Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Costumes 2013: Cinderella as a Ballerina

When she said she wanted cinderella as a ballerina, she was actually looking at one of the tacky adult costumes that try to be "flirty" in a pattern book at JoAnn fabrics. (I was grateful that ballerina was how she perceived what that costume was!)

My second thought was, uh, can't you just wear the cinderella dress I made two years ago and stuff a tutu under it? I like to sew, but I like some variety. But I let her describe what she wanted, then designed my plan from there.

I wanted to try out making a leotard (since my girls need new ones and making leotards and swimsuits has interested me for years). And a tutu that is removable means that she's more likely to play dress up with it later even if she doesn't want to strip down enough to put on the leotard.

I used Kwik Sew 4011 and altered the pattern to be medium at the top, large at the bottom, and added an inch to the crotch length. (It was relatively easy to alter - one alteration led to the other naturally in tracing it.) Great pattern by the way. (If you have a leotard or one piece swimsuit, you could try tracing the front and back and adding a seam allowance. I wanted the pattern for other things so it was worth the cost of a kwik sew pattern.)

For the sleeves, I drew roughly the same shape of sleeve, but much larger (since I was using white costume satin and not a stretch fabric). I then gathered the sleeve top to fit into the arm opening and added elastic in the bottom to make it fit her arm and puff a bit. (Sleeve pattern below or in pdf and other half)

(that says right half but it should say left half on the pattern piece)

Print so the square is 1" and both sleeve halves match in size. Tape together.

For the tutu, I used this tutorial - really the best I've seen for a sewn tutu. (I'm not a huge fan of the knotted mess of tulle strips - unless of  course you don't sew - then I think they're a great alternative.) I used that tutorial for all  tutus.

I used 3/4" elastic, so I had to sew my waistband a little smaller, but other than that the only alterations were in adding my layers of white satin and this cool blue shimmery stuff I got for 69 cents a yard off the clearance table last week at Hancock Fabrics.

I sewed the gathered tulle to one side of waist band, but before sewing the 2nd strip of tulle to the other side of the waist band as the tutorial instructs, I made the white and blue layers of the tutu to add between the tulle and waist band so once flipped, they would be on top of all the tulle.

For the white "waist gathers" I call them, I cut 18" diameter circles, folded in half (wrong sides together) and basted around the raw edges. Then I gathered the edges I just basted together so that it was more of a straight line. I sewed this along the sides of the waist band.) I centered them 1/4 of the way from each end of the waist band. I sewed with the waist band up and the white satin on the bottom so that I could follow the stitching line referred to in the tutu tutorial above.

For the blue shimmery layer, I couldn't decide between a circle skirt style and a straight gathered skirt style, but eventually I decided it would be easier to go with option B. (I kind of wish I'd gone with option A)

I cut 2 strips and sewed them together to be at least as long as the waistband and 10" high (so that the tulle of the skirt would stick out).  I sewed this piece of fabric facing towards the white waist gathers, again, with this on the bottom and the waist band on top (as I did with the white) so that I could see my stitching line on the waist band and follow along it.

{Had I chosen the first option of a circle skirt for the blue shimmery fabric, I planned to cut a circle skirt so the inner circle "waist" would be 53" so that it would fit to the waist band, and then when gathered would be full but flat above the tulle skirt. I planned to cut the circle through - like slicing into one side of a donut - so that I didn't have to worry about the fact that the waistband wasn't a circle until the last step.}

If you're interested in doing this version, I calculated to get a 52 or 53" inner circle and 10" long skirt before hem. 
First, Google a circle skirt tutorial. There are tons of good ones. Then... when you fold the fabric in quarters, your first measurement should be about 8.4" (round up is fine - just cut off what's leftover at the end of the waistband). The second measurement is another 10" away from the first. Hem the outermost circle. "Slice" the donut at one side straight through to center (but not all the way across donut). Then sew to waist band right side toward white waist gathers.

I kind of wish I had done this, but I do like the way my straight gathered skirt for the blue shimmery sort of pushes the tulle down a little. 
After that I finished the tutu tutorial as per instructions.


For the headband, I used leftover blue shimmery and just folded a rectangle (narrower towards the ends)  so the raw edges were towards the underside  and topstitched along the two long folded sides, and sewed a piece of black 3/8" elastic into each end to wrap around the back of the head. (Little effort was made into making this perfect and it looks just great.) It was about 8" wide towards the middle and 2" wide towards the end - then folded. (Should have cut two pieces and seamed at edges to make it lie flat...oh well.) :) I was in a hurry by this point.


For the choker, I just sewed velcro onto the ends of a piece of black velvety trim (from the ribbon/trim section of JoAnn's) and sewed on a little blue crystal-y thing from who knows what that she found around the house.

And that's it. We'll add white tights and ballet shoes when we're ready to trick or treat!

See tinkerbell beside her in the above picture? I'll get to that costume next....


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