I have been looking forward to this for a while. Well, since last year’s Red Riding Hood Halloween Costumes. Dress-ups and costumes are my favorite things to sew……and that’s because costumes are purely for play. And can be extra sparkly, obnoxious, and frilly. And the judges (the kiddos who wear them) are super chill. Missed a seam? Who cares. Sewed a crooked line? Meh….no biggee! Made it a little too short? No one will notice.
The only one who cares are the little ones who wear them….and all they care about is if it somewhat resembles what they had in mind. So, you can instantly become a hero……with minimal effort! And then, as you practice sewing more and more projects, you’ll get better and better. See? Totally a fun (and lower stress level) time to sew.
Anyway……each year that I’ve made Halloween Costumes, I have somehow been able to keep my kids within a theme. I swore that last year would be the last year that we allow that to happen. But……I’m pretty sure they think that’s just what you do. You know, that you have to pick something that would mesh well with your siblings/family. I have overheard Elli and Connor planning themes for months, and once they think of costumes that wouldn’t allow for their little sister Chloe to participate, they X that idea. It’s sweeter than sweet. And I have even told them that they can do things that are completely different from each other…….but they always gravitate back towards doing something that will include all 3 of them. (Maybe it’s because these costumes go in the dress-up pile after Halloween is through and my kiddos love to all 3 dress up together and play for hours and hours…)
So, this year (and after many theme changes)……my kiddos were pretty certain they wanted to be Wizard of Oz characters. However, about a week and a half go, they changed their mind AGAIN and since I hadn’t bought anything yet, I went with it. Some things I would hold firm to…..but for Halloween? I’ll let them be fickle! :)
So this year……..Tangled won my kids’ vote!! (And it sounds like many of you have chosen the same!)
Let me just say……..Elli was THRILLED to be Rapunzel.
And she got right to work and began rolling around in the grass…….because, well, that’s what Rapunzel did.
She even ran around with no shoes on for a while (even though it was 50 degrees outside)……because, well, Rapunzel did that too.
She even thought it was pretty hilarious to use a frying pan. She kept saying that she needed a Flynn Rider to swing at. :)
I tried to stay as close to Rapunzel’s dress as I could. And it’s a good thing…….because Elli kept pointing out things and would say, “No mommy, her dress isn’t like that!“ So…..puffy striped sleeves???? Check.
Laced corset??? Check. (I even laced it the opposite way with the bow at the bottom at first……and guess who noticed and asked me to switch it? Yep, she’s serious about this dress-up thing. Ha!)
And this hair……ahhhhhh! This turned out to be so fun for Elli to wear. We decided to make her a brunette Rapunzel so that she didn’t have to wear a full wig. And also so that it would look more like her real hair. And she LOVED it!!
The hair is actually several hair extension pieces attached together…….and looks and feels pretty real. I’ll share more details down below…….but Rapunzel isn’t Rapunzel without long locks of hair! :)
The skirt is nice and full…..and spin-able. Always a requirement for my Elli.
And since it’s kinda chilly, she put some leggings on, as well as a little pettiskirt to help poof out the dress a little…..but not too much.)
My sweet little 6 year old.
Happy in her own little fantasy world of climbing trees, rolling in the grass, and swinging her frying pan……just like Rapunzel!
Would you like to make your own Rapunzel dress??
Okay, let’s get started!
Keep in mind, you’ll have to do a little pattern making……but don’t stress that. It doesn’t have to be one bit perfect! And Halloween costumes are the perfect time to practice sewing……because no one expects perfection.
Here’s what I needed to make this Rapunzel costume for my 6 (almost 7) year old, as a guide for you.
- Main Purple Fabric, 4 yards (I bought Glitter Satin….which is polyester. It’s super cheap and usually for sale in a variety of colors at Halloween.)
- 4 yards lace trim, 1 inch wide
- 1/2 inch pink ribbon, 2.5 yards
- 1/8 inch pink ribbon, 1-2 yards
- 1/4 yard white chiffon fabric (or you could buy pink)
- coordinating thread in purple, pink, and white
- 20 silver metal eyelets (mine were 5/32″ in size)
- 12 inch zipper
To begin, create your bodice pattern pieces. Find a dress or shirt (with sleeves) to pattern after. For more pictures and explanation on how to do this, visit my Cinderella Dress tutorial. Or my Blessing Dress tutorial. Both are good references for making your own dress pattern.
So because I have explained dress making previously, I’m not including every single step below. But will still add a good portion of them.
As you’re creating your FRONT bodice piece, extend the center line (that you will cut on the fold) out an additional 2 1/2 inches. (Well, or more or less, depending on the dress size you’re making.) Just be sure that this extension to your pattern piece is extended straight out….and isn’t curved at all. This additional fabric will be used as flaps for the corset section down the front of the dress. (Scroll down and read the rest of the tutorial to clarify why this is needed.)
Then cut out your 2 front pieces (on the fold) and your 4 back pieces…..just like shown in the 2 tutorials above. But notice the 2 front bodice pieces are extra wide….that’s how it should look.
Sew your bodice pieces together, just like referenced above……..and ignore the fact that your back pieces aren’t wide enough to reach each other. (Also, make sure that after your turned everything right side out and ironed flat, that you sew the arm hole layers together and along the bottom of the bodice section, to help hold everything together. And again, reference the dress tutorials above for more explanation.)
Now, cut out your sleeve shapes. I cut mine out just like the Cinderella sleeves…..but made them even wider so that they would poof out even more. Then I cut pieces of my 1/2 inch wide pink ribbon and pinned pieces of it right to the sleeve pieces, each ribbon strip about 1 1/4 inches apart.
Then I sewed each ribbon strip to the sleeve, along both edges of the ribbon.
Then, I sewed the sleeved together, just like the Cinderella sleeves.
I attached them to the dress the same way as the referenced dresses as well.
Then, I turned the bodice over to the back side and pinned the open back pieces together, a 1/2 inch away from the edge. (Or, if you allowed a different dimension for this seam allowance, adjust the dimension you gave yourself when cutting your pattern.)
Then, turn the bodice to the front and place a pin at the exact center along the neckline and another pin at the exact center at the bottom. Then, make two vertical folds along the front (for a faux corset look) spacing them evenly on either side of the pins.. I added 2 1/2 extra inches to my pattern piece to allow for this fold…..so each flap is half that…..and is 1 1/4 inches wide. Allow some distance between the two flaps (mine are about 2 inches apart). (Also, the reason you pinned your bodice together in the back where the zipper will go……was so the you could use it as a guide. The folds you make along the front will cinch in enough to make the front section the same width as the back section. So compare the widths of the front and back as you’re pinning, to be sure you’re not taking in too much or too little with your folds.)
Pin the folds in place, making sure that the fold is folded over the same amount on the top and the bottom of each fold…..and that both folds are spaced spaced equally on each side of your center pins.
Sew each flap in place. Mine are sewn at 1 1/4 inches……but yours may different if you added a different amount to your pattern piece.
Now…..time for your eyelets. You don’t have to add as many as I did……but I just wanted a lot of lacing.
I played around with pins first, to decide exactly where I wanted each of my eyelets.
And after spacing the pins evenly and placing as many as I wanted (10 on each side), I made a little dot with a marker.
Then I attached each of my grommets, just like with the Red Riding Hood Costume.
Now, if I would have thought it through a little better (and if I would have decided for sure that I was going to add this section to the sleeve), I would have added this sheer section to the sleeve before sewing the sleeve into a circle. But I didn’t…..so I had to add it on now. (But if you decide to add on the sheer section of the sleeve, add it on to the sleeve after you’ve gathered in the sleeve and have added on the cuff…..but before you fold the sleeve in half and sew the two ends together. And definitely before sewing the sleeve onto the dress. Trust me…..it’ll save you some annoyance!)
Use a shirt sleeve as a guide….or just measure the arm of your subject and cut a rectangle piece of chiffon (that’s folded in half) that is cut slightly more narrow towards the wrist. Be sure to measure that the top end of the sleeve is the same width of the puffy sleeve opening (plus a 1/4 inch seam allowance), and that the bottom of the sleeve is about an inch larger than the wrist measurement (plus a 1/4 inch seam allowance). Also, add an extra 1 inch at the bottom end, so that the cuff can be hemmed and another 1/2 inch at the top, so that it can be overlapped behind the puffy sleeve section.
Unfold the rectangle and fold under the bottom edge (the more narrow end) a half inch, another half inch, and then sew in place. Then, place a piece of your 1 inch wide lace along the “wrong side” of the sleeve and and overlap by a 1/2 inch. Sew it right to the sleeve end.
Then, fold the sleeve in half lengthwise, with “wrong” sides together. Sew along the long edge with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, creating a tube out of your fabric. Then create a narrow zig-zag right next to your seam, keeping those edges from fraying.
Now, I forgot to show a picture of this……….but create another zig-zag around the opening of the larger opening of the sleeve, to help finish off those edges. Then, turn the sleeve right side out and slide it inside of the puffy sleeve and overlap by a 1/2 inch, matching up the side seam of the chiffon sleeve, with the side seam on the puffy sleeve. Sew in place, along the bottom edge of the puffy sleeve cuff. (TIP: Remember, as I mentioned above, sewing the sleeve on this way is a little trickier. Adding the chiffon sleeve onto the puffy sleeve before sewing the puffy sleeve ends together, will make this a lot easier. However, if you forget like I did…….you can still totally do it the way I did!)
Then, add more lace around the neck line…..overlapping by a 1/4 inch and sewing it right to the neck line, sewing nice and close to the edge of the neck line. (The picture below shows the zipper already added……but add the lace before the zipper and then sew the lace all the way to both sides of the opening in the back where the zipper will be added.
Then……add your zipper to the back, just like the Red Riding Hood dress. (Just be sure to add a hook and eye above the zipper, if needed. I had every intention of doing so…..just completely forgot.)
Now, cut enough fabric to make the skirt section of your dress…….and follow the Red Riding Hood Dress or Cinderella Dress as a reference. The skirt section for my daughter’s dress ended up being 120 inches wide by 31 inches long. But your width and length will differ, depending on the dress size you’re making.
Add lace to the bottom of the dress, the same way as the neckline.
Now…..iron and press EVERYWHERE!!!!
And that’s it. The dress is done.
Onto that long braid. Here’s what I did……I bought synthetic hair extensions that matched my daughter’s hair. I found mine on Amazon here. If those sell out or don’t link up anymore, just search for “synthetic hair extensions” or “braid hair” on Amazon. You’ll find all sorts of stuff. The hair I bought (which was synthetic clip-on extensions) was soft and more hair-like than the wigs you buy in the costume section at the store. I was pretty surprised at how nice it looked and how soft and bouncy the curls were……and how it didn’t get as ratty as most wig hair does. However, I also ordered some “braid hair” from Amazon, because it was so long……just to try that out too. It’s a little frizzier though and didn’t hang as pretty…..so I returned it. But it would still work, if you wanted it.
Anyway, I bought 3 clip-on sections of hair. (They were $6 each when I bought them…..and I just noticed they’re $8 now. Boo.)
I cut the clips off one of the hair pieces and placed it on top of another hair piece and hot glued them together right along the top (shown on left). Then, I folded the top edge around into a circle, as if it was being wrapped around my daughter’s pony tail……and then braided the hair (shown on the right). The reason for gluing the 2 hair pieces together was to fatten up the braid.
If I unfolded the top edge just bit, I could still fit my daughter’s pony tail inside and then attach the braid to my daughter’s hair with the clips that came attached to the hair pieces.
Then, I cut the clips off the third hair piece and then hot glued it around the base of the braid.
Then, I hot glued a piece of ribbon over the hair where I joined them together…..
…..and then wrapped the ribbon around a few times and knotted it in place. Then I tied it in a bow.
And lastly, I hot glued silk flowers to the braid.
Then, I put my daughter’s hair into a low ponytail, wrapped the top of the braid around her hair, and secured it with the attached clips. Then I wrapped more ribbon around the top of the braid, to hide where it was attached…..then tied it into a bow.
I also added a few flowers to some bobby pins (with hot glue) and used those near my daughter’s face.
And…….That. Is. It. YAY!!!!!!
A sweet little Rapunzel outfit for your little lady to play, leap, and pretend in! :)
Let me know how it turns out for you! :)
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