Mary Poppins Costume

I was THE BIGGEST Mary Poppins fan as a kid. I remember my brother and me bouncing up and down on the couch chanting her name when my mother asked us what we wanted to watch for movie night. I loved the songs, the adventures, and especially the penguins. 

I haven't, however, been a fan of Disney remakes lately, so it was with some trepidation that I saw Mary Poppins Returns at the beginning of this year. But I LOVED it! Sure, the songs are not as good, but the way it continues the story with many references to the original was very fun. And the costuming. OMG I loved the costuming. We hadn't even made it home from the theater when I decided I had to recreate one of the looks for Halloween. 

The costumes for the film were designed by Sandy Powell, who also did The Favourite that year. She was nominated for an Oscar for both and won for the latter. The costuming for both movies is exceptional and I honestly don't know how she had the time. 

I was particularly inspired by Mary Poppins because of the playful ways that Powell reimagined the original character. While the 1964 character has her dose of quirky style, Powell took it up a notch by playing with polka dots, stripes, buttons, and even chevrons to create a fun outfit that doesn't stray too far from the original look of the character. It's like all the pieces are there but the details are so much more interesting! In the look below, I'm sporting Mary's two-toned striped apron, navy and white polka dot blouse, and red and white polka dot bow tie, which also has matching gloves. 

To avoid sewing too many pieces, you'll see I made the apron into a full skirt with an apron bib. The skirt pattern is the Sewaholic Hollyburn, which I'd had in my stash from a pattern swap but never made up. It's a rather simple semi-circle skirt, which I honestly probably wouldn't buy in pattern format. But it was nice to test it out here. 

The blouse is another pattern I'd had in my stash and never sewn: Simplicity 4112, a Built by Wendy pattern. It had the perfect full gathered sleeve, which I modified to remove the elbow seam. I also added a traditional collar. The fit was actually pretty great for a shirt without darts, so I may use it again in the future. For the buttons, I just used mismatched black buttons from my stash, which was both thrifty and added a quirky Mary Poppins flare. 

By the time I got to the bow tie and gloves, I was having a bit of a "what was I thinking" moment. The two pieces, which are made from the same red with white polka dot fabric, really do complete the outfit. But was I really going to make gloves?! It took an evening and they are really pretty mediocre (i.e., unwearable for real life) but for a costume they work well. At one point I had a vague notion of making the hat, but that is just unrealistic. This one is from Amazon and isn't even a boater hat style. 

The most important piece, and where I spent most of my time, was the coat. The fabric, for starters, was difficult to find. I looked through Mary's various looks from the movie for inspiration and saw that she has two main coats - a red one with a chevron pattern and a blue one with a sort of stripe. I couldn't find wool fabric that matched either. However, in a weird twist, there was also a third fabric option: in one of the movie posters, they recolored her red coat outfit to be a blue coat outfit (not sure why, but whatever). And then I found a blue wool with a chevron pattern that kind of matched! Bingo! And, of course, I cocked my hat at a ridiculous angle because, blog photos. 

The coat is made from Burda's Misses' Jackets and Coats 6736, a printed pattern from Simplicity. If you click through, you'll notice it's really just a boxy coat, but the collar was about the right shape for me. I then drafted a simple capelet to go over the shoulders (it's detachable) and a tie belt. The Mimi G Simplicity 1016 coat would also work well, but it was out of stock when I ordered it. 

As for the rest of my crew, the hubby makes a great Bert (we went with the original Mary Poppins supporting character on this one), and he has a great vertical leap. His jacket was easily found for $6 at the local Goodwill and the rest we had on hand. 

Little Beatrix decided to go as the penguin and couldn't be cuter. I had already drafted her a marine mammal costume a few years back, so it was quick to put together this penguin look for her using the front and back of some sweatshirt fleece. 

We took our costumes out on the town last Saturday for a bar crawl and had loads of fun. Even won best couple's costume, but I think it was more due to me drumming up claps by jumping up and down with my umbrella open rather than the crowd admiring my detailed handwork. I'll take it. 

Happy Halloween!


  1. I love these costumes so much you both look fantastic. and Mr. is a perfect Bert.
    is the coat made so you can wear it non-costume? by the way, Mary Poppins (original) is the first movie I ever saw in a theater :) love it.

    1. Thank you! Yup post about the cost by itself coming soon!

  2. Love your costumes. I went to primary school dress up as Mary Poppins. The piece de resistance was the paper mache parrot my mum made on old umbrella with wooden handle.

    1. Amazing! I had ambitions to do the umbrella handle but it didn’t quite happen.


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