I’ve been sewing for a few years now. And I have to admit that my costume making has really taken off since that time. But, once you know how to do a skill, you also learn how you can get around it. I used to spend so much time avoiding sewing patterns that I missed a lot of good ones that could have been adjusted to fit my ignorance. So below I’ll link to a few costume ideas I’ve tried from other people and share a few ideas of my own.
But first, the best tools that you need:
So last year I was Lydia Deetz. For this costume I used my own black leggings, sweater/wrap and shoes, borrowed a hat and camera, I purchased a black wig, a lace top and The Handbook for the Recently Deceased. I also put white clown makeup on to whiten my face a bit and put on dark eye makeup. Total cost was around $40 and it was comfortable and easy.
Likewise you can make many period pieces very easily. For guys: you can find a button down paisley shirt at your local thrift store. Get the widest cut jeans you can and if you cannot find bell bottoms cut the jeans along the hem up to almost the knee. Insert material of any color to make bell bottoms. You can use any bobby pins or fabric glue for this. Leave your shirt half-way open and fill the space with gold chains. If you don’t have long hair, get a wig. Easy ’70’s costume. For girls: the ’80’s are always easy. Get an oversized shirt, billow it out over a thick, but loose hanging belt. Wear leggings and sandals or jellys, if you can find them. Rat your hair out at the sides and up at the front. Curl it so it looks almost permed, if you can.
For this outfit, I got a piece of elastic and I did hand stitched it to my size. If you really don’t want to do that, bobby pin it. I then bought many feather boas and started cutting them to the length I wanted. They were then bobby pinned to the elastic band. I bought the top and bobby pinned the “wings” on to the straps in the back. I secured the arm pieces with rubber bands around my arm and middle fingers. Again, a comfortable outfit and easy to make. This idea could be adjusted for many animals.
Many costumes require a cape. I got the pattern off here: http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2014/03/no-sew-elsa-cape-from-frozen-a-do-it-together-project.html
I copied it exactly for the picture on the right. On the left, instead of tying it around the neck like a real super hero, I adjusted it to be sewn on to the back of the dress, just like the “real” Elsa’s. You could glue or pin it there as well. You could also make these out of cotton. Jersey would be a good material. It has that curling effect. If in doubt, just ask the “cutter” at your local fabric store. They can help you. But this pattern is super easy to follow and can easily be adjusted to different sizes.
The key is to start early. The sooner you start looking at a costume idea, the easier it will be to put it together. You will have more time to find ideas and ways to make your costume without sewing. Start now!!!!! And if you’ve made a no-sew costume, I want to see it!