DIY Pirate Costume – How To – Your Little Girl Would Love This

October 27, 2016

Part 1 -DIY Pirate Costume

    Your Little Girl Would Love This DIY Pirate Costume, too!  My granddaughter, Sophia, has decided she wants to be a pirate for Halloween.  Remember, she and I had planned on making a ‘voodoo doll’ costume, but her mother nixed that one?  


   Well, she finally decided upon a ‘pirate costume’.  The tricorn pirate hat in an earlier post was for this costume.  It turned out so beautiful!

  She already has some brown boots to wear.  We decided to use black and brown for the costume.  There is brown trim on the hat and brown in the fabric for the waist cincher.

   First, I made a little white dress from this McCall’s pattern and some leftover white fabrics I had.  Yes, I said ‘fabrics’, plural.  I found some white fabric that seemed to suit the top well, but there wasn’t enough to make the skirt from it, too.  

   Then, I remembered I had some white satin fabric, found it, and made the skirt from it.  The pattern instructions were followed for the most part for the dress, except for adding lace to the neck and sleeves. 

    The lace was added before inserting the elastic.  The lace was stitched up to the opening for the elastic, cut long enough to cover the opening.  The elastic was sewn together, the loose lace was stitched on top of the stitching. 

   Now, it awaits Sophia’s return so we can adjust the hem and finish it.  Some additional lace will adorn the skirt, too.


    While this pattern has overskirt patterns, which we could have used, we found this beautiful gathered black fabric!

 We could imagine this as an overskirt, shorter in the front and longer in the back.

    This pattern has a cumberbund, but I used an adult pattern for a waist cincher and cut it out of muslin first.  (I couldn’t find a waist cincher pattern for little girls.)  The seams were sewed up and I actually pinned this to Sophia’s top with the seams out.  (The cincher uses laces, which I obviously didn’t make for the muslin version.)  Adjustments were made, taking in a little here and there.

   At first, the plan was for the laces to be tied in the back, like the pattern.  Since we planned for the two sides of the black fabric to come together in the front, the plan changed.  The back of the muslin was stitched together and the front was cut in half and a seam allowance was added.

    You can see that I wrote right on the muslin so I would remember to cut out the back on the fold and which piece was the back, the side, and the front.  The front was drawn out on paper and re-figured.

   The new front piece drawn on the paper was used to cut the faux-leather fabric and the lining fabric.  The rest of the pieces from the muslin were used as patterns to cut the remaining pieces.

    Black fusible interfacing was also cut for the two front sections and ironed on for added support for the grommets.  Then, the brown fabric was stitched together.

   Some black satin fabric was used for the lining.  The pieces were cut and sewn together just like the brown fabric.  The seams were ironed and right sides together, the brown fabric and the lining were pinned and stitched, leaving the bottom edge open.


    The top and the front edges were understitched as much as possible so the facing would roll to the inside and not be seen.   Then, the waist cincher was turned right side out and ironed.  A pressing cloth was used to protect this faux-leather fabric.


    The black gathered fabric was laid out on the cutting board and cut straight.  The fabric was then divided into four equal sections across the top of the straight edge and marked with straight pins.  Two rows of basting stitches for the gathering were sewn the whole width of the fabric. 

   This fabric is nylon so it won’t unravel!  After sewing it to the top, all we have to do is cut it to the right length! 

   With the right sides together, the gathered edge of the skirt top was pinned to the bottom edge of the waist cincher.  The edges of the black fabric were pinned to the front edges.  The middle pin was pinned to the middle back of the waist cincher.  The other two pins were matched and pinned to the side seams.

   Then, the basting threads were pulled to gather, adjusted, and pinned.  The gathered edge was stitched to the waist cincher, leaving the facing loose.

  The facing was pinned to the cincher over the top of the gathered edge and sewn leaving an opening about five inches wide in the center back section.

   Then, the seam allowance at the corners was clipped to allow for sharp corners when turned out, the skirt was pulled through the opening, and the cincher was pulled right side out. The cincher was then pressed again.  The opening was pinned to the skirt and blind-stitched closed.


   The placement for the grommets was marked with straight pins and an awl was used to mark the holes.  The grommets were then applied with a grommet plier. ►How to Apply Grommets.

   Sophia comes today to try on the dress and we will decide on the hem length.  We will also cut the over skirt and decide whether to cut it up shorter in the front, creating a high-low look, or not.  Can’t wait to see it on her!…

  Part 2 – The reveal and finishing touches for this will follow this week, but I am sure Your Little Girl Would Love This Pirate Costume, too!


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