Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Princess Dress Tutu-orial

It might be kinda lame that my first post in 1 1/2 months is a tutorial. However, I couldn't find any tutorials for the costume I wanted to make for K- so I decided to make my own.

That's right folks, you read that correctly. I, Lindsey Stokes, stepped into the realm of super Mormon mama-hood and MADE Kerrigan's costume for Halloween. Never thought I would ever say that sentence.

Ok, so my costume was a lot of trial and error. I am hoping to help YOU (if you choose to make one) avoid the error part. I also learned a few tricks that saved me a ton of time/frustration.

Also, I think you can tweak it to work for any princess dress. Considering it cost about $10 to make, we may or may not have already bought the supplies to make a few more princesses.

Elastic (I used 3/4")
9 yards of tulle (I did 4.5 yrds white, 3.5 yrds dark purple and 1 yrd light purple) I know you can buy tulle on a spool- but I don't know how much you would need, and I think it is more $
Coordinating ribbon
Hot glue gun
Yardstick/measuring tape
Needle and thread or sewing machine

Step 1: Lay your tulle out flat on the ground but still folded in half length-wise, like how it is on the bolt when you bought it. Measure the length from the child's armpit to however long you want the dress to hang. I had Kerrigan's hit her midcalf, so I had to cut a couple inches off the bottom (open end) of the tulle (NOT ON THE FOLDED SIDE).

Step 2: (Which I didn't take a picture, but HOLY TIME SAVER) Starting with the top (folded side) of the tulle, roll the tulle into a long tube. Make sure you are rolling evenly, and the sides of it stay lined up as best as they can. Obviously, the edges aren't perfect, but you want them to be as close as possible. So when I did this with the white, I had a 4.5 yrd long roll of tulle.

Then, line the roll up with a yardstick, and cut every 3 inches. You will have little mini rolls that look like this:

Seriously, this saved so much stinkin' time, and made my strip edges soooo much straighter than trying to cut it while it is laying flat.

Step 3: Cut the ends of the rolls so they are rounded at the bottom. Again, make sure you are never cutting on the folded side of the tulle.

Step 4: Measure around your child's chest close to their armpits. Then subtract AT LEAST an inch for the length of the elastic. I only subtracted a little less than an inch, thinking I didn't want it to be too tight, but these dresses are a little heavier than just a skirt, so the elastic needs to be a little tighter to hold it up.

Sew the ends of the elastic together and find something round to hold it in place. In my case, it was my leg. I would like to apologize that you have to look at my gross sweat pants for the next few pictures...but that is my go to craft apparel, so what can ya do?!?!

Step 5: Holding the folded end of the tulle, put a strip of white tulle either in or behind a strip of purple. I did mine inside so they kind of blended together, but either will work.

Step 6: Pull the 2 strips together under the elastic, so a few inches of the folded side are above the elastic. Use 2 fingers to go through the opening...

...grab the other end of the tulle....

...and pull it all the way through.

Step 7: Pull the loose end down to tighten the knot. One trick I figured out was stick one finger in the knot as you are tightening it to keep the elastic from bunching up. When the knot is tight on your finger, pull it out and give it an extra tug to make sure it is nice and snug.

Step 8: Continue all the way around the elastic. For the Rapunzel dress, I used the darker tulle around the back and sides, and the lighter purple for about 4-5 inches in the front.
Step 9: Not totally necessary- but tulle is ITCHY. I wrapped ribbon around the elastic and tulle to make it more comfy and I think it gives the dress a more finished look. For mine, I used a ribbon that had a little velvety detail in the middle. Don't. Next time I will just use plain 1'' silk ribbon. It will look better, promise!

10: Try it on your little model. Really really puffy, and a little low ridin'.
While she is trying it on, tie a ribbon around the waist. Not too tight that you can't get it on and off, but snug enough to keep the dress on.
11: Add sleeves and embellishments (I used hot glue on the x, and thread and needle for sleeves). This is what the original dress looked like. Cute, right? BUUUUUT, I had 2 problems. #1 I felt like there was too much pink going on up top. #2 I couldn't figure out how to get the ribbon sleeve to be loose enough to easily get the dress on, but tight enough not to fall off her shoulders. So I did a little tweaking. If you like the ribbon sleeves, and can figure out how to do it- go for it : )
For the new sleeves, I used tulle, because it is stretchy. I may switch it out for (or add) some stretchy lace or ribbon, but for now it works.
I attached one side the same way I attached the skirt to the elastic, and then tied a regular knot on the other side, then covered them both up with the ribbon.

Then hot glued on some smaller/less obvious pink ribbon for the x's.


I think it turned out pretty darn cute- especially for having no freakin' idea what I was doing!

The only thing I would change (dang hindsight) is the colors of tulle. They had a much darker purple I wish I would have gone with. In person you can see the contrast a little better, but it isn't as obvious as I wanted. Other than that, I love it. So does Kerrigan.

Now we just have to figure out how to make her yarn wig, get Tucker to love (or at least tolerate) his Pascal costume and we are good to go!

Sorry if any of this was confusing...I am going to totally play the 'this is my first tutorial' card : ) Feel free to ask questions!


Stacey said...

I love it! so much simpler than it I thought it would be which is a good thing. Nicely done

Lesley Wright said...

That is so AWESOME!!! You did such a great job!! And you made it looks SO easy. Kerrigan is going to be the cutest Princess.