Thursday, October 31, 2013

From Ballerina to Cinderella - A Costume Transformation!

The clever girl was in a dance recital this summer, and had THREE, yes THREE different costumes.  I decided then and there that one of those costumes would have to be re-purposed for Halloween in some way!  So, when the clever girl said she wanted to be Cinderella for Halloween, I thought, "PERFECT"!  I knew that her blue ballerina costume would be just right.

So I lugged that tutu to the fabric store to pick out some matching fabric, and found a satin and some sort of shimmery organza-ish fabric for an overlay.  I also picked up some white satin with some silver sparkles for those weird hip things Cinderella has on her dresses.  What are those things, anyway?  What woman in their right mind wants some sort of accent to their hips??

I was so intent on getting this costume created that I neglected to take any photos along the way.  However, hopefully I can explain what I did in case anyone else out there wants to create a Cinderella costume someday! 

For the skirt, I knew I would put it on elastic and it would be worn OVER the tutu part of the ballerina costume.  The tutu would give it the ball-gown body.  And the skirt had to be very twirly, of course.  The clever girl is 25 inches from waist to foot.  I needed enough length to hem the bottom and to encase a 1 inch elastic for her waist.  I used about 1 1/2 yards of the blue fabrics for the skirt, and cut those fabrics into two pieces of 3/4 yard each.  Thus, there were two pieces of the blue satin that were 3/4 yard and two pieces of the blue sparkly fabric that were 3/4 yard.  I sewed the selvages together to make a gigantic tube of each, separately. 

For the bizarre hip things, I used 1 yard of the white fabric, and cut it in half to make two pieces, 1/2 yard each.  I rounded the corners of those rectangles so they looked like two big half moons.  I did an overlock (serge type stitch) over the curved edge, turned it under, and sewed it flat.  Hem done!

Then I stacked up my blue skirt fabrics:  blue satin on the bottom and blue sparkly on top.  I pinned the white pieces on top of the skirt, so that the middle of each moon met the seam of the blue pieces.  This way, the seams would be on the sides, not on the front and back.  Get it?  And I did an overlock stitch all the way around, catching all those crazy wisps of these fabrics.  I folded this edge down 1 1/4 inches and sewed near the edge, leaving an opening for the elastic.  String in the elastic, close the opening, done!  The blue skirts got a simple "sort-of" 1/4 inch rolled hem.  I say "sort-of" because I didn't measure one darned thing, I just folded the fabric over twice as I sewed it all the way around.  It is probably terribly uneven, but hey, it is a Halloween costume!  Skirt, done.

Now for the accessories:  In my online perusal of Cinderella costumes, I saw that Ashley of Make It & Love It made gloves, a choker, and a headband for her little Cinderella.  I would have probably forgotten these very crucial elements if not for her!  I didn't actually look at her blog when I made the accessories, but we pretty much did them the same way.

For the gloves, I measured the clever girl's arms in three places:  length from bottom of middle finger to upper arm, circumference of upper arm, circumference of wrist.  Then I just made a pattern that took those measurements into consideration - I knew I would cut the fabric on the fold and one end should have a point to attach to her middle finger.  Thus the length of the pattern was the same as the length of her arm from finger to upper arm, and the widths were about an inch (total) bigger than her wrist/upper arm measurements.  It looked something like this: 

I cut two each from both blue fabrics, placing the longest side (with the finger point) on the fold.  I overlocked the point end and the upper arm end, sewing a blue satin fabric to the blue sparkly fabric.  Then I folded the glove right sides together and overlocked the edges together.  I sewed a small loop of elastic at the point to go around the clever girl's finger.  Done.

The choker is a rectangle of both blue fabrics made into a tube that is a couple inches longer than the clever girl's neck circumference.  I sewed velcro to the ends to put it on/take it off.

Finally, the headband is another tube, though this one is angled down at the ends a little bit. 

Something like that.  I attached a piece of elastic to each end to keep it snug on the clever girl's head. 

And, her costume was done.

And, she LOVED it!

She spent lots of time looking in the mirror!  

 And then she turned right into a princess!

 But pretty much, she couldn't stop TWIRLING!



 She loves her Halloween costume!

Oh, and in case your are wondering, of course the clever baby had to get in on the action as well.  You can't have a Cinderella without a Prince Charming, can you?  And who (in my world anyway) is more charming than the clever baby? 

 Yes, indeed, I did do that to my little guy. 

But seriously, is he handsome, or what?

His easy, peasy costume consists of some red knit pants and a grey/silver jacket that I found at a consignment shop.  I bought some gold braid, some gold fringe, and some gold rope and went to town.  I sewed the gold braid down each side of his pants.  Then I made little epaulettes with dark red felt and glued the fringe around three sides underneath and the gold braid around the four sides on top.  I sewed these to the shoulders of his little jacket, looping a piece of gold rope from one shoulder to the other, and another loop around his arm.  You can't see that too well on the photos, but it is under the arm closest to Cinderella. 

And here you go, Cinderella and Prince Charming.

So cute, I could eat them up!
Happy Halloween!


  1. Those are the cutest costumes EVER!

  2. Super Cute! She looks just like you in these pics:) And when did the Clever Boy get so big?!


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