When my nephews came to visit a couple of weeks ago, we'd planned to go and see the dinosaurs in Crystal Palace Park. Which was rather appropriate considering the (very belated) Christmas presents I had waiting for them. I've seen similar dinosaur hoodies around the internet in the past, but never really paid much attention to any of the tutorials. I'm now too afraid to go back and look at one, just in case it turns out there's an obvious and much better way of doing things. My made-it-up-as-I-went-along version was pretty straightforward though and I have a quick how-to should you want to give it a shot for your own little monster.
First of all, I should probably mention that neither of the hooded tops I used had a seam along the centre-back. Initially, that felt like a disadvantage (I had no luck finding any with seams). My original plan was to unpick the centre seam, sandwich the base of each triangle shape between the two layers of fabric and then restitch the seam to hold them in place.
But as it turned out, the no-seams method worked just as well. It's simple, neat, and should Alex-o-saurus and Mac-o-raptor tire of their dino hoodies at any point, the triangles are easy enough to unpick, leaving a plain and entirely wearable top.
hooded top | red felt | scissors | paper or card for template | needle and red thread | iron | pins
:: Copy and cut-out triangle template (adjusting the size if you'd prefer larger or smaller spines).
:: Fold your felt in half and place template against the fold to cut out.
:: Fold the hooded top exactly in half (along the hood and back) and iron the fold down firmly to mark the stitching line for your triangles.
:: Open out one of the felt diamond shapes, and pin it to the top of the hood, lining up the fold line on the felt to the fold line on the hood.
:: Stitch the triangle in place.
:: Add a second felt piece in the same way, so it sits snugly alongside the first one without overlapping.
:: Repeat until the whole of the hoodie 'spine' is lined with felt shapes.
:: Carefully iron each diamond shape in half again to form a row of triangles.
:: Sew neatly along the open edges of each one to hold in place.
:: If you want slightly stiffer triangles that will stand up and away from the body at all times, try fixing some iron-on interfacing (medium or heavyweight) to the reverse of each felt shape. (I left mine as they were - a little softer and more flexible - because I wanted the hoodies to be comfortable and everyday-wearable, rather than just pieces for playing dress-up.)
:: A relatively small-scale project like this is quick and easy enough to hand-stitch, although you could obviously use a sewing machine, too. I did mine by hand because I felt it was just a bit less fiddly that way, and the two tops only took 3 or 4 evenings to finish, once I had all the pieces cut out.
:: As a fun, final touch on each one, I added a dinosaur name tag inside (and am really annoyed I forgot to take photos to share them). These were made really easily using t-shirt transfer paper, ironed on to a scrap of cotton tape which was then folded over at the ends to sew in place.
And just in case it's not really obvious, dinosaur names are made by mashing a person's given name (or nickname) with a suitable-sounding dinosaur suffix, such as -saurus, -raptor, -dactyl, -odon or -physis. For example, I made an Alex-o-saurs and a Mac-o-raptor, and would probably take Kirst-o-dactyl as my own dino-pseudonym.