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Bringing Ms. Frizzle to Life

Spread the fun of science with your own Ms. Frizzle costume

Photo credit: TKirk Photography

With all of the news about the Magic School Bus coming back, I have a feeling I am going to get a lot more use out of my Ms. Frizzle costume. I think we are going to see a lot of STEM loving people wanting to create Ms. Frizzle costumes for their classrooms, events, Halloween, etc, so I figured now would be a good time to put together a little guide on how I put my Ms. Frizzle costume together! I have a great love for this character. I grew up watching the show constantly, my favorite episode being the episode where the class explores the solar system. This prompted my choice to create her space inspired ensemble. You too can channel the Ms. Frizzle creative spirit to put a bit of elbow grease into the creation of your costume.

Its time to take chances, make mistakes and get messy!

The Dress

The most difficult part of the look to create was the dress. I got my pattern and fabric from JoAnn Fabrics. I originally made this costume to attend a local Comic Con, but have gotten great use out of it since them as well. However, since it was a few years ago that I made the original dress I can’t find the same fabric online anymore. They always have some space fabric options to choose from though. Just use the search terms ‘space’, ‘stars’, ‘science’, ‘galaxy’ and ‘solar system’ on JoAnn’s website to get their latest Frizzle fabric options.

Some current Frizzle fabric options from JoAnn Fabrics
Promo image on the pattern template I used Credit: Kwik Sew

While shopping around, I found a few different pattern possibilities. However, the one I decided on using as my base for the project was Kwik Sew K4000. At the time of writing this, the pattern was on sale for $2.49 which is a fantastic deal for patterns! I picked this one because of its sleeve length, V-neck, collar, skirt length and belted style. The only main alterations I made to the design were the sewing of the dress up the front instead of using the buttons and the creation of a thin belt that Velcroed in the back of the dress. This thin belt is a signature on almost all of Ms. Frizzle’s looks. If you are going to sew the dress without a zipper as I did, make sure the opening at the top is large enough for your head. If not, think about fitting a zipper or buttons into your design.

While sewing, I would recommend a Magic School Bus marathon on Netflix. It will motivate you through the long hours of sewing!

Frizzle in progress photo
Photo credit: Mark Pariani

The Hair

An essential element to pulling off Ms. Frizzle are her signature orange locks. Even if you have red hair, I would recommend a wig to pull off her bright orange color and gravity defying bun! This is the finishing touch to pulling together any Ms. Frizzle outfit.

I got my wig from Arda Wigs. They make a really high quality product so you do not have to worry about getting a Party City quality wig. The specific style is a Glinda in Pumpkin. I used some bobby pins, hairspray and a ponytail holder to style the wig back into the bun. If you have never worn a wig before, make sure to also get a wig cap to hold you hair together underneath the wig.

The Lizard

If you are lucky, you can find an official old stuffed animal Liz on Ebay. However, if you don’t want to pay upwards of $150, you can also make your own! I was on a time crunch, and chose this route using some old leftover fabric from my box. Walmart is actually offering a Liz purse now as well for under $20 if you would like to use Liz to carry around your phone and wallet. This is a fun budget friendly option.

The Earrings

Frizzle earrings during assembly

Ms. Frizzle always has rad matching earrings to go with her dress, so make sure to focus on these! I run a science 3D printing jewelry company, so I created my Saturn earrings using 3D printing. If you want to print your own, check out this model on Thingiverse where you can download some Saturn Earrings. Thingiverse is a site where people can list there 3D designs and models they have created for free download. It is a fantastic resource for props in general for people that have access to a 3D printer. I recommend printing them in 2 halves and gluing them together to get a better quality print. Feel free to check out my 3D printed earring collection as well if you want to order earrings already 3D printed.

Tuk Shoes Galaxy Shoes

The Shoes

As a science fashion fanatic, I actually already had these galaxy shoes in my closet. They are Galaxy Anti Pop Heels by Tuk Shoes. However, from their website it looks like they are running low on these shoes and won’t be making more anytime soon, so run if you want these in your closet! They are surprisingly comfortable and run true to size. I normally do not order shoes online, but these fit perfectly when they arrived.

However, if you do not want to buy specialty shoes, I have also worn the Ms. Frizzle outfit with plain shoes that I added small rockets on to. The rockets were created with rolled up sheets of craft foam that you can find a Michael’s, hot glue and paper clips to slip them onto whatever shoes you want to wear. This allows you to not have to ruin the shoes you choose for the outfit. It is also a very comfortable way to wear the outfit if you do not want to wear heels for the whole day.

And that’s it! Now you are ready to spread the fashionable side of science with Ms. Frizzle. Make sure to practice your catch phrases before going out into the world. And maybe find yourself a Bill Nye to venture out into the science world with as well.

Photo Credit: T Kirk Photography