Sushi (Nigiri) Costume With Headpiece




About: Well, I'm like many of you- I like to make things, sometimes of my own design, and sometimes of yours!

As a long-time lover of sushi, I decided it was high time I made a costume to celebrate this tasty food. I was inspired by some images I found online, but most of them were baby costumes and store bought. You will need very, very basic sewing skills to accomplish all the parts I made, but you can also tone it down depending on what you'd like to do.

You'll be making a fish for your back, and a small headpiece that can be bobby-pinned into the hair, or attached to a headband.

The goal of this costume was to make something simple and easily recognizable, and also comfortable and easily modified for changes in weather. Quite possibly the best part is that you can use the pieces as decor afterwards!

Please note that this is for nigiri sushi, not a sushi roll costume.

Step 1: Obtain the Materials

Ready-made Materials (hopefully you have some already)

-white clothing (aka the rice part of the sushi)- I used a white sundress and white sweater, but any all-white clothing will do
-chopsticks - I used these to stick in my bun as an extra accessory, but you could stick them in the belt of carry them around

Crafting Materials (to make the things you can't find elsewhere)
-black fabric (~ 1/2 yd) - look for something with a slight sheen and crumpled look, as this will be the seaweed
-salmon pink fabric (~ 1 yd) - for the fish/shrimp
-pillow stuffing - to stuff the fish
-1/2 in or 1 in white white ribbon (~ 4-5 ft) - you can always overlap if its too wide or not wide enough, but avoid ones with frilly edges
-pink gauzy fabric (~ 1/4 yd) - for the ginger
-bright green felt (1 sheet) - for the wasabi
-dark green felt (1 sheet) - for the decorative grass
-needle, thread, and straight pins (unless you like sewing without the pins)

Step 2: The Fish/Shrimp

1. Cut out 2 of the exact same fish shape out of the salmon pink fabric . I have attached a basic pattern (but it is just one I quickly sketched out and may not be quite symmetrical) so you can get an idea. The best way to do this is to sketch lightly on the inside of the fabric, cut one out, and then trace it for a second one. You can make these as big as you'd like, but keep in mind the finished product will be on your back, and you'll want to have the ability to sit down. Mine is roughly 2 feet in length.

2. On on of the pieces, glue or sew the white ribbon in 4 horizontal stripes across the body of the fish (see image). If you glued, wait for it to dry before continuing on.

3. Place the two fish shapes back to back (the fabric you want on the outside of the finished product should be facing each other), and use the straight pins to secure the two pieces together temporarily. Make sure your new stripes are facing inward .

4. Begin to sew the fish pieces together, removing straight pins as you go. When you have roughly 4-8 inches left to sew, remove all the straight pins and turn the fish inside out, so that the stripes are now on the outside.

5. Stuff the fish to capacity!

6. Complete the last few inches of sewing the fish together

Step 3: Wasabi for the Headpiece

The basic idea for the wasabi part of the headpiece is cutting out a flat flower-like shape, and sewing the "petals" up together at the tis to create a small dome shape. Attached is a sample pattern, but *disclaimer!* I'm not sure what I did with my original. This one is pretty close.

1. Cut out a pattern out of paper first, and make sure it will make the basic shape you'd like to achieve when it comes together. Edit paper model as necessary before tracing it onto the bright green felt .

2. Cut the shape out of the bright green felt. DON'T cut the slits all the way to the center, but you will probably need to cut them most of the way. Experiment before you snip too much.

3. Take two of the "petals" up, overlapping one over the other about 1/4 of the way. Sew the two together in the position across the tips of them, so the needle will be ready to keep going across the next and around the circle.

4. Continue sewing the following petals together until the dome is complete. (see image)

Step 4: The Rest of the Headpiece

Now that you've made the dome of wasabi, we're going to add some ginger to it on the decorative grass (you know, the kind that comes in a sushi-to-go box?).

1. Cut the dark green felt in half length-wise, so you have a piece thats 11in by 4.25 in. Cut into the long side along one side to make it look like grass, and feel free to cut the entire piece down to shorter than 4.25 in.

2. Cut a long thin piece of the fabric you're using for the ginger- about 5 in by 10 in. Fold it in half long ways (so that its now 2.5 in by 10 in), and fold it like a fan back and forth. It doesn't have to be a perfect fan, and it should bulb up a bit at the top

3. Pinching the bottom of the folded ginger fabric, sew the bottom of it directly onto the grass piece you just cut. Once you like how its shaped, sew the back of it higher up to keep it in place.

4. Once the ginger is in place, sew the wasabi on next to it.

5. Optional: I just bobby pinned this piece directly into my hair, but you can attach it to a headband if you want.

Step 5: Put It All Together!

Put on your white clothes, and have someone help you hold the fish on your back while you tie it on with the black "seaweed" fabric. Pin the headpiece in your hair, accessorize with the chopsticks, and you're ready to go!

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    13 Discussions


    3 years ago on Introduction

    Really cute--it would also be fun to make the tail be big and ruffly so you could swish it around.

    Well done!

    kat and me

    4 years ago

    Yaaaay I wanted to be sushi this year thanks so much :D


    I'm so glad you all liked it! Happy to share :) Hopefully I can post more costumes soon


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Am in the process of making one! Wish me luck! My fish is an old red pillow case, lol. LOWWWW budget!

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I hope it turned out well! More importantly, I hope you had a good time making and wearing it!


    7 years ago on Step 3

    You could probably also glue the felt if you didn't want to sew it. This is such a cute costume idea, I may just make a headband to wear around! Lol.

    1 reply

    You're probably right about gluing as a possibility, though you may need to use some clamps or hold it in place while it dries. I usually go with sewing for fabric in general since it seems to last longer. If you do decide to glue instead, I would suggest using hot glue. Haha, I love the idea of making the headband for everyday use!! I have my finished one around a small spherical lamp from IKEA. :)


    7 years ago on Step 3

    I <3 this part the the wasabi idea!!!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Very unique (I just hope nobody comes to the party as chopsticks!) ;)
    The Wasabi/Ginger-headpiece sure is a nice deatil all sushi-fans will recognize!