Are you one of those people who has already finished their Halloween costume (handmade, obviously), have already posted multiple Instagram pics, and have already RSVP’d to all the events and parties that will be graced with your presence (and your awesome costume)?
Then this post is not for you!
I made this tutorial and pattern download for people like me…you love the idea of an amazing costume, but somehow it never comes to fruition…
(I can’t tell you how many elaborate plans I’ve made for awesome costumes that never happened…Ursula, Calypso, Bellatrix, Eartha Kitt-style Catwoman…sigh.)
Don’t fret, my friend! Download my domino-style mask pattern and make yourself a costume that is super-simple but also awesome. Just pair your finished mask with simple clothes you already have!
I made mine in an Italian Carnivale style, but the pattern is so simple, you could do pretty much anything with it. You could use primary colors (or solid black) for a super-hero style mask. You could use feathers or fur for some kind of animal costume. Or, if you’re going for creepy and scary rather than shiny and pretty, switch out all the gold trims for spiders, bats, or fake scars.
If you want to make one like mine, there’s only a few steps!
step 1: gather fabric & trims
I used felt for my mask, but you could use any type of fabric! If your fabric is very flimsy, you might consider a layer of interfacing as well.
My theme was red and gold, so all my trims and decorations are gold: ribbon, ric rac, netting, embroidery floss, metallic thread, and glass beads.
You’ll also want ribbon or elastic to keep your mask in place while you wear it. I chose black ribbon for the ties, since the lining of my mask is also black.
step 2: cut 2 masks
I chose black fabric as the back of my mask, but there’s no reason both layers can’t be the same color. Just remember whatever you choose as the lining will be rubbing against your face all night, so choose carefully!
Click here to download the PDF pattern, and remember to set scaling to “none” when you print…otherwise the mask might come out a little too small. The pattern includes a 1″ test square to make sure you get the scaling right!
step 3: decorate the front & attach ribbon ties
This is the fun part! Stitch on whatever you’d like to decorate your mask. I used the metallic thread to sew on the gold trims on one half of my mask. For the other side, I used embroidery floss to stitch in little asterisk-style stars, with a little gold bead in the center of each.
Since I wanted a Carnivale look (but I don’t have any feathers), I used gold netting instead. These were tulle circles meant for bridal favors (I have no idea why they are in my stash…these things happen to me sometimes), that I folded into a fan shape.
Remember, anything you want to stick out of the edge of your finished mask has to be stitched so that it is facing inwards:
That way, once you sew on the back, and turn the whole thing right-side-out, your ribbon ties and other embellishments will be facing the right way.
Also: remember your seam allowance! Keep all your embellishments away from the edge of the mask, so you don’t risk sewing over them in the next step!
step 4: sew front and back together
With right sides facing, pin and stitch the front and back of your mask together, all the way around the outside edge, using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Make sure to back stitch over the ends of your ribbon ties/elastic to reinforce those stress points.
Trim the seam allowance all the way around. Gently turn your mask right side out through one of the eye holes, being careful not to damage any of your fancy embellishments.
step 5: finish the eye holes
Once you’ve turned your mask right side out, you’ll need to carefully finger-press, and then press with an iron.
You might find that a bit of your lining fabric is showing through the eye holes. No worries! Just baste the edges of the eye holes together, keeping your stitch close to the edge of the front fabric, and then trim the rest off.
If you like the way this stitch looks, you can leave it at that. In fact, you might want to do this step with a decorative hand-stitch with embroidery floss, depending on the look you’re going for.
I wanted more glitter and shine, so I finished my eye holes with more metallic thread. I used the widest and shortest zig zag stitch on my machine, and stitched two layers, since the metallic thread is so thin.
Your machine might have a satin stitch which achieves essentially the same look. Try out both on a bit of scrap fabric to see which one you like best!
Note: metallic thread is easiest to use when you also have needles especially for metallic thread (they have larger eyes). I cheated though, and used my size 90 universal needle. I figure this is for a costume, it’s not that serious. BUT you will definitely want to slow down while you sew with metallic thread; it can break easily if it is subjected to too much friction!
There you have it friends, an easy, low-stress way to have a handmade costume, for Halloween or any masquerade event. Happy sewing and trick-or-treating!