Simplicity 4926 Simplicity 4926, Really Cool Fish Costume. OOP. Couldn’t get my hands on it, so I had to self-draft this fish.

Anglerfish My third grader came home early last week and asked if I could make a fish costume like that cool one on the sewing website. He remembered the dead fish costume Twistedangel made a few Halloweens ago. He had wanted one at the time but completely forgot about it until now. His teacher had him scheduled to do a presentation on the abyss and march in a parade representing his chosen biome in a few short days.

“Um, are you SURE you need to be a fish?” I asked.

“I must be an anglerfish. PLEEEAASE, Mom!” he begged.

I’m a softie for those big brown eyes, so an adventure into costumedom began.

No problem! I jumped on PR and plugged in the word “fish” and found the review. Of course, the cheapskate in me remembered to check the pattern sale thread. I determined I could pick up the pattern Thursday morning for $1.99, just enough time to complete this costume for Friday morning activities. This was going to be a piece of cake.


I didn’t figure out this pattern is Out of Print until I couldn’t find it at Hancock! This was starting to look like a crisis situation.

Costume Teeth Time to get serious. I had a rough idea what an anglerfish looked like (who could forget those teeth LOL) and having read all the reviews I knew I needed 1/2” foam at the thickest. I picked out a bunch of things at Joann when I happened upon the remnant rack. That was it. Everything was switched out for remnants and I saved over $20. It was great!

I ended up buying a headliner remnant instead of foam. Blue sparkley dance type spandex instead of cotton for the gills. Navy blue poly satin to make the lips for $1.

I bought enough blue suiting for the fish body plus a spring dress for me, enough blue cotton for the lining of both. It took a while to think it all through. It was a bit challenging. The dress will be my reward for straining my brain — M5658, View C.

Costume Sketch A quick measure of DS’s head and I sketched the fish body on plastic, hoping for the best! I traced the pieces off my master drawing, added seam allowances, cut the fabric and started constructing the body. It went together fairly well save the darn curves. Let’s just say I won’t incorporate so many curves on a project in the future! It was an interesting endeavor, however, and a lot of clipping.

Costume Side The inner foam substititute, headliner, turned out to be just perfect. I cut two without seam allowances and then cut two more a bit smaller, basted two together to create each side with a pocket of sorts, and stuffed the pockets with batting.

I put my son to work stuffing the fins. It really didn’t work out too well as they flopped about and didn’t turn out exactly as I envisioned. But, what are you going to do, right? No time to slow down and reengineer fins. Now I see that I should have read DaleC’s review closer because she provides the answer to constructing perfect fins. Well done, Dale!

The teeth were skimped on because I was running out of steam. I do intend to go back and replace them with stuffed teeth eventually.

Frankly, it looks more like toothy-faced dolphin. The mouth part didn’t work out exactly as planned but the next time I could definitely execute it better.

Happy Kid Everything came together smoothly albeit it took an entire evening. I sewed the lining, lips, body together and turned the ensemble to try it on. The very moment I pulled it over my head to check for fit, the power went out. OMG! 3am and the power went out – just like that! Darn lightening storm. I waited a few minutes, standing there in the dark, wearing a fish head, looking like a total goof. Lucky I was too tired to wait any longer as the power didn’t come back on for 6 hours!!!

Poor anglerfish never did get eyes but my son didn’t seem to notice. He had a blast in the parade and everyone wanted to try on the fish head!

  1. Nice job!! I wouldn’t be able to turn down that cute face either. Now go sew for yourself as a reward. I was tickled that you found the same fabric for the costume and you. I love the blue by the way. Your son looks very happy.

  2. Hi! Your blog was one of the first sites I visited when I was trying to deal with the Halloween anglerfish dilemma for my 4yo. My sewing skills are very very rusty, but I figured I was going to have to give it a shot. I brought fabric home (along with a big bag o’ dread), but I wound up taking a slightly different tack, with far better results than I would’ve gotten trying to use my incredibly lame sewing skills. Spray adhesive, dollar-a-sheet art foam and a used bike helmet turned out to be my salvation. Since you have a similarly-inclined-to-oddball-requests kid, I figured I’d offer another tool for your Mom Toolbox. 🙂

  3. Jennifer, yours turned out so way better than mine! I got a good chuckle coming back and looking at our fish head again… that thing disappeared long ago!!! Thanks for the helmet idea, I wish I’d thought of it back then.

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