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Halloween Costume DIY: Tippi Hedren from “The Birds”

                           This post was originally posted on the blog Maie Dae as a guest post

Hi, my name is Maddie Flanigan and I am the blogger behind Madalynne, the cool pattern making and sewing blog. If Steve McQueen was the “King of Cool”, then Madalynne is the “Queen of Cool.” Three to four times a week, I post about a myriad of subjects – tutorials on how to draft a sloper to interviews of independent pattern maker/designers and what projects I’m currently working on. For the past two and a half years, my day job has been in the technical design department for a very large fashion company in Philadelphia. A couple of months ago, this company took note of my personal blog and asked me to start and Intranet blog that would create a cohesive voice for all their brands. Cool, right? I consider myself one lucky gal to be able to do what I love both day and night (blog and sew), not to mention I receive a stellar discount off some really fancy clothes!

Enough about me though, let’s talk Halloween! The holidays are my favorite time of year. Seriously, I kid you not. From early September to late January, I’m all about pumpkins, nutmeg, cinnamon, spice, evergreen, apples, red and green, and black and orange. All my senses – taste, touch, smell, see, and sound – gobble up anything and everything holiday related. The first holiday, Halloween, is my least favorite of the holidays – I usually don’t dress up – but I didn’t want that to be the case this year. To get gung ho about October 31st, this sewing and pattern making geek did what she does best – make something… a Halloween costume.

Along with sewing and patternmaking, old movies are another love of mine. If you’re an old movie lover like me, then you are aware that Citizen Cane was recently knocked out of the number one spot for Vertigo. Vertigo is an Alred Hitchcock movie. Rear Window, North By Northwest, and Strangers On A Train are all Alred Hitchcock movies. Another one of his movies, and the inspiration for my Halloween costume, is The Birds. Starring Tippi Hedren, the movie chronicles a shi-shi San Francisco socialite who pursues a man to a small town that slowly takes a turn for the weird and bizarre when birds suddenly begin to attack people. The movie is not one of my favorites, but Tippi Hedren is and that’s what I decided to be for Halloween.

Below, I show you how I created my Tippi Hedren costume. Surprisingly, it was very easy and quick – total assembly was less than two hours. Even a busy gal can carve out some time to make this number.


  • HAT: First, you will need a pillbox-type hat. Coincidentally, I owned one that I used for my costume. If you don’t one, Etsy.com has many options.
  • TULLE: I bought 1 yard of tulle and cut it into rectangular squares of varying shapes (see tutorial below). The color of the tulle should match the color of hat (if you want to mix it up though, go ahead and use a different color!)
  • NEEDLE & THREAD: Depending on the thickness of your hat will determine what size needle needed (For me, a thinner needle is easier to sew through thick plys of any kind of fabric). Also, any type of thread – cotton or polyester – is okay. Just make sure the color of the thread matches the color of the hat and tulle (again, if you want to jazz it up, go ahead and use a different color!)
  • BIRDS: I bought my birds at the dollar store. What was great about these birds was that wires were attached to the bottom of their feet, which meant attaching the birds to the hat was a cinch. If the birds you find don’t have wire attached to the feet, you will need to buy wire separately – you could use paper clips – or glue the birds to the hat. Etsy.com and any craft store will have birds. Cake toppers that are birds is also another option.


STEP 1: Attach birds to hat using glue or wire. I suggest trying on the hat beforehand to determine the placement of the birds

STEP 2: Begin sewing tulle to hat. Like I said before, I cut my tulle into rectangles of varying sizes. There was no rhyme or reason to the size I chose. Stitch once to secure and then start folding tulle in varying ways to create pleats that stick OUT and UP

STEP 3:Sew more pieces of tulle onto the hat, folding and pleating as desired and sewing one layer on top of each other, until the desired volume, size, and shape is achieved

STEP 4: Trim outer edges of tulle as needed to create desired volume, size, and shape

STEP 5: Ta-da! You’re finished!


  1. Reply


    What a fun costume!

  2. Reply

    Birdie wears a tie

    This is more than adorable.


  3. Reply

    Marisa Noelle

    Holy moly this is brilliant Maddie! I am such a huge Hitchcock fan, it’s ridiculous! Gosh this is perfect…I am seriously ooing and awing over here…hehe. Wishing I was dressing up for Halloween this year…just no time with leaving for South Carolina next Monday. If I were though, I would surely try and give this DIY a shot. I have a hat that would work perfectly with it…so perhaps next year 🙂

  4. Reply


    This is fantastic! So simple and striking. The Birds is such a classic, creepy thriller for sure. What a great costume idea!


  5. Reply


    Great idea for a costume, love this tutorial!

  6. Reply


    Tippi Hedren in the Birds… now that is one cool Halloween costume idea! My dad was/is a huge Hitchcock fan and we used to watch this one a lot. (Although it gave me nightmares as a kid!)

  7. Reply


    Great minds think alike I guess. I’m going to thriller themed party where you must come in costume and I chose Hitchcock’s Birds for my costume…except I’m going as a bird!

    • Reply


      What a coincidence! I hope you look fabulous!

      sent from my myriad of gadgets; please excuse my brevity and stupidity http://www.madalynne.com

  8. Reply


    Very cool!! Perfect for Halloween and love the vintage-inspired look with a cool twist.

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