Halloween Sewing

Somehow I was super smart this year and finished my Halloween sewing at the beginning of October. Well, really I wasn’t that smart. I just had to finish up before going on vacation. By the time we got back I would be walking into place is scarier than any haunted house…

Joanns Halloween

Cue the Psycho soundtrack.


Oh Why Can’t She Be Elsa Like Every Other Girl

Per family tradition I made my niece her first Halloween costume. Since my nephews wanted to be sharks, my SIL decided that their little sister should be a mermaid. Seems easy enough; famous last words.  The first and largest obstacle was finding fabric. My JoAnn’s seems stocked to the rafters with Frozen fabrics. Just a sea of blues, whites and silvers. Bolts and bolts of icy goodness if you’re sewing an Elsa costume. Without good fabric prospects at my local stores, what is a sewist to do? Raid another sewists’ stash of course. First on my list was my IRL sewing friend Julianne from Made by Julianne. She owns a stash of beautifully curated sparkly, glittery, shimmery colorful fabrics. Julianne must have something that is passable for a mermaid tail. Indeed she did! She even had several options for me, along with sage advice about not sewing with sequined fabric. I went with a beautiful seafoam, blue/green, sparkly fabric. It was just perfect. And to complete my supply list, Julianne even shopped the LA garment district with me.

Blogless Kim, me, Julianne

Blogless Kim, me, Julianne


Making the Pattern

For the top, I used a onesie pattern, extended the sleeves and made it in a nude stretch knit. I embellished the onesie with shell cups and a sea shell necklace. Mermaid Top The cups were stuffed lightly with polyfil and topstitched. Mermaid Bra CupsFor the tail I drafted a pattern that allowed my niece to be belted into her car seat without having to remove the entire tail. Mermaid TailThe tail is 2 pieces attached with snaps. Mermail Tail Snaps The fin is multiple layers of sheer iridescent green and white fabrics. Mermail Tail Flipper The finishing touch is a starfish and pearl headband that I made from the selvage of the green tail fabric.

Finished Mermaid Costume

Bonus Content: Last Minute Sewist Costume Ideas

  • UFO: Wear UFOs (unfinished objects). If they’re in dire state of unfinish-ness you can pin them to your clothes instead. Walk around hand sewing the garment in a futile attempt to finish them.
  • Blogger: Wear you-made garments. Carry a tripod and camera and start posing at random times while people look at you weird.
  • Bag Lady: Pin handbags (preferably you-made) to you
  • Wadder: See UFO but with wadders
  • Gertie: Wear a vintage dress or you-made vintage styled garment. Wear a blue wig or spray your hair blue (or whatever color Gertie’s hair is currently)
  • Fabric Stash: Wrap yourself in stash fabric. Go around parties adding more to yourself/stash. Cloth napkins, towels, table runners can all be potential stash items.
  • Pattern Stash: See fabric stash but with patterns.
  • PDF pattern: Print and tape a PDF with a gazillion pages and wear it. Extra points for garment appropriate PDF i.e. a taped pants PDF pattern pinned to your pants.
  • Cutting mat: Wear 2 cutting mats like a sandwich board and carry a rotary cutter and a fake severed finger.

What other ideas do you have a for a last minute sewist costume?  Seems like we’re all so busy sewing costumes for others, we don’t have a costume for ourselves.

Happy Halloween Sewing,

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17 Responses to Halloween Sewing

  1. Marta says:

    This is the cutest halloween costume I’ve seen this year! She is so adorable!!!

  2. Your costume is fantastic and your niece is adorable! As they say, WINNING! 😉

    And yes, the number “Elsa” costumes this year is going to be gag-inducing. The school had a halloween party and there were dozens of them…yeesh! Creativity fail. 🙁

  3. Accordion3 says:

    Gorgeous outfit! Cute niece too : )
    Check this out – seems I was right.

  4. Laurie says:

    So Adorable!!! Your niece and the costume!

  5. Raye Ann Clayton says:

    That is the cutest Mermaid ever!!! The costume is great, too 🙂
    I love your sewing inspired costumes. If I use one of your ideas, I’ll take a picture for you

  6. Carrie says:

    First off, the costume is simply adorable! I love the tail!

    And secondly, I cracked up laughing at the Gertie costume idea!! And I’m sure you could extend it to many other distinctive bloggers as well 🙂

    • For sure! Gertie was just top of mind. You can be Tasia by making yourself super pear-shaped (for extra emphasis not that she’s super pear-shaped) and wear a Sewaholic pattern. A yarn wig with some cut bangs, a cute headband and the Coco dress and you can be Tilly. There’s so many ideas….

  7. Nicole says:

    Joann’s at Halloween is truly terrifying. I’ve had to go in twice recently, not even for anything Halloween-related, and the cutting table has been a nightmare–everyone is like crazy competitive! And all the shoppers seem to have such bad attitudes too! So many of them are like 21-year-olds just buying tulle to make sexy tutu’s and they’re like THIS IS RIDICULOUS. I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M NOT ALLOWED TO JUST CUT THIS MYSELF. I want to be like, “Dude, calm down. I’m here buying zippers and thread for real clothes and if anyone should be mad about the Halloween wait, it’s me, but you don’t see me freaking out about it.” And they’re all like, “I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS.” I’m just like, “Ha, classic.” *end of Joann’s rant*

    • That was a hilarious rant. What’s more hilarious is when they get home with said tulle and try to sew it. ::evil laugh:: They’ll get what’s coming to them.

      There should be a line for Halloween sewers and a line for regular sewists. Like at the airport with the business travelers vs the casual travelers.

  8. Rebecca says:

    That is Soooooo cute! Thanks for sharing the images – your niece is so lucky to have you sew this for her!

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