Large Dog Costume Idea: Hannah the Princess!
(Bryceville, Florida, USA)
Hannah's princess outfit surprisingly has lasted for two seasons now. Sure the dress isn't quite as long this year, but it still works! I found the dress and gown at a store but had to make a few adjustments to it because it was for a medium sized dog and not a large dog costume for a Great Pyrenees. Since the armholes did not fit her, I simply sewed them under the dress, making sure that the seams wouldn't rub on her back. It gave a nice "waistline" for my girl. Also, since the collar didn't fit over her head, I sewed it shut and added a lace band the length of her chest to her shoulders. I added this to where the shoulders of the dress were.
Then I had to find a way to keep the dress from ending upside down. I knew from the service dog vests that it was best to put a belly strap as far back as possible, so I decided that the best and most natural place would be the waistline of the dress. Well, I had a buckle, but no webbing. So I went for my sock drawer (the one with all the singles waiting in vain for their partner to come back to them). Socks without partners can be used for so many things...but what I needed was one for a belly band. I found one that was pink and knee length and I cut it into a size double the buckle width. Because the sock was knee length it worked well as a belly length on my dog. All I did was measure the belly from waistline to waistline on the dress. I then sewed the folded sides together to form one really skinny "knee length" strip, cutting one length about 3 inches long and leaving the other part uncut. The 3 inch length you sew to the waistline and around half of the buckle...the other length is sewn to the other waistline and to the other buckle. That makes one belly band when the buckles are snapped together.
I use the buckles that snap together such as on "fanny" packs which I look for any time I am in a thrift store where they cost from a quarter to a dollar. You can use plain old buckles from old belts or snaps that were used before Velcro. You can even use Velcro -- but get the type you sew on not the stick on type.
The crown that Hannah had was actually two crowns (the one that came with the costume and a headband type) that I sewed together to look like one. If you want to use a headband type, for any costume, use one that is wrapped in fabric so you can add a bit of elastic across it to keep it from flying off if the dog shakes its head. Make sure your dog isn't uncomfortable but also that the elastic is tight enough to hold the headband in place. Well, that's it for this large dog costume - we salute you, Princess Hannah!
Dogs don't mind wearing costumes, as long as you keep their comfort in mind. I find that my girls, Patches and Hannah, have found out they get lots more attention and loving if they are in costume! They have also learned to enjoy picture taking and will pose for cameras! They are true hams...