Friday, October 22, 2010

Little Girl Pirate Costume

I have a confession to make. I have never made my kids halloween costume's before. I find it kind of sad, I mean I sew for them all the time and halloween is the one time of year you get to go crazy. However this time of year always creeps up on me and well here we are the week before halloween and I thought hey maybe I will make a costume this year. So here it is. The little miss is going to be a pirate. (so will Jude but I won't likely get to his costume till oh... the day before halloween) So today for anyone interested I offer you the super fast forward version of what I did to make the costume, which I am kind of in love with. 
First let's make the vest. Let me just start by saying I wanted pieces she could possibly wear again for everyday wear, so while the vest is very "pirate" I LOVE how it turned out and she will likely wear it again with jeans. Ok on to the vest. Fold the fabric in half and I used a loose fitting top as my pattern. Place that so the mid point is on the fold (as shown above.) Then cut in the arm opening. ( I dropped mine maybe a half inch lower even) and cut in the neckline. 

You are going to want a total of 4 pieces folded with the arm and neck, shown above is two layers folded together so you see two, (does that make sense?) So for the one on the left it will be the front so I cut a deep angle, (this will give it a V neck when un folded) Then on the right I mirriored the same cut as the arm hole so it has a nice U shape in the back. 

Then when you open the folded pieces they should look like this. (you should have two of each  piece)

Then with the front I cut them down the middle and cut each half to a point on the bottom.

Then from where the angle starts in front piece I cut the back in a rounded edge. Basically when you lay the whole vest out flat matching side seams it will look about like something above.

Ok next (and this is kind of hard to see in the picture) Sew right sides together to each side of the front of the vest skipping the side and shoulder seams. (this is shown on the piece on the right) Then turn it right side out and top stitch. (this is shown on the one on the left)  Do the same to the back piece.
Then sew together the front and back pieces at the side seams and shoulder. Then I took some gold cording and hand stitched some loops on one side and some gold buttons on the other. Vest is done.
On to the blouse. Using the same shirt I used to make the vest pattern I used it again to make the blouse bodice, and sleeve. I added an extra inch and a half of room to both so it was a little looser. Then I made a neck lining. To do this pin the bodice piece to the same fabric.

Cut along your neck and half way along the shoulder

Then remove the bodice piece.

And cut about 2 inches below your neckline cut following the line so it looks something like the picture above. Make two of them.

I also cut some strips out for the ruffles at the neck.

So all together (and I know this was not super detailed) I have two bodice pieces, two sleeves (shown on the far right) two neck pieces and three strips for the ruffles.

For the sleeves. I sewed them right sides together along the bottom edge, and then I turned the cuff in and sewed in place making a casing for elastic. Then I put elastic in the cuff. (this helps with the puffy sleeve)

Then I sewed ride sides together the side and shoulder seams of the bodice. Then I ruffled the strips for the neck line and sewed them in place so they stack down from the neck line. Then Right sides together I sewed the neck lining at the shoulders, and then again right sides together I sewed it around the base of the neck.

Then I turned the neck lining in and top stitched in place, sewed on the sleeves gathering them at the shoulder, and hemmed the bottom. The top is done.

Lastly for the skirt. I cut a long strip about the length I wanted the skirt to be and the width was her waist measurement times 2. Then along the bottom I notched it so it looked frayed slightly. Since it was a silk, I then very carefully mind you took a lighter and melted the edges, this keeps them from fraying and gives it a cool, tattered look. Want more on that technique check HERE.  Just be very careful when using a flame.

Then I cut a strip that was twice the width of my elastic and the length of my daughters waist plus 2 inches. Then I gathered the tattered part of the skirt and folded waist band in half and sewed the two pieces right side together. This creates a casing around the waist where I put in the elastic. 

Then I sewed the two sides together and the skirt is done. I had also made a tutu in red and white to go under the skirt but my daughter is just too short for it, it looked goofy, but if you are making this for a taller girl go for it, it's a fun look.

Anyway that was my fast forward instructions on how to make a pirate costume. I am also making her shoe covers that look like pirate boots, a sword and hat, but well I am sure that will be the night before halloween thing too, so enjoy this for now.  (oh and please ask me if you need any clarification)

I hope your little one's enjoy trick or treating



  1. OH MY GOSH that outfit is super cute!!

    thanks for being sharers :)

  2. What an absolutely adorable little pirate!! I linked to your tutorial over at Craft Gossip Sewing:


  3. are you going to show us the boots? I want to see the whole thing. I love it.


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