Princess Merida (from Disney’s Brave) Halloween Costume

So over the summer I went to see Disney’s Brave and I thought it was fantastic. The princess in the movie, Merida, is all about butt-kicking girl power and refuses to marry any man who cannot beat her in an archery contest. I immediately decided to be her for Halloween.

I began by looking at photos online of her dress. Here’s the version I decided to copy:


The actors at Disneyland and Disney World wear a fancier version of this too:


I went to the fabric store and decided to get Butterick pattern B4827. With some alterations, I knew it would work well for a Merida dress:


I chose a dark blue-green suedette fabric that was only $2.99 per yard (I needed to buy 6 yards for the pattern) as well as remnant of cream colored silk. I cut the fabric pieces following the instructions on the pattern. IMPORTANT NOTE: the fabric I chose did not have a grain (meaning that the fibers go in all directions, so when you run your hand over it the color does not change) and it also did not have a pattern. Fabrics with patterns or grains make pattern cutting much more difficult so only experience sewers should try to use them.


The major adjustment I made to the pattern was adding the puff sleeves at the elbows. To do this I cut out a few inches from the elbow area of the sleeves:


I cut strips of silk and pinned them to an extra strip of the green fabric making box pleats:


After many, many hours of work (I’m not very good at sewing, you guys!) I finished the dress. I also dyed my hair bright red and carried an archery bow that I found laying in the middle of the street (for real! It was laying in the street. Fair game, right?) My hair is naturally straight so I curled it using a very small 1/2 inch curling iron. I probably should have teased it bigger, but I didn’t want to deal with brushing that out later! Anyways, here’s the finished product:


Here’s an action shot with Ron Burgundy:


I meant to have the cream silk on the neckline too but I was running out of time to get it done. Also, sorry for the lack of nice photos, I was too busy having fun at the party to do a real shoot.

If I ever wore it again, I would add some more details and do my hair bigger, but I think it turned out well! What do you guys think?


3 thoughts on “Princess Merida (from Disney’s Brave) Halloween Costume

  1. Sweet! That costume is awesome! And so is the bow! Where in the street did you find it? Lol. Also, I think you should buy an arrow to make it better next time.

  2. The bow is strung backwards, which isn’t your fault if you’ve never used a bow before. It looks like a basic fiberglass kids bow. Great job on the costume! I am making my own just in time for a convention next month. Was having the hardest time figuring how to get the fullness of the puff sleeves, I’ll try your trick with the box pleats

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