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October 29, 2013

Emma's Halloween Costume | Easy DIY Princess Dress

I really wanted Emma to be a Pumpkin for Halloween.  Mike and I were both pumpkins when we were toddlers and I love the idea of the classic costume.  However, a couple of weeks ago someone asked Emma what she was going to be for Halloween - Cinderella.  Humph.

I knew if I still wanted her to be that sweet little punkin' I had envisioned, it would be a struggle.  Yes, I'm sure I could coax her in it for 10 minutes, but she wouldn't be excited - there would be no thrill for her.  

Emma loves pink, she loves dresses, she loves jewels and she loves shoes, and I knew that if I made her a big poofy pink princess dress complete with jewels and pink shoes she would light up.  And, well, that's what we live for, right?

I was a little intimidated by making a dress from scratch - I don't know how to install zippers and every time I try to make her a piece of clothing the proportions seem to be off.  I wanted this dress to look like a real dress, but be something she would be comfy in and could play dress up with for the next year or so.  

So, I started with a cotton twill dress I found at GapKids for $8 - it was on clearance.  I thought it would work perfectly as a structure, as my plan was to just put on a fancy pink facade.  

I started by putting a hem in the bottom of the pink fabric for the skirt, then pinning it onto the dress, overlapping it every couple of inches to make pleats.  *Please note, I am not a professional seamstress, so I realize my techniques are not perfect, but I just did what I needed to do to try to make something cute... maybe I'll inspire you to try it.

I stitched (with a machine) around the waist, then trimmed the excess fabric.

Next, I pieced the top together, allowing extra fabric to fold over the seam around the neck and arm holes.

I should also tell you that I left the zipper in the back and just allowed extra fabric to fold over it to hide it.

Done!  I'm going to wait until Halloween for the big reveal when she goes dressed for her school party, but you can see a tiny peek below. 

UPDATE : Here is the reveal of Emma in her dress

Pretty Pink Princess Slippers... we bought them a couple of sizes too big so she can get them on and off herself.

I loved how excited she was to try on her dress - let's just hope she doesn't want to wear it to church!


  1. I love DIY costumes! They are so much better than store bought and so much fun to make! This has become a wonderful tradition for Drew and I over the past few years. (Although our costumes usually involve cardboard boxes!) Can't wait to see your finished product.

  2. I can't wait to see it! I'm sure it will be darling!! PS - I'm jealous bc my 3yo peer pressured me into the "pumpkin fairy" costume from PBK. It is very cute, but was so expensive! Grrr...

  3. How absolutely precious! My girls would parade around in their dress ups so much they were rags when they outgrew them. What great memories.
    PS: Let her wear it to church. The parishioners will LOVE it! :)

  4. wow! these are some great Halloween options, but my absolute favorite would have to be foxy brown.

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  5. Jenny,
    Our granddaughter is exactly the same, she loves shoes and pink frilly things. Her mommy is not the same but has bought into some of the frills for the joy it brings Olivia! Love the dress and the "slippers".

  6. I love your hand-crafted costume! It makes it so very special. We always made the costumes for our boys' costumes too, and now I'm pulling them out for the next generation. I just wish I knew then what I know now about preserving keepsake clothing. If you are looking for ideas on caring for heirloom clothes, here's my blog post on the topic:

  7. Enjoy some perfect fit tailored anime cosplay costumes online, custom made costumes help you become the most glamorous cosplayer ever!

  8. Very pretty dress. I am a soon to be mom of a baby girl.. I will definitely try to make this dress for her. :)
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