How to Sew a Pirate Costume

In this fun sewing tutorial we are making a pirate top and cut off trousers to create a super cool pirate costume!  We are using pinking shears for the edges so its minimal sewing with maximum impact – you actually don’t even need a sewing machine for this one, as you can just as easily hand sew the whole costume and use no-sew Heat ‘n’ Bond for the applique. Choose your colour scheme from the huge range of fat quarters to get started on this eye-catching costume.

You Will Need Craft Essentials How to Make

Top tip! Always press / iron your chosen fat quarters out flat before starting your project, this gets out all the folds and ensures precise cutting! 

Zero waste tip! Always keep your off cuts!  Mix and match your off cuts for applique or pockets, or keep in a bag and give them away to a local school or brownie club. You can also keep your threads for stuffing! For more zero waste tips do check out my blog post that counts down 10 zero waste sewing hacks.

 

Tabard style top

Use 1 x fat quarter for very small child & use 2 x fat quarters for larger version

1. Fold 1 x fat quarter in half lengthways and fold it in half again press the folds in place. Unfold ensuring you can clearly see those creased lines and cut in half along the halfway crease. For the larger version: Fold one fat quarter in half lengthways for the front and the other fat quarter lengthways for the back. 

 

2. Put aside one of the pieces for now and work with the other one. This will be the front. Fold back in half along the crease line.    

3. Take your pinking shears and tape measure, from the centre top crease measure down from centre of neck (middle of neck bones) down to where you would like the v of the neckline to go. Take this measurement (usually around 3.5″ or 9cm) .Using your pinking shears create a V or a curve here for the neckline. Ensuring to take into account the tops that will be the shoulder lines (see image).   

4. If using ‘sewable’ Heat ‘n’ Bond, use a template from: https://misslibbyrose.com/learn-to-sew/applique/ (or your own picture) to cut out fabric & Heat ‘n’ Bond. Follow the manufacturers instruction on the Heat n Bond packets and use your iron to heat and press your fabric applique in shape. If you are using the ‘no-sew’ heat n bond you are all set once it is heated down. If you want to sew around your shape, set your machine to a tight zigzag and go ahead and sew in place.                             

5. If using no sew, again, use a template from: https://misslibbyrose.com/learn-to-sew/applique/ (or your own picture) to cut out fabric & heat n bond (the red packet, no sew). Follow the manufacturers instruction on the Heat n Bond packets and use your iron to heat and press your fabric applique in shape. Once it is heated in place its all done!        

6. Add buttons for eyes or other fun Halloween haberdashery on the applique.

7. Put the 2 x tabard shapes with right sides together. Sew up the tops (shoulders) that are located next to the scoop for the neck.     

8. Last bit of sewing is to sew up the sides. To leave enough space for arm holes, measure from top of shoulder to under arm pit so the wearer has enough space to get arms in anod out. More space is better. Do remember this is only a fun costume so you don’t need to be exact. When I did mine, I left a space of 13cm.   

9. Time for some fun with pinking shears! Go along the bottom hem, arms and snip snip snip! Create a jagged edge to make it look very pirate-like!

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