Outfitting Your Little Pirate: Simple DIY Felt Vest

So last week was pirate week at Li’l Bro’s preschool, culminating in a pirate day dress up day on Friday.

01 vest with sash

Of course, I was not even remotely perturbed when Li’l Bro asked me to make him a pirate costume. We grabbed a little felt to make the pirate vest. I love felt because it’s inexpensive and easy to work with.

02 felt fold 1

Grab a piece of felt about as long as you want the finished vest to be and 2x as wide as you want it. [You can lay down an existing shirt or jacket  on top of the felt to eyeball the width you want.] Fold the felt in half.

03 felt fold 2

Then fold it in half again.

04 felt fold 3

You will end up with a folded piece of felt four layers thick.

05 felt cut

Then, laying a folded shirt on top of the felt as a pattern, cut the neck and arm holes. Just fold the arms back out of the way and cut a slight curve where the neck is.

06 felt cut

Make sure that the arm holes are cut on the double-folded side.

07 felt cut

You’ll end up with something like this.

08 felt vest open

Open out the folded felt, and you should have something like this. Trim off what will be the front opening of the vest (top right & left). Have your child try on the vest and pin the shoulder pieces together (the yellow x’s go together and the blue x’s go together). [The shoulder felt with overlap unevenly/at an angle because your shoulders are slanted from neck to arm, not perfectly square.]

09 felt vest sew

For each shoulder, sew straight across the two shoulder pieces to join them together.

10 cut vest bottom

For a well-worn piratey look, cut slits and pieces out of the bottom of the vest.

10 pirate vest

Then, just add a long piece of contrasting fabric for a sash, and voila! [This sash is a 1/4-yard piece of solid black polyester fabric.]

Then, all that’s left is to work on your pirate-speak: Avast, me hearties! Swab this deck, y’scurvy rats! Hoist the mainsail, y’bilgerats, or yer’ll be walkin’ the plank!

Tomorrow, I’ll share how to make these super-simple pirate pants, wheeeeee! So, any other easy DIY costumes you want me to tackle! Do tell!


5 responses to “Outfitting Your Little Pirate: Simple DIY Felt Vest

  1. Pingback: Outfit Yer Li’l Buckaneer: Simple DIY Pirate Pants | CampClem·

  2. Pingback: 15+ Fall Favorites: Projects, Decor, and Links Galore | CampClem·

  3. Fell in love with your site today! I’m making a pirate costume for my 2 year old for Halloween. I had a similar idea in mind for a pirate vest, but I was going to make it in 3 pieces (a back and 2 front flaps). Your creative folding saved me some sewing! I love all your folding techniques on the things I’ve checked our so far. Our vest came out perfect in about 20 minutes!


  4. Pingback: Pirate Halloween Costume Ideas | Desert Chica·

  5. Pingback: 15 of the BEST DIY Halloween Costumes for Boys | 31 Days of Halloween | Momma Knows It All·

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