I thought it would be fun to do a week dedicated to Halloween costumes. I’ve made a few over the years. So over the next few days, I’ll be reposting and linking. To kick things off, I even have a new and, I think, super-awesome-sauce tutorial and PDF for you…
I recently took on a challenge to draft a pattern of a notched-collar jacket for a costume that a beginner-sewer could whip up with as little difficulty as possible. The original inspiration for the jacket:
Using costume-quality felt (so yes ,the cheap stuff), I was able to come up with a pattern that used only five total pieces and required only straight stitches with no facings. It’s not wardrobe quality, but for a quick and easy costume, I was happy with the results
But maybe you don’t need a duster or an overcoat? Use the same pattern and make just a few alterations to take it in pretty much any jackety direction…
A bomber jacket
even Indiana JonesOr whatever else you’re in need of.
(sad, sad story: After uploading the “duster” pictures, I made it into a blazer. It had a chest pocket and buttons. I slicked the three-year-old’s hair back, dressed him all dapper with flowers in his lapel and got some adorable pictures of him. Then I sliced up the blazer, made the bomber, redressed the kid, and took some awesome greaser-style shots. But when it came time to upload, I discovered I never put the SD card back in the camera after uploading the duster! So no cute blazer pictures, and the greaser re-dos were done with a pretty ornery, totally-over-photo-shoots little boy. Moral: ALWAYS check to make sure the card is in the camera!)
The PDF is a 2T. It fits my three-year old well, but not enough to layer much underneath for warmth while trick-or-treating. But you can easily make it larger by increasing all around by 1/2 inch for every size increase (I did this with the Indy Jacket). Not the most technically-correct way of doing things, but good enough for a kid’s costume, right?
1 yard of thick “no-right-side” fabric. I used felt, fleece would also probably work well
Pattern (8 pages total)
Cut out all pattern pieces
Matching all edges, line up the top weird-looking collar piece of the front Sew down the short straight edge.This will become the back center of the collarFlip the front pieces over, so that the back center seam of the collar is facing up.
Lay one one side of the back on top, matching the shoulder and sleeve edges.
Sew JUST that little straight shoulder of the front and the back together (the part my hand is holding up)Now take the back piece over and line up the other shoulder piece with the other shoulder of the front. Make sure that the seam is going to be on the same sides as the other side.Sew just that shoulder seamAnd now you should have something like this.Open up the jacket so that the arm curves are completely exposed and the shoulder seams are facing down.
Lay a sleeve piece with the center of the curve matching the center of the jacket curve. The sleeve should point up and away from the opening (if you had right sides, it would be right sides together).
I don’t have a picture, but pin, starting at the center point, the sleeve curve to the jacket curve (what would be right sides together, so the shoulder seams are on the opposite side of the sleeve)Sew just those curves to each other. And you’ll have thisRepeat for other sleeve, other arm curve.
Fold the jacket, with shoulder seams exposed, so that the side edges of front and back match and the side edges of the sleeve matchSew from sleeve top, down and around the armpit area, to the bottom of the jacketRepeat on other sideTurn jacket right-side out, so that the shoulder and side seams are all insideNow we need to finish that gapping hole in the back of the collarFold the collar down towards the inside of the jacket. The finished seam of the collar should face the inside of the jacket.
Sew the entire opening closed.
Turn the collar back out to the outside of the jacket, covering the seams of the collar with the fold.
Top stitch all along the edges of the collar and bottom hem
-Cut sleeve and lower hem to fit child.
-Add any buttons you want or other details you want.
-Because Velcro will stick to felt, if you used felt, to add a closure to the jacket, I would just add the loop-side of the Velcro to the lower side (in this picture, your left side of the jacket) and let the Velcro catch the top underside of the felt. True, the felt will wear faster this way. But either way, if you use Velcro, it’s going to get all caught up in the felt. And this way, you don’t have any exposed stitch lines that show on the closed jacket.
-Or you could pin it closed.
-Or do real button holes.
To make a blazer, cut the length of the coat to the hips of the child. Rounded corners at the bottom of the front pieces adds a nice touch. No picture. See above sad story. Add buttons down the front and a patch pocket on the chest. You could also add elbow patches to the sleeves from contrasting material prior to sewing the sleeves in place.
For the bomber, trim the length to the waist and the sleeves to just above the wrist. Add approximately two inches of contrasting material to the hems. Then cut out fake fur to the shape of the collar and lapels and sew in place.