Princess Merida Costume from Brave
Make a Disney Pixar Princess Merida Costume
Princess Merida will continue to be one of the most popular Halloween costumes. Since her debut in 2012 she has proven to be popular for girls, tweens, teens and grown women. Fortunately there is time before Halloween to start working on making or adapting one of the Princess Merida dresses into a costume for your favorite Brave tween, teen or adult fan.
Perhaps the biggest choice with making a Merida Costume is deciding to make her more traditional day use dress or her special occasion, suitor and archery competition dress.
There are two different version of her Celtic medieval style dresses, one in forest green (or teal) and another in a light shade of blue. Merida's main accessory, other than her curly red hair, is her archery set.
This page has plenty of information to help you in making or adapting your own Princess Merida Costume and finding her costume accessories. I've found the best available patterns to use to make your own Merida dress. The hardest part may be deciding to make the green or the blue dress.
If you run out of time or get too frustrated trying to make a costume, there are also links to some premade adult and teen sized dresses that could be adapted into Merida costumes and the official Disney Merida costumes that could be used for girls instead.
Princess Merida from Disney/Pixar Brave on Facebook
Disney Pixar's Princess Merida
Image from Disney Pixar's Brave on Facebook
If you had a chance to make your dress...
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Princess Merida's Dresses Easier Ones to Make
Princess Merida is not a typical Disney Princess and neither are her dresses. Merida's dresses are a Medieval style dress or early Renaissance. The dresses are made with very long lines, few details or embellishments and lace up the back to close
Another important part of her green dress is her long hooded cape and the headring and wimple on her blue formal costume.
Merida's dresses have become very popular for those doing Medieval or Renaissance reenactments, Cosplay and Comic Con costumes.
The dresses that have been designed for Merida, even her more formal blue dress are much more simple than the more ornate dresses worn by Belle, Cinderella, Ariel and Aurora. The most complicated parts look to be the lacings in the back and the sleeves and sleeve openings.
Princess Merida from Disney/Pixar Brave on Facebook
Visit The Costume Detective
- The Costume Detective - DIY Costume Ideas
A website for finding the Best DIY Costumes, Crafts and Halloween Fun with information on DIY costumes and crafts previously prominently featured as part of the Best of Halloween and Make Your Own Halloween Costumes on Squidoo.
Brave Family Legends
We get more of an idea what to expect with Brave in this clip from Disney Pixar.
Blue or Green ?
Images from Disney Pixar on Facebook
Vote on Merida's Dress Color
Which dress do you like better?
Merida Costume Patterns
Make Your Own Merida Dress
Princess Merida gives us not only one dress, but two dresses to choose from when deciding to make a Merida dress. The Medieval styling tend to be flattering for many figure sizes, so may prove to be a popular costume for adults to wear both at Halloween and reenactments.
Merida's dresses appear to be seamless, an indication that the animators are perhaps not clothing designers. In order to get the figure hugging dresses worn by Merida, one would need to use princess seams, which are seams that run from the shoulder to the hem. The princess seams allow for a custom fit at the bust line, the waist and the hips, which creates a figure-flattering line for women of all sizes.
Several of the available patterns indicate they have a kyrtle or a kirtle, which according to a Presentation by B S Sharples, Bosbury, Herefordshire November 2011 is defined as a woman's long dress, closely fitted to the bust, waist and hips with a rectangular neckline and tight long sleeves. The kirtle was often worn with a hip belt. Some of the kyrtles were worn over a chemise or a blouse. Merida's blue dress features a hip belt detail which is sewn into the dress. Her main hip belt is the belt for her arrow holster.
The are several different patterns to choose from for making a Merida dress depending on which style and how exact you want to be in recreating the costume. The Easy Renaissance Princess (Kirtle) Gown Pattern shown in the image above is a bit more curvaceous than the original Merida dress, but this pattern has adjustments for the neckline as well as three different back closure options a zipper (not authentic), button or laced (most authentic).
Easy Renaissance Princess Pattern on Amazon below.
How to Make a Merida Costume
- Pick the Dress - Green or Blue
- Study details of the costume - Watch the movie, look at video clips and picture still from Brave
- Pick a pattern or patterns for the dress
- Decide whether to include the cape
- Buy the fabric, notions and embellishments
- Start sewing
- Remember the accessories - cape, wig and archery set, headring and wimple.
Celtic Costume Patterns
Early Celtic, Medieval and some Renaissance style patterns work well for recreating Merida's dress. You may have to combine elements of different patterns to come up with a final Merida Dress.
Merida Dress - Green
Princess Merida in Green
In this Brave Stories promotional clip from Princess Merida from Disney Pixar Brave we see both of Merida's dresses, first the blue more formal one and the green daily wear dress.
Making a Green Dress for Princess Merida
Merida's Green dress is her more active dress. It is made from beautiful forest green fabric. She also has her archery set, bow, arrows, quiver or arrow holster and belt. We also see her wearing a dark woolen hooded cape which could be made from a Renaissance Cape pattern or from Butterick Patterns B4377 and closed with a celtic brooch or a large celtic button.
Looking at the images it is difficult to tell for sure if the dress is constructed with or without an underlying blouse (chemise), or if the contrasting sections are a part of the dress.
The front of the green dress has a keyhole opening with lace or beige fabric ruffle around the edges. The sleeves are contrasting upper and lower sleeves with the chemise underneath or stitched into the dress.
Merida's green dress could be constructed as a complete dress or as a green dress with beige or nude colored blouse underneath depending on one's preferences.
Good pattern options include the Easy Renaissance Princess Kirtle, Simplicity 9891, or Butterick B4827. These patterns all of the basic princess seamed dress patterns. The neckline can be found in the McCalls M5499 pattern (their green version) which also laces up the back. The sleeves need to be added separately and are discussed in the next section.
Since the blue dress laces up the back, it is likely that the green one laces up the back as well. The best pattern with different back closure options is the Medieval Kirtle Pattern which comes with zipper, button or lace closures.
Princess Merida in the Woods from Disney Pixar on Facebook
Fabric for Merida's Green Dress
Official Princess Merida Costume Sewing Patterns
McCalls M6817 and Simplicity 1557
Sewing Companies Come out with Brave Patterns
There are two different dress patterns for Merida's teal/forest green sporty dress. One is from Simplicity (on the top right) and it carries the official Disney brand and the other from McCalls (on the bottom right).
If you are going to use these patterns to make your costume, be sure you get the right size pattern for the dress you want to make. The Disney version (Simplicity) comes in two different sizes for children and girls (tweens), but none for adults. The McCalls version comes with one sized for girls and one for women.
Simplicity 1557 - Child's and Girls' Disney Brave Costume
This pattern has directions for making the newer teal dress, a petticoat and a hooded cape. The dress has a contrasting cream colored neck ruffle and separate detachable sleeve pieces that are designed to go over the cream colored sleeves.
This Disney Brave costume comes in two different sizes, one sized for children 3 to 6 and the other for girls 7 to 14. There is no adult version of this pattern. It is one of the Disney Pattern Collection for Simplicity.
McCalls M6817 - Girls' and Women's Brave Costume
This dress costume can be used as a Merida Forest Green Dress or modified and used to make an evil Vampire Queen.
The dark green dress is fitted through the waist with princess seams and extends down to a long flared skirt. The neckline has contrasting ruffles, which match the two-piece sleeves. The dress is designed to lace up the back. The pattern comes with a separate belt.
This version comes with one pattern sized for Girls (3-4, 5-6, 7-8) and one pattern sized for Women (Small, Medium, Large X-Large) depending on what size you need.
Merida Sewing Patterns available at your local sewing store, on Amazon and eBay.
Official Merida Costume Patterns on Amazon
You may be able to find these patterns at your local sewing store, if they are not too popular.
Princess Merida Dress Patterns on eBay
There are two different dress patterns for Merida, one from Simplicity the other from McCalls. Make sure you get the right size pattern for the dress you want to make.
The Simplicity version comes in two different sizes for children and tweens, but none for adults.
Merida Costume Sewing Patterns
Here are the links to the sewing company websites where you can find the Official Merida Dress Sewing Patterns.
- Simplicity 1557 - Child's and Girls' Disney Brave Costume
Disney Brave costume in children sizes 3-14. Dress up as princess Merida in dress with contrast neck ruffle & detachable sleeve piece, petticoat coat, and hooded cape. Official Disney Pattern Collection for Simplicity.
- M6817 | Misses' or Children's/Girls' Costumes
Fitted and flared dresses have neck ruffles, princess seams, back band, lacing, and two-piece sleeves with bias puffs.
Details of Green Dress
Image from Disney Pixar's Brave Facebook Album
Long Sleeves with Contrasting Sections
Most of the detailing of Merida's Green Dress goes into the contrasting sections in her sleeves.
If you look at the detailing picture above, Merida's sleeves appear to be cut into several sections with a large underarm opening showing either a chemise top or a contrasting fabric in a very large gusset. The green sleeve only looks to be attached at the very top of the shoulder.
There are two patterns that I found which do the split sleeves one. McCalls 5444 is still available. It has the long sleeves with contrasting upper and lower sections and sleeve stays.
McCalls 4041 is a discontinued pattern, but can be picked up on eBay and on Amazon. This pattern also has contrasting upper and lower sleeves with larger cuffs.
The only thing that needs to be added in are the pieces to connect the different sections of the green sleeves.
McCall's Pattern 4011 available on Amazon and eBay.
Merida Dress Sleeve Pattern
I found two different patterns for creating the contrasting sleeves on Merida's green dress. McCalls 5444 is still available on Amazon.
McCalls 4041 is a discontinued pattern but you can still find it being sold on eBay.
Green Forest Princess Costume for Women
Merida's Green (Teal) Dress - Video Tutorials
A look at several different interpretations of Merida's sporty dress from Traybuff or Tracy and a cosplay dress from Sara Eberle. Tracy has a tutorial for the dress and also for the chemise (underwear).
Interpretations of the Teal Green Dress and Accessories
Some of the amazing cosplay interpretations of Merida's dress and her quiver accessories. Saiyuki-15's bow and quiver is truly amazing.
- W.I.P. Merida II by ~Sephie-monster on deviantART
My Merida without her robe/hood thing I still need to cut the underdress, but here's my IMPROVED Merida Costume.
- W.I.P. Quiver by ~Sephie-monster on deviantART
My Merida W.I.P. Quiver. The whole pattern is inspired and practically created by so I have to credit her highly. It's all the same pleather fabric pain...
- Brave - Merida's Quiver by *saiyuki-15 on deviantART
Took some photo's of my The Quiver is made from leftover brown pleather. and I made it without any sort of pattern just references of other quivers.
- Merida W.I.P by *SuckerPunchBaby on deviantART
Everything in this picture (dress, arrows, quiver, belt) is a result of three hours work just because I was bored Still need to add the white elements t...
- Browsing deviantART
Art - community of artists and those devoted to art. Digital art, skin art, themes, wallpaper art, traditional art, photography, poetry / prose. Art prints.
- Merida Progress 2 by ~lake-fairy on deviantART
So here is the Base dress for my Merida Cosplay!!! The dress is made of a heavy green wool blend and is really fantastic for the authenticity factor of ...
- Shooting for my OWN hand by ~avrien-huggin on deviantART
Again, I pretend to be Merida, the main character from the upcoming Pixar movie Brave. The costume and accessories have been done by me. I�ve also prepa...
- I'll be shooting for my own hand! by ~lake-fairy on deviantART
Sonja got my Brave pictures up!!!!! I was SO excited to do this shoot, and we got so many AMAZING pictures, I'm just thrilled!
- Merida from Brave by ~StrangeKay on deviantART
Il mio ultimo cosplay, la carinissima Merida dal nuovo film d'animazione Disney/Pixar "Brave".
- Merida From Brave Everyday Teal Dress | Tracy's Costuming World
For this costume, you will require beginner to intermediate experience in sewing and experience with putting in eyelets.
- Pixar Brave heroine Merida | Flickr
Pixar Brave heroine Merida at Chicago Cosmic and Entertainment Expo 2013.
Princess Merida Costumes on eBay
The Forest Princess costume or Elf Queen is a pretty good reproduction of the Merida green dress.
If you search on eBay you can often find some amazing cosplay reproduction costumes for sale by some very talented seamstresses.
Merida Dress - Blue
Princess Merida in Blue
Making Princess Merida a Blue Dress
Merida's Blue dress is her more formal dress. The form-fitting dress is made from a beautiful light blue, slightly turquoise satin sheeny fabric. The (likely) princess seamed dress features a square neckline and is embellished with gold fabric and a golden hip belt detail which is sewn into the dress. Gold fabric also embellishes the hem and the pointed cuffs.
Merida's wimple (headdress), which could be fashioned from white jersey knit fabric, appears to be detachable from her undershirt, which is viewed peeking out of her neckline and her cuffs. The sleeves are constructed with an open gusset revealing her undershirt or a knit jersey fabric insert.
The blue dress is laced up the back and she splits the seams in order to participate in the archery contest, revealing her undershirt beneath.
Good pattern options for Merida's Blue Dress include the Medieval Kirtle Pattern or the Easy Renaissance Princess (Kirtle) Gown Pattern. The pointed sleeve cuff detailing can be found in Butterick B4377.
Merida in Blue Dress from Disney Pixar on Facebook
Brave - The Prize
In this clip from Disney Pixar's Brave we see Princess Merida dressed in her blue dress and white hood, that initially contains her wild hair. There are a few very quick close ups of the detailing of the dress.
Details of Blue Dress Hem
Screenshot from Disney Pixar's Brave YouTube Clip
Materials for Merida's Blue Dress
Sketches of Merida's Blue Dress
Image from Disney Pixar
Light Blue Renaissance Dresses
This light blue Renaissance Dress with a few gold embellishments and a wimple could be used as Merida's more formal dress costumes. It can also be used as a wedding dress.
Princess Merida Formal Dress on eBay
The official Disney Merida dresses are only sized for children, not teens.
Merida's Blue Dress - Video Tutorials
A look at how Traybuff or Tracy made her own beautiful version of Merida's blue dress, her chemise (underwear) and her cloak and brooch. You can find out more information at her website, Tracy's Costuming World by following the link below.
More Details on Princess Merida Costumes
Photographs of Disney's Meet and Greet Merida and other people's interpretations of the Merida costume.
- Merida Face | Flickr
A close up of Disney World's Princess Merida
- Merida | Flickr
A full length shot of Disney World's Princess Merida
- Princess Merida from Pixar's Brave | Flickr
Princess Merida from Pixar's Brave from Anime Los Angeles 2012 in a costume she made herself.
- Princess Merida from Pixar's Brave Close up | Flickr
A close up of the Princess Merida from Pixar's Brave from Anime Los Angeles 2012.
- Princess Merida from Pixar's Brave Shooting | Flickr
Princess Merida from Pixar's Brave Shooting from Pixar's Brave from Anime Los Angeles 2012.
- Merida outfit - Disney Princess Photo (24882938) - Fanpop
A look at the front and back of Merida's green dress
- Cosplay.com - Princess Merida - ayaasan
Costume of Princess Merida from Brave by Cosplay.com member ayaasan.
- Cosplay Island | View Costume | Phee - Princess Merida
More images and up close views of Princess Merida's costume for detailing a Princess Merida costume.
- Merida From Brave Blue Formal Dress | Tracy's Costuming World
For this costume, you will require beginner to intermediate experience in sewing and experience with putting in eyelets.
- Merida from Brave | Flickr
Blue Dress Merida Costume from Brave at Comic Con. 2012.
Princess Merida Wig
Merida has flaming Red Hair
One of the most striking things about Merida is her vibrant, curly and fiery red hair that seems to almost have a life of its own.
Those who are blessed with naturally curly long red hair will have no problem looking like Merida.
The rest of us probably need to put on a Merida Red Wig or add some curls to any old Ariel wig you might have.
Since the official Merida wig appears to be sized to go with the official Merida costume dresses, until they come out with one for adults, adults and tweens should look at other curly red wigs that I've pulled into the module below.
Merida from Disney Pixar on Facebook
Princess Merida Red Wig Options
One of the most noticeable thing about Merida is her fiery red hair. Those who were not blessed with red hair can put on a red wig to look more like Merida.
Princess Merida's Archery Set
Brave Archery Set
Merida's most prize possession, one that she is rarely without, is her archery set bow and arrows. She is seen with the archery set in her green dress, but does the shooting at the contest in her blue dress.
Putting together a Merida costume would require including an archery set.
Disney Merida's Archery Set comes with a 26 inch bow and four 15 inch arrows which can be stored in a 11 1/2 inch quiver worn around the waist like Merida.
The arrows have suction cups instead of arrowheads.
Any Merida carrying a bow and arrows needs to make sure that she doesn't point the arrows at anyone, or is only using safe arrows.
Disney Brave Archery set available on Amazon (see the right side bar) and on eBay.
Princess Merida Wimple and Tiara
Princess Merida's Headring and Wimple
When Merida wears her blue dress, she also gets outfitted with a wimple (a cloth headdress worn in medieval times by single young women that covers the head, the neck, and the sides of the face) and a headring as seen in the illustration to the right.
Merida's headring looks to be in gold with pearls and an aquamarine stone embellishments which could be fashioned using a gold and pearl headband as a base.
To simulate Merida's headring you need to find a gold headband with embedded pearls and then attach a smaller piece of jewelry to it.
The official Disney version of Meridas headdress looks like an enlarged version of Princess Merida's head ring with a dangling jewel and gold glitter accents. Instead of going around the head, this tiara has combs which can be secured to the hair. It is sized for children, but since it comes with attached combs, it could fit into an adult head.
Image of Merida from Disney Pixar
Princess Merida Dolls
Princess Merida as a Toddler
When Disney Pixar Brave was released in 2012, Princess Merida was added to the official collection of Disney Collection of Toddler Dolls, a collection of dolls created with input from the Disney Animators who drew the characters.
This toddler version of Merida has her fiery red hair. She wears a modified version of Princess Merida's formal blue gown, minus her headdress. The quirky expression demonstrates her rebellious attitude or is perhaps an expression stolen from her three toddler brothers.
You can find out more about the Disney Animators' Collection of Toddler Princesses in the lens that I created below.
The Toddler Merida Doll measures 16 inches and is available on Amazon.
More Lenses on Brave
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What do you think about making a Merida Costume?