The most important piece to this costume is the rat hat and the rest can be sweats or a T-shirt and shorts depending on the weather.
You dirty rat! Instead of a sweat suit, although in northern climates, a sweat suit in gray would be perfect for this costume; in Florida we wear shorts and T-shirts! What makes this costume is the baseball cap - turned rat face. You can’t see it in this pose, but there is a rat tail pinned to the shorts that matches the beige tip of the rat’s snout!
I made this particular costume for a school play, along with all the scenery, and we all had a ball being involved. However, if Halloween is upon us and you need a pretty quick costume, the rat hat goes together pretty easily, and, you could make other animals in this same way. How about an alligator hat? A pig? Maybe even a dinosaur?
- Gray baseball cap
- Gray, brown, beige and cream felt
- 2 black buttons
- Safety pins
- Sewing Machine
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
- Few strands from a corn broom or whisk for whiskers
Take a good look at the way the rat’s face works. The snout protrudes from the opening in the back of the cap, they eyes are attached to the back, the ears on the side and the cap bill faces the back of the child.
1. I started with the snout of the rat. It is made up of 5 pieces, the top and bottom which are shaped like the bottom portion of a bowling pin, two narrower sides, and a small oval shaped top.
I sewed the top and bottom pieces to the two sides to create a tube and then closed the small end of the tube by inserting and stitching the small oval into the end. I did this with the snout inside out.
I then turned the snout right side out and stuffed it with Fiberfil stuffing. I didn’t fill it so much that I couldn’t pull the bottom edges together and quickly slipstitch the bottom opening closed.
Create a similar shape out of 6 oblong pieces and a tiny circle for the tip with a bit larger circle for the base. Stitch the side pieces together to create a tube and add the small circle to close up one end. Add the larger circle to the bottom all the while the nose is inside out. Don’t sew all the way around, leave an opening for stuffing. Turn the nose right side out, fill it with Fiberfil and finish closing up the end. When the nose is done, attach it to the snout by hand stitching it together.
Push the large end of the snout into the hole in the back of the cap and safety pin it to the cap. Or, you can stitch it if you are never going to use the cap again.
Eventually you will hot glue strands of a corn broom or whisk to the snout, but wait until the end because they will get in the way and bend or break.
2. I made the ears next which are simply two pieces of oval ear shaped felt, one larger – the gray, and one about ¼” smaller all the way around – the beige. I hot glued them together, folded them a bit at the bottom end to give them some dimension, stitched the fold in place, then safety pinned the ears in the right locations.
3. The eyes were shaped almost like sunglasses lenses with the beige piece a little larger than the cream. I put some deeper brown right around the button eyes and glued everything together before stitching on the buttons. Even the eyes are safety pinned in place.
4. Now, with everything else in place, go ahead and hot glue on the whiskers!
With the extra beige felt I had left over, I cut out a triangle shaped piece, folded it over, stitched along the edge, stuffed it with Fiberfil and stitched the end closed. Then I pinned the tail to my son’s pants.
There’s more you can do with this costume, like adding gloves, funny long front wax teeth, and of course the gray sweat suit would look better than shorts and a T-shirt. You could fashion a big piece of Swiss cheese out of a cardboard box. Paint it yellow with a darker yellow for the holes, or cut the holes out of the box! Who knows, and isn’t that what makes doing this kind of thing so much fun?