Skip to main content

Pocahontas ~ A Tutorial of Sorts

I'm not a crafty Mom. Well, not like I'd like to be. I see crafts on Pinterest and blogs that Moms have done and I think "Wish I could do something like that!".

My Mom would go all out for Halloween; decorations, costumes for me and my brother and so on. I wish I could do that for MY kids.

I guess I could be crafty, anyone can but MY issue is perfectionism. I have a picture in my head of how I think a certain project should turn out. However, much like in life, that rarely happens and I get discouraged and give up.

So when McKayla was asked to pick a Historical Figure to dress up as for her school's Living History Museum at their Student-led Conferences a week or so ago, I panicked.

Picking the character was easy. Coming up with a few lines would be a little tricky but the costume part had me petrified.

She settled on Pocahontas and that's when I really started sweating.

I had about 2 weeks.

I called Party City on the off chance they'd still have costumes left over from Halloween. They did, but not a single Pocahontas costume.

I called the local Princess Parlor in the hopes they'd have a Pocahontas costume. No luck there either.

I started Google searching. That was just a headache. Either they looked NOwhere like the Disney Pocahontas (which is the version she wanted) or they were sexy versions.....not exactly kindergarten appropriate.

(Brief rant: why do so many costumes for women have to be sexy?! Pirate, nurse, Indian, Vampire and so on. Really? Ugh)

I did find one that I sorta settled on but it was $40! I really didn't want to spend that kinda money on something she'd probably only wear once.

In my Google searching, I came across some DIY costumes using only a t-shirt. That was looking more and more the route I'd have to take. It was coming down to the wire.

I had less than a week to either make or buy her costume and at this point, buying wasn't really an option anymore b/c of the shipping time frame.


So while in NC for Mema's funeral, I stopped at a Goodwill and found an extra large men's t-shirt for $4. Figured, if it didn't work, I wasn't out much. LOL

I knew I wanted a no-sew version as 1) I don't own a sewing machine and 2) my hand-sewing leaves a LOT to be desired. I looked at a few different tutorials and ended up using this one (method 3 of 4) as my base line.....only I didn't really follow it.

So on the Saturday before the Student-led conference (on Thursday), I sat down, said a little prayer and started cutting.

First thing I did, was cut off the sleeves at the seam.

Both sleeves. One still intact and the other cut
and evened out.

Then I cut off the collar and the hem at the seams. This particular shirt had slits in the hem, so ended up with two pieces. 

Hem of shirt, one colored with an orange marker
as I didn't have any paint LOL

Once the hem was gone, I started cutting the fringe for the base of the dress.

Then I cut the sleeve at the inside seam to open it up, trimmed it even (see bottom of pic 2) and then cut fringe all the way to the hem.

Then came the hairy part; attaching the fringed sleeve to the collar. I ended up doing a whip stitch (thanks Mom!) to attach it. (The shirt had 3 buttons at the neckline, so I just turned it backwards.....if anyone was observant ☺)

Dress was complete. Then it was time for the accessories.

No pictures of the making of the necklace but I just used my jewelry making kit to piece it together.

Pocahontas' tattoo had me stumped. I was just going to use the leftover sleeve by cutting it up and tying it on her arm. That is, until Mom gave me a GREAT way to do a homemade tattoo.....something she had found in her search; gel pen drawn on paper.

Just place ink side down on arm (or wherever), wet paper like you would a temporary tattoo and tada!, homemade, temp tattoo. Washes off with a little bit of soap and water.

Next, I wanted to do something for her shoes. Technically, Pocahontas didn't wear shoes but I really didn't like the idea of McKayla walking around barefoot, nor did I think the school would allow it.

So I used the trimmed "trash" from the sleeves (bottom of pic).

Cut some fringe.

Then tied them to her brown boots. Looked kinda cheesy but at the same time, looked better than just plain boots.

And the costume is complete.

Oversize t-shirt (notice the arm holes come down to her thighs LOL)

Add necklace:

Apply tattoo:

Put on boots and tie on fringe:

And you have a Pocahontas costume made from a t-shirt.

With the shirt being so big and her so little, I didn't want to cut the strap like the tutorial suggested (that and I wasn't exactly sure how to leave the collar???). What I ended up doing, was have her stick her right arm through the neck hole, which gave the allusion of the halter. Then a LOT of safety pins strategically placed pulled it back and hid the buttons at the back and the gaping arm holes. LOL

And for those of you who stuck with this very lengthy detailed post? Wanna know what she said?

"Hi! My name is Pocahontas what's your name? I live in the wild and it's very cold here." 

Verbatim right there. Not a single pause between announcing her name and asking yours. LOL She wouldn't elaborate on it any either. I tried. She said her teacher and Principal loved it and that was it. LOL

So, I proved to myself that I can make things. ☺


  1. That is AWESOME!! You did a great job! See you can do it. I have a problem with perfectionism too (not to mention paralysis by analysis), but I try to not let it stop me from being creative. I can't imagine not having an outlet for my creative side. :D I'm glad you tackled the challenge head on and came out with such a great end result. :D

  2. "Paralysis by analysis".....I like that! LOL I let my creative side tackle smaller tasks that I KNOW I can complete but THIS one has given me courage to broaden. :-) I STILL haven't blogged about the hot chocolate ornaments and personalized mugs McKayla and I made her teachers for Christmas :-( Too late? Decisions. LOL

    1. A blogger friend told me about that phrase paralysis by analysis. I love it because it is so true of a lot of things I do lol. :) It's not too late to share the ornaments and mugs! I want to see them!

    2. Yes. I DEFINITELY have to use that phrase as it suits me well! Haha I really should work on the ornament and mug post......they don't HAVE to be for Christmas anyway. :-D


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Great Dane Standard Through the Ages Part III ~1976~

The 1976 Official Illustrated Standard
Revised & Edited by The Great Dane Club of America, Inc. Written text AKC approved August 10, 1976 Illustrated by Donald E. Gauther - Great Dane Breeder & Judge Copyright, 1972

1. GENERAL CONFORMATION (a) GENERAL APPEARANCE. The Great Dane combines in its distinguished appearance dignity, strength and elegance with great size and a powerful, well-formed, smoothly muscled body. He is one of the giant breeds, but is unique in that his general conformation must be so well balanced that he never appears clumsy and is always a unit--the Apollo of dogs. He must be spirited and courageous--never timid. He is friendly and dependable. This physical and mental combination is the characteristic which gives the Great Dane the majesty possessed by no other breed. It is particularly true of this breed that there is an impression of great masculinity in dogs as compared to an impression of great femininity in bitches. The male should appear more massive t…

The Great Dane Standard Through the Ages Part II ~1945~

The Official Illustrated Standard of the Great Dane Club of America, INC. 1945
(Typed for easy reading below each picture which has made this post EXTREMELY long. Also, you *should* be able to click on the pictures to enlarge, but sadly still not enough to read the charts.)

There are only five recognize colors; all these basically fall into four color strains: 1 FAWN and BRINDLE, 2. HARLEQUIN and HARLEQUIN bred BLACK, 3. BLUE and BLUE bred BLACK, 4. BLACK. Color classifications being well founded, the Great Dane Club of America, Inc. considers it an inadvisable practice to mix color strains and it is the club's policy to adhere to the following matings:
------------------------------------------------------------------------ FAWN TO FAWN OR BRINDLE ONLY
Pedigrees of FAWN or BRINDLED Danes should not carry HARLEQUIN, BLACK or BLUE upon them -------------------------------------------…

The Great Dane Standard Through the Ages Part IV ~1995~

(This is the last and current Standard)

The Great Dane Illustrated Standard Approved and Published by the Great Dane Club of America, Inc. September 1995, Illustrations by Stephen J. Hubbel
An Illustrated Standard And Guide for the Evaluation of the Great Dane This booklet has been prepared by The Great Dane Club of America to assist fanciers, breeders and judges in their assessment and understanding of desired Great Dane type. Nothing in the discussions or illustrations contained herein should be construed as altering or contradicting the provisions of the Official Standard of the Great Dane adopted by this club and approved by The American Kennel Club. It is rather to be considered as a supplement to, and expansion on, the Official Standard.
The reader should remember the Official Standard describes the ideal Great Dane. In the following commentary we discus common deviations from that ideal, and the relative importance to be place on such deviations in the overall evaluation of an in…