Sunday, October 21, 2012

Ladybug Halloween Costume DIY

ladybug costume diy
Photo by Ami Mathur Photography

I have always been fascinated with tutu dresses, the numerous strips of tulle, the translucent fabric and the ruffles and waves all feel so feminine and delicate. I could make the skirt easily but the top always stumped me, it had to match the sophistication of the tulle yet it had to comfortable and stretchy enough so little kids don't feel scratchy or uncomfortable. All those questions were answered when I saw the various tutorials with Ruffle Fabric popping up in the blogosphere. It was equally girly and just beautiful and from what I heard from other bloggers, it was super soft and stretchy. I just couldn't help asking folks at ruffle fabric if they would sponsor some of their beautiful fabric for my projects. They agreed to send a couple of fabrics my way. My first thought when I saw the fabric was- Oh man! this is so beautiful, I could just drape a child in it and it will look good. No really! this fabric is simply gorgeous. I could think a ton of  things that I could make with it, but one thing kept coming to my mind again and again - Ladybug!
So ladybug it was! and I think we found a rather cute one.

Ruffle fabric runs a bit pricey but if you look closely the fabric is 48-50 inch wide as opposed to 36 inch that  is standard width of quilting weight fabric and since it is a pre-ruffled fabric, you really don't need any trims and notions to make a garment. So I felt it was very good value for money. In fact, I feel I'm kind of hooked and am going to buy some more of it to make the other projects.

So back to the ladybug, here is how to make the ladybug costume.

Hot Tamale Mini Ruffle Fabric: Quarter yard
Quarter inch elastic: Black: 3/4 yd
6 inch Tulle Red : 50 yd ( You could also cut 6 inches strips from complete yardage, it will be a bit more work but will be probably cheaper)
Red elastic (quarter inch wide of Foldover elastic): 3/4 yd
Elastic thread - Red or Black
Fake red flowers - 1 stem from dollar store or 1 big flower

Construction Time - 2-3 Hours

Difficulty Level:
Beginner to intermediate

cutting tulle strips

I generally use my wooden floor to cut tulle faster and evenly. The tiles are 5 inches wide which is just fine for my purpose. I fold the tulle in multiple layers until it is about 10-15 inches wide and then lay it on the floor such that one end lines up with the tile edge.

how to cut tulle strips
Now I cut the tulle at each edge of the tiles and just like that, evenly spaced tulle strips!

tulle strips cutting tutorial
Now from each of these strips cut out 30 inches long pieces. Make a nice pile of these pieces.

how to make a tutu
Now take the black elastic and cut a piece equal to child's waist -1 inch. Tie the tulle strips on the elastic as shown in the image above.

tutu tutorial
Keep tying the tulle until the whole elastic is full.

how to sew a tutu
When you reach the ends of elastic secure them with a knot.

ruffle fabric dress tutorial
Now cut out a ruffle fabric 9 inches long X child's waist -1 inch wide. Sew the 9 inches long ends together ( right sides together)

ruffle fabric and tulle dress
Now use 3 step zig-zag stitch to sew the tulle skirt over the ruffle fabric. This will take a bit of patience as the tulle skirt becomes bulky at the elastic but just use a stronger needle ( home decor) and go slowly. Use hand stitching to sew the knotted part of the elastic to the ruffle fabric. Don't worry if it doesn't look very neat at this point. We will take care of it later.
If you don't think your machine can handle this you could always sew a 2 piece outfit with the top a bit longer (~13-15 inches) and the wear the skirt over it. I think it will still look the same.

Here is what you will have once you are done.

shirring ruffle fabric

Use red/black elastic thread to shir the back of the bodice. Since the fabric will shrink as you shir, make sure you shir two third of the bodice to give an illusion of  the back half bring shirred. Start shirring from the top and stop when you think you have a snug fit.

Cut two pieces of red elastic - 12 inches long each

Sew them 2.5 inches apart at both front and back edges of bodice. These will work as shoulder straps.

Cut two ruffle fabric strips 3 inch X 11 inch

Cinch the strip at the center and sew it at the center of the shoulder straps.

Cut another 3 inch wide strip with the length equal to the waist size + 1 inch. Cinch it at the center and sew.

Now sew hand tuck this cinched part of strip at the center of the waist of the dress front.

Now sew the 3 inches wide ends right sides together. Now hand-sew them at the center back, covering the knot in black elastic, if visible.
Cut any loose ends. If needed, hand-sew the belt at the sides too. You may have noticed that I didn't talk at all about finishing the raw edges. That is because ruffle fabric is a knit and it doesn't fray. Moreover, ruffles do a great job of hiding the raw edge, so I just spared myself the trouble and left them as is.

Now remove the stalk and stem of 3-4 flowers,

Layer them on each other and sew a black button in the center.

Sew the flower at the center of the dress. The dress is ready.
Pair it with red wings, black tights and black shoes.

red ruffled dress tutorial
 Photo by Ami Mathur Photography

Hello Ladybug!

 Photo by Ami Mathur Photography

Which flower caught your fancy today?

Need more costume ideas? Here is my No Sew Mermaid Costume Tutorial under $20. I have also compiled some hubs for costume tutorials. Here is a hub for princess costume sewing tutorials and here is another roundup of Animal Costumes DIY. For even more costume DIYs visit my other blog Sew Pretty Sew Free where I featured Halloween Costumes DIY everyday in September.

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  1. Your daughter is beautiful! What gorgeous pictures! I'm fascinated with ruffle fabric but have never wanted to spring for the extra cost. You are changing my mind though :)

  2. Beautiful tutu dress! Your little ladybug is adorable, and those are beautiful pictures!

  3. Another gorgeous dress! I love that ruffle fabric - have just got some myself to try out!

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

  4. Just stopping by to invite you to My Wednesday Linky party.

  5. What a precious lady bug and beautiful, fun costume! Nicely done. Thank you for sharing. Would love it if you would share this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House which goes live at 8am CST on Monday. Hope to see you at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse


Leave some sugar :)