DIY Halloween Costumes From Scratch

I wanted to create our Halloween costumes from scratch, and decided to sew Pirate Vampire looks inspired by the victorian trend we saw hit the runway.

I used Simplicity pattern 4059 to create bishop-sleeved frill-collared shirts and Vitorian knickers to match, and hacked the pattern to add a button fly, draw string waistband, and differentiated the sleeve cuffs of the second costume. I added top stitching to give it more polish, and was much more relaxed during the construction process because they were costumes and not ready to wear garments.

*The Fly: many people online were confused about how to construct the fly given the esoteric instructions, but I constructed them in two different ways- adding a fly extension and button fly, and overlapping the existing extensions, after sewing folded edges down for aesthetic reasons, then stitched straight across that horizontal seam line shown on the pattern.

The DIY Costume Sewing Process

  1. Cut out the paper pattern pieces, and lay them out on your fabric, folded in half longways according to the grain line and on-fold markings.
  2. Cut out your pattern pieces in fabric, making sure to transfer important information such as where to gather, button and button hole placement, and notches.
  3. Begin sewing according to the instructions of the pattern if you’re new to sewing or have never sewn the type of garment you’re constructing. Because I’ve sewn shirts before- I felt comfortable working out of order, and knowing how to sew and attach the different pieces as I please.
  4. Add in details such as buttons and button holes or closures according to the instructions or by visualizing the construction if you’re hacking the pattern as I did (making your own changes) as you may not be able to do so on a finished garment.
  5. If it’s required, add sew-in or fusible interfacing, the latter of which you’ll iron in.
  6. Trim any excess threads, clip curved seams, trim down and iron seam allowances.

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