I made a Merida costume, and it isn’t even Halloween yet

*Warning: Photo-heavy post!

The Bee and I were at a local free trade event and a woman who is a range officer at the archery range recognized her, and asked if she would be so kind and show up for a little girl’s birthday at the range all dressed up as Merida from Brave as a special surprise. She told us how very much this little girl liked the movie Brave. The Bee could even shoot with her being a more experienced archer.


My big-hearted girl didn’t hesitate. She automatically said “Of course!”.


You may remember my “Merida”post from last January. Well, my teen has grown since then, so a new, more authentic looking costume was in order.


Merida costume

I started out by tracing the shoulders and sides of the bodice from an old t-shirt of hers, onto stretch velvet.

Merida costume

I found a greenish color at the fabric store, and sadly they only had about 1 yard left.  I chose this color blue, instead. They didn’t have a whole piece available, so I had to alter the design I had in my head (all one piece A-line dress) to a gathered skirt onto a bodice. I think it still works well.

Merida costume

The sleeves were the big challenge. I Googled a bunch of Merida photos, and came up with this design. They were the part that took the longest. At one point Jim came into the room and said “Do you realize you just spent an hour on ONE sleeve??”. Yes, but look how cute it turned out! Ha!

Merida costume

For the neckline, I used the same gold fabric and ruffled it. I then took some embroidery thread and stitched a fake criss-cross opening on the front.

Merida costume

She loves this costume, and already has threatened to wear it to school.

Merida costume

She met the little girl for her birthday and got to shoot with her.

Merida costume

It was fun for both of them.

Merida costume

I love that my daughter just willingly does these things when she doesn’t stand to gain anything but the knowledge that she made someone else happy.

Merida costume

Uh, that AND a costume.

Merida costume

The Bee even watched the movie, again, before we went, to get into character.

Merida costume

At one point, she turned to me and said, “You know, if she wasn’t created by Pixar, I would think we were related“.

Merida costume

Me too.

Merida costume

Now that she has the costume, I asked if she would be interested in volunteering at a hospital sometime.

Merida costume

You know what her answer was?

Merida costume

Of course!


I’m linking to:


50 thoughts on “I made a Merida costume, and it isn’t even Halloween yet

  1. A beautiful post, Michelle, and a beautiful act of kindness by your daughter. Thank you both for bringing the magic of the Buy Nothing Project to light.

  2. What a special moment to be a part of … the look on the birthday girl’s face when “Merida” made her appearance was priceless 🙂 the costume is perfect ! and the young woman wearing it is delightful.

    A lovely afternoon with two darling archers, vying for that perfect shot on the target …

  3. This made my day. Pure joy. Pure energy. Your daughter is gift and the costume is fabulous! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Maybe it is because I’m trying to get used to have my daughter in daycare, and she’s been crying for me, but this post brought tears to my eyes. That’s such a good thing that Bee did for this little girl. And your dress is lovely.

    1. Thank you Magda! I am sorry your daughter is having a rough transition. Hang in there! It will get better,
      and before you know it, she will be 13!

  5. Beautiful! Bee looks just perfectly like Merida! Great Birthday surprise and it will be so fun to visit hospital with “Merida”!

  6. My little girl asked me (after seeing these photos) “Is that the REAL Merida?”
    Awesome dress and you have THE perfect daughter to play the role of Merida!!!

  7. WOW! This is my first visit to your site and look at what I got to see….your beautiful daughter, both inside and out!

    Her dress is gorgeous! Kudos to you!

    She’s a ringer for Merida!!!!!!! But even prettier 🙂
    Does she act? hehe

    The hospital….awesome! The kids will love her!

    1. Thank you so much, Kere and WELCOME to Falafel and the Bee.
      So glad you got to look around.
      She does act- in fact it is hard to get her to stop- LOL
      Lots of Drama in our home.
      She is excited about spreading some joy.

  8. Wow her hair is awesome and she is so beautiful! My 18 year old wants that hair :). You did an amazing job on the costume and it sounds like you are raising a very special person.

  9. How cool is that! That she willing went, that the costume turned out so amazing and that she looks like Merida. My daughters think she makes a great Merida! Thanks for linking!

  10. Wow Michelle!!! Great job on the dress, and what beautiful photos…. Your Bee is a trully special and thoughtful person. She looks, beautiful, as always…. and that HAIR!! To die for, so gorgeous 🙂

    1. Thanks Kristin! I just took her yesterday for a haircut. Just a trim, but they took out some of the weight.
      It is so unbelievably thick!
      I wish I had it:)

  11. That dress is awesome, but your daughter is BEAUTIFUL! She looks like she could have been the inspiration for Merida herself.

    1. Thanks so much Erin! I am trying to convince her to wear it for Halloween, but I don’t think she thinks it is “costumey” enough. LOL
      Too much like who she really is.

  12. We just went to Disney World so my granddaughter could meet Merida. Your daughter certainly could have played the part… do I foresee a new pre-college and college years summer job???
    Of course, great job mom on her dress.

  13. When my daughter saw all the little thumbnails of all the PRP costumes she saw Merida and gasped and said, “I want to be Merida like that girl!” Since my daughter is 4, I didn’t bother to explain that whatever Merida costume I could come up with, I could never replicate how perfect your daughter looks as Merida, especially with that gorgeous hair! She truly fits the part. And I think spending an hour on a sleeve is completely worth it.

    1. That is so very sweet Megan! It made me giggle.
      We just started with her hair and went with it! LOL
      She really has only a handful of costumes that fit her-
      Pippi, Annie, and now Merida!

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