DIY Rio Bravo Cowboy Costume

Rio Bravo Cowboy Costume

Halloween is right around that spooky corner, and I’ve got another quick DIY to share with you! Last year we did a family costume, and that was so much fun. With our son being old enough to somewhat chose what he wants to be, his and his sisters costume wants didn’t mesh, so we won’t get that opportunity this year, sadly 🙁

Much to my non surprise, one of our son’s favorite movies is Rio Bravo with John Wayne. I don’t know if the vacation we took to Old Tuscon last year had any influence on this, but either way I’m okay with it. I’m so glad we picked up a sheriff’s badge at the gift shop while we were there, because it came in handy for this costume!

After many hours spent scrutinizing screenshots and stills of Rio Bravo, I figured out a way to makeshift John Wayne’s “John T” get up for our little cowboy. It starts with a red button up which I decided to buy, and some khaki colored pants that we already had a pair of. To finish it off, I put together a simple cowboy vest reminiscent of John T’s, complete with faux pockets, as well as a khaki scarf out of leftover muslin I had from a previous project. I didn’t use leather or suede for this project, seeing as it’s a simple costume for a little man who’s growing quickly and won’t get much wear out of it. I just grabbed a yard of dark brown leather colored calico fabric from Wal-Mart for $3.

Let’s make the pattern!

Juts like my in my DIY Tangled Costume,  I used a button up we had to help make the pattern. For the back I folded it in half and traced around the edges and up to the neckline before it meets the collar. After folding the shirt in half the opposite way, I did the same with the front. Then I adjusted the side that would be open, making it angle downwards. After that I free-handed the part of the vest that is folded down in the front,  and  added 1/2″ seam allowance (to allow for some wiggle room) to each edge.

DIY Rio Bravo Cowboy Vest-- Pattern Making

DIY Rio Bravo Cowboy Vest-- Pattern Making

Now break out the scissors and sewing machine!

Fold your fabric so that it is 4 layers deep, and cut out each of the pattern pieces. Now you have 4 of each piece; 2 for each front side’s shell and liner, and 2 for each back side’s shell and liner.

Pin each front piece to its corresponding back piece, right sides together, at the shoulder seam. Sew across each one, stopping when you get to the soon to be front flap piece.

DIY Rio Bravo Cowboy Vest

Now take two of the finished pieces, and line them up right sides together. Pin and sew along each edge, starting at the neck and leaving the back side’s middle edge unfinished.

DIY Rio Bravo Cowboy Vest

Turn the garment out and press, then fold the flap backwards and press down. DIY Rio Bravo Cowboy Vest

Pin the sides together underneath the armpit, right sides together and sew down the edge.

DIY Rio Bravo Cowboy Vest

Turn out and press the seam.

I made 3 faux pocket pieces using small rectangle pieces sewn together at 3 of the 4 edges. I turned them out and pressed them neatly. You’ll place them near the bottom on each half, and one will be used as the faux breast pocket.

For the first piece, align and flatly pin to the front piece of the vest, the raw edge facing up towards the top. Sew along the raw edge, press upwards and sew each side piece down.

DIY Rio Bravo Cowboy Vest


DIY Rio Bravo Cowboy Vest

Repeat all steps above on the other half, with the only difference being adding two faux pocket pieces to the other side, one for the breast and one for the bottom pocket.

Finish by pinning and sewing.

I chose to top sew the armholes and neckline for more reinforcement. You can also add buttons if you’d like.

Join the two back pieces right sides together and sew, then iron flat the seam and finish each edge.

Rio Bravo Cowboy Costume

All I’m missing is the cowboy boots and hat!

Rio Bravo

*tips hat* Happy Halloween, partner!




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