Friday 31 August 2012

Rapunzel/Tangled Dress Up Costume

Last year I decided I would try and make a dress up costume for the little ones each year. Little e's costume last year was Snow White and this year was Rapunzel, the Tangled version.

Who knew how difficult it would be to find the fabric in an actual shop?!! I was so busy making the tree cake that by the time I got round to doing the dress it was too late to order fabric online. So, after trawling the fabric shops in Edinburgh I managed to get lilac satin in two different shades which are not perfect but little e doesn't seem to mind too much!

Last year I drew round the bodice of a dress that fitted and made the pattern from that but this year, feeling more adventurous, I used a bodice pattern for a party dress that was too small and sized it up and made a basic block pattern for about a 4 year old. I then altered the block so it looked like the Rapunzel dress.

I have it scanned in but have no idea how to go about uploading here so you can download it, so if you would like me to mail it to you, leave comment and I will send it to you as soon as I can (assuming you are not a no reply blogger). I also suggest you make a muslin first just to check the size as it is really just a very basic grading I did...

These are the quantities of fabric I used:

0.5m of pale lilac material
1m of darker purple material(my material was too light so am on the hunt for a darker material)
1m of pale pink ribbon
2m Lace edging

First cut the material:

The two side pieces of front bodice and back bodice pieces out of the lighter satin.
The centre front panel from the darker material.

Cut the sleeve from the lighter satin.

I didn't want the skirt to be too full so made it
(1.5x waist measurement) x (waist to ankle measurement +3cm seam allowances).

I forgot to take a picture but as you can see in the pics my skirt could have done with being a little fuller so maybe 2x the waist measurement would be better.

Assembling the bodice:

If you want you can finish the raw edges of the centre front bodice (I didn't bother) then fold along the fold line marked on the pattern and press.

If your machine can do button holes set it to the smallest button hole and put button holes every 3cm

Pin the centre panel to the front sides then stitch in place (make sure you are parallel with the front edges as you will see the stitching)

Finish the raw edge at the neck, I used the overlocker.

Then attach the lace edging. The flat edge should be along the neckline so when you line the bodice it will end up sticking out of the seam.

This is what it will look like once sewn on.

Attach front bodice pieces to the back at the shoulder seams.


Sew strips of pink ribbon to the sleeves then trim to the shape of the sleeve. If you want the see through part of the sleeves like tangled then now would be the time to sew them on to the bottom of the sleeve. I left them out as I knew they would annoy little e and probably get ripped pretty quickly.

Run a gathering stitch along the top of the sleeve and gather. My sleeves ended up massive so I have altered the pattern to sort it!

Match the centre on the sleeve to the shoulder seam, adjust gathering so sleeve fits, then, right sides together and raw edges matching, stitch sleeve to bodice.

Lining the bodice:

Cut the lining pieces out (I used the same stiff satin and it does not look great, use something much lighter weight) and attach front to back at shoulders again.

Follow this amazing tutorial and you will magically have a fully lined bodice:)

You can now sew up the sleeves and hem them, I just did a narrow hem (turn 0.5cm then another 1cm and sew).

Attach bodice to skirt:

Sew the short ends of the skirt together leaving about 10cm at the top open.

 Fold the raw edges of the bit you left open over and stitch in place (sorry forgot to take pics of the next few stages, was starting to panic it wouldn't fit and I would have to start again!).

Run a couple of lines of long stitches within the seam allowance at the top of the skirt to gather it.

Pin skirt to bodice, matching the open edges with the back bodice and adjusting the gathers as necessary.

Stitch in place making sure you don't catch the bodice lining.

Hem to the desired length then attach a lace trim to the bottom.

Hand stitch the lining to the bodice, folding over the raw edge on the lining and covering the raw edges where the bodice and skirt are attached.

Attach 3 x 2cm pieces of Velcro to the bodice to close it at the back, open up your buttonholes and thread some pink ribbon through and you are done!

The colours are a bit different in real life but as the sun has not shone very much here this summer these shots were the best I had, sorry!

Now you can jump for joy that it is finished!

.I know this isn't the best tutorial ever so if you have any questions leave me a comment and I will answer them!

Linking to these fab linky parties!


  1. Wow - my daughter would love that dress, so pretty! Puts my dress-making efforts to shame, I'm afraid it was very much cobbled together, my sewing is abysmal lol! But it held up for the party, so I guess that's what matters.

    Estelle xx

  2. I bet your little one LOVES her Rapunzel costume. It's fabulous!!! The ribbon laced at the front is perfect for the outfit. Great tutorial, too... very easy to follow.

  3. Wow, that is awesome! I think I'm a long way off attempting it myself but well done you :)

    S x

  4. This looks so cute and you make it seem so simple to do! I am new to sewing so I think this might be a few steps on... one to come back to maybe!


  5. Such a pretty dress Alison! Great work - looks like it's well loved too!!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  6. I love the dress! You did a fabulous job on it. I'd love for you to link it up to our What I Wore Sunday link party:

    See you soon!

  7. This is adorable! My little one is always wanting to dress up too! Love the colors. I'm a new follower from Happy Hour Friday. It would be great if you'd follow me back at


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