All you need is…
**** This post was originally featured on over on Mae&K as part of CraftingCon.**** Have you checked out CraftingCon yet? If not you should run over to Friends Stitched Together and Mae&K and check out all the awesome crafting nerdiness going on. I swoon every week over the great posts. Earlier I shared my tutorial on how to make the wings for this costume. Later this week I will be featured on Get Your Crap Together’s 31 Days of Halloween with a tutorial to make the Peter Pan Tunic I made for Mr T. I will also have the tutorials here on how to make the accessories for the Peter Pan Costume.
Have I mentioned before that my family is slightly Disney obsessed? We are!! We are heading down to Disney in a few weeks, and we will be attending their Halloween party. We all get to dress up. Miss G wants to be all of the characters, I have already made her Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, and of course ELSA . I finally got her to narrow it down to Tinkerbell. Of course, it has to be PRINCESS Tinkerbell. I made our version of the dress in satin and organza; but you could just as easily make it in a simple quilting cotton or even a knit for an everyday dress.
My daughter was very specific for this dress, it had to have a petal skirt, a sparkly skirt and it had to be a dress that Princess Sofia would dress up in. She also wanted “BIG” wings. I love that she decided on Tinkerbell, because Tink was the very first costume I ever made her. I am not sure, but it might have been the very first garment I made her.
I was originally going to have the front of the bodice straight across, but she said it needed to be a “princess” dress. I finally figured out that she wanted a sweetheart neckline. You can choose either bodice for your dress.
First up gather your supplies :
- 1-2 yards satin, quilting cotton, or knit fabric
- 1 yard of organza or tulle (if you are doing a fancy version)
- 1-2 yards of lining fabric (I fully lined my dress including the skirt since Miss G doesn’t like the seams to rub her skin. If you prefer to only line the bodice, you will only need about 1/2 yard of lining fabric.)
- 1/4 inch elastic for the straps and 1/2 inch elastic for bodice
- you will also need basic sewing supplies; scissors, thread, pins, etc
- Also a loop turner is handy if you have one. If you don’t have one, get one, these things are awesome.
- Optional trim for top of bodice and for the bottom of the organza skirt, hook and loop tape if you are making the optional piece to attach the wings.
1. Grab a shirt that fits your child and some paper to draw your pattern on.
2. Trace around your shirt giving a little extra room if you are using a snug tank top like this one. If you don’t want a sweetheart neckline go ahead and move on to step 4.
3. If you want to make a sweetheart neckline grab something round, I used a plastic plate we had. Use your circle to draw a line from the armpit edge over to the center bodice line. After I got mine cut out I realized that it didn’t “dip” in the middle enough so I adjusted it a little more. You can see this with the blue line I drew. Basically you want it to look like half a heart.
4. Add your seam allowance to the bottom, outside edge and top. Make sure you don’t add it to the center front. You will place this edge on the fold of your fabric and cut one main fabric and one lining fabric.
**** to make your back bodice piece fold front pattern down straight across at armpit and add 3 inches to the width of the pattern. Cut one main and one lining fabric for back bodice.
Next up you are going to make your straps. I did double straps on my dress, you could do a single strap if you wanted to.
1. Measure your child from where the front bodice will be to where the back bodice will be and add a few inches. Cut your strap fabric that length by 2″ width. Cut 4 straps if you want double straps.
2. Fold your fabric in 1/2 and stitch along length with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
3. Turn the straps and press the strap well.
4. Cut your 1/4″ elastic just a little shorter than your measurement in step one. Using a safety pin thread your elastic through the strap and then sew each end down securing elastic in the strap.
1. Place your front bodice piece and your back bodice piece together, right sides together, matching the armpit point.
2. Sew using your seam allowance (I used 1/2 inch). Press seam towards back bodice piece.
3. If you are going with the sweetheart neckline, press a crease in the center of each side of the “heart”. If you are using the straight bodice simply mark the middle and then divide each side in half and mark it there.
4. Pin straps facing towards the bottom of the bodice on the right side of your fabric. Make sure to place pins outside of your seam allowance.
1. Mark the back center of your bodice and also about 1 inch to 1.5 inches away from the center on each side. Bring straps around bottom of the bodice and pin to back.
2. Put your lining over your main piece, right sides together, sandwiching the straps in between the layers. Sew using your seam allowance.
3. Turn bodice right side out, press well and topstitch around the top of bodice.
4. Using your marks for the center of the back bodice piece, place marks down the center 3/4″ apart, leaving 1-1 1/2 inches of space at the bottom. I used chalk to mark my lines. Repeat this on each side of the back bodice piece. You can draw a line all the way across, but I just eyeball it, using my 3 marks.
I put steps 1 & 2 backwards here, so you are going to do step 2, then step 1. Or you can do it 1 then 2, it really doesn’t matter. My brain sometimes thinks backwards. 😉
1. Turn and press the bottom of your bodice piece 1/2″ towards the inside of your bodice.
2. Sew across each of your lines, trying to stay in a straight line. Don’t worry if some of them are a little crooked. Mine are.
3. Using a safety pin, thread your elastic through the channels in the back of the bodice, starting at the top of the bodice. For mine I placed the elastic in the top, skipped 2 rows, and then after the next elastic piece I skipped 3 rows. Make sure to secure your pins on each side, away from the side seam so you catch it all when you are sewing.
4. Sew down each side seam on the bodice making sure to catch the elastic on each side. I like to leave extra elastic so I can let it out if Miss G hits a growth spurt.
1. Make a leaf template, you want it to be shorter than your other skirt layers. I made mine approximately 11×9. I just free handed the leaf shape onto a piece of paper.
2. Cut out your leaf shape in your main fabric, and your lining fabric. I originally cut out 12, but I ended up having to cut about 6 more leafs out. Place your leaves right side together and stitch using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Clip the curves around the leaf, so it will lay flat. I used my pinking shears making sure to not cut into my seam.
3. Turn your leafs and press well. I did not topstitch these because I didn’t want to lose the “leaf” quality to them. Lay all your pretty leaves out and admire them.
4. Pin your leaves to your bodice piece, right sides together, overlapping the edges slightly. Sew using your seam allowance. Press the seam towards the bottom of the skirt.
Now you are going to cut your skirt pieces. For the version I did I has the organza layer, the main fabric layer and then my lining layer. For each layer I cut the fabric approximately 4 times the waist measurement, Miss g’s waist is 21″ so I cut 2 pieces from each fabric the length I needed by the full width of the fabric. For the length, measure where you want the organza layer to fall to. For the main fabric take 1/2 inch off the organza length, for the lining fabric take 1 inch off the organza layer length
If your layers are more than 1 panel in width, place the panels right side together and sew using your seam allowance, press seam well.
1. On the organza layer, I just used my serger to do a rolled hem a long the bottom of the panel. I ended up not really liking the way that the hem looked, so I bought some fancy trim and sewed it along the bottom, right over the serged stitches. If you use tulle, you will not need to hem the bottom. Also if you are using knits, you also won’t have to hem the bottom if you don’t want to.
2. For your main fabric, fold the bottom up 1/4 inch, press and then fold another 1/4 inch and press again. Sew using 1/4 seam allowance. Repeat this for your lining fabric.
3. Place your organza/tulle layer and your main fabric layer together with right sides facing up, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance baste the 2 fabrics together.
4. Using your method of choice gather the organza/ main fabric layer. I set my machine to the longest stitch length and highest tension setting. It gives me a nice gather. Repeat for your lining layer. Set lining layer to the side.
1. Place your organza/ main fabric layer over your bodice, right sides facing. Adjust your gathers as needed to. Match side seams and PIN, PIN, PIN.
2. Your leaf layer will be sandwiched in between the organza/main fabric layer and the bodice. Sew using your seam allowance, press the seam allowance towards the bodice.
3. You are going to place your lining fabric inside the bodice piece, with the right side of lining facing the wrong side of the bodice. Sew using your seam allowance.
4. Press lining seam allowance down towards the bottom of the dress.
The following part is completely optional, but I wanted to include how I attached the wings I made for the dress. Another thing Miss G doesn’t like is the wings that have the elastic that wrap around her arms. I knew these wings were going to be to big to just velcro onto the back of the dress. I decided to make a piece that would velcro around and hold the wings firmly in place. This actually worked better than I could have imagined.
1. Measure the width of the piece between your wings. Mine was almost 4 inches, add 1 inch for your 1/2 inch seam allowance on each side.
2. Cut a piece of matching fabric your width measurement by double the length you want your strap to be. For mine I just wrapped the fabric around it and added 1/2″ for seam allowance. My fabric piece ended up being 5″x 9″
3. Fold your fabric in half along the length and stitch together using 1/2″ seam allowance, along each side leaving the top open.
4. Fold the top down 1/2″ and press, turn the piece right side out and press again, keeping the top folded to the inside at a 1/2″
1. Topstitch your piece and then place your velcro, one piece will go along the top side facing you. The other piece of velcro will go along the bottom on the opposite side. Stitch velcro in place.
2. Place your piece on to the back of the bodice between your first and second elastic pieces. It will go where you skipped 2 spaces. Sew down, making a barn door, (that is where you sew a rectangle and then an x inside the rectangle, for added support.) Make sure you don’t sew over either piece of your elastic.
3. Wrap hook and loop around the wings and let your little Princess Tinkerbell flitter all around the house.
Thank you all for checking out my Princess Tinkerbell tutorial. I hope there are lots of Princess Tinks, going trick-or-treating this year.
I want to give a big Thank You to Amy and Tasha from Friends Stitched Together and Maegan and Karen from Mae&K for having me in CraftingCon, It truly is an honor to be hanging out with the great group of seamstresses they have brought together for CraftingCon. I am inspired daily by all the talent.