Halloween Costumes for My Dolls

It’s October, and that means Halloween is coming up very soon! It’s a very big holiday in my house, so preparations are already underway for our yard decorations and costumes. And while I was at Target surveying the current Halloween materials, I spotted their exclusive Halloween Barbie doll and decided to take her home:

Halloween Barbie and me in my new witch hat
Halloween Barbie and me in my new witch hat

Although this particular Barbie is cute with the orange streak in her hair, I’ve never been a big fan of Barbie’s design. My immediate plan was to steal her outfit for one of my dolls. But if I dressed up one, wouldn’t the other ones be left out? So that sparked me on a week-long sewing project to create more Halloween costumes. I used fabrics I already had scraps of around the house, so I was a little limited in my choices, but I was happy with the end results.

Happy Halloween!
Happy Halloween!

Some of my toys are already in the Halloween spirit. Here we have Winnie the Pooh in a witch costume, a teddy bear ghost, Tigger Lily, Jack-o-lantern Hello Kitty, and sugar skull Hello Kitty for the Day of the Dead.

Anna in the black cat dress
Anna in the black cat dress

Anna was the one who got the black cat dress from Barbie. The look really suits her because the orange dress matches her hair, the cat ears look adorable on her, and it matches her green tights from her Frozen Fever outfit. It even came with matching spiky shoes and a black necklace. I didn’t make it, but it still looks cute.

Anna's dress
Anna’s dress
Anna's close-up
Anna’s close-up

I love how the bright orange color brings out the green in her eyes. Poor Anna probably doesn’t appreciate the comparison any more than Anne Shirley, but her hair really is more orange than red.

Belle as Little Red Riding Hood
Belle as Little Red Riding Hood

The first outfit I made was simple, and I borrowed the apron from one of Tiana’s outfits. I chose Little Red Riding Hood for Belle because she looks very good in red and the outfit is similar to her blue town dress. The dress was made from a tutorial on Craftiness is Not Optional.

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Red Riding Hood
Red Riding Hood

Her red hood was the hardest part. It’s a little lumpy and uneven because I didn’t really have a pattern for this, I just tried to put a piece of fabric on her head and gather it into a hood. But it’s nice enough for a costume.

Elsa as a witch
Elsa as a witch

The second costume I made was Elsa’s witch dress. The witch costume is a small nod to Idina Menzel’s starring role in the musical Wicked, but it’s not a direct copy of Elphaba’s dress, which is why I chose a dark purple instead of black. The dress is adapted from a tutorial by Miss B. Couture.

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This dress was the most elaborate and difficult of the three costumes I made. The crushed velvet and tulle fabrics were difficult enough to work with separately, but almost impossible together, and it resulted in some weirdly uneven seams and things. Despite the flaws, it still turned out looking very impressive, especially the poofy skirt.

Elsa's witch hat
Elsa’s witch hat

Elsa’s witch hat is a simple design out of felt, but it looks really cute on her. I still need to make her a broom.

Elsaba?
Elsaba?

With some green paint, she could look quite a lot like Elphaba. Perhaps a custom doll is in my future.

Pirate Ariel
Pirate Ariel

The final outfit is not too fancy, but it’s my favorite. Of course with my love of pirates, at least one pirate costume was inevitable, and Ariel’s past life in the sea made her the perfect choice. In fact, I’ve had this idea before, and I used the same design for a costume of my own:

Pirate Ariel (me) and Captain Jack Sparrow
Pirate Ariel (me) and Captain Jack Sparrow

I didn’t sew this outfit, but I did make parts of this cosplay myself for Fanime last year. (Note: not my photo, taken by one of the con’s official photographers.) I made the fishnet overskirt and decorated the hat with pins and feathers, but most of the outfit was just collecting pieces. The result was the most fun cosplay I’ve ever done. I loved hanging out with Captain Jack!

Comparison: pirate Ariel doll vs. pirate Ariel cosplay
Comparison: pirate Ariel doll vs. pirate Ariel cosplay

Here’s a side-by-side comparison. Doll-Ariel’s skirt is a brighter green than mine (and I may find a darker fabric to replace it in the future), but otherwise they match pretty well. Ariel is also borrowing some of my pirate treasure. I wish I knew the name of the Ursula cosplayer in my picture to credit her because her outfit is gorgeous. It’s based on the Ursula Designer doll. To really match this picture, I guess I need a designer Ursula of my own to complete the set.

Ariel's pirate blouse
Ariel’s pirate blouse

Ariel is borrowing the Master Sword from my son’s link toy. She has a simple gathered skirt. Her peasant blouse is from a tutorial on Somewhere That’s Green. And her black corset was made by copying Anna’s Frozen Fever outfit.

Ariel's pirate hat
Ariel’s pirate hat

Ariel’s pirate hat was a challenge to get the sizing right, because I couldn’t find a pattern or tutorial to follow. This was the third version after I scrapped the first two. The skull is an earring, and I stole the tiny feathers from a rainbow feather boa from Gay Pride a few years ago.

Ariel ready to plunder the seven seas
Ariel ready to plunder the seven seas
Ariel's hair dangle
Ariel’s hair dangle

The ribbon around Ariel’s hat is actually the edging from the purple tulle I had to trim while making Elsa’s witch dress. The beaded dangle in her hair (in the style of Captain Jack) is another one of my earrings.

Mickey pirate flag
Mickey pirate flag

The Mickey pirate flag is a cake decoration from Disneyland. In the parks a few years ago, there were two cakes you could order for celebrations in the park restaurants, one princess-themed and one pirate-themed. My family surprised me with the pirate cake for my birthday on one trip a few years ago. The cake wasn’t actually that good, but I kept the cute accessories it came with, including this flag which turned out to be a perfect size for my dolls now.

Pirate booty
Pirate booty

Ariel’s borrowed “treasure” includes a treasure chest from a fish tank, sea glass, glass beads, toy gold dubloons, and video game arcade tokens. One of the tokens is from Flynn’s Arcade when it was in Disney’s California Adventure for ElecTRONica.

Ariel admires her treasure
Ariel admires her treasure

This is one of my rings, but it looks like a circlet at Ariel’s size.

Final pirate Ariel picture
Final pirate Ariel picture

I guess it’s no secret pirate Ariel is my favorite, since I took so many extra pictures of her. She makes a great model.

My Halloween socks
My Halloween socks

I didn’t dress up myself today, but I was wearing some of my Halloween socks, also from Target. There’s a rule in my house that we can’t wear matching socks, started by my daughter when she was little. It turns out to be pretty convenient, because we have so many cute sock designs, it’s hard to find two of the same in the crowded sock drawer. But it’s fun to mix and match different pairs!

That’s all for today! It was a pretty long post. I hope to decorate a room box for these dolls to have a Halloween party sometime in the coming month, but I have to make time in between the family’s Halloween preparations for the whole house. Look for it in the future.

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