Sewing Mishaps and Discoveries

My sewing experiences as I learn to sew.

Making a Merida Costume

So to make the Merida costume I changed the fabric I had planned on buying from the Micro Brushed Twill Hunter Green from to a satin taffeta from Joann’s. It was cheaper and was more of the blue green that matched Merida’s dress. The dressed sewed together rather quickly until I got to the sleeves.

How I made the Sleeves

  • First I cut out the original pattern (McCall’s 5499) sleeves and basted the seam but didn’t attach them to the dress or hem them.
  • Next I had my daughter put on the dress and the sleeves. Using a marking pen I then marked where her elbow top and bottom was when her arm was bent.
  • After she took off the costume I removed the basting and I cut the sleeve in between the two marks so I could hem them. I then hemmed the armhole and all edges of the sleeve parts.
  • To hem the armhole and top of the sleeve I used bias tape as a facing. It was easier to manage the curves.
  • I then made 1″x2″ strips that I sewed to each sleeve part to connect them.

The sleeves came out better than I expected although it was more work then I thought it would be.

I also made a belt and quiver using leftover suede I used on my son’s costume. The quiver I just made a tube and sewed a circle to one end and then made a loop to hang from the belt. The belt is just a 2″ wide suede which is folded over and sewed up and then sewed to a belt buckle at one end. Very simple.


Merida and Spider-man

So I am not going to be able to do the Star Wars costumes this year. Not enough money or time to complete them by Halloween. So my kids chose other costumes. My son is going to be Spider-man and my daughter wants to be Merida from the movie Brave.


I didn’t like any of the current Spider-man costumes since they aren’t really Spider-man but a generic superhero in Spiderman colors. So I bought this vintage Simplicity costume pattern from 1996 (yeah 1990s is now vintage!) on eBay, Simplicity 7241. I think this pattern is one of the best looking Spider-man patterns I have found. The pattern was a little fragile so I had to transfer it to another paper since I was afraid of ruining the original (which had been cut and used by someone before but still had all sizes available). My local Joann’s doesn’t carry spandex in blue or red so I am going to have to order it online or drive an hour to a Joann’s that does have it (in the next state over). I have had bad luck with sewing knits in the past so I hope I have better luck this time. I have learned a lot of new techniques for sewing knits that I have not yet used. Hopefully it will go well. I am making the size 8, which is the largest size. My son usually wear anywhere from a 6 to 8 depending on the item, maybe I should go smaller since it will stretch?


For the Merida costume I am making her green dress. I decided to use McCall’s pattern 5499 and just modify the sleeves. I am making the dress out of a twill I found on It has a nice look while being more accurate to what Merida would have worn. I had tried looking for a suiting wool but it was too expensive.

Micro Brushed Twill Hunter Green Micro Brushed Twill Hunter GreenThis 6.9 oz. micro brushed cotton twill fabric has an ultra soft brushed hand! This versatile fabric is perfect for stylish jackets, dresses, skirts and even home decor accents.

I am using an old pattern I already had to make the under dress and I am making it from a beautiful papyrus colored linen.

I also bought the Brave Merida Wig and Brave Bow And Arrow. I am debating on whether I want to make a quiver.