There’s no denying that most children love to dress up, whether it’s for Halloween, a themed party or play time. With that in mind, we’ve worked up a darling costume for wear throughout the year. And, based on a simple dress shape, it can be altered to fit children – and adults – of all ages!
- Fabric: plain, pink, cream, green; patterned, pink, green (see step 1 for amounts) Fusible interfacing Thread, embroidery: green, pink, cream Yarn, crochet: cream, dark pink,size 20 Fabric glue
- Disappearing fabric pen Head band, pink Pipe cleaners, cream F
- To fit: ages 3-4, 5-6, 7-8
Stitch a dress
Cut 42cm x 108cm of pink fabric for ages 3-4 (42cm x 116cm for 5-6 or 42cm x 124cm for ages 7-8). Create a semi-circle template with a diameter of 14.5cm from card. Fold the fabric over and place the straight side of the template centrally along the folded edge. Draw around it with a fabric pen.
Along the fold, measure 9cm from either side of the semi-circle and mark the points. Draw lines from each to both bottom corners, pin the front and back sides together and cut along these lines and those of the semi-circle.
Cut a 42cm square of interfacing for ages 3-4 (42cm x 46cm piece for 5-6 or 42cm x 50cm for 7-8). Place this at the bottom of the back of the front dress piece and trim according to the slope of the sides, before ironing into place.
Using the templates on page 82, draw two leaves and a butterfly onto fusible webbing. Next draw and cut out a 2.2cm x 35cm rectangle from appropriate fabric for ages 3-4 (2.2cm x 39cm for 5-6 or 2.2cm x 43cm for 7-8) for the stem. Also cut a 4cm x 42cm rectangle and eight tall triangles with 5cm wide bases, ranging in height from 8cm to 20cm for the grass.
Iron the grass pieces onto green fabric, the stem and leaves onto patterned green material, and the butterfly and other rectangle onto a pink patterned design, before cutting them out. Position the large rectangle along the bottom edge of the front, on the right side of the dress, 1.5cm up and iron into place.
Position the stem at the centre of the rectangle and iron. With cream thread, work a machine zig zag stitch around the edges of both rectangles. Position the blades of grass and the leaves, referring to the image for guidance. Once happy with the layout, iron and zig zag stitch around the edges.
Position the butterfly by one of the leaves, iron into place and zig zag around the edges with a slightly narrower stitch. Use the template on page 82 to cut the body of the butterfly from felt. Glue into place over the wings and oversew the sides by hand with crochet yarn.
At the top curve of the felt body, create two long stitches with a French knot at the tops in green embroidery thread to represent antenna. Using the same thread, sew running stitches up the centre of each blade of grass, varying the heights.
Cut a 42cm x 108cm piece of cream lining fabric for ages 3-4 (42cm x 116cm for 5-6 or 42cm x 124cm for 7-8). Double the fabric over and use the semi-circle template to cut the neckline, as for the dress. Pin the dress and lining pieces with right sides facing, trim the lining accordingly and machine stitch the outer edges together.
Snip the corners, turn out through the neck opening and press. Fold the edges of the necklines on both the lining and main dress pieces under. Pin, tack together and machine stitch. Remove the tacking stitches and press.
Using the templates on page 82, cut 10 outer petals from cream felt and 10 inner ones from pink. Stick the pink petals onto the cream with fabric glue and, using cream crochet yarn, sew running stitches onto the cream petal, just above the pink.
Oversew the edges of the pink petal with crochet yarn, then sew running stitches up the centre of each petal with a dark pink crochet yarn. Put five of the cream and pink petals aside to use for the headdress and position the other five around the front neckline.
Once happy with the composition, secure into place with a dab of fabric glue and blanket stitch them at the neckline. To finish, oversew the edges of the dress together leaving a 16cm gap at the top of each side for the armholes and press.
Make a headdress
Blanket stitch along the bottom of the five remaining petals set aside previously. Cut five 12cm pieces of cream pipe cleaner and sew them to the centres of the backs of the petals, leaving 5cm sticking out the bottom.
Place one of the petals at the centre of a plain headband and wind the 5cm length of pipe cleaner around it to secure in place. To finish, repeat with the remaining petals on either side of the central one.