Handmade Costume Series: DIY Rapunzel Dress Tutorial

Today Googiemama has outdone herself!! She shows you how to make a Rapunzel dress with this fabulous tutorial. And wait until you check out how to make Rapunzel hair!! And there’s a Pasqual too (sort of!). Don’t forget to check out all the other costume tutorials in the series as well!

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How to sew rapunzel dress tutorial

12 years and 4 months ago i gave birth to my first daughter.

about 15 minutes later i sewed my first princess costume.

since then i’ve had three more girls and a boy…and sewn everything from cinderella (twice) and belle to woody the cowboy and an evil dr. porkchop.
costume collage
gone with the wind gown + pink princess + my fair lady gown + woody costume

i’ve done generic “princess” gowns for play and parties, alice in wonderland, kimonos when guinevere went through a japanese phase, movie inspired gowns, masks and wings and tutus.
between the ages of 2 and 3 my son never, EVER went out of the house in normal clothes. he was a different superhero every day of the week—superman, batman, buzz lightyear—we had ‘em all. he even managed to sneak his mr. incredible costume on under his dress clothes one sunday. after all, he explained to us, superheroes always hide their uniform under their regular clothes.

how do you argue with that?

but you know what—in all that time, and with all those costumes—i’m still not sick of it. i love it just as much now as i did when i was 13—walking to the local thrift shop and buying old curtains to make medieval gowns…or gathering up every cheap wire drycleaner hanger i could find in the closets to fashion a makeshift hoop for a “gone with the wind” inspired dress. true story.

i love dress up. i love make believe.

i knew i would have daughters, and i knew i would make them dress up clothes. i knew i would spend too much time and too much money creating something custom with my own two hands—rather than buying what’s already made.

and i do. shhhh…don’t tell my husband about the money part.
and now when i sit and sew for my girls i can’t help but wonder if one day i’ll be sewing 3 princessy bridesmaid’s gowns. or even (gulp) a wedding dress.
sigh. ::wiping tears::

okay, enough of the sappy trip down Memory Lane. and up Potential Future Boulevard. back to the present—where the nice thing is that at this size it only takes a yard or so of fabric to make something they love. case in point:
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meet my own little rapunzel.
she begged and begged for a rapunzel dress. fortunately, i also needed an idea for my contribution to the handmade costume series! not the most original of costumes—to be sure. but this is what was requested, and i aim to please.
 
this long golden haired beauty was done with just 1/2 yard of light purple, 3/4 of a yard of dark purple, 1/4 yard sheer pink, and two $1 rolls of pink ribbon (one thick, one thin). the lace and flowers came from my stash, and the fabric was all either on sale or couponed.

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flynn rider better just watch his back. she’s packin’ heat.

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also from my fabric stash: the green felt for this little guy


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he was truly a labor of love. i was just committing to a dress. i’m not a stuffed animal maker. but really–what’s a princess without her requisite sidekick?

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she was so very concerned that he would sit on her shoulder JUST LIKE IN THE MOVIE MOM. and so very pleased when he did.

so little pascal here was definitely a case of more TIME than MONEY. the bulk handsewn; his little tail and legs stuffed with pipe cleaners so they can bend and curl.

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you want a pascal? sorry, you’re on your own. okay, i lied. check here. i made it up as i went and couldn’t remake him to save my life.

let’s talk about rapunzel’s crowning glory—her golden tresses. i was going to do a yarn wig—there’s some really cool tutorials floating around the web. then i realized three things:

o1) yarn—even cheap yard, in that amount—ain’t so cheap (and i used up all my coupons on the fabric!)
o2) she’s already got blonde hair, we just need more length.
o3) i’m not opposed to fake hair anyway–in everyday situations. yup, i’ve used it ;)

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$4.99 at my local hair and wig store. i call that winning.
it’s synthetic, so you can’t do much with it in the way of styling. but it came out of the package already looking for all the world like rapunzel’s braid. i just braided gigi’s real hair to the back and attached this with a rubber band.
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throw in some flowers you’ve got lying around and BOOM! rapunzel hair!
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unfortunately there’s a distinct lack of towers in our neighborhood, so we hit up the next best thing–
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the playground was the perfect place to throw down your hair!

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right when i took this picture a man walked by and said “wow! that’s really long hair!” in a tone of voice that said is it real? nah—it can’t be. buuuttt… i think he was thoroughly confused. ;)

so you’ve got your pascal, and you’ve got your hair. what about the dress? that’s the easy part.
you can customize any basic bodice pattern to look rapunzel-ish. i started with a standard sleeveless scoop-necked bodice pattern that i had already drafted for gigi. i traced it onto the fabric with an erasable fabric marker, then sketched out a new sweetheart neckline and extended the waist into a point.
i cut that new shape out and got to work…

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lace some pink ribbon through the grommets and you’re set! i added some lace around the neckline, and sheer pink sleeves—just for authenticity’s sake. ;)

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to finish i simply made a full skirt—sewing in a contrasting triangle right in the front. it’s gathered to fit and attached to the bodice.
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and that’s it! you’ve got yourself one lovely long-haired, pan-toting, bare-footed, tower-bound princess! we had so much fun playing with this dress!

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andrea—thanks so much for inviting us to join your handmade costumes series!
 


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Comments

  1. Kimberly says

    So cute!! My daughter loves repunzel. You almost had me fooled on her hair. Lol
    You did a really great job!!!

  2. Katrina says

    Lovely! I have a dress and a pascal for my little girl. She’d like the hair…can you tell me the length, color, or part number of what you used? She’d like it glowing so I am looking into long glow sticks for Halloween night that I may just add in. And working on her Rapunzel birthday celebration coming up. Any info you can give me would be helpful. Thanks!

  3. PamB says

    Great job, Mom. I’m already a few years ahead of you, and have been through every version of princess dress with my only daughter. Let me assure you, though, when your time comes for the wedding dress, all the experience with the princess dresses will help, but the feelings will be so much deeper, so much sweeter. Six years later now, I’m working on my precious granddaughter’s princess dresses!! They’re a little more detailed than anything I made for her mother, but it’s just as much fun!!

  4. Anna Bland says

    I adore this! Is there any way to get the original dress pattern you started with? I want to use this tutorial to make an American Girl Felicity dress, and I have yet to find a dress pattern I like. I love the sleeves, the shape, and the little point at the bottom of the bodice. Oh, and I must make a drawer full of dresses with the original pattern if at all possible too. Perfection! Thanks!

  5. Ellis says

    This is great! My daughter has informed me she would like to be Princess Sofia for halloween and I should make her a dress like Sofia’s. Haha as demanding her request I agreed to it. I like to push my creativity to the next level so why not try and make a princess dress? This tutorial gave me the perfect idea of how and where to start! Thank you very much for sharing this!

  6. natalie@hotmail.com says

    :( I tried to buy the hair from the site you linked… I was so excited about the $4.95 price! … then I saw the shipping to australia is over sixty dollars… sad times.

  7. Sarah says

    I need to dress up as rapunzel for a party.I am having troubles finding the long hair piece that you talked about.What store is it?

  8. Judybmk says

    Your tutorial inspired me to make a Rapunzel dress for my granddaughter’s 4th birthday this month. It is finished and I have emailed you a picture.

  9. shannon/googiemomma says

    hi judy! shannon here–the rapunzel dress maker. just saw this and i’m assuming you sent the pic to andrea @ the train to crazy. i’d love to see the dress you made if you could send me a shot too? talktothemomma at gmail dot com
    thanks!

  10. Cal says

    I have a pattern for a corset, but I can’t figure out how to put straps on the corset without sewing them on. Any help at all would be amazing!!!

  11. Andrea @ The Train To Crazy says

    Carolyn,
    I would think you could hand sew some little rings to it so you could thread the ribbons through it. (if that's what you're referring to) If you're talking about shoulder straps I would use those little hooks like swimming suits have to connect the strap to the bodice if you want the straps removeable. I would imagine you could find those hooks at a fabric store but I'm not sure.
    Best of luck!
    Andrea

  12. Trisha says

    hi, I am just wondering what the color of the wig hair is and how many inches. my daughter has what looks to be like the same color of hair as your little girl does. just curious!!! wish I could find a pascal costume for my son by unless I want to spend $90 on etsy for one it looks like im on my own.

  13. Krystina says

    NOW THIS is a girl after my own heart! We did Rapunzel last year including wig and slippers. No Pascal though! Sometimes I know I am really over doing it, but then I get all caught up in an idea and do it all over again (ahem, lets not discuss the mermaid fabrics I just bought). This is a BEAUTIFUL Rapunzel and I love love love the little pascal. Nice touch!

  14. Olkapolka says

    How ingenious and sweet! I am just sorry I did not find your blog before I set on a torturous path of sewing a Rapunzel costume for my daughter. :) Such detailed instructions and such a great result! Your kids are truly happy kids with a mom like that!

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