Saturday, October 20, 2012

Merida from Brave Costume Idea and How to sew a simple Halloween Cape, Tutorial.

Miss Merida and her trusty steed!
I mentioned in an earlier post that one of my daughters wants to be Merida from the Disney/Pixar's Brave. So I made her a dress and a cape out of a beautiful cobalt blue taffeta with gold trim. I decided to share how I did it in case there are any last minute mom's out there in need of some help.
First step, cut a rectangle out of your fabric using the person you are making it for as a guide. I started with a rectangle about 27" wide and 34" long. Then I held it up to my 7 year old to see how much shorter I wanted it, trimmed it. Then I finished all the edges all the way around so they don't fray. (You could do this many ways such as serge them, fold over, press, sew down, I opted for using my rolled edge hemmer foot that hems as you sew, very easy!) Then I folded the top of the cape over about 2" and pressed to hold it there. Then I made a stitch along the bottom of this fold to make the sheath that the bow/ribbon that holds the cape on goes through. Once that is sewn, make a tie or use ribbon to be tied in a bow to hold cape on. I used the same fabric as I made the cape out of. For more instructions on how to make this tie you can view my tutorial on making a belt that I have already given detailed instructions, just go to the search bar on my blog and type in Smocked/shirred maxi skirts for little girls and that tutorial will show you how to make a simple belt that works well for this cape tie. Once you have finished the tie pull it through the sheath you made in the cape either by attaching a safety pin to one end of tie and feeding the pin through the sheath or I prefer my handy "grabber thingy" that I feed through the sheath, grab the end of the tie and pull through. This makes a simple cape, but you can take it a step further and add a hood to the cape by simply cutting a square out of your fabric using the folded edge as one side of the square. (so you are  making a doubled fabric square). Finish all edges (so they don't fray). Since the folded side is already together you just need to sew down one of the other sides so that when opened looks like a triangle and then you would stitch the open end down to the cape top.(the seam is in the back and folded edge is on top) I also put the cape on to the child, cinched the tie up where it should be and then pinned and then stitched it so it wouldn't come out. This is very simple and takes little time to make.

This is the end result, looking at the inside of the cape with a hood attached.

This is the square piece I made the hood out of. It is doubled. This one I did not cut on the fold so I would need to sew down 2 of the four sides. If you use the center fold of the fabric for one side you won't have a seam at the top, if you use the center fold at the top and the sewn seam at the back of the hood.

Close up of where the hood attaches to the top of cape and what the sheath looks like with the tie gathered through it. (Again once I knew where the tie fit my daughter I stitched the tie in place at both ends to it wouldn't come out.)

This shows the cape with hood down and the dress I made for "Merida" costume. I used an old Little Bo Peep dress costume pattern I already had from years ago and "tweaked" it into Merida. I added a gold front piece, gold ruffles at neck, sleeves and hem of dress. (As well as making the pattern bigger, it was a size 4 pattern, I needed an 8.) Along with adding gold puffy elbows in the sleeves.

Here is a close up to the dress neck detail and the cape tied around the neck.

Close up of ruffled detail added to the bottoms of sleeves and dress hem.

Close up to elbow puffy cuffs I added into sleeves. I just laid out the sleeve pattern and continued it in the same angles, but I gathered the edges of the middle panel with my ruffling foot to make the gathered look as seen. The only thing I would have done different is I would have made the middle (gold) panel about a half inch wider in each side, when you add the gathering it shrinks it up a bit. Then added a bottom (blue) panel, again staying in the original angle of the sleeve pattern, sewed them all together and added a ruffle at the bottom.

The finished product, (minus a real model, they were all at school!) So don't mind the creepy head!


  1. THANK YOU! My little one want to be Merida for Halloween and every other day this year. I hope I can pull this off!! Thanks again!

    1. Hi there! You are so welcome, glad you found this helpful. I'm sure you can do this!! Hope your daughter likes it as much as mine has enjoyed hers. Thanks for stopping by and loves from "Patch-A-Heaven!"