Tips & Tricks for Sewing Costumes

Posted on September 17, 2020 by Stephanie Triplett

As the seasons are changing and we bid adieu to summer (even as weird as this one has been), I like to cling to the idea of Spooky Season being just around the corner. Select stores are filled with Halloween goodies, and that means we can focus on some fun stuff, like what kind of costume will help us escape from reality for a little while. Grab your coffee and your writing utensils as I break down important tips for making costumes— class is in session!

Getting Started

  • Start early to give yourself ample time to complete your project and allow time for trial and error. 
  • Find an image of the costume you want to create and bring it with you when shopping for supplies.
  • Break down your costume in individual pieces by printing, sketching to help better understand the pattern and shape you need to achieve. 

Utilize What You Have 

  • Revamp a store-bought costume by making adjustments like adding a zipper for a more tailored fit.
  • If you’ve made previous costumes, you can alter basic pieces like tops or skirts to make them suitable for your next costume.
  • Add trims and accessories to already owned pieces to give them a fresh makeover without the need for a completely new outfit.
  • Dye and paint costumes that you’ve already created for a new look.

Tools You’ll Need

  • Use a jersey or stretch needle when sewing with stretch fabric. 
  • Use a serger if you have one when sewing with stretch fabric. 
  • Use a water-soluble stabilizer to hold any decorative pieces onto your fabric while you’re sewing (patches, beading, etc.).

Construction Tips

  • Perform fit tests as the costume is being sewn for the best fit.
  • If you’re working with spandex make sure to pin inside the seam allowance so that you don't make unsightly holes in the fabric.
  • Stretch fabric as it's being sewn so it will stretch correctly when it’s worn.
  • Use paper to stabilize fabric while sewing to keep it from stretching out too much.
  • Add a lining for a polished look.
  • Use a zigzag stitch to hem stretch fabrics. 
  • Be aware of the difference between spandex with 2-way and 4-way stretch and cut out your patterns accordingly.

Using the tips and tricks from above there’s a slim chance that Halloween will sneak up to find you unprepared— Even if it’s gonna be a lot different this year. Check out our free costume patterns for some serious Halloween inspo and leave your favorite costume sewing tips below!

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