Are you a fan of The Greatest Showman? Here are all the details on our DIY Greatest Showman Costumes, including the pattern I used to make the PT Barnum tailcoat for my 4 year old son.
My kids both adore the movie, The Greatest Showman – in fact, it’s one of very few movies that they both genuinely love. My husband and I really like it too, so I was thrilled when they agreed on coordinating Halloween costumes from that movie! Yesterday, I shared my daughter’s DIY Anne Wheeler costume, and today I’m sharing all the details on my son’s DIY PT Barnum costume with you.
DIY GREATEST SHOWMAN COSTUMES: PT BARNUM COSTUME SUPPLIES
- this Tailcoat pattern in the appropriate size
- red fabric (amount depends on size – see pattern)
- gold buttons
- gold heat transfer vinyl + Silhouette machine
- black vest (we purchased this one)
- gold trim for vest
- hot glue gun
- white satin fabric for ascot
- white dress shirt
- black dress pants
- dowel rod + decorative knob
- black top hat
DIY GREATEST SHOWMAN COSTUMES: PT BARNUM RED TAILCOAT
Originally, I planned to purchase all the pieces of the costume separately and doctor them up to look more like the PT Barnum costume from the movie…but it was virtually impossible to find a decent child sized red tailcoat at any affordable price. Then I set out to look for a Circus Ringmaster sewing pattern so I could sew one myself, but couldn’t find one of those, either! Finally, I came across this McCall pattern that includes a tailcoat pattern and comes in kid sizes, so I went with it. My sewing skills are VERY basic, and while I did have a bit of trouble with some of the pieces, I was able to do it myself and it didn’t turn out too terribly! Good enough for a Halloween costume, for sure.
In hindsight, I could have used black fabric for the lapel pieces and it would have turned out more like the actual tailcoat he wears in the movie. But the solid red tailcoat works fine, too! I hand sewed on gold buttons to the lapels to make it look more like the red coat Barnum wears at the end of the movie. And for an extra touch, I used my Silhouette machine to cut some gold heat transfer vinyl to mimic the embroidery on the sleeve. (For reference, I used this flourish from the Silhouette Design store to create the design.)
DIY GREATEST SHOWMAN COSTUMES: PT BARNUM VEST & CRAVAT
Once the tailcoat was done, the rest of the costume was pretty straightforward! I ordered this black vest from Amazon and hot glued on some gold trim. But even with the tailcoat, vest, and a tux shirt underneath, the ensemble just didn’t look complete – it needed a tie. In the film, he wears a white satin ascot (or a cravat? I can’t figure out what the difference is between those two terms), and I couldn’t find any cheap child-sized ones to purchase anywhere, so I made my own! It was really straightforward. I followed this YouTube tutorial, but scaled her pattern down by 2/3 and it worked out well. It ended up being a really important part of the costume to make it look more authentic!
DIY GREATEST SHOWMAN COSTUMES: PT BARNUM COSTUME ACCESSORIES
The rest of the costume consisted of a hand-me-down tuxedo shirt and pants, a top hat from the Halloween section at Target, and finally – my son’s favorite part – the cane. It was a super simple DIY – just a 1/2″ dowel rod spray painted black + a decorative brass knob from the hardware store + a hanger bolt to attach them together.
Here’s a look at our PT Barnum with Anne Wheeler. Don’t they look great together? You can see the full DIY Anne Wheeler Costume here.
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Love this but too non-diy like you just bought most of the stuff and put it together 😕 still amazing tho ;D
Sewing a tailcoat completely from scratch doesn’t count as DIY??? 🤔 Not to mention the gold trim on the vest, the DIY cane, the cravat, and the original HTV designs on the tailcoat. But yeah, I did buy the hat and pants, you got me there.