Easy Sew Costume Tutorial
Another costume finished! This year, Charlotte wanted to be a Native American Indain this year for Halloween. I couldn't be more thrilled with how this costume turned out. The best part is, it was SO EASY to whip up. I promise... you do not need to be a whiz at the sewing machine to make this... no fancy sewing skills required!
- 1-1/2 yards Cotton Knit Fabric, brown
- 1 yard Trim (for boot covers and bracelet)
- 2 yards Trim (for dress and headband)
- 1/4 yard Leather or Faux Leather (for belt and ties)
- 1/4 yard Elastic (1/2" wide suggested - for boot covers)
- Feathers (for headband)
- Hot Glue Gun & Glue optional
1. Make the Dress!
To create the dress, I used one that fits my daughter as a template. I folded my fabric so that I could cut two pieces at once. Make sure that you are folding your fabric along the grain (along the line the fabric is woven). Once I had the dress in place, I used a pen to trace my lines, adding about an inch around the dress make room for the appropriate seam allowance.
Cutting the Neck: I wanted the dress to come over one shoulder rather than over each. To do this, I drew a line (again, make sure you are giving some extra fabric for the seam allowance) from the neck of one arm to the under-arm of the other side of the dress. See the picture A below.
Cutting the Bottom: I wanted the bottom line of the dress to fall into a 'V'. To do this, I was sure to cut this part of the dress out last. I folded the dress in half, lining up the left to the right side of the dress, and cut from the sides of the dress down to a point. See the picture B below.
Time to Sew! With right-sides together (if there is a wrong side), sew up the right and left sides and the top shoulder using a 5/8" seam allowance.
Finish the neck and the arm hole by rolling the fabric under twice and stitching it in place. See the pictures below.
Add some Fringe! I cut a strip of the dress fabric at 2-1/2" for the neck and the bottom of the dress for the fringe. In the first photo, you see the strip I attached by sewing along the neck. This wraps all the way around the neck. Once this is sewn into place, cut the extra fringe in about 1/4" strips up to the seam. See picture A below.
I used a washable marker to mark a line 2-1/2" from the bottom on the dress. See picture B below. Then I pinned the front and back of the dress so they matched up properly, and cut 1/4" strips for the fringe up to the line I had drawn. See picture C below.
Pin a 2-1/2" long strip of fabric to form a second layer of fringe along the bottom of your dress, front and back. I lined the strip up with the line I had drawn. See picture D below. Sew this strip in place by sewing along the top of the strip. Cut 1/4" strips up to the seam to form the fringe.
And here it is, full of fringe!
To finish the dress, add some trim along the top of the fringe. Pin in place and decide if you can sew it by machine, or if it is best to hand sew.
2. Make the Accessories!
Next we will make the headband, boot covers, a bracelet and belt.
To create these things, you need to need to cut the following:
Headband: Cut a strip of the dress fabric approximately 4" x 24"
Boot Covers: You need to be a bit crafty here. I created these to go over a pair of boots my daughter owns. If you have a pair of boots, I'd suggest laying them down onto a folded piece of the dress fabric and tracing an outline (allowing for some seam allowance), and adding about 2-1/2" to the height to be cut into fringe. I cut my boot covers so that the back of the boot was on the fold of the fabric.
Belt: Cut a strip of the leather or faux leather to make the belt, 3" wide by as many inches you will need to fit around the waist of the person wearing the costume.
Ties: Cut several strips of the leather or faux leather at about 1/4" to 5/12". I used these for hair ties, a lace for the belt, a strap for the bracelet, and ties to wrap around the boot covers.
Sew your headband fabric into a loop so that it comfortably fits around the head. I was using stretchy fabric with a NON-stretchy trim... so I didn't want to allow for the band to stretch to fit or it would be too tight once I added the trim.
Once I had my loop, I turned the raw edges in and pinned them into place. I then pinned my trim around to cover the raw edges, and sewed it in place along the top and bottom. Add some feathers to the back (I secured them using a hot glue gun) and you're headband is finished!
Sew the boot covers together as seen in the photo below. Add your 1/4" fringe cuts to the top, as well as cut some notches in the sections that have curves. See the photo below.
I sewed around the toe a bit so that it would hold tightly to the boot, but this will likely get torn up pretty quickly... so it is up to you if you want to even bother. I also added a small strip of elastic (about 3" or so) to the bottom of each boot cover to prevent it from slipping off of the shoe.
Turn your boot covers right-side out, and fold the fringe down. I pinned the fringe in place, then added some trim to the top of each. Sew the trim to your boot cover.
I took an extra piece of the trim used on the boots to make a bracelet. Cut a length slightly smaller than the wrist. Either sew or hot glue the trim to a strip of leather to tie it around the wrist.
I used small strips of the leather to create loops for the lace-up belt. I chose to use hot glue, but you could sew this if you preferred. First, I glued under each side. Next I added the little loops. When each side is finished you can thread through one of your leather strips, and it is finished!
You are finished! Time to put it all together!
Happy Costume Making!
Great places for Homemade Costume Ideas...
Check out the beautiful costume Astrid at Connecting the Dots made using my tutorial! I LOVE how it turned out. It is always so fun to see what others have done with your tutorials.... so THANK YOU Astrid for sharing!! Click HERE to see this costume as well as another amazing costume made by Astrid!