Happy Halloween, It’s Rapunzel Time!

So, Chloe’s Rapunzel dress was trickier than I thought it would be.  I struggled with almost all of it but the good news is while it has many imperfections, Chloe doesn’t care.  And while it’s not the most professional looking project I have done it will work wonderful for Halloween and dress up play. After a while I got so frustrated I stopped taking pictures because I kept having to undo my work because it was not right.  So please excuse the lack of pictures and check out the tutorials linked below for how I should have done it.

In my research ahead of sewing I found a tutorial over at Make It and Love It, but I just used it for ideas. What I should have done was follow it, and saved myself a lot of frustration.  I also used tutorials at Made.  I used her puff sleeve tutorial and the circle skirt tutorial.  The circle skirt tutorial is awesome and I have used it several times and it always turns out great.

Anyway, let’s get started! We left off at drafting our pattern pieces.  Next step is to start cutting. I laid my pattern pieces on top of my materials and cut them all out.  I just have pictures of the circle skirt being cut out, but now is the time to cut everything.




I next assembled my sleeves.  I attached my ribbon to the sleeve, starting in the middle and then spaced them out 1 inch apart.  I did this to both sleeves. Then I sewed the ribbon on as close to the edge as I could manage and on both sides of the ribbon for extra security.




Next I worked on the sheer part of the sleeves.  I pinned the lace on while folding the sheer down about 1/2 inch as I pinned.  I then sewed the lace on with a zig zag stitch.  After I finished the sheer part of the sleeve I attached the bottom hem to the puff sleeve following the tutorial at Made, which I linked above.


Next I finished off the sleeves by adding the puckers which give it the puffed up appearance, and added the sheer sleeves.  Now I would like you all to think I did it just like that, but I made so many mistakes on the sleeves, I had to stop and pick it back up a couple days later.  In the end this is the order I should have done things to save myself the frustration.





Now it’s time to leave the sleeves alone and start on the bodice.  I originally planned on the bodice being unlined, but changed my mind after I cut everything out so I needed to cut more out and figure out how to line it.  I also struggled with this and almost gave up and went to the store to buy her a costume instead.  But I persevered and it paid off.

I took the two pieces that make up the back and placed them right sides facing and sewed them all around except the bottom. I left the bottom open so I could flip them right side out.  After I got the two pieces together for the back, I then added the zipper. I then took my front part of then bodice and repeated the same steps with right sides facing and turned it right side out.





Next I started the detailed work for the bodice. I took my tulle and made it a double thickness for more sparkle.  (What little girl doesn’t love more sparkle!) Then I laid the ribbon out on the tulle every two inches or so on a slight angle, and sewed them down just like on the sleeves. Then I laid the ribbon straight across the bottom edge and sewed it down. Then I laid the ribbon on the opposite angle about 2 inches apart, pinned, and sewed them down.  Next step, pretend I have a picture of a little bow of ribbon that is sewn down to the straight across piece of ribbon in the center.




Next, I needed to sew in the detail work.  I pinned the front bodice piece to the back bodice piece, lining up all the edges.  This was just temporary so I could figure out how much to fold over on each side to create a place to insert the detail work.  I then placed in the detail work and pinned it down to the front of the bodice and then removed the back bodice and then sewed the detail work in on each side.  After the detail work was in, I then attached the lace to the front neckline.




Now comes time to attach the sleeves and I also had a huge problem attaching the sleeves.  I finally figured out the right way and that is what I am going to share with you now.  Due to the frustrations I stopped taking pictures here.  The last assembly picture I have is the next step.  Place the bodice pieces together right sides facing, then pin and sew the shoulders together.  Now pretend there are pictures here, but now is the time to pin the sleeves to the arm hole adjusting the gather stitch to add puff to the sleeve and make it fit the opening, then also pin the sheer parts of the sleeve together.  Begin sewing at the lace on the end of the sleeve, sew all the way through the sheer part, the sleeve part, and then down the sides of the bodice joining them together.


Now the bodice and sleeves should be all together.  Again, pretend there are pictures of me hemming the circle skirt around the bottom edge and then sewing on the lace around the bottom.  I then put a gather stitch around the top of the skirt and pulled it in until it fits the bodice.  Once it matches up, pin the skirt to the bodice and sew together.  It’s now time to dance a little happy dance, and get a high five from your husband.* (this step is optional but after all it took to make, I felt a little celebration was needed!)

I checked how it fit as I went and had to make a few adjustments here and there but I didn’t want to tear it all apart after finishing just getting the fit right.  So now I have a super cute Rapunzel dress, and a very happy Chloe.  After ironing it out, I retrieved her accessories for her costume.  Number 1, a frying pan! Number 2, Pascal!

Now I usually take the pictures of the finished product but since I was so burned out on this project, I asked my friend, Julie of Photography by Julie Kay, to help me out.  She is a fantastic photographer, her work is always so good, and she really understands what it takes to get that perfect shot when working with kids. Without further ado, here is Rapunzel and her long blonde hair!







It’s Halloween Time (part 1)

Around the beginning of September I start working on Halloween costumes.  Ever since my daughter was born I have enjoyed making her costumes.  She has been a ballerina (2011), a lion (2012), and Fluttershy from My Little Pony (2013).

11 month Chloe (24)

The Pumpkin Patch 2012 (4)


All these costumes have been what i call ready made.  Meaning, I buy the main clothes like the sweatpants and hoodies and add on the details.  Although this year is different. This year she has decided she wants to be Rapunzel.  I am totally excited about making her princess dress, and I am doing it from scratch. My mom made me a couple princess dresses but none as cool as Snow White. I don’t have a copy of the picture but it was awesome!  Anyway, I am making sure to get an early start because I will be out of town for a wedding for 6 days the week before Halloween.  I usually procrastinate and wait til last minute, but since I am so excited I want to take my time and make it perfect for her just like my mom did for me.

Yesterday, my daughter and I decided how the dress should look and we drew it out together.  After she went to be a searched online for other peoples guides to help clue me in to what i need to buy and do.  I am not following anyone’s particular tutorial but bits and pieces and some of my own ideas all meshed together. Today I went to Hancock Fabrics with a particular idea in my head but came home with completely different materials which is typical me. I picked up 2 yards of Matte Satin (Clearance 70% off), 1/2 yard of pink glitter tulle, 1/4 yard white chiffon, 2 yards pink satin ribbon, 6 yards white lace trim, 1/2 yard 1/2 inch elastic, a zipper, and matching thread.  Total cost: $19.78!! I think the colors are perfect and will look great all together.


Now onto something totally new for me, drafting my own pattern pieces!  I’ve seen it done of several of my favorite craft blogs, it’s supposed to be easy, just take a shirt of the kids the fits right and trace it, then add a half inch seam allowance all the way around.  It was that easy but I had to think how I wanted to break it up.  The back of the bodice needs to be in 2 pieces so i can put in a zipper and then the front needs to be 1 piece that’s longer so I can insert the tulle in the center part.  The sleeves are puffy and I used the puff sleeve tutorial on Made.com as a kind of guide, I also used Made.com’s circle skirt tutorial for the bottom, I just cut that one normal and will figure out how to add the tulle as i get working.  Then to add the longer sleeve I just kinda cut a piece that will make a tube and fit her arm.

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This is where I have stopped for now and will keep taking pictures as I go and when the dress is finished I will make another post detailing the rest of my process.