The Pirate Waistcoat Project

If you've hung around Free Notion lately, you know I've been overwhelmed with kids sewing projects. For a self-care-sewists like myself, this can get very, very, tiring. But alas, kids need school clothes, and once a year even the most reluctant of crafty mommas (me, me, me, me!) has to suck it up and destroy her sewing space with felt, fur, and/or sequins (...and her finger tips with hot glue. amirite!?).

Just about the only thing that made this (seemingly) never-ending list of pint-sized-apparel-sewing manageable was the extensive planning to reuse the same handful of patterns over-and-over-and-over again.

...........But that didn't happen here. I mean, it did, but it didn't. I still reused a pattern (the Emma Knit Dress/Tunic from Made For Mermaids) but I also just got really, really lucky that I could modify it to fit my son’s costuming needs. Hurrah!! Dodged a print-and-tape bullet there :D

“A boy’s costume from a girls dress pattern!?” Oh yeah. In glitter stretch velvet, no less! Costuming knows no gender bias.


It's surprisingly simple, despite the number of steps you're about to read. Here's what you'll need:

  • Fabric, per pattern's tunic length requirements. (I used stretch velvet so I could sew per my child's size. But you could use woven, provided you sized up the WIDTH only.)
  • Trim
  • 2 contrasting buttons. (I chose gold for me matey! Arg!)
  • Pattern pieces for front and back bodice, and puff sleeve (though we won't be attaching elastic to the bottom of the sleeve, just hemmed & trimmed)
  • Pins to mark your pleats
  • Tailors chalk can be helpful marking seam allowances, so you can sew your trim well outside of them. I use this kind.
  • Fusible Interfacing. (You probably SHOULD use knit interfacing on a knit garment, but I don't take my costuming seriously enough for that. Regular ol' lightweight interfacing did the trick for me.)

That's it!! It looks a little daunting, but that's just because of the number of steps involved. There's nothing tricky or advanced about this sewing project. I made this in an afternoon, so allow yourself 2ish hours to make up your own.

Finish the look!

Sew on, me mateys! You have a pirate costume to make!! XOXO