inspiration to attempt this project and the awesome tutorials to help me figure it out ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. If you google "Twin Dragonfly Designs – Scrappy Unicorn Costume" you'll find a good tutorial for working with a pre-existing hoodie. I'm pretty bad at following directions w/o any pictures, but if you are saying…Cut a long strip about 6" wide, make fringe on either side of that strip, and then stitch down the center…then yes, that would work as well. I might use 2 layers of fringe though just to make it a little fuller. Hope that makes sense!

  6. That's exactly what I was saying. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the google referral, her site is pretty interesting and I like the idea of reusing our white hoodie (though I honestly think my daughter would ADORE wearing it fully ponied up ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

  7. Hi Toni,
    I’m loving this tutorial, thank you for providing such clear instructions and photos! Ready to do the mane, but I’m stuck on this instruction: “The pattern I am sharing has a 1.5 inch base so I suggest beginning the mane roughly 2โ€ณ past your stitch line.”
    I can’t for the life of me figure out where this applies. Is it 2″ past the stitch line at the base of the hoodie, where it will eventually attach to the neckline? By 1.5″ base, do you mean stitch allowance on the bottom of the hoodie?
    I hope you can shed some light for me!

    1. Hi Jill! The 1.5 inch base is refering to the bottom of the horn. If you are making a unicorn character, you’ll need to start the beginning edge of your mane about 2 inches back from the front edge of the hood in order to leave space to attach the horn later. If you’re making a regular pony, you can skip that step and begin your mane about 1/2″ from the front. Hope that helps – Good Luck!

Leave a Reply to Kari Arsenault Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.