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Making the Evil Queen (Once Upon A Time) Costume

Updated on February 28, 2015

Evil Queen/Regina Mills Pattern

Making a Regina/Evil Queen costume/cosplay starts with your choice of pattern. When I started sewing this past summer (2014), I bought a lot of patterns through Joann's sales, and not all of them were for immediate use. In fact, the one I'm using in this Hub wasn't even supposed to be made until this fall for Halloween.

The pattern I'm using is the McCall's MP311, which only contains the coat portion of the costume.

"Brocade Paisley Orchid Metallic"
"Brocade Paisley Orchid Metallic" | Source

Picking the Fabric

Evil Queen/Regina Mills (EQ/RM here on out) is known for having sumptuous clothes throughout the series, especially as in the Enchanted Forrest. The coat pattern I'm working off of is based out on the EQ portion of the series, so I'm going with the "based off of" concept.

I didn't want to make an exact cosplay/costume, to me that's been seen and done by others. I wanted to set myself apart and make the outfit like the ones from the series, but not an exact replica.

So, picking the fabric was a good few hours in Joann's, roaming the fabric aisles and considering my options. I did see a brocade and a velvet which worked for exact show replicas, but passed them up for the Orchid Brocade pictured above.

How much fabric you need depends on your size and which of the three coats you choose from the pattern.

My size + the fabric width = 5 3/8th's of outer fabric.

Inner fabric: 41/2 years. Basic black lining fabric.

Pricing of Coat

On Sale or Not
10 for 10 sale
Pattern was
bought separately
so no tax
Outer fabric
50% off
Lining fabric
Fabric on sale+bought remnant
On sale
Already Owned
Student Discount
Laid out on the floor because I needed the space. Please note my fabric is shown 'wrong side' up on this side.
Laid out on the floor because I needed the space. Please note my fabric is shown 'wrong side' up on this side.

Getting Started

Following my own rules I pulled the pattern instructions out first and read them twice. I took a pen and circled all the instructions that pertained to the pattern type I chose: A (sans capelet and with B's cuffs).

I then cut my pattern, leaving all uncut pieces I didn't need in the pattern packet.

When I got to cutting my fabric, I spent some time aligning my fabric's pattern in the pieces and along the grainline for good look and fit.

While cutting, my cat Luna, decided she was "helping" by being a furry pattern weight.

Trying on the bodice.
Trying on the bodice.
Having gotten the sleeves on (bodice not pinned closed).
Having gotten the sleeves on (bodice not pinned closed).
Two ways the cuffs could be worn, I'm still trying to decide which way I like better.
Two ways the cuffs could be worn, I'm still trying to decide which way I like better.

Bodice Work

I set my machine to a 1.5 stitch length, because I wanted the seams tight, but still able to be ripped if I made a mistake. I followed the seam allowance of 5/8ths on most the seams.

Before I stitched the back and front together, I pinned them at the seam allowance and found that if I were to continue, I'd not fit the bodice properly. So, I adjusted the sides to a 1/2in allowance, which gave me more room in the waist. But then I found the bodice to be blocky and didn't help me at all. I pulled the seam from under the bust to the waistline, then put in a graduated seam, making the overall fit much better.

Because I was making adjustments to the pattern, I needed to know them for if I made this again. Thus my handy-dandy notepad, which I keep beside my sewing machine, began keeping record of all my tweaks to the pattern. Including adding some top-stitching to help tack the pieces together and give the coat a better finish.

I'm still working on putting in the hook and eyes in the front of the bodice, but I'm adjusting the placement often and considering some other form of closure.


The sleeves themselves were unlike any I'd ever done, mainly because I had never done sleeves with lining before. Making sure everything was pinned in the right place and order was annoying, but I got it right on the first go.

My only problem with the sleeves: one sleeve decided to let a pin get caught under the sewing dogs under the fabric. It took much wiggling and worrying to get the pin out without taking apart the machine.

Help Me and My Sleeves

Which way should I wear my sleeves?

See results
Top view to show shape.
Top view to show shape.

My Hat

After cutting out the fabric I decided to make an accessory for the outfit, something that wasn't a crown. Thus this hat was created, with some cardboard, hot glue, and scraps. I originally wanted to do just a pillbox hat, but then I decided to make it a bit different with the teardrop shape.

I cut the main top shape out of a shoe box lid and then used it's edging to cut the two side pieces. Using hot glue, I put fabric of slightly larger shapes than the cardboard down. Clipping around the edges of each piece I then glued those edges around the back of the cardboard. More hot glue stuck the pieces together, then the inside has a small scrap pillow to hold up a comb glued inside.

I still need to add some more embellishments, but it works for now!

Look for Part 2

I'll be putting the skirt of the coat in Part 2, along with my notes on embellishments and the other pieces of my costume/cosplay for EQ/RM.


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