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Making a Merida Costume

merida costume 1

Merida costumes weren’t quite as popular or prevalent as Elsa costumes, but I spotted several red and curly wigs like the Brave character wears at conventions the year the movie was released. Cosplayer Angela Clayton (who also made an Elsa costume) liked the character and was inspired to make the Merida costume after watching Pillars of the Earth. The series features simple 12th century garments and that inspired her to get to work on the Merida costume. She made a lot of progress in just 24 hours, and she started by drafting her own pattern for a kirtle.

merida costume 2

She sketched it out in Paint and made a draft pattern from muslin. She pinned the draft until it fit and then cut the dress from the actual fabric, and as she pointed out, lightweight fabric isn’t the thing to use here. If you want to be accurate, the dress should be made from a sturdy fabric that would be warm in Scottish weather and hold up to riding horses and climbing cliffs. Merida didn’t exactly sit still. Clayton opted for wool.

merida costume 3

She goes over making the dress and sleeves, but let’s skip ahead to the wig. Merida’s wig is a challenge because it’s so big and curly – chances are you won’t be able to find just one wig for it. Clayton used four different wigs and had to use alcohol dye on one of them to match. She combined wefts and sewed the long fibers onto the base wig. And then she had to curly the entire thing. It took two solid nights of work to finish the wig.

merida costume 4

Read more about the costume at Angela Clayton’s blog: Part 1 and Part 2.


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