To make my pattern, I traced a sleeveless top of hers that had the neckline and length I wanted, adding my 1/4″ seam allowance and shaping the pointed bottom when I was done. For the back, I did the same thing, although I left the bottom edge straight.
Then I used a dress with a sleeve shape that was close to what I was looking for, and added about 1″ extra (1/4″ seam allowance and 3/4″ to give it more of a puffy shape).
Cut the front bodice piece on the fold of the fabric twice, giving you 2 front pieces. For the back bodice piece, cut on the fold and cut the piece in half lengthwise, giving you 4 back pieces (2 for the right and 2 for the left).
Pin one of the front pieces to the right and left back pieces at the corresponding shoulders and sew across the shoulder seam. Repeat with the other front and 2 back pieces. We now have a liner and a shell.
Pin the right sides of both bodice tops together at the neck and sew around the neck-hole.
Flip inside out and iron the seam.
This is where I had an UH OH moment, I decided to go with a zipper back, despite my inexperience with them (ha-ha). I probably should have sewn the zipper on first (?), but I wound up sandwiching it between the layers on the inside out back bodice piece. In hindsight I should’ve used velcro, but such is life!
To do a velcro backing, just turn the bodice inside out, sew the seams for the opening on each side and along the bottom, and then sew on your velcro pieces on each side.
Turn the front of the bodice out and sew along the bottom. Turn out again and iron.
We should only have the outer sides unfinished at this point. So now we work on the sleeves. Cut your sleeve piece on the fold of the fabric twice. Lay out and cut ribbons to size, pin and sew. Cut excess ribbon hanging over.
You’re going to cut out 2 rectangle pieces for the bottom banding now. I measured my girl’s arm and added 1 1/2″ to that measurement. That gave me a 9″ by 3″ rectangle.
Flip each rectangle wrong sides together lengthwise and press. Sew a basting stitch across the top edge and bottom edge of each sleeve. Gather the bottom to match the length of your rectangle banded piece. Pin that piece right sides together and sew across. Press the band down.
Line up each sleeve (right sides together) to the arms of the bodice, gathering along as you go. UH OH moment! I should’ve gathered more at the shoulder, but I gathered across and it made it less puffy. Pin, sew, press, and top-stitch.
Pin right sides together, and sew along the side to complete the bodice piece.
I added criss-cross ribbon to the front and sewed in place, tying a bow at the top.
Measure the point you want the skirt to fall, for me that was about the middle of her shin. The elastic waistband I used was 1″, so I added another 1 1/4″ to make the casing for that elastic. The hem was another 1/2″ added to that measurement. That came to about 19 3/4″ so I rounded to 20″ to allow for some wiggle room.
Since I wanted to gather the skirt at the waist, I just measured the 20″ along the fold and used the whole width of the fabric for gathering. Cut a panel from the fabric you used for the bodice the same length and a width of your chosing, mine came to about 12″ give or take.
Pin the panel, right sides together, to the rest of the skirt fabric at each edge and sew.
Fold over your casing for your elastic, wrong sides together, pin and sew. Leave an opening to run the elastic through the casing. I use a safety-pin attached to the elastic to help guide it through the casing. Overlap and hand sew the elastic together, then sew the opening closed. I like to run a zig zag stitch along the bottom of the casing, catching the bottom edge of the elastic to keep it from rolling and twisting. UH-OH moment, I should’ve stopped and switched thread colors when it came to the lighter purple panel!
I decided to take a chance and use the narrow rolled hem foot that came with my sewing machine. It was easy-going at first but about 1/4 of the way through it started giving me problems (of course). After hemming the bottom, attach the lace to the hem.
She’s such a ham! Thanks for reading this years DIY costume tutorial! I hope my uh-oh moments helped you from making the same mistakes.