Shirley Temple Costume

Halloween season is both insanely busy and incredibly exciting for me. I started making custom costumes on a whim a three years ago, and now I love seeing what cool ideas show up in my inbox! I have scaled way back from the last couple years (30 Olivia the Pig costumes last year was a bit much…). I knew I was going to be working on a wedding dress concurrently, so I only took on a handful of costumes this year. And actually, I thought I’d have them finished and sent before the Sewing Summit, but I should have know myself well enough to know I’d be spending the evenings of my vacation humming away at the machines at my mom’s house!

This Shirley Temple Sailor costume is the first of my list to be complete, and I shipped it off yesterday. I love classic costumes, and who doesn’t love Shirley Temple?

I used the top portion of the upcoming Big Bow Dress pattern to make the bodice (I added an invisible zipper to the front.)  I drafted the sleeves to fit the arm scythe, with a couple inches extra in the shoulder to gather into a puff. The waistband is a simple rectangle, cut to fit the bodice width, and the skirt is a long rectangle with a couple of box pleats added for detail. I totally winged the collar, and wasn’t quite sure how it would work out. I basically laid a square of fabric under the bodice pieces, and then cut the neck hole out. After tapering the front edge, it looked like a sailor collar. I sewed it on wrong side to right side from inside the bodice (does that make sense?) so that when it was on the outside, it had a nice roll. Luckily, it went well (which was excellent since I didn’t have any extra fabric!) Then finally, the red scarf is just a long strip of red cotton, with tapered ends.

All of the edges are trimmed with 1/4″ bias tape, and the pleats are accentuated with four small brass buttons that I hand-stitched onto the waistband. And of course, Shirley gets her Lollipop! The cute mom who ordered this costume specially requested a Lollipop so that she didn’t have to keep supplying real ones for photos. Smart mom! I’m sharing the step-by-step DIY on how to make the lollipop tomorrow over at The Train to Crazy as part of Andrea’s Handmade Halloween series,  so make sure you check it out (along with all of the awesome costumes and projects that have been shared!!)

My little model is a year younger, and six inches shorter than the recipient of this costume, but it is so fun to see my work on cute little people! I’ve been known to cross-dress my boys to check fit, but recruiting darling little girls is probably a better idea! I hope the cute little curly-headed girl who will wear this Shirley Temple Costume on Halloween loves it as much as I do!


  1. Caroline
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    My eyes just filled with tears….it’s perfect! You just made my day seeing this on your blog. I can’t wait to see my little curly in this!!! Thank you so much. As always you are amazing!

  2. Carissa
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    This is so cute! Found your blog via Kim’s post this morning on Oh, Sweet Joy! and I’m so happy I did 🙂

    • Miranda
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      Me too Carissa! (ps one of my college roommates was named Carissa and it’s still one of my favorites!)

  3. Posted October 18, 2012 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Hello! Kim from Oh, Sweet Joy sent me! Love your blog!

    • Miranda
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Hi there Allyssa, happy to have you! Kim is the cutest, isn’t she?

  4. Hillary
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    This is adorable. I just shared this with my friend who has a little girl. Your blog is beautiful. 🙂 oh, sweet joy sent me! Thank you.

    • Miranda
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      That’s so nice Hillary! Thanks!

  5. Posted October 18, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    This dress is everything. I love the simplicity and elegance of it. It reminds me of the J.Crew collection. Great work.

    I am visiting from the Oh Sweet Joy blog.

    • Miranda
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Hey thank you Keonte! Glad to have you stop by!

  6. Posted October 18, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    I think that sailor outfit is the cutest thing I’ve EVER seen! Visiting you from Oh Sweet Joy!

    • Miranda
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Chelsea! I can’t wait to have a girl of my own someday (maybe…) It’s so fun to make girl clothes!

  7. Posted October 18, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    That is darling. Oh Sweet Joy sent me here but I’m excited to stick around and explore for a bit. xoxo

    • Miranda
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      So happy to have you here Nadine! xo

  8. domestic diva
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    This is so fantastic. Love it!

    Oh sweet joy sent me, but I’m coming back.

  9. Posted October 19, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Love your blog!
    Visiting from Oh! Sweet Joy!

  10. Elisabeth
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Love it! Kim from Oh, Sweet Joy sent me!

  11. Melanie Norburn
    Posted November 2, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    I am interested in your Shirley Temple sailor costume for my 8 year for next halloween….Will you still make them and how much?? thank you, Melanie

  12. Jennifer
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Hi There,
    I was wondering if you are able to make this Shirley Temple costume again for Halloween this year? If so how long does it take and how much? I think I would need a 3T if it runs true to size.
    Thanks so much,

  13. lali
    Posted October 8, 2015 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    i love this have you ever made the polka dot dress costume i would love to buy one from u if so

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