Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween Cartoon Cosplay: DIY Darkwing Duck Costume

Halloween 2017 almost bested me.  The costume requests from my kids required some serious time, effort and planning - none of which I had much of this Fall.  Being pregnant and busy with a bunch of other stuff at the same time didn't help.  The tallest order was that of my middle son, to be the signature hero from the 90's cartoon Darkwing Duck.  If they actually made this I'd have just bought one - that's the kind of season it's been - but of course his choice was too obscure for the store bought costume front.

Despite a number of last minute challenges, a little swearing and claiming several times "We're not doing anything this complicated next year!", my husband and I DIY'd the heck out of things to make his costume dream come true.

My husband used his significant foam-smithing skills to turn some pieces of foam flooring squares into a curved duck bill mask and Darkwing's swashbuckling hat.

He also intended to sort out the clothing bit of the costume, but realized this was beyond his skills & available time.  My 11th hour job was to make the double breasted blazer, turtleneck and cape.  In a week, with no perfect pattern to follow.  To say I was feeling panicked is an understatement.

I did a serious chop shop kind of job to pull it off.  I started with a base of a fleece v-neck pullover pattern, KwikSew 2745.  I deepened the v and added an extra overlapping panel to cross over the front to make it a faux double-breasted affair.  I whipped up some lapel pieces, borrowed from McCalls 8701(which I used a few years back to make a George Washington costume for my oldest), and stitched those to the v-neck area.  

I found some giant gold buttons that had been among my late grandma's button stash and added those to the front and sleeves to create the blazer.  

I didn't have the time or inclination to make a full turquoise turtleneck or want to spend hours searching for one I could buy, so I found some leftover teal rib knit in my fabric stash and threw together a sort of dickie to attach to the blazer. 

I literally just cut a rectangular panel to tack to the shoulder seams:

and then made a tube that I stitched to that and the back of the fleece shirt to make the fold down turtleneck:

For the legs, I used a pajama pant pattern to make some white fleece bottoms and dad cut some foam webbed feet to go over his shoes:

The hero's cape was just a basic rectangle out of suede cloth that I hemmed on all sides and made a casing at the top to gather and then pin to the blazer.  I wasn't even planning to hem it (time saving and all that), but of course the fabric frayed like crazy when I cut it so I didn't have a choice.

By some miracle, and a lot of prayer, we got it done just in time.  Our guy is a real ham, so he has been loving the chance to pose it up as his favorite character.  This mild mannered kid transformed himself to become "the terror that flaps in the night!" as the webbed superhero calls himself:

Later this week I'll share another and slightly easier costume done for my teen.  Next year they better take it easy on me!  


  1. I am an old grannie, so I don't know about Darkwing Duck.....but you rock Mom!!! I googled him and you nailed it, it think! Good job!

    1. The show is 25+yrs old, so it's not one everyone knows, but thank you so much. It was a tall order, but I'm glad it turned out:)

  2. Could you make another darkwing duck costume for a 5’10 180lb guy?

    1. LOL. I'm flattered to be asked, but this one was enough for me!


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