Sherlock Holmes Costume How-to, Including Deerstalker Tutorial.

Introduction: Sherlock Holmes Costume How-to, Including Deerstalker Tutorial.

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“Education never ends, Watson. It is a series of lessons, with the greatest for the last.”

It is October 1st!

My daughter and I have begun our Halloween adventure preparations. This Instructable will focus on her costume. Others, which I will link to, include the Decor, or Set, for the Trick o' Treat scene, and Food, for the 200 or so goblins that will visit the house on Halloween.

She loves reading Arthur Conan Doyle and so has wanted to be him since one month after last year's Halloween(she was Dax .... from Star Trek.)

We have some starting points for her costume, pictured above, which we will modify some of, and also create new things to really make it authentic-looking.

Here is what we have:

Trench Coat, Vest, Trousers, Blouse

Ugly Cap, Pipe, Magnifying Glass, Pocket Watch

And some nice, vintage fabric

Step 1: Let's Start With the Cap. Dismantle.

It's an atrocious-looking thing, got it on Amazon.

We want to carefully take it apart to create a pattern from it.

We'll use the wonderful wool fabric to make a new one.

1. Flip over and remove elastic

It is just basted on, so once you rip out a few stitches you can pull the elastic out with mild force. Took about 45 seconds.

2. Remove brims and ear flaps. Again, this thing is barely put together so it took less than 30 seconds. Just break the first few stitches and rip off. Then remove plastic piece(pic 6) from inside of brim.

Turn flap and brim inside out.

3. Remove one of the six beanie segments. You just need one to create the pattern. Since we are using more substantial fabric, I'll slightly increase the size.

4. Finally, press out ear flap, brim and beanie segment with a warm iron, then lay 1 flap, 1 brim and 1 beanie segment over double-folded fabric.

Step 2: Cut New Pieces, Arrange, Pin & Sew

I cut an extra 1/4" around the pattern pieces, for a slight increase in size b/c the wool is heavy and has a lower thread count than the cotton, so I'll want to increase the seam allowance compared to the black & white one.(pic 2)

We now need 4 more beanie segments(the fabric was double-folded) for a total of 6, and then the lining.

So, fold over remaining fabric and cut 4 more segments, using the 2 wool pieces that you just cut.(pic 3)

(flip to conserve fabric, matching pattern prints/lines)

The fourth pic shows what you should have. Each of those pieces needs a lining.

(if you want to sometimes wear the flaps down, then cut an additional 2
more ear flaps from the wool, and none from the lining, unless you like the contrast of the lining and want it to show.)


Choose a fabric that is a similar type, for ease of sewing.

I had 2 big strips of soft, cotton duck, which is basically the material used to make khakis out of.(pic 5)

So, two layers of the tan cotton, with 1 brim piece, 1 flap piece and 3 segments, will give you the lining pieces.

(except for the ear flaps, if you are self-fabric lining)

Have a helper to assist with the cutting. (in my case, the girl I'm actually making this for!)

The sixth pic shows the outside fabric pinned to the corresponding lining pieces.

And finally a video to demonstrate the sewing. The video isn't a detailed sewing lesson, just to provide the general steps of how to piece everything together. I even had silly Halloween music in the background. : )

Step 3: Finishing Details for the Deerstalker Hat

Turn hat right-side out by pulling through small hole made in lining.

Press bottom edges of hat so that edges are nice and crisp.

Edge stitch along bottom of hat.(shown at end of video)

Add a button on the top, if you'd like. If not, just connect lining to outer fabric at top with a few strong stitches.

Stitch lining hole closed and add ties. A basic ribbon will do just fine, 1/2" - 3/4" width.

Two pieces of 18" each in length should be plenty; you can trim off any extra after you've tied the bow.

Stitch ribbons to bottoms of ear flaps(on the outside, which becomes the inside once they are tied up).

If you wanted, you could have stitched the ribbon inside of the seam allowance while you were sewing up the ear flaps, but stitching it right over the outside is also fine, just do a neat job if you think you'd like to let the flaps down over your ears.

Tie a perfect bow and trim off excess.

Voila! A beautiful Deerstalker hat created from an ugly, cheap one, in about an hour.

“My name is Sherlock Holmes. It is my business to know what other people do not know.”

― Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

Step 4: The Capelet

I want to add a nice touch to the existing trench, so I'll use the same wool as the hat and make a capelet that is worn over it. Decide how far down, or long you want the cape. A capelet stops at about the elbows so I'll measure from her neck, over the shoulders and down to the elbow, while she is wearing the coat.

Add a few inches to represent the middle of the neck(just for purposes of making the circle) and whatever you want for your seam allowance. For this fabric and drape, 2" would be nice but too deep for a circle(the hem would be bulky). If you used felt, you'd need no seam allowance as the edges barely fray. I need to finish off these edges as it is a low thread count fabric, so the easiest method for me is to have no seam allowance, and just serge the entire bottom. It is good enough for what we are doing. You may not have all of these machines, so I'd recommend just sitting down to watch The Hound of Baskervilles and do the whole seam finishing and hemming by hand. I will demo how to do this.

My daughter hates the 1959 version because it is "So different from the book! It is all wrong!" : D

We haven't seen the 1939 or 2002 version, but will try to this weekend and update. : )

Here is the link for the 1939 version:


This version is good!!!

I would actually watch this movie again, every so often.

Finding the radius of the circle

From her neck edge to elbow measured 16", so adding 3" for the neck radius plus 1" for seam allowance, that gives us 20", doubled for our circle. I've shown in the pictures how to make a nice circle.

Basically, you need a 40" square folded in half, and half again. Using a measuring tape, start at the corner where the folds meet, and pivot, marking 20" every several inches or so. Then just connect the dots with heavy-duty scissors(you'll be cutting through 4 layers of fabric). Do the same process to cut out the neck, marking 3" to make a 6" circle. Open up circle and cut open for front.

You have a few options for finishing off the neck: bias binding, facing or even a collar. I will demonstrate how to face the neck, which I think is the easiest and least fussy of the 3 methods. Easy is good.

Step 5: Edge Finishing for the Capelet

I am going to serge all exposed edges. One bit of prep work before I do that will be to (pic. 1) interface both front edges, and also (2) stay-stitch neck edge. (3rd pic is me serging)

Next, create neck facing. (4) Place scrap piece down on floor that is at least 10" x 10".

(5) Place capelet, right-side down, on top of that scrap piece, forming neck into circle. (6) Chalk around neck edge, or just cut. Cut down front edge slit about 3". (7) Lift capelet away, to expose neck facing from scrap piece, chalking/cutting 3" away from cut neck edge. This is your facing. It is what you will use to create a partial lining for your capelet's neck edge to give it a finished look.

(8) Pin to capelet to facing, right sides together, matching neck edges and front edges, and bring over to sewing machine.

Step 6: Let's Take Care of Those Edges

Watch the video, if you'd like. It is informative, mildly entertaining, and shows you stuff.

: )

Step 7: Capelet Fastener, And, the Vest!

1. Malena chose two large leather buttons and sewed them on at the corners. I made a leather strip with two slashes, and put the handsome attachment mechanism together so quickly. Nice!

2. I still have scraps leftover of the wool and want to create some pockets for the vest. Definitely one for the pocket watch and something on the other side for either the pipe, magnifying glass, or maybe an animated, light-up skull pen, for taking notes of the crime scene, in appropos style.

Step 8: Pocket Watch Pocket

6 x6 square

fold over top 1/2", then again


fold over sides, pin

fold over bottom, press

flipped over, that is what the front looks like(pic. 6)

pic 7 & 8 show the catch stitches on the back, to hold all the folds in place.

Step 9: Finished Pocket Plus Accessory Loop... & Final Outfit!!

Stitch pocket onto vest. Feed chain through button loop a few inches, pass watch through loop, tighten, and Pocket It!

I stitched a strip/loop onto the other side. The Pipe is cute, albeit a tad bulky, the magnifying glass is even cuter, but too top-heavy to be functional, so the light-up skull pen is the final owner of the symmetrical add-on.

Isn't She Handsome?!


She is So Happy with the final result!

I hope you enjoyed Installment 1 of 3 of our Halloween Series and will update with the Decor and Food links when they are ready.

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    6 years ago

    Is it possible to get schematics for the different pieces? I would like to print it out and trace it on the wool. Thx :)


    Reply 6 years ago

    For the hat? You just have to buy the cheapo version like I did and dismantle it. : )