Disney Brave Merida Costume with Simplicity Pattern 1557

I had my daughter’s Merida costume sewn long before Halloween, but I didn’t get around to taking pictures of her in it until Halloween. I debated whether or not I should post about it (with Halloween being in the back of our minds until about 11 months from now) but I decided that someone out there may want to make this super cute costume for a Christmas gift. I didn’t draft my own pattern for this costume, but rather I chose to use Simplicity Pattern 1557. The shape of the dress is fairly simple, but the gauntlets daunted me a little. And I got the pattern on a good deal. Overall, I was glad that I used this pattern. And our little Merida was happy with the costume, which is all the matters.

Merida Costume Simplicity pattern

The pattern comes with several different size options, as well as the pattern for the dress, a cape, and a petticoat. I did not make the cape. The quiver I made myself. The fabrics were all purchased from JoAnn Fabrics (velour and broadcloth).

Here are my thoughts on this pattern:

  • I think I got confused when piecing the front and back sections. Something didn’t seem correct when I was doing it, but I felt like I was following the pattern and the picture on the pattern. But I felt that after I sewn everything together, that I had more sleeve section puffing out from the back than the front, and I think it should have been the other way around. So be careful when doing the initial piecing.
  • Try on the dress on the subject several times during the making. This will allow for a proper fit.
  • I actually skipped the hemming step and just did a zigzag stitch. I cut a little below the stitch and it appears that I hemmed it. If using the proper velour fabric, the bottom of the dress should not show rough edges. Not what I recommend every time (or if you’re making a nice gift), but it’s a time saver if you’re on a shortage or if there’s a little girl asking “Is it done yet?” every day.
  • The petticoat is  a super easy addition that shouldn’t be skipped! It may seem unnecessary, but the petticoat peeking out from under the dress makes for an authentic addition.

Merida Costume from a Simplicity Pattern

Wig: Walmart, $7.00

Bow/Arrow: Walmart, $8.00

Quiver: Made from items on hand.

Merida Costume from Simplicity Pattern

Have you used this pattern? Any thoughts or tips?


  1. says

    She is SOOOO adorable!! I think dresses like this are great for girls all the time – my daughter is still wearing her costumes, we just keep them in the dress up box for imaginative play!

  2. says

    I think you did a great job on this. It’s not an easy costume to recreate.
    My daughter was so disappointed with the Disney version of the Merida costume that we too made our own. I can’t remember which pattern I used, but I modified a Simplicity pattern too.
    Here is the link to some pictures of my daughter’s costume, just thought I would share from one Merida mom to another. :)

  3. says

    Oh my goodness, you did an awesome job! I think I’m going to make my girls costumes next year, there is just something so much more special about a handmade costume :) Your daughter made an awesome Merida (she’s my favorite Disney princess!)

  4. says

    Looks awesome! I’m working on this right now. Just finished the dress about to start the petticoat. Was just googling to see the picture of the petticoat sticking out, to see how much longer than the dress it should be and I found your picture :)
    My 3.5 year old has been asking for a bow and arrow like Merida for a while now, so I bought the Disney one, and the wig for Christmas. She will also get the dress for Christmas. It looks so much better than the store bought.
    Unfortunately, since it’s a gift, I won’t be able to try it on her, but I hope it will fit well :)

  5. Barbara says

    Thanks for taking the time to post your pictures. I am set to cut out this pattern as a Christmas gift for my granddaughter. She knows it coming but I still don’t want to try it on her until she opens the gift box. I figure I just won’t hem it and if I have to adjust the side seams, I always can. I wasn’t planning on making the petticoat but you have changed my mind!

  6. Jessica says

    I made this for my 12 year old today. I found it a challenging pattern as well, but am pleased with the way it turned out. I used an “old gold” satin silk like fabric for the ruffles, sleeves, and ruffle on the petticoat. I had to read the directions on that pattern so many times and still ended up ripping several seams to re-do. I wish Simplicity directions were a bit clearer!!

  7. Susie says

    Hello! Thanks for your tips on this cute Merida dress! I’m attempting to do this project right now and am hung up on whether I fold the fabric right side together or wrong side together when pinning the pattern onto it in preparation for cutting. I’ve read the instructions a million times and can’t find anything that says which way to do it. What did you do?


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