The Peter Pan Costume


This costume was an interesting one to make. It was relatively easy, despite a few hiccups, and is being made for a photography shoot I plan to do with a friend eventually. The idea was a darker play at the traditional Peter Pan, using original elements and also inspiration from the famous Disney movie. This post will contain how it was made, before I take my own set of pictures for use until we get our shots done, since that will not be for a while.


I started out this costume by doing a rough sketch, checking it with the person I plan to take photos with, and then beginning mock ups. The plan was a costume that showcased familiar elements, but gave a darker, more realistic look into Peter Pan, since in the original versions of the novel, he was the bad guy. I also wanted it to be playful at the same time – Peter Pan was only a child, and that wasn’t something I wanted to lose. The design was crude, dark, and distressed, but at the same time looked like something made (and left to decay) by a child. Peter Pan didn’t have a mother telling him to patch his clothes or sew things properly, after all.

I started with the top, as it seemed like it would be the hardest part. My first mock-up was actually relatively successful, except I (as always) overestimated my measurements and made it too large. My second mock-up fit better, but I was still not completely happy with the looseness of the bottom. By playing around with it a little more, I ended up with a good design, and quickly made it in my green fabric. It looked like this after hemming and sewing it together.


There were 3 main pieces making it up. Unsure of how I wanted it to close, I tried putting in hook and eye closures on the back, but found they tended to slip and didn’t look good. I wanted the back to be tight, so the bottom didn’t gape, so, I tried a small zipper, and a partially closed back. This didn’t work at all – to the point that my mother had to help me out of it by unpicking a seam. It looked perfect, but I didn’t exactly want to wear it for the rest of my life!

Eventually, I went to my go-to – grommets with twine to tie them. Although they pull a little strangely at the back, because of a problem with my shoulder-blade, they still looked good and gave off the look I wanted. I hand-sewed some, and alternated in colors of dark green and  brown. The hand-sewed ones helped give off the look of clothes that were falling apart because of lack of care, and were only crudely put back together.046




I also put a small dip at the front, to give the neckline something interesting. Next came sleeves. I apparently forgot to take any photos of the drafting process (I was actually very bad at photographing this whole progress, so apologies). However, after I made them and put them on, they looked like this.



(The hem line isn’t actually uneven on that bottom, it’s just how I am holding my arm. At this point, I actually was feeling pretty good about the shirt. Before doing the sleeves, I had been a little worried about it, but it fit well and looked pretty good, at least in my opinion, so I moved onto the skirt.

This was the part of the design I was looking forward to. I cut out two circle skirts from a pattern I already had made for a previous project. One was in dark green, and one in the light green I also used on the top. I then cut out and interfaced a waistband in the same light green,



Then, I got to work. I got the green fabric, and 100 grain sandpaper, and began adding holes, patches, and other areas of wear. Eventually (and after literally making my knuckles bleed), I had something like this:



I then hemmed both skirts, and attached them together at a zipper. Both were then put on a waistband with a small clasp to keep it secure. I apparently managed to blur every photo of this with shaky hands, but it looked like this:

118 119



I then went over the hem, distressed it, and also added some distressing to the waistband. My room was pretty dark, but it looked pretty good in the light!

I also whipped up this little hat.




I have to finish a few twine anklets and bracelets, but after that this project will be done. I’m not sure they’re note-worthy enough to include in a tutorial, so they’ll probably just be in the final photos, which I plan to take this weekend. It’s taken about 15 hours, and a week to do. Not exactly complicated, but fun to make!


Until then!




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