Pirate Costume
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Pirate Costume

Aargh! This pretty pirate costume is easy to make from t-shirts. Designed by Michaels Design Team
Craft Time: 60+ minutes
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Material List

  • Rit Dye- Scarlet and Purple
  • White Pre-Washed T-Shirt
  • Rubber Bands, ½” Wide and 1/8” wide
  • 1/8” Silver Eyelets- 12
  • Hand Tool Or Eyelet Pliers
  • Black Velvet Suede Lacing- 2 Yards
  • Black Ribbon, 1 ½” Wide- 3 Yards
  • Silver D-Rings, 1 ½” Wide
  • Disappearing Fabric Marking Pen
  • Sewing Gauge Or Small Ruler
  • Optional: Fabric Glue for Belt
  • Optional: Silver Cinch Buckle, 1 ½” wide
  • White Pre-washed T-Shirt, size 3X
  • Rubber Gloves
  • 3 Qt. Bucket or Dishpan
  • Metal Spoon
  • 2-Cup Glass Measuring Cup

Project Instructions

Step: 1

Accordion pleat T-shirt in 2” horizontal folds, beginning at the bottom (A). Tie three rubber bands, side by side, around folded fabric, every 2”. The rubber bands create a resist and result in the white stripes.

Step: 2

Note: If making marbled tie-dyed scarf, refer to directions below and dye in same dyebath as T-shirt.

Step: 3

Prepare Scarlet dye following manufacturer’s directions. Wet tied fabric in hot tap water and immerse in dyebath for 30 minutes. Rinse as directed and dry shirt.

Step: 4

Cut away ribbing from neckline, close to stitching. Fold T-shirt in half to find center. Cut a 6” slit down the center front, starting at the neckline.

Step: 5

Mark eyelet positions evenly on each side of center slit, ½” from neckline and slit and 1 ¼” apart, using a fabric marking pen (B). Attach eyelets following manufacturer’s directions, and lace up! Tip: If necessary, at each eyelet position, reinforce underside of T-shirt with a small circle of knit fabric to prevent eyelets from pulling out.

Step: 6

For Hem: Cut away stitched hem. Measure, mark and cut V-shapes, 2” apart and 2” deep.

Step: 7

For Sleeves: Try on tunic to determine length and angle of sleeves. Cut as desired.

Step: 8

For Belt: Fold ribbon in half crosswise and stitch or glue long sides together. Insert raw edge end of ribbon into set of D-Rings about 1 ½”; pin in place. Try on belt and adjust to fit. Turn under raw edge of ribbon and stitch to belt (C).

Step: 9

For Scarf: Cut away bottom of size 3X T-Shirt just under the sleeves. Then cut open one side of shirt to form a long rectangle, about 54” long and 15” wide. To create marbled effect, crumple up fabric into a ball and wrap with rubber bands. Prepare Scarlet dye; wet fabric ball and immerse in dye for 30 minutes. Cut off rubber bands and rinse fabric as directed. Recrumple wet fabric; wrap with rubber bands and dye fabric ball Purple. Dry and iron. Cut ends of scarf at a 45 degree angle.

Step: 10

Alternate text if use Cinch Belt in place of D-Rings

Step: 11

For Cinch Belt: Fold ribbon in half crosswise and stitch or glue long sides together. Insert ends of ribbon into cinch buckle about 1 ½”; pin in place. Try on belt and adjust to fit. Cut ends of ribbon to 1 ½”; turn under raw edges of ribbon and stitch to belt.


Refer to photo to complete project.

Follow manufacturer's directions for all products used.