Introduction: Pippi Longstocking Costume

Picture of Pippi Longstocking Costume

I've always wanted to be her! Who doesn't want to be able to lift a horse above their head and have a bag full of gold coins that can be used to buy all the candy from the candy store?

This is my interpretation of the Pippi I used to watch when I was little.

Step 1: Jumper

Picture of Jumper

If you can find a jumper that looks like hers, you are already one step ahead. I couldn't find one that matched what I wanted so I found a cute, old pattern that worked out great. It was my first time following a patterns directions so it was a bit difficult, especially since it involved attaching a zipper.

I didn't do any lining or interfacing since it was just for Halloween. So the pattern consisted of five pieces to work with. The front, two straps, and the back in two pieces. For fun, I used orange thread on one side of the jumper and green on the other, to correspond to the leggings.

So follow the directions that come with your jumper and you'll be done with this step.

Step 2: Leggings

Picture of Leggings

If you can find awesome, thigh high orange and green socks. You're set. I couldn't find anything exactly right. So I made my own. I am very unconventional in my sewing, so to measure the leggings, I took the fabric, wrapped it around my leg and pinned where it overlapped.

Note: The fabric I used reached from the top of my thigh to past my foot. It is good to have it long because you are going to hem the top and bottom to fit anyway and you don't want it too short.

When doing this method, turn the fabric inside out. It will make it easier for pinning and being ready to sew.

After pinning it, take it off while being careful of the pins, they will get you. Once you take it off, straightened out the fabric so you can pin it and sew it properly. The fabric will probably be twisted a bit, since legs go from fatter to skinnier, so just take the pins out one at a time and carefully let it adjust straight, and repin it. Now, cut off some of the excess fabric. I left about an inch or two to work with, you don't want to cut too much, you can always cut more, but it is a pain to add more.

Since the fabric is inside out, just flip the end of the fabric so it lays on top of the main piece. Once you've readjusted the pins on the fabric, try it on again and make any adjustments (for example the back of the knee was baggy so I moved the pin to adjust.

Once the pins are in the right spot, sew. I used thread to correspond with the fabric color, but it won't show so it doesn't matter for this seam.

After sewing the long edges together, trim the excess fabric so it won't be uncomfortable against your legs.  Now hem the top and bottom. I did the top first and then looked at how long the leggings were at that point and hemmed them so they reached the top of my feet.

Do this for both colors of fabric and you are done with your leggings.

Step 3: Hair

Picture of Hair

You will need a green shirt for the outfit. Any green shirt will do, I used one of my husbands because it was plan and baggy, like Pippi's. PUT IT ON BEFORE DOING YOUR HAIR. It is difficult to put on after. I tried, I know.

Pippi's hair is what really makes the costume work.

Take a hanger and straighten it out. Cut off one of the twisted ends. I used a dremel. Take your hanger and bend it around your head. I had my husband help. Mostly try to put a curve in it so it will rest on top of your head and stick out to the sides at about where the braids start. (you might have to get your hair tied up and braided to tell this part)  I guessed about how much I would need sticking out to each side by measuring it up to the braids once I had my hair done and then cut the excess off. I think it is better to have it a bit too short than have it stick out the end of your braids. I put some masking tap around the end of the hanger so it wouldn't stab me when I put it in later.

After it is cut, put it aside and work on your hair. Make two pigtails on the sides of your head so they are fairly even with each other. Then braid.

Putting the coat hanger in your hair isn't very fun. I tried to braid around the hanger, but I just couldn't get my hair to braid around it. If you can, I would suggest doing that, if not, read on.

Stick it in through the hair binder next to your head. It isn't fun or feel very nice, but next slide it down the inside of the braid. It isn't going to cooperate entirely, but just try to keep it as hidden in your hair as you can get it.

Getting it in the other braid is even worse, but totally doable. You are going to bend the hanger out of shape a bit, but it just bends back. So now do the same for the other braid.

The hanger will show in the back, but it is a sacrifice for hair support.

Your hair is done.

Step 4: Finish Off the Costume

Picture of Finish Off the Costume

So now you have your jumper, your leggings, a green shirt, and your hair. Throw them all on and find some black boots. Mine had a bit of a heel, but they were still clunky, like Pippi's.

And you are done! You are now Pippi! Doesn't it feel great? I love the leggings the best and plan on finding a time to wear them again.


Attilia (author)2016-04-24

One thing you could probably do to hide the wire is to either wear a head band, or get some hair extensions that match your hair color, and braid it around the coat hanger, then work the extenstions into your hair for the braids.

Penolopy Bulnick (author)Attilia2016-04-25

Good suggestion :)

rachl009 (author)2011-12-06

Awesome, I remember in first grade a girl dressed up like this for Halloween, and most of the kids couldn't figure out how she got her hair to stick out like that. :)

Keigh (author)rachl0092012-08-14

I did this at about that age too. It was the hanger trick, my mom braided my hair directly around the wire! Then i had to sit by myself on the bus.

Penolopy Bulnick (author)Keigh2012-08-14

Had to or got to!

Keigh (author)Keigh2012-08-14

also, just for fun, who remembers Pippi's FULL name?

Pippilotta Delicatessa WindowShade Mackerel Mint Ephraim's Daughter Longstocking

I wonder if she used the hanger trick of if she had some other secret way!

blinkyblinky (author)2011-11-10

I remember watching this as a younger kid...also reading it too.

Good times, good times...

I agree!

una_amor (author)2011-11-07

I just watched Pippi not but a week ago, for the umpteenth time ( I love Pippi) so when i saw this costume, i sighed with admiration. Adorable costume! Where is Mr. Nilsson? :oD

I wish I had Mr. Nilsson to sit on my shoulder; sadly I could not find him in time :( Next time, though, I will have to find out where he is hiding :)

Chicken Girl (author)2011-11-02

Pippy is SO from my generation and as a red head that was a little off kilter she was my hope that I too could be super cool one day (she was super cool, wasn't she?). ANy-whoo! Love them!

I only really remember seeing one movie with her when I was younger, but I really liked it! I will have to find her shows and give them a go.

madenairy (author)2011-10-31

great costume! btw, am i the only one that thinks penolopy is seriously cute?

hlagas (author)2011-10-31

I thought you'd get a kick out of my two Pippi's. They are teacher and student. The student costume came from Sweden, where Pippi is such a hero that every little girl has a Pippi costume at some point. Loved your costume - hope everyone enjoyed it! (Our problem was that many kids at the school my daughter attended had never heard of Pippi Longstocking!)

Just wondering - do you think it would be possible to do the braid around the wire (e.g., temporarily hold the wire on with a clip, then do the braids and remove the clips)? I suppose it would probably take another pair of hands that know how to braid tho.

Anyway, great costume!!

Penolopy Bulnick (author)hlagas2011-10-31

They are so cute!

Definetly possible to braid around the wire, but I would think you would need help. I was doing it myself ans I just found this way to work best for me.

LifeWarrior (author)2011-10-30

I didn't think anyone even remembered Pipi! The hanger is a great idea. However I don't think it would work for me these days my hair is just unmanageable ;)

Yeah, every once ina while I think back to the Pippi movie I used to watch! Great times!

Osquar (author)2011-10-31

I love how a swedish character as Pippi became so popular internationally =D You really look good as her! MUCH better than those costumes you can find in the stores!

Penolopy Bulnick (author)Osquar2011-10-31

I agree, homemade looks better in many cases! Maybe I love Pippi so much because I am part Swedish!

mpatenaude (author)2011-10-31

I was Pippi many years ago in the 70s in grade-school. We braided my hair around the coat hanger. I can't even imagine trying to fish the wire thru the braid. I held the wire and my Mom did the braiding. I guess it would be hard to do it yourself. We hid the wire under the hair on top instead of behind. Don't use a white hanger & it won't show as much.

I agree, don't use a white hanger. I didn't have a plain wire hanger and this is what I got from my friend.

l8nite (author)2011-10-29

the coat hanger will bend so your braids dont have to stick out on the bus. What a great idea

Penolopy Bulnick (author)l8nite2011-10-30

Yes, it is fun to play around bending them too!

kokoleo (author)2011-10-29

love it!

Penolopy Bulnick (author)kokoleo2011-10-30

Thank you!

Very cool,thank you for sharing!

Your Welcome! I quite enjoyed being Pippi!

wilgubeast (author)2011-10-28

Great hair. Looking forward to seeing this at work on Monday.

Crafty Cathy (author)2011-10-28

VERY Cute! I always loved watching those movies! I wondered how you got your hair to stand out straight - good job.

I'm going to wear it to work on Monday, not sure if I should put the coat hanger in and wear it on the bus though.

lmnopeas (author)2011-10-28

Cute costume! I used to love watching Pippi. Brings back memories...

Thank you! Pippi is pretty awesome, isn't she?

omnibot (author)Penolopy Bulnick2011-10-28

Yes, she is!

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