Thursday, December 1, 2011

Elf Costume for Adults - Make Your Own Pattern

Although this entry has absolutely nothing to do with art quilts, it was great fun making it.  At this time of year, fun and celebration are the order of the day, so if you need a costume for a holiday party, you might have a go at making something like this elf costume.

My daughter is hosting a holiday "Ugly Sweater"/Costume get together at her home this month.  Since all my outlandish holiday sweaters have gone their way to charity, I started looking on-line  for something funny that I might wear.  My, oh my, the prices were outlandish so I resorted to Plan B and headed for my stash of fabrics.   I had lots of green and red felt and left over faux fur from another project and that was the start.

Elf Hat with Ears
All I did for the elf hat was measure around my head for the opening and then cut two sides of a modified cone shape from red felt.  The triangular pieces were cut from scraps of felt and sewn to the cuff of the hat.  I did make a pattern for the felt ears so I can show how they were made here.


Ear Pattern
The dotted lines were the cutting line and all other lines were indications of where to stitch.

Ear Pattern Pinned to Felt

Ears Turned Right Side Out and Lightly Stuffed

Topstitching Around the Edge of the Ear
to Form Contour

Turning the Edge Before Stitching the Spiral

The ends need to be turned in before stitching the spiral or the entire edge will not turn in as a final finishing step.

Ear Ends Turned and Pinned After Spiral is Stitched
(Spiral is turned the opposite way than it is on the pattern)

Completed Ears
The completed ear units were sewn to the elf hat by hand.  I found that placing them about 1/2" forward of the two side seams of the hat worked out well.


I did not make a pattern for the vest.  I merely laid a sweatshirt that fits me on top of two layers of green felt, marked the felt with chalk and then cut it out.  I cut up the middle of what would become the front and then folded back the cut edges and pressed both sides to look like lapels.  I stitched from the bottom of each side to where the arm holes would be and then cut a bit of an angle at the bottom of the armholes so that square corners would not be sticking out.  The garment underneath the vest is a sweater that I have in my closet.  The red, green and yellow triangles are the same size as those that around the edge of the hat and were topstitched with a fancy stitch .  Wa elf vest.


I didn't have red pants in my closet and I don't believe I probably ever would buy any so, once again, Plan B was activated.  Catholic Charities Thrift Shop had a pair.  They were too big, but a little taking in of the side seams was all they needed.  The rest was a cinch.  I used some faux fur remnants and hand stitched them to the outside of the hem.  Bonus!  The pants were a bit short so this worked out just fine.


I found a pattern on the internet but when I cut it out, it was for a child's foot.  Oops.  What to do?  Geez, another Plan B had to be worked up.  I took a pair of flat shoes from the closet, laid them on paper, drew around the sole and cut out the pattern about 1/2" larger than the sole of the shoe so that I can wear these elf shoes over my real shoes.

Elf Shoe Sole Pattern
(cut 2)

Elf Shoe Side Pattern 
(cut 4)

I had to make sure that the distance from the point at which the toe curls up to back of the heel was the same length as the distance from the center of the sole toe to the center of the sole back.

Cutting the Pattern

I doubled red felt pieces and cut out the side pattern twice.  It would have been nice to be able to have 4 layers of felt and cut through them all at the same time, but that stack would have been too thick to cut neatly.
Sewing the Shoe Top

Next, I sewed a 1/4" seam from the dot on the mid point of the top, around the toe, down the bottom and back up to the dot on the middle of the back.  Then the felt was cut back somewhat close to the stitching line.
Sewing the Sole to the Shoe Top

Working right sides together I first pinned the center of the sole toe to the center of the shoe top unit at the dot below the toe begins to curve.  Then I pinned the center of the sole heel to the center of the shoe top unit at the dot at the bottom back.  Next, I pinned around the entire edge and then sewed the sole to the shoe top.  The edges were then clipped close to the stitching line and the entire unit was turned right side out.

Folding Down and Securing the flaps

Two pictures are provided to show how the flaps were folded.  First the flaps over the top of the shoe were folded back.  Then the two tips of the flaps were folded back to the center and stitched in place.  A star and little bead cover were added as embellishment, as was the gold cord bow, and the dangling, plastic "crystal".  The two flaps at the back of the shoe were also folded over and pressed in place to make a back cuff.

Rubberized Outer Sole

Since these felt "shoes" are going to be worn over street shoes, and since they will be subjected to a variety of walking surfaces, they needed to have a non-slip bottom surface.

A friend gave me a piece of black rubberized shelf liner that I used for the sole.  I used the sole pattern but cut it a smidgen smaller so that it would not show on the front of the shoe and I glued it to the bottom of the shoe with  a product called Professional Welder that works on myriad surfaces.  

Hoorah!  I'm ready for the party.  


  1. Very cute, Linda! The instructions are so clear and concise.

  2. I'm glad you like it, Mia. I am sure to be the oldest elf anyone has ever seen--but a happy one, at that.

  3. Adorable! Especially those ears! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thanks for being here Linda! Just stopped in (six years later) to grab a pattern to make some elf ears and this will do nicely! Thanks again.

    1. Thanks for dropping in and leaving a note. I'm really happy to learn that the elf ear pattern is working for you.

  5. Hi Linda!

    Do you have any more information on how to create the shape of the hat? I love the slightly crooked look of it, but I'm not sure how to achieve it.


  6. Просто великолепно спасибо