Ursula and Ariel

So, I haven’t updated in a while. I probably shouldn’t be updating right now – I’ve got a whole hell of a lot of stuff to do. However, I wanted to share some pics from making Izzie’s and my Halloween costumes.

I started out by making the jewelry for my costume out of Sculpey as well as the “bra” for Izzie’s costume. I used Izzie’s old harness, covered it in purple ribbon kept in place with hot glue. I traced an actual shell onto a sheet of glitter foam and then cut them out and hot glued them onto the “bra.”

Here’s a picture of my cute sewing machine! I bought it in 2005 or 2006, but I just learned how to use it.


This woman’s Ursula costume really helped inspire mine. Like her, I started with Simplicity Pattern 2589. I used the underskirt part of the pattern to make my underskirt, hiding my legs and the hoop skirt I eventually got. The underskirt is the blue skirt – it is meant to be the “sea.” I finished that bit first. The fabric is plain calico patterned fabric. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any shimmery type fabric like she used.

Next, I went on to the tentacles. I used black satin fabric meant for lingerie and light purple sequined, mesh-like fabric. For the pattern, I started with the same pattern for the underskirt, but I altered it because I learned making the underskirt that the waist ended up being ginormous!!! I measured my waist and divided by six, adding a few more inches for safety’s sake. I traced the Simplicity Pattern for the underskirt on to the white, plain side of wrapping paper. Yes, Christmas wrapping paper. I kept the top of the skirt the same. In other words, the skirt did not turn into tentacle until I knew it would be about mid-thigh/knee length. From that point, I tapered the pattern to form the tentacle. I believe the tentacle portion was about a yard long.

After completing the pattern, I traced the pattern onto the satin fabric, just as if I was making the underskirt. When it came to the light purple sequined underside of the tentacle, I marked 1.5″ on the inside of triangle/tentacle portion of the tentacle skirt. The light purple sequined part did not go all the way up inside the skirt. I made one set of tentacles just to make sure it would work.

I made six tentacles – the same number that Ursula has in the movie.

So, after the tentacle skirt was made (I think it was pinned together in the picture above), I used liquid stitch glue to put tabs made out of 1″ twill tape inside each side of the tentacle. In other words, I put six tabs on the left side and six tabs on the right side of the seams on each tentacle. I allowed the tabs to dry, then I fedclothesline wire into each tab and down each side of the tentacles. This helped keep the wire from just going everywhere in the tentacle. I also glued a line of twill tape across the purple sequined fabric where it would meet the satin.

The next step was stuffing each tentacle. I bought a 5 lb box of stuffing and I don’t think I used more than 2/3 of it. After stuffing each tentacle, I glued the twill-taped purple sequin fabric to the black satin, pinned it, and left the tentacles to set for a week. Well, after trying it on, of course!

I purchased a 3-hoop skirt off of eBay (link is to the seller I bought it from – they sell a lot of hoop skirts). I looked into doing it myself and it seemed far too arduous a task for me to take on. It was also far cheaper than I thought it would be, especially when I was Googling around. I believe I am wearing the hoop skirt in the photo above, but I’m not positive.

The next part I needed for my costume was the top. I purchased a corset from Hips & Curves (as I am a curvy lady!). I had to modify it a bit. First, I had to add more ribbon to the back because, even at its widest, it was unfortunately not wide enough for my broad back. However, not wanting to expose that much skin, I used left over black satin fabric to make an extra panel in the back, covering the ribbon and my exposed back. I also decided to wear a strapless bra in addition to the corset. That was a wise choice as it served as my purse/pocket for the evening!

After my tentacle skirt had time to dry its sequin-meets-satin stuffing seam, I unpinned the seams and reglued any bit where it had not stuck. But before I did that, I stuck another piece of clothesline wire in – an attempt to get the tentacles to be more flexible and less draggy. I repinned the sequin-meets-satin (I don’t think I remembered to take it out again!). I also put velcro on the waistband to keep the waistband closed. The blue underskirt has a hook-and-eye closure hand sewn into its waist. The waist was quite a bitch to complete!

On the day of the party, I had to get my hair and make-up done to complete the part.

For the hair, first I wet it down and applied got2b glued hair spiking glue. I laid on my bed with my head upside down and blow dried my hair. Then I sprayed a lot of Tresemme TresTwo Freeze Hairspray. Content with the height of my hair, I then colored it with temporary white hairspray from Target.

For the make-up, I watched various tutorials on YouTube, but I had no desire to glue/soap my eyebrows. Oddly, I already owned the eyeshadow from an Avon make-up order I did a few years back under an impulse to start wearing make-up regularly (did not happen and lost desire by the time the make-up arrived). My eyelid to my eyebrow was Avon’s Heavenly Soft Flirty Turquoise Trio. It has since been discontinued. I guess many women don’t find the Mimi from Drew Carey look appealing. I used the blue color that is near the lid. I’m showing the picture here because I can’t link to it on the Avon website.

I used the blue color

From my eyebrow onto my forehead, I used the light gray from Avon’s Smokey Eyes True Color Eyeshadow Quad. Although for the party I went to the first night I used crappy Halloween makeup for the drawn-on eyebrows and beauty mark, I used different make-up the second day and night. The eyebrows and beauty mark were Cover Girl Perfect Blend Eyeliner Pencil in basic black. My eyeliner was brown/mocha the first night. I used Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner in Onyx the second. My mascara was not very good the first night because it was running low. I used Cover Girl Lash Blast Length the second. Both the first and second nights I used Cover Girl Ruby Red Outlast Smoothwear All-Day Lipcolor.

First day make-up and hair (crappy iPhone pic):

Second day make-up and hair (decent iPhone pic):


I cannot drive in my costume – this was a picture of me in regular garb going to The Welcoming Project Halloween Pet Costume Contest. When I went to the party on Friday, I drove in my corset and underskirt and changed at the party. This required getting the hoopskirt on, then the underskirt, then the tentacles, then the corset. I could not sit down in my full costume. Fortunately, I wore comfortable shoes! Eventually, I went back to wearing the corset and the underskirt.

Here is me in my full outfit! (That’s my friend Paul’s painting in the background)


Izzie’s costume was much more travel-friendly. I ordered a red dog wig for her off of Amazon, though it was from last season’s Target dog costumes. I took the devil horns off the red wig and she was a perfect Ariel. She kept the wig on 95% of the time! The bottom portion of Izzie’s costume is a lime green skirt meant for toddlers – I got it in the Halloween section at Target. This is Izzie in her full costume:

We won first place in the Pet Costume Contest!

That evening I went to another Halloween party. However, this time I did not wear my tentacles – aside from not being able to drive there in costume or change at the location, the smoking environment would not have been good for my costume. I wore a regular black skirt, my corset, and the make-up and hair. One woman asked me if I was Divine (Ursula was, in part, based on Divine), but I was not. Pic of me at the bar:

All in all, I think it took me about a month to make my costume. Now that Halloween is over, I have packed it away in the top of my closet. I’m still pretty proud of myself for pulling it off!