Groovy buttons: A (last-minute) Pete the Cat costume



It was less than 48 hours before Halloween, and Pete the Cat’s costume had yet to be finished. Did Pete’s mom cry? Goodness, no. She just worked along, singing her song (and eating some chocolate).

So Owen’s Halloween costume was finished the day before Halloween this year (still counts!), but frankly, it’s not because it took that long to make. My fall calendar just worked against me, as did my sewing machine. But, assuming you have or can easily find the materials, this is definitely a costume you could whip together in one night.

He’s going as Pete the Cat this year, by request. It’s a super cute children’s book series that has matching sing-along versions, both with the message that “Stuff happens. Shake it off. Move on and smile.” I know some adults who could use that reminder.

Fast & easy DIY Pete the Cat costume

The hardest part was finding a solid-color sweatsuit in a size 3T. Seriously, I had this same problem last year in making his Super Why costume – I looked everywhere for a solid green shirt and pants, making multiple online orders and sending the husband on a mad store dash the weekend before Halloween. If you have a 10-year-old, you’re apparently set. Toddler? Not so much. I ended up finding this set on Jiffy Shirts.

The pants I left alone. I could have added a tail, but sending a preschooler to class with a tail did not sound like the smartest parenting decision. To the hoodie, I cut several shapes out of colored felt to make Pete’s heart and eyes. In the interest of time, I freehanded them all and adhered them with fabric glue (hey, Pete’s a funky illustration, right?). I vaguely thought about stitching around the border. Maybe if it were September.

I used THIS YouTube tutorial to add the ears. They’re a slightly darker shade of blue, because I used an extra pair of blue sweatpants I had originally ordered that were WAY too big (FYI – XS means it will fit a second-grader, not a two-year-old) to cut out ear shapes. Matching triangles, sewn together on two side, turned right-side out, sewn into slits in the hoodie’s top. Voila.

If you know Pete the Cat, you know that in one of his stories he wears a yellow shirt with four groovy buttons. They pop off and roll away, one by one (and nope, Pete doesn’t cry). I did NOT want these buttons to be detachable (can you imagine that in a room of two-year-olds?), so they were sewn on by my dear husband, who’s much faster at hand-sewing than I am, and I couldn’t find my sewing machine manual to remind me how to do it with the special presser foot. Bless him. I found the shirt on and ordered up a size so it would fit over the hoodie, and also ordered the buttons as part of a big mixed bag from, and of course they had all the colors on Pete’s shirt except for light blue. So, I grabbed one of the purple buttons and spray-painted it the right color. (Side note: Owen has loved playing with the remaining buttons, so win-win.)

For a finishing touch, I plan to use nontoxic face paint to add some cat whiskers on Owen’s face the morning of, and I found a pair of red high-top sneakers also on

Anyone else finish their costumes at the 11th hour? Does it matter? There’s still chocolate at the end.


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