How to Make an Elvis Costume for Kids

Written by elizabeth tumbarello
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Help your child emulate the king of rock and roll with a pint-sized version of one of Elvis Presley's ubiquitous costumes. Create a miniature version of his white besparkled jumpsuit for Halloween, costume parties or games of make-believe using fabric and a commercially-available sweat suit. Although the King's costumes were made from lush fabrics and were meticulously tailored, a sweat suit allows for ease of movement and easy cleaning, two things of importance when making costumes for small children.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Sweat shirt
  • Poster board
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Fabric
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • String
  • Tailor's chalk
  • Hook and eye tape
  • Weights

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Instructions

    Shirt Collar

  1. 1

    Measure the circumference of the neck of the white sweat shirt.

  2. 2

    Draw a rectangle on a piece of newsprint that is equal in length to the circumference of the sweat shirt's neck, doubled, with an extra 2 inches. The width of the rectangle should be about 4 inches.

  3. 3

    Cut out the newsprint to create a pattern for the shirt collar.

  4. 4

    Pin the newsprint to a piece of white fabric. Cut out the fabric and remove the pins and newsprint pattern.

  5. 5

    Draw a rectangle on a piece of poster board equal in length to the circumference of the collar of the sweat shirt and 3-3/4 inches in width.

  6. 6

    Fold the fabric rectangle in half lengthwise so that the right sides (the sides of the fabric that will show on the finished costume), are facing each other.

  7. 7

    Sew the top lengthwise edge of the rectangle together. Sew the widthways edges together.

  8. 8

    Turn the fabric rectangle right-side out. Slide the cardboard inside the pouch created by the fabric.

  9. 9

    Pin the hem of the fabric and cardboard rectangle to the collar of the sweat shirt. Position the rectangle so there is an opening in front, simulating a large, stand-up collar. Sew the rectangles in place by hand or machine.

    Cape

  1. 1

    Measure the length from the back of your child's neck to the bottom of his back.

  2. 2

    Lay one piece of white fabric and one piece of red velour or gold lame fabric together so the right sides of each piece of fabric are facing inward, toward each other. Place a weighted object on the corners of the fabric. Place a fifth weighted object in the centre of the folded edge of the fabric.

  3. 3

    Cut a piece of string equal to the length from your child's neck to the bottom of her back plus an inch. Tie one end of the string to the weighted object in the centre of the fabric. Tie a piece of tailor's chalk to the other end. Draw a semicircle on the fabric using the tension of the string to guide the chalk.

  4. 4

    Cut along the line created by the chalk. Sew along the flat edge of the semicircle. Turn the fabric right-side out. Fold under a 1/2-inch of fabric along the curved edge of the semicircle on each piece of fabric. Pin the two curved edges together and sew. Doing this obscures the raw edges.

  5. 5

    Sew two pieces of hook and eye tape to either side of the centre of the flat edge of the cape, with enough space in between to comfortably fit around your child's neck with extra ease for comfort. This allows you to secure the cape without ties and allows for quick removal of the cape.

Tips and warnings

  • Glue rhinestones to the front of the sweat shirt using fabric glue or hot glue. Position the rhinestones in a horizontal linear pattern across the bust of the sweat shirt. Create several lines of vertical linear rhinestones on the back of the cape. Glue in place.
  • Outfit a white belt with glitter or rhinestones. Alternately, you can omit the white glitter belt in favour of a sash of red silky fabric.
  • Top off the outfit with a pair of yellow-tinted aviator-style sunglasses and accessorise with a plastic child-sized guitar.

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