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Halloween Costumes 2011: Bert (from Mary Poppins)

If you’re looking for inspiration, you can find all sorts of DIY Halloween Costume Ideas HERE.

halloween costumes

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UPDATE: The Mary Poppins Costume and the Penguin Costume are also finished.

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Well, sorry for the delay……..but Bert is finally here.  And as handsome as ever.

(and just you wait……Baby Girl’s costume will tie into the theme tomorrow.)

I don’t know…..there’s something about my little guy dressed up like a little man that makes me want to squish his cheeks and munch on him.  Oh, sweet little Bert!

His favorite parts of the costume?  His hat and cane.

They make him feel grown up, I guess.


But they sure add to this ‘Jolly Holiday’ Bert costume. 

Can’t you just see him skipping and dancing around in the chalk painting?

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I bet he and the ‘real’ Bert would get along swimmingly.

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I just love that little Bert! 

I’m so glad he was just as excited about Bert as my little girl was about Mary Poppins.  Perfect.

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We sorta can’t stop humming this little tune here at our house:

“It’s a Jolly Holiday with Maaaary! Mary makes your heart so light…..!”

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Sweet little thing.

Would you like to make your own Bert costume?

First of all, I couldn’t find any red/orange/yellow/white striped fabric.  I really looked…..but no luck.  I was then going to just buy red/white striped but really wanted the right colors.  So I bought some thicker white suiting type fabric from Joann Fabric and then bought red/yellow/orange single fold bias tape in different widths.  I cut strips of the bias tape that were as wide as the piece of fabric I was using and then cut strips of double sided fusible web in the same size.

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Then I attached the fusible web to the back of the strips of bias tape and then peeled off the backing…..

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Then ironed each strip down to my white fabric and then sewed them each in place.  Yeah, this took a while.  But I was crazy about having the right color stripes.  So, I put on a movie and got to work after the kids were in bed.

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Then, I created my own pattern (just like Prince Charming here) and cut out my suit coat pieces.  I created an identical lining piece in white, out of the same suiting fabric.  (The only difference from the main shape of the Prince Charming jacket is that the two bottom inner corners of the jacket are curved.  Because that’s how Bert’s is.

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For the collar, I cut out a curved piece that was slightly shorter in length than the opening up at the length as was about 2 inches tall.  I added a bit of a curve to it so that it would curve around the neck better.  (Make sure to add enough for a seam allowance too.)  Cut two of these….one in the stripe and then one in white. (I know you can’t see it but there’s a white one right below that striped one.  Sorry, it was late at night and bad lighting.)

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Then, sew the two collar pieces together (with right sides together) along the top curve and both sides.  Then turn right side out and press flat.

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Then attach the open edge of the collar to the neck opening of the jacket.  Place the wrong side of the collar to the right side of the jacket.  The neck line of the jacket should extend out longer than the collar.

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Here’s from this view with the collar folded down.

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Now, place the lining on top of the jacket (with right sides together) and pin the two together all the way around the edges….making sure the collar is tucked to the inside.  At the very bottom of the jacket, leave about a 6-8 inch opening, where you’ll be turning it right side out.

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Sew all the way around the edges (leaving the bottom open) and then turn the jacket right side out.  Press all the seams flat.

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Then hand stitch the opening closed.  (Need help with hand-stitching?  Go here.)

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Now, cut out your 2 sleeve pieces (just one layer each…..I didn’t add lining to the sleeves) and add pin them right to the jacket with right sides together, matching the side seam of the sleeve with the side seam of the jacket.  (I added them the same way as I did here.)  Sew in place and then serge or zig-zag the raw edges.  Turn right side out and iron the best you can from the outside to make those sleeve seams flat.

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Then I hemmed the sleeves and added button holes, just like Prince Charming too.

To get the look of the collar, I folded the collar down…..but also folded part of the front of the jacket down, creating that suit jacket collar look.  Use steam and really flatten down in place.  (I folded it down until it was about mid-chest line.)

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Next, some pocket squares. 

I just cut out some square pieces of white…..folded them in half and then folded corners down to make 2 triangles.  I also cut a rectangle of the striped fabric (from my scraps) for the little faux pocket.

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I pinned my triangles in place….

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Then sewed them right to the chest of the jacket.  (Then I trimmed off the extra edges along the bottom.)

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Then I folded under all the edges of the striped piece of fabric and sewed that right on top.

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For his pants……..I just made some plain white basic pants with an elastic waistband.

I cut out the pieces for the pants by using another pair of pants as a pattern.  (Need help with this concept?  Click here.)

His shirt………is a plain white button down shirt from Old Navy.

And his shoes were some $3 white shoes I found at Wal-Mart.  Perfect.

Now for Bert’s signature blue bow tie. 

Cut a strip of blue fabric…….sew it into a tube, fold the ends towards the center and sew along the center to keep the ends in.  Then sew a long strip of fabric for the neck strap and turn right side out and iron flat.

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Then place the long strip on the back of the bow shape.  Then wrap a thin strip of fabric around the center, cinch it in, then hand stitch in place.  (Need help with hand-stitching?  Go here.)

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Finally, hem under each strip end and then add velcro to the ends.

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Bert’s hat.

I couldn’t find a straw hat that looked like Berts………so I found a very cheap foam hat at Hobby Lobby for a few dollars.  It was too tall for my liking so I cut the top off and cut it down just a bit.

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Then I covered the top with burlap and folded the ends under and glued it with hot glue.  The I covered the main part of the hat with burlap and then added the top back on, tucking the edges towards the inside.  Then I added some hemp cording to the edge of the brim, to hide the rest of the black hat.

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Then I added some of my extra bias tape pieces (from the jacket) to the hat with hot glue.

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Don’t forget Bert’s cane.

Okay, I wasn’t sure what to use for the cane.  I tried finding an old wooden cane at a thrift store that I could just saw down……but I couldn’t find one.  So I bought a plastic candy cane ( you know, that ones with lights in them that people put in their yards for Christmas??) from Wal-Mart.  Thank goodness Christmas stuff is already out.   Then my husband got the curved end hot (he held it over the toaster……but use this method at your own risk.  Haha!) and made the curve smaller and then sawed the end off while it was still warm.

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Then I spray painted it brown.  Not bad…….and it works for the whole ‘cane look’.

And that’s it.

The ‘Jolly Holiday’ Bert is complete.

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. . . . . . . . . . .
This post is sponsored by:

Ashley Johnston

Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!


  1. Sue says:

    All the costumes are awesome!!! But this one is my favorite (I only have boys) I just love this jacket. I’m thinking that I might try the same thing but for Christmas, so with Christmas color stripes. I’m just not sure what color the bow tie would be?

  2. Lyndsey says:

    I though Mary Poppins was amazing but I think that I might love Bert even more!!! Way to go. You inspire me with your sewing skills.

  3. Rocio Estrada says:

    I love the costumes and I can’t wait to see Baby Girl! Even though I’ve never (yes you read right!) seen Mary Poppins now I’m curious to see what the movie is all about. I’ve got glimpses of the movie here and there but am completely clueless. And to shock you even more…I’ve never seen the Sound of Music either! It’s on my list, too!

  4. Lisa says:

    Your kids are so adorable in their costumes. Here’s hoping for a baby penguin costume!

  5. Kari - Ucreate says:

    This Bert costume is jaw-dropping awesome! Love the Mary Poppins theme this year!

  6. ali walker says:

    I love how your brain works to figure things out. Mine works the same way and its nice to know that i’m not crazy… just resourceful and creative… right? great tut.

  7. TaRa says:

    Only one word: Amazing!

  8. Leslie says:

    Oh my! You are a master seamstress! I am so impressed with your ability to “whip up things” from your imagination or from something you see. You make it seem so easy, that I sometimes believe I might even be able to do that myself. Coming from a household where my mom sewed many many things for us, and my grandma made up her own patterns, I would have thought that it would come easier… but nope! Wow! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Michele says:

    You are so talented. I can’t wait to see the entire adorable “cast” together.

  10. Melissa says:

    You have wowed me again. That hat! My goodness, what a cutie.

  11. Jodi says:

    Great job. Love it! He is so stinkin’ adorable. Just wait, in a few years he’ll want to be something else, like a yeti….;-)

  12. Rachael says:

    Cutest thing EVER!! He looks fabulous! Amazing job :)

  13. NobleKnits says:

    Adorable costume, he looks so happy..that could have gone another direction :)! Your photography is beautiful, too!

  14. Taylor says:

    Marvelous! :) I know it took lots of time and effort…but the finished product is wonderful! Thanks for sharing and inspiring!

    Many, many blessings!!!

  15. Joyce Charney says:

    I absolutely LOVE this costume! You are so incredibly creative and I really enjoy your posts. Thank you so much for sharing your creativity with the world!

  16. Liz says:

    You are A-mazing! I’m so impressed by both adorable costumes. What a great mom! :)

  17. Kel in Oz says:

    Fantastic! Truly fantastic :-)

  18. Amy K. says:

    phew! That is some serious cuteness…. can’t wait to see the whole gang together!!

  19. Natalie says:

    Seriously love this! And I think you will love this:

    Not mine, but the younger sister of an old friend of mine. Love her stuff!

  20. Allison says:

    I am about to die from cuteness! These are the best Mary Poppins costumes I have ever seen!

  21. Amanda says:

    Holy Freakin’ Cow! The seamstress within has been humbled by your talents!

  22. Hi says:

    so cute! he is such a little man!

  23. Michal says:

    OMG Ashley! He is to die for! I’m so glad that Halloween is months before our dress up holiday (Jewish -Purim). I get to plan way in advance!

  24. Anonymous says:

    You are so stinkin cute!!! What blessed children you have that you are mindful of all the details! You inspire me.

  25. Aleta LeBlanc says:

    You better find a costume contest to enter them into!!!! I love costumes you can’t BUY anywhere. Your creativity is priceless :)

  26. Erika says:

    Adorable!!! Oh my! Cutest costume ever. Love it!

  27. Jenny says:


  28. Gabi Barrick says:

    Is your little peanut going to be a penguin? For crying out loud, how cute are all of these!

  29. Olga says:

    So cute, Ashley. I love everything you’ve done.

  30. Raspy_Mommy says:

    SO cute!

  31. karomanah says:

    wow! I am totally addicted to your tutorials

  32. Wendy F says:

    Just too darned cute!!!

  33. bethany says:

    WOW! This is fabulous! You are so very talented!

  34. Jessica at Me Sew Crazy says:

    holy smokes – i am speechless! this is fan-freaking-tastic! amazing! seriously…just WOW

  35. Pam Lewis says:

    you have truly awaken my gift that has been sleeping for awhile.. thank you so much for sharing your wonderful gift of sewing it is my heart beat and I have enjoyed trying out your ideas and they have turned out great!!!

  36. Oksana says:

    Do you know that it is gorgeous, awesome, incredible, amazing and what not? My English is poor to express my feelings! Great! Thank you!

  37. Anonymous says:

    That outfit and your son are a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e!!!

  38. Sarah says:

    Oh my goodness me. I adore this! He looks sooooo cute!!!!!!!! I always wanted to marry Bert…or Dick vanDyke. ;) Is baby Girl going to be one of the penguins?!?!?!

  39. Leigh Ann says:

    Amazing! Did he come up with the idea?

  40. Natalie says:

    Holy cow! This has got to be the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!

  41. Lynette says:

    um super cute! I can’t wait to see the next costume! I’ve been so excited all weekend to see the rest!

  42. Jessie says:

    This is so cute! I love both the costumes you’ve shown so far. And I’m hoping your baby is a penguin. :) I have to ask, though–at what point did you insert the sleeves to the jacket? I’ve been struggling to figure out putting sleeves in a lined bodice, and I was curious when you put them into the jacket. Did I just miss it here somewhere?

    1. Ashley says:

      Ack! Sorry……I left the sleeve pictures out by mistake. Thanks……I just added them in. Go back and look. :)

    2. Jessie says:

      Ah, I see. Thanks. :)

  43. Liz says:

    So stinkin’ cute! He is just so handsome. Awesome skills Mom!

  44. dixie says:

    Can I go ahead and guess that perhaps baby will be a penguin? Oh please please let the baby be a penguin haha.

    Your kids’ halloween costumes are just so incredible!!!!! I was completely blown away by Mary, but you’re right. Something about a little guy dressed as a big guy is adorable beyond words, I cant get enough of his cute smile in that outfit!

  45. Erin says:

    Wonderful, as usual! You never cease to amaze me with your creative sewing skills. And, you make it look like a breeze! What lucky kids!

  46. Terry says:

    This is so adorable and handsome. He looks amazing,….you did such a fabulous job!!

  47. KathyH says:

    holy cow, you are amazing!

  48. Emily says:

    Fantastic! Love the stripes you made and the pictures. :)

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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