Dressing up to retell the story of Little Red Riding Hood was a special memory this fall, and I wanted to close out my posts on our family fun with details of the girls' costumes. I made Emma's Little Red Riding Hood costume first, then adapted my techniques to vary Mary Ashley's Mother costume.
Our Little Red stepped out in a lined cape with rick rack trim, corset-style bodice and full white tutu. I looked at a lot of online costume photos before deciding how I wanted to proceed. When I found this post at Funky Polkadot Giraffe, I knew I had found my inspiration. The idea for a white tutu and red gingham corset came from the costume Kyla made for her daughter. Here is how I made Emma's costume.
Our Little Red Riding Hood corset is a flat piece that laces up the back with ribbon. Emma wore this with the cape to trunk or treat, but we put a peasant top under it for storybook character dress-up day at school so she could take the cape off. Directions follow for this easy and versatile costume option.
Make a Little Red Riding Hood Corset
1. Measure the length of your daughter's torso and add 1" to that measurement for seam allowances. Cut your fabric, using the full width of fabric for ease of construction.
2. Cut a strip of fabric for the top and bottom ruffles. I cut a 3" strip for the top ruffle and 7" for the bottom. Press each strip in half, and gather the ruffles. Set the ruffles aside.
3. Find the center point of the corset fabric, and sew any embellishments. For the Little Red costume pictured, I centered a rectangle of white fabric over the gingham then created a peasant look by criss-crossing red grosgrain ribbon over the white. Wide red rick rack covered the seams on each side of the rectangle.
4. Pin the top and bottom ruffles to the front corset piece, lining up the raw edges. Like making a ruffled pillow, you will stitch the ruffle to the front piece, then sandwich the ruffle inside while you stitch the front and back sides together. Leave an opening on one side so you can turn the corset right-side out. Stitch the opening closed.
5. Working your way from the top down, sew buttonholes on each edge of the corset. Lace the corset loosely with wide grosgrain ribbon to slip it over your daughter's head. Pull taut and finish with a bow at the the waist.
I used similar techniques to make Mary Ashley's costume, but you can see how making a few adjustments gave a different look. Before we went fabric shopping, Mary Ashley said she wanted a fabric with pink roses all over it. She gasped when she spotted the fabric of her dreams in Hobby Lobby. "This is it!" she cried. "This is the exact fabric I was picturing!" I used a leftover bits of lace and pink velvet ribbon to embellish her corset.
I have made no-sew tutus in the past, but I opted to sew them this time to keep the knots from adding bulk at the waist. To sew a tutu, cut a piece of elastic about an inch longer than your daughter's waist. Overlap the ends of elastic and sew securely. Cut strips of tulle twice your desired length. Fold them in half over the elastic, and stitch the pieces on (careful not to catch the elastic so you can distribute the tulle as needed). Continue adding strips and sewing until you reach the desired fullness. Fluff the tutu, and trim or shape the tutu as needed. I used 10 yards of tulle from the bolt for Emma's tutu and several spools of pink tulle for Mary Ashley's tutu. Both tutus turned out well, but I have noticed that the tulle from the spool tends to tangle and curl. I did not cut the tulle for Emma's tutu into strips, and I love the fullness of hers.
This tutorial from Imagine Childhood helped me make the girls' lined, hooded capes. Initially I was only going to make one for Emma, but Mary Ashley really wanted one too. I lined Emma's solid red cape with red gingham, and I love the pop of color. I added interest to her cape by edging the cape with wide rick rack, rounding the bottom corners, using wide ribbon ties and squaring off the point of her hood. A soft corduroy clearance fabric at Hobby Lobby -- lined with her beloved rose fabric -- was perfect for Mary Ashley's cape. Securing her cape with pretty braided trim and a cameo pendant gave our little mother a more grown-up lady's cape.
I hope you have enjoyed going into the woods with us these past two weeks! Recent adventures have taken me off the beaten path for a girlfriends getaway, so I will be sharing details and lovely photos.