While crocodiles are supposed to instil terror, a child dressed in a crocodile costume is hardly likely to make pulses run faster. A crocodile costume can be made to look sinister or it can be made to be laughable and whimsical. All that is needed to create the crocodile your child has dreamed about is the ability to sew, follow a pattern, a few materials and the ability to create an idea in your mind and follow through with it. The child who is lucky enough to wear it will be one happy boy or girl.
Lay out the fabric the way the pattern calls for on a work area.
Cut out the individual pieces of the pattern only, not the fabric. Pin the pattern pieces to the fabric the way the directions tell you to on the pattern. Some pieces are possible to change or modify; for instance, if the pattern calls for a red mouth, you can substitute pink for the mouth parts.
Cut the fabric and pattern out carefully, making sure each piece is accounted for.
Follow the pattern instructions to begin putting the crocodile costume together. This usually starts with the body pieces. There are normally two sides and one centre piece that goes down the length of the back that replicates the spines of the crocodile. Pin these pieces together so that when the costume is sewn, it is inside out. Pin no more than 2.5 to 5 cm (1 to 2 inches) apart.
Use the sewing machine to sew the pieces together, ensuring that all pins are removed as you go along to prevent breakage of the sewing needle.
Pin the fabric for the legs and then sew them one at a time so that they are inside out. Repeat this with the arms.
Turn the body of the costume right side out as well as the arms and legs of the costume.
Attach the arms and legs to the costume according the pattern directions.
Sew Velcro to the front openings of the crocodile costume so that the costume is opened and closed easily.
Put together the pieces for the headpiece of the crocodile. Most patterns will call for some sort of wire to be placed inside the snout to give it shape and keep it shaped. The snout usually is attached to a hood that goes over the child's head.
Cut zigzag strips from the white felt. These will be used for teeth inside the crocodile's mouth. These are then sewn onto the snout with the sewing machine.
Choose the way you want to portray your crocodile. If you want him to appear more sinister, it will be necessary to use sew on eyes that look a little meaner. If you want the crocodile to be cuter, usually for girls or very young children, you will want to sew on kinder-looking button eyes.
Add finishing touches to make the costume more authentic by adding white zigzagged felt strips to the hands and feet of the costume for claws. If you really want to be creative, use different colours of green felt to make zigzag strips to sew onto the body of the costume as scales.
Use nylon batting to stuff the crocodile tail to keep it full.
Have fun with the crocodile. If a little girl wants to make a "Mrs. Crocodile" costume, use large doll eyes with eyelashes and give her female touches -- perhaps make purple scales instead of green ones.
Follow the directions on the pattern guide for sewing the pattern pieces together. For very little children, do not use a whole face-covering snout. It could cause difficulty in breathing.