Calling all Salty Sea Dogs
Your matey will look shipshape in this piratical costume.
I’ve never owned a store-bought costume. I was one of those kids lucky enough to have a super crafty mom who would jump on her sewing machine and whip up anything from a placemat to a prom dress without hesitation. When Halloween came around each year, she would fulfill our wildest fantasies no matter what the request. I loved my homemade costumes, and no other kid in school had a custom costume like mine. Following in my mom’s footsteps, I too enjoy the thrill of the challenge. So when I was asked to design a canine costume, I said, “Aye, Cap’n!”
If you’re looking to turn your dog pal into a swashbuckling seafarer with style, set your sights on this project. Moderate sewing skills are required, but the supplies will only set you back a couple of doubloons. Although the outfit was created for a pug, you can easily alter the pattern pieces to fit most small dogs.
Pirate accoutrements complete the costume; included in the pattern are a functional pirate hat and belt. Don’t forget to pick up a miniature fake parrot for the shoulder (or train yours if you have a real one). Other pirate pizzazz to plunder: a small toy sword, a pouch filled with gold coins, an eye patch, a treasure chest, a large bone, and some gold hoop earrings. Mass-market costumes can walk the plank!
Note: Add extra yardage for a larger dog.
½yd 60″-wide, red and white striped, stretch knit fabric (for shirt)
¼yd 45″-wide, red, rib knit fabric
½yd 45″-wide, medium-weight, black satin fabric (for pants)
6″ length of ¾” red hook-and-loop fastener tape
10″ length of ¾” black hook-and-loop fastener tape
3″ gold buttons (2)
9″×12″ piece of 2mm white foam sheet or pre-cut, white, adhesive foam skull and crossbones, patch or sticker,
2″ or smaller
12″×18″ piece of 3mm black foam sheet
2/3yd 6″ flat gold braid trim
1yd ¼” clear elastic
Small fake parrot
Craft glue, hole punch, common sewing supplies
General Assembly Guidelines: All seam allowances are ¼” unless otherwise noted. See pattern pieces for notes on making size adjustments.
Step 1: Cut out and sew the shirt.
1a. To begin, cut all the fabric pieces out, using the downloadable patterns.
1b. Fold the cuffs lengthwise with the wrong sides together, and pin to the right side of the sleeves. Slightly stretch cuffs to match the notches on the sleeves, and sew. Repeat for neckband.
1c. Press the seam allowances toward the body.
1d. Attach the sleeves to the bodice, matching notches around the armholes.
1e. Sew the sleeves closed beginning at the cuff, along the underarm, and continuing across the front chest. Finish the bottom edge of the shirt by pressing under ¼” and topstitching.
1f. On the right center chest seam, turn under 1″ and baste closed. Pin the appropriate length of loop tape fastener on the side of the shirt that faces inward. Sew around all 4 sides of fastener. On the left side of the center chest seam, sew the matching length of hook tape on the side of the shirt that faces outward.
1g. Attach the parrot to the shoulder by using a whipstitch around the bird’s legs. (Some come with a wire extending from the legs that can also be used to secure the bird to the shirt.)
Step 2: Sew the pants.
2a. Run a basting stitch 1″ and another ½” from the bottom of the leg opening between the notches.
2b. Pull the basting stitches to gather the pants, matching notches on the band. With the right sides together, pin and sew the 2 pieces together. Remove the basting stitches.
2c. Turn under ¼” on the raw edge of the band pieces, and press. Fold band lengthwise and baste in place. On the outside of the pants, topstitch the top of the band.
2d. Finish the bottom edge of the pants and back opening by pressing under ¼” and topstitching.
2e. Turn under 1″ on the rear side of the pant leg inner seam and baste closed. Pin the appropriate length of loop tape fastener to the inside of this fold. Sew around all 4 sides of the fastener. On the opposite side of the pant leg inner seam, sew the matching length of hook tape to the front.
2f. Sew a gold button on the outer side of each pant leg band, centered. With right sides together, sew the shirt to the pants at the waist with a ½” seam allowance. Press the seams open.
Step 3: Make the hat.
3a. From the pattern, cut hat shape from the 3mm black foam sheet, then center the skull detail and secure with craft glue.
3b. Close the hat by overlapping the side flaps in the back, and glue. Next, glue the gold trim close to the edge at the top of the hat.
3c. Punch 4 holes at the bottom of the hat, matching the dots on the pattern. Thread clear elastic through the holes as shown, to create the Y-shaped strap. Secure the open end of the elastic to the strap, 3″ from the bottom of the hat, by folding under ½” and hand-stitching with thread in an X formation.
Step 4: Make the belt.
4a. Glue gold trim around the edge of the buckle. Center the skull detail and secure with glue.
4b. Measure the dog’s waist, around the seam where the shirt and pants meet, and add 4″. You may need to cut 2 strips of the 3mm foam sheet to get the desired length (they can meet underneath the middle of the buckle). Once cut, center the buckle in the middle of the belt, and glue.
4c. Cut two 2″ strips of loop tape and position them horizontally on the top side of one end of the belt. Cut two 2″ strips of hook tape and position them vertically on the bottom side of the opposite end of the belt. Glue all pieces in place.
Add Alternate Accessories: Feel free to add extra props to the belt, such as a dangling pouch of gold coins or a small toy sword. Also consider a feather, pirate flag, treasure chest, eye patch, bandana, hook, or wooden leg.
For more, See our princess pooch costume at craftzine.com/04/princess.