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Bear! Halloween is almost here!
Today I’m going to guide you through this DIY Masha costume. I don’t know if y’all have watched the Netflix gem that is Masha and the Bear, but my daughter stumbled upon it one day and it has become a family favorite. A Russian animated cartoon loosely based on the folktale of Masha and the Bear, it follows Masha’s adventures with bear and his forest friends.
We threw the Masha and the bear themed birthday for darling daughter this year but that wasn’t quite enough. She has decided she would like to emulate the adorable blue-eyed, blonde haired little Masha for Halloween. With no tutorials to guide me through it (at least in English), I decided to take the task head on by myself! So, Bear, here we go!
The first thing I did was gather my materials. For this DIY Masha costume, I went to my local Wal-Mart‘s fabric section. I decided on this 100% cotton, hot pink Waverly designs simple fabric. I’ve come to really like the quality of products Waverly designs makes. I’m thinking of doing a review on some of their products that I have tried. Anyhoo, back to business. I had to go on an adventure to find the trim for the sleeves and hem. Joann’s had a near identical blue trim for the sleeves, and a very Russian printed trim that I felt was close enough for the hem. I’ll be doing a flower button and elastic cording closure in the back for simplicity.
- 1 1/2 yards pink plain fabric (my daughter is a size 4/5 XS so you might need more or less depending)
- Yellow Blossom Button
- Blue trim for shirt sleeves
- Trim for dress hem
- Matching thread
- Plain white long sleeve top (not shown)
- Elastic Cording (for button closure, not shown)
I am only a novice sewer, so I found a basic bodice pattern on Climbing the Willow‘s blog that comes in size 18 months to a 5T. I’m going to adapt this to make it work for me. This pattern comes with a 1 cm seam allowance, but since I didn’t wash my fabric (I know, rookie mistake) I added another 1/2 cm to that, to allow for shrinkage.
After cutting out my pattern, I held it up to my daughter and traced with a pencil the new neckline level and where I want the bodice to connect to the skirt. This is the pattern before and after my amendments.
After ironing my fabric (not so rookie mistake this time), I pinned my pattern pieces to the fabric, with the bodice front on the fold and the bodice back right next to it along the same grain line.
Do this process twice, and you’ll end up with two front pieces and two back pieces.
Line up your lining front pieces to your lining back pieces, and sew along each shoulder (shown with the white line). Do the same with the shell front and back pieces, sewing along the shoulder.
Now, place the right side of the shell against the right side of the liner together and pin. The right side is the side of the fabric where the shoulder seam allowance on the shoulder is not showing.
Now sew along the armhole on each sides and along the neckline, stopping with the needle in the fabric at the corner where the back pieces will join up to turn the fabric and continue sewing about halfway down. White lines (pardon the sloppiness) again represent the sew line and the red circle is where you stop to turn the fabric with the needle in place.
If you’re adding the elastic cording for the button closure, sandwich it on one of the corners between the two layers of fabric and sew across it.
Cut notches where the arms and necklines curve, so that when you turn it out it lays flatter and looks cleaner.
Turn it out each end by pulling the top in and out through the bottom. Iron flat.
Align the corners of the underarms on each side. It should look like a fabric sandwich where its shell, liner, liner, shell. Take the inner two pieces (liner and liner) and pin together. Flip up the shell pieces right sides together and pin.
Sew along that line keeping it straight, then cut a notch where the two seams intersect to take out the bulk.
Do the same on the other side, and on the back seam as well.
Iron flat and voila, you have a bodice. Grab a refreshment and let’s move onto the skirt.
Measure where the bodice ends (around under breast bone area) around. Now measure the length of the skirt. Multiply the waist measurement by 1.5 ( or 2 for a slightly fuller bottom). Add your seam allowance and trace it out onto your fabric.
Cut it out, giving you two pieces, a front and a back. Since the skirt isn’t lined like the bodice, I decided on a french seam. You’ll place fabric together wrong sides together, sew about 1/4 inch each side. Turn it out and sew about 5/8 inch along each side, essentially sandwiching in the original 1/4 inch seam and sealing it with the 5/8 inch seam, leaving both sides finished. Turn out again and iron.
Turn it out so that the wrong side is out, take the bodice right side out and sandwich (lots of fabric sandwiches today) it in between the skirt layers.
Pin and sew together. I don’t own a serger so I also used a zig zag stitch to finish off the seam. Turn out, Iron.
The next couple of steps are pretty self-explanatory.
Turn hem under twice, ( I did 1/2 inch and then another 1/2 inch), sew into place. Attach and sew trim onto hem.
Measure little one’s head around, adding a couple of inches on each side for the ties. Measure from the forehead back to about the nape of the neck. Add seam allowances and trace into a triangle onto fabric. Cut out two pieces. Sew each side together, leaving about 1 inch open to turn out. Turn out fabric through hole, iron flat and top stitch around sides again, also closing up the inch we left open. Iron.
Attach trim to each sleeve of a plain white crew neck long-sleeved t-shirt.
PHEW! All done! Now admire you’re hard work, pat yourself on the back, and see your little Masha come to life.
Have you made this?? I’d love to see!! Comment a pic below, tag me on facebook @graceandthane, or on twitter @gracethaneblog.