DIY Gladion Costume Dress-Up

Book Week 2020 is coming up and G1 wanted a Gladion costume.

Gladion Dress-Up

Before you ask, “Is that even a book?” Let me assure you that it is… Gladion is a character from the Pokemon Manga series – Sun and Moon:

It is a series of graphic novels inspired by the Pokemon Games – Sun and Moon:

These days, if it’s a popular game or a movie, you can be pretty sure someone will have written a book about it – fan fiction or otherwise. Even Luigi from Mario Brothers – the character G2 is dressing up as – has his own book. His own book, mind you, not a tag-along to his more popular brother, Mario.

But I digress… Back to Gladion…

DIY Gladion Costume

I was ready to go the easy route with the design but it seems that the older the kids are, the more particular they become about accuracy. I couldn’t get just any red fanny pack, it had to be roughly the right size and dimensions. Of course, Gladion had to have a vertical waist bag, while everything for sale is horizontal. If only cartoonists would take these things into consideration when they create their characters…

Gladion Costume: Materials

I’ve tried to simplify the costume as much as possible, but some sewing is inevitable. Please don’t scrutinise the stitching. It looks terrible, I know. My rationale has always been – as long as it’s functional, it will do.

Here’s what we used:

If you want an easier way out, you can find a dark gray sleeveless hoodie – something like this but without the pocket (or any logos).

Gladion Costume: Bag

For Gladion’s bag, I cut three pieces of red fabric to the following measurements:

  • A – Backing: 30cm x 15cm
  • B – Pouch flap: 18cm x 15cm
  • C – Closing flap: 12cm x 15cm

I didn’t quite follow the plan I drew out in the book below but this one works, too. In fact, the extra layer will give the bag more body.

Diy gladion instructions

I sewed the outer edges of Part B and C to Part A, then flipped them inside-out so the seams are on the inside. I sewed down the inner edge of Part C but left Part B open to keep the pouch functional. It’s big enough to store 3 pokeballs comfortably. The final pouch looks like this:

Diy gladion instructions

For the waistband, I cut two long strips of red fabric and sewed them together. It was quite a pain to flip it inside-out, but we got there in the end with a chopstick. I sewed one end of the waistband to the back of the pouch and added velcro as a fastener.

Diy gladion instructions

Finally, I sewed the button on. I thought of doing a buttonhole, but I got lazy. The flap sits quite neatly so I didn’t even bother to add a velcro fastener.

Diy gladion instructions

The end result looked pretty good, I thought. Just don’t inspect those seams too closely. Oh yeah, if you look carefully at the picture, you will notice that I added another line of stitching around the outer end of the closing flap to keep the seams flat.

Gladion’s Top and Bottom

This was probably the easiest part – cutting holes in the top and bottom. Some Gladion costumes use white fabric to seal the holes – which helps to stop the fabric from flopping around. We didn’t in the end because G1 wanted to stay true to the original Gladion look. I wasn’t complaining because it meant less work for me.

Based on the few pictures I managed to find of Gladion, these are how the cuts look on the top and bottom from front and back:

Diy gladion instructions

I left the side seams intact so they would fray. It also helps to keep the shape of the fabric together.

Diy gladion instructions

So here we are with two-thirds of the costume complete:

Diy Gladion

The Vest

I used a singlet top that G1 currently wears as the outline for the vest, adding an allowance for a 1-inch seam. The back piece was cut with a round neck and the front piece with a v-neck.

Diy gladion instructions

On the front piece, I cut out a hole for Gladion’s slash. The dimensions of the slash must follow the size of the zipper you have. Ours was 20cm. It is a little on the short side, but it still works. I covered the edges of the hole with black binding tape so it wouldn’t fray. I sewed the zipper and a piece of red fabric in place of the hole so the end result looks like this:

Diy gladion instructions

When the zipper is open, the zip should be on the bottom right-hand side.

Diy gladion costume

Once this is done, you can sew the front and back pieces of the vest together. Hem the bottom and use black binding for the arm seams.

The Hood

For Gladion’s hood, I used one of G1’s hoodie’s as a template. You need to add a longer section at the front of the hood (shown below) to accommodate the V-neck. I forgot about it so our hood sits a little strangely. Still, I managed to make it work.

Diy gladion instructions

The hood also has 6 spikes attached to it. For this, you will need 12 pieces of triangular fabric. Sew along two edges of the triangle and leave an opening (preferably on the side that will be attached to the hood) to insert the Polyfil. Sew the spikes to the hood, three on each side. The end result should look like this:

Diy gladion instructions

Cover the seams with black binding – which doubles up as the casing for the drawstring, like so:

Diy gladion instructions

The Final Look

Put it all together and your Gladion costume will look something like this:

Diy dress up gladion

Gladion’s Shoes

If you’re going all out, you can get these red Doc Martens for Gladion’s shoes. Unfortunately for G1, his feet are in a state of rapid growth right now so I won’t be buying something that will probably only last him a few months.

Gladion’s Hair

Although a wig would probably have worked better, I wasn’t sure if G1 would tolerate the itch. For temporary hair colour, we will use “blond” hair wax. To be honest, it looked more “gold” than blond when we tested a sample of it on G1’s hair, but it will do.

Diy dress up gladion

We won’t be passing any Cosplay tests, but I figure it will do for Book Week.


More DIY Costumes.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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