Clown costumes are easy to make because there’s little opportunity to make mistakes, since any mistake will just be seen as part of the funny outfit. There are lots of different ways to make the outfits, from colorful to cute to dowdy. Start with patterns that are much too large, for best results.
When cutting out the pants for the clown costume you have various choices: make them huge at the waist and wear suspenders, make them baggy in the rear but fitted in the waist, make them way too short, or just cut them to a larger size than you normally wear and rely on the silly fabric to complete the design.
Choose a pattern for the pants that is much too large – unless you want them to be fitted. Cut the pattern out, allowing way too much fabric for the ankle part of the legs. Patterns generally call for you to taper the leg down towards the ankle, but for clown pants, don’t taper, just cut almost straight down. This will make the pants way too baggy in the legs – perfect for a clown outfit.
When sewing the pants, stitch a hem around each ankle area, or use elastic to make the pants gather at the ankle, in a traditional clown outfit design. Other tricks to make the pants look silly is to put colorful patches on the seat and knees, cut one leg shorter than the other, or leave the seam apart in the rear and wear wild-looking boxes underneath.
For a traditional clown shirt, purchase a pattern that is much too large for you. Cut the pattern to the specifications, but don’t taper the arms down towards the wrists. Instead, cut the pattern very large from the armpit to the wrists. Add elastic at the wrists to make puffy shirt sleeves.
There are many ways to make the shirt even sillier. Add mismatched patches here and there, place giant pom-poms down the front, cut the hem too short on half the shirt, make one sleeve much shorter than the other, or use gigantic buttons, but put snaps underneath, to fasten the shirt.
You can make the outfit one piece, if you’d like, by using a pattern that has the zipper down the back, or making this pattern yourself. The way to do this is to cut the shirt front on the fold, then place the zipper in the back. Extend the zipper down the seat of the pants to make it a step-in outfit. You’ll have to tuck the shirt into the pants then stitch into place before placing the zipper.
If you can find a pattern for adult pj’s – the type that is one piece with the slippers built in, you can eliminate the slipper part of the pattern and make the one-piece suit as a clown outfit. These patterns work great but are difficult to find. The patterns work great for child clown costumes, too, if you can find the smaller patterns.
Make giant ties by using a regular tie as a pattern, then cutting it extra long and/or extra wide. You’ll have fun in your new clown costume and people will be very impressed when they learn you made it yourself. It’s fun and easy – give it a try.