Saturday, October 20, 2012

Halloween Costumes! Brave's Merida (and Baby Bear) Costume using free patterns

 I have to admit, when I learned there was a new Disney movie featuring a Scottish princess with red curly hair, I started a not-so-subtle campaign for this year's Halloween costume.  Even before we saw Brave, I'd started planting seeds.  And after we saw it (even though it was pretty scary for a three year old!), Hannah and I sealed the deal: she would be Merida for Halloween.  It was actually Hannah's idea that Lydia be a bear, just like Merida's little brothers.  That sounded cute as could be, so I searched to the ends of Pinterest, and this is what I found.

So here, for you, are several free online patterns and tutorials needed to create a Merida costume, complete with a red hair garland, and a coordinating little sis/(bro) bear.

I started off with the dress, using the pattern found here ('s Magistrate Dress pattern), via, here.  I added some gold trim, including an inset of gathered gold fabric at the neckline.

Next came outerwear.  Not only does Merida wear a cape in the movie, but I distinctly remember last year, pinning Hannah's butterfly wings to the back of her winter coat because it was so cold.  Although practical, it was not as lovely as I intended when I sewed the costume.  So this year, I wised up and made something warm for her to wear.  I used the free Red Riding Hood Cape pattern found here, at  There are instructions for lining the hood, but I lined the entire fleece cape with flannel, both for added warmth and to add a little color.

Finally, what would a Merida costume be without red hair, and lots of it?  I looked at tutorials for full wigs, and even found one that explained how to curl the yarn by heating it in the oven.  I finally decided to make a red version of's Rapunzel hair recipe, found  here.  Hannah said, "This isn't like Merida's's not big enough."  However, she can put it on and off by herself, which I think will be handy when this becomes part of the dress-up box after Halloween.

And because Grandma's are cool like this, Hannah's Grandma got her the official Merida bow and arrows from the Disney Store.  Very cool.  Hannah spent a good fifteen minutes trying to string the bow before she gave up and started throwing them across the yard.

For Lydia's bear costume, I decided to keep it simple - mostly because I wasn't sure whether she would wear it or not.  She wasn't going to until she saw Hannah had a cape too, and then she was ready to go!  The cape is made from the same pattern at, although I printed the pattern at 75% to make it toddler-sized.  Hers is also fleece, lined with matching flannel. 

The ears are from another pattern at, and are a part of their Halloween Bear Hat, found here.  I cut slits in the top of the hood, and stitched the ears in before I added the lining. 

So here they are...Princess Merida and her bear sis.

 Ready for some serious archery.

And doing a happy little Halloween dance.

1 comment:

  1. So incredibly cute, love the costumes, you did a great job on them.


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