As a child I REALLY liked the Care Bears – my bed donned with Care Bear sheets and playtime filled with the Care Bear count down. I remember being so envious of some family friends I played with that had plastic Care Bear figurines with a heart shaped cloud carrier.
So, when I did a search on Amazon for kids’ costumes and saw that I could get a plush Care Bear costume for my daughter to wear on Halloween, I barely had to give it a second thought!
Shortly after receiving the adorable plush costume in the mail for Elise, I realized I needed some coordinating outfits for my husband and I to wear. While I certainly could have purchased one of the many Care Bear cosplay outfits available on Amazon, I thought I could definitely make something to save a little money. Here is a blog post that provided the basic premise for my costumes and also has GREAT instructions on a sewing-free version using craft glue.
I started with getting a couple of plain t-shirts in colors that I knew correlated to Care Bear characters and some felt to appliqué on “belly badges.” From there, I just copied the designs from pictures of the bears and used a zig zag stitch around the felt designs to secure the felt. The face of the sun was also made using a zigzag stitch with a low stitch width, making the stitches close together.
For the bear ears, I decided the best option would be fleece hats with ears sewn in. Also, they would keep our heads warm on a cool evening! I found a kids pattern and tutorial that I used to get the basic idea of how to make them, then went about cutting out my own in coordinating yellow and light blue colors.
I also cut out ears for each hat and used white felt for the inside of the ear. To get the sizing for the template of the hat, I used one of my husbands stocking caps. Taking into consideration that it was knit and would stretch more than the fleece, I made my hat pieces a bit larger.
First, I sewed the ears. I pinned the felt to the fleece, right sides together. The fleece was bigger than the felt so I tried to gather the fabric in a uniform way with the base of the ear matching up. Once both ears were turned right side out, I pinned them inside the hat. *Note – make sure to pin the ears a little farther apart than you will want them in the finished hat. I had to rip our my seam the first time because the ears were too close together after the next step of sewing the “V.”
With the right sides together I sewed around the hat and then sewed the “V” closed. Finally, I turned the bottom of the felt under about an inch and used a zigzag stitch to tack the hem of the hat.
The costumes ended up working great and while I am a little biased, I think our family of 3 (see picture below) looked pretty cute! I was hoping to save them to reuse maybe for another year… but sadly I will have to remake Grumpy Bear’s costume because my husband (innocently) tossed it in the washing machine and dryer the next morning and the felt shrunk. Word to the wise – if you plan to wash these costumes and reuse, pre-wash your felt OR hand wash/hang dry!