Landon loves Curious George. We had a Curious George birthday party no too long ago (with a man with the yellow hat cake!) and he requests to watch the show almost every time for his tv time. So it was not a surprise when we were talking about Halloween costumes that he said he wanted to be the man with the yellow hat. Of course who would make a cute Curious George… Riley!

I initially thought that this would be a fairly simple costume to make. Get a yellow shirt and some yellow pants; the only “hard” part was going to be the hat. We went to a few stores to try to find a yellow shirt (ANY yellow shirt) and had no luck. The closest thing we found was either lime green or more of an orange short sleeved shirt with designs on it. And the pants? Nothing.

I googled it (It’s my number 1 go-to in problem solving!) and found that most people had a similar experience with a lack of yellow toddler clothes (really how many toddlers do you see walking around in yellow button up shirts anyway!). Their solution: buy white and dye it yellow! Back to the store.

Now I only went to Target but even there I had a hard time finding a white button up shirt and white pants. The best I could do was a white t-shirt and white sweat pants. Close enough. The next day I went to Michael’s to buy yellow dye. They were out. So was Target, Walmart and Joanne’s. It was too close to our first Halloween activity to order online and hope it all worked out so I went to Plan C. Sewing.

I had bought some yellow felt to make the hat. Felt (for a costume for a child) was perfect. It’s easy to work with since you don’t have to finish the ends and it would add a layer of warmth for when we’re out trick or treating.

How to Make a Man With the Yellow Hat Costume

Now I wish I could start this off by saying it’s super quick and easy. It’s not really. It’s not hard by any means – but you have to have a sewing machine and know how to use it. You’ll also have to have basic knowledge of how to sew clothing. Also having a pattern for a simple button up shirt and pants would help tremendously. I didn’t. I also wanted to get started on it while the boys were napping so I made my own pattern.

I took a simple button up shirt and a pair of pants Landon had in his closet and used them to create a pattern. I carefully laid them out on large sheets of paper (I used the kind that comes on a roll) and traced each “section” of the shirt and pants:

man with the yellow hat patterns


Back panel
Two Front Panels (you can just trace one side and cut two from the same pattern)
Sleeves (again, trace one and cut two)


Leg (tracing this can be tricky because you want to make sure you get the curve to allow room for their bottom)

I then sewed them all together


Sew the arms together first. Sew the side seams from the front panels to the side seams of the back panel. Attaching the arms is the trickiest part. You’ll need to pin it first and make sure your arm holes (the one on the arm and the one on the body of the shirt) are the same size. If they are not you’ll need to either take a little in on the sleeves or the body. Then attach the collar.

The man with the yellow hat costume shirt


Sew up the inside seam of each leg section, then attach the two legs together. I made the pants into an elastic waist band to keep it “simple”.

The man with the yellow hat costume pants

The Hat

I tried several versions of the hat before I settled on this one. And sadly I didn’t take pictures of the construction process. If you really want I can make another one and take pictures as I make it. It wasn’t too hard. I cut a strip of yellow felt 6 inches wide, long enough to match the circumference of Landon’s head (which was 20 inches). I sewed this into a tube. Then I tapered down the top part of the tube in 4 places to make the hat curve in at the top. I then measured the circumference at the top and cut a circle to fit. I then cut two brims. I made my brims 6 inches from the base of the hat, but next time I would make them closer to 5 inches. Cut a hole in the center that matches the size of the top part of the hat already sewn. Then attach the brims to the hat. Then I cut a piece of cardboard to fit the inside of the brim and sewed it inside to keep the brim stiff. Clear as mud? Here’s a few pictures of the finished hat:

The man with the yellow hat costume hat The man with the yellow hat costume hat The man with the yellow hat costume hat

Finally I made a simple tie (with dots to match the “actual” tie) and cut a strip of black felt to use as his belt.

The man with the yellow hat costume tie

Riley was Curious George in the simplest way. He wore brown pants and a brown jacket that I cut simple ears and a tail out of brown felt and safety pinned them on his clothes. We had a few play bananas in the cooking toys to “complete” the look. (Brad wearing the donkey kong shirt was totally not planned… too funny though)

The man with the yellow hat and curious george

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7 Responses to The Man With the Yellow Hat Costume

  1. Lorrie says:

    TOO cute! Great job on the outfit! I wish my boys were still young enough for that… as Curious George fans, they would’ve loved it!

  2. Paulina says:

    Hi! Thanks for posting this. I’m making this costume for my son this year and I have a question. You made two different pieces (pants and shirt), but the final product looks like one piece. Did you sew them together at the end?

  3. Amanda Ross says:

    Good call on the felt! I just finished sewing the yellow pants and shirt, and spent tons of time finishing hems! I kept reminding myself, it’s just a costume, don’t be a perfectionist. I found your blog for the hat tutorial, thanks!
    PS: Had the same prob. No yellow clothes anywhere, not even white stuff to dye.

  4. Rebecca says:

    Thank you for the hat instructions!

  5. Keristan Cox says:

    That is so cute! I have no sewing experience along with no sewing machine so I don’t think I could accomplish this. What size is it and are you selling it? I will seriously buy it from you if you have a paypal account

  6. bernadette says:

    Really like your man in the yellow hat costume. Would you like to sell it? I’m looking for one for my son and don’t wish to make it, as I’m not crafty.

  7. Colleen says:

    I just used your instructions to make the hat. Wanted to say thanks!! They were so helpful 🙂