Halloween DIY: Little Lady Pirates

Some of the best costumes out there are simple ones, like pirates! Mama Say What?! mama Miriam created some amazing DIY pirate costumes for her two little ladies that are second to none!

How did you decide what costumes to dress your family in? 

I was searching through Etsy for costumes and came across this amazingly talented tutu/costume maker. I loved her work but at $75 each, I could not afford to buy two costumes for my daughters.

I found this adorable pirate costume for girls and fell in love. It looked fairly simple. I just needed to make a cute tutu and a very simple bodice. I am an amateur at sewing, but thanks to Lilah’s nursery, I had gained some confidence and decided I could pull this off.

Where did you get all your materials?

I got all the materials at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store. I also bought a cheap hat, sword and eye patch set at a local Halloween store. I already had a little parrot baby toy for Lilah.

How did you save costs?

I think the total for the materials that I needed was around $20. I bought a ton of tulle for the tutus, but that was very cheap and I had a coupon for 40% off one cut, so it was even cheaper that way.

How long did the costumes take to make?

I worked over the course of a couple weeks, but not because the actual costumes took long; it was because mama was lazy, too busy, to make them in one sitting. The tutus were very fast to make. The longest part was the cutting of all of the tulle. Once all the cuts were made, each tutu took about 15 minutes. The bodice was also simple and I would say it took about 15 minutes apiece for each of them. So my total working time was probably close to an hour and a half with cutting and measuring time.

Can you describe the steps you took to make the costumes?

When I was making these costumes, I really was not thinking in steps, so I will try to break it down as best I can.

  • Take measurements. I measured the girls’ hip to knee length, waist, chest and just below the collarbone to the hips length.
  • Buy the material. I bought tulle (sorry, I cannot remember how many yards but it was more than five), a yard of black and white striped material, and a skull print flannel for the inside of the bodice. I found a super cute roll of hot pink skull and cross bones ribbon to add into the tutus. I also needed a thick black ribbon for the ties around the neck and for the corset at the back. Finally, I bought eight sets of grommets.
  • Measure twice and then cut — my least favorite part! I hate the cutting part, but I made it through it all right. Make sure you measure the waist ribbons and add a couple extra feet to them for tying a bow.
  • Make the tutus — this was my favorite part. You simply tie the tulle to the ribbon repeatedly with a u-shaped tie until the tutu is huge and fluffy.
  • Make the bodice. Sew the inside and outside materials together (print facing in) leaving just enough to push the material through, then sew around the outside with a zigzag stitch for a finished look.
  • Measure where you want your grommets to be and cut holes in the material for them. Once the holes are cut use a grommet tool to insert and fasten them.
  • Last step. Lace the ribbon through the bodice so it ends at the bottom of the material and tie in a bow.

Was it less expensive than buying a costume?

It was absolutely cheaper! I spend about $25 total on BOTH girls’ costumes including accessories! If I had bought the costumes that I fell in love with on Etsy, then I would have spent $150 for close to the same thing!

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