How to Sew a Lion Mane

Written by ainsley patterson
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How to Sew a Lion Mane
Use fleece to create your own soft lion's mane to wear as part of a homemade costume. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Skip the trip to the costume store to buy overpriced costumes this Halloween, and instead use your creative talents to fashion your own lion's mane from soft fleece. Pair the homemade mane with a solid brown outfit to complete your comfortable, inexpensive costume. Or you can make a lion's mane to include in a homemade dress up bin for your children.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • 3/4-inch-wide elastic
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Dark brown, tan and yellow fleece, 1/4 yard each

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  1. 1

    Measure your head, starting from the crown and circling down under your chin and back up to the starting point.

  2. 2

    Cut an 8-inch-wide strip of fleece one and a half times as long as your head measurement from all three colours. Stack the three pieces of fleece on your work surface with dark brown on the bottom, yellow in the middle and tan on top. Fold the stack of fleece in half lengthwise. An inch in from the fold, sew a seam along the length of the fleece.

  3. 3

    Snip the fleece perpendicular to the seam, starting from the open edge and cutting to a half inch from the seam. The cuts should be about one inch apart, and run the length of the fleece. The snips will create a fringe.

  4. 4

    Cut a piece of elastic 2 inches shorter than your head measurement. Attach one end of the elastic to the opening of the sewn fleece "tube" with a large safety pin. Attach a second large safety pin to the other end of the elastic. Slip the loose end into the opening, on the same end to which you attached the other end, and guide the elastic through to the other end of the fleece.

  5. 5

    Bring the two ends of the elastic together once it has been completely drawn through the fleece. Overlap the ends of the elastic by 1 inch. Sew the overlapped ends together using a zigzag stitch. Sew a second seam parallel to the first, so the elastic is held together by double seams.

  6. 6

    Adjust the fleece so it completely covers the elastic. Try on the mane, with the open edges of the fleece under your chin. Ruffle the fringe with your fingers to make it messy and fluffy.

Tips and warnings

  • You can use wool felt, rather than fleece, to make your lion's mane if you have it on hand.
  • Use a walking foot, if you have one, to sew through the layers of fleece. The walking foot feeds thick layers through your machine more easily because it feeds from both the top and bottom rather than just the bottom, as a presser foot does.

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