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Handmade Dress Up: DIY Tinkerbell Costume Tutorial

Hi!  I’m April and I blog over at Wildflowers & Whimsy!  I am a SAHM, homeschooling mommy to three awesome kiddos.  I talk too much and too loud, drink too much coffee, forget things almost always.  I’m crazy about Audrey Hepburn, shoes…the higher the better, and anything with ruffles!  My blog is about everything from sewing to fashion to homeschooling to…well, pretty much whatever strikes my fancy at any given moment!  I love all wonderful friends I have made since starting my blog and would love for you to stop by and say hi!

I was super excited to participate in The Train to Crazy‘s Handmade Dress Up series! Dress up is something that is a part of daily life in our home. I love seeing what my kids put together! There’s just something about seeing their creativity come out! And I love all the characters they come up with!

An obvious favorite for Sophie is Tinkerbell! Some of you might remember that I made her a Tink costume for Halloween last year, and it still gets quite a bit of use…sometimes even as pjs! So I thought it would be the perfect tutorial to share for the series. Here it is again in case you missed it.

Here’s the original.


What you’ll need:
Knit/Cotton Fabric
Elastic Thread
Fabric Marker


1) Cut out all the pieces


(cut 1 from tulle and 1 from fabric)
12m/18m ~ 1 – 10″ x 40″
2t/3t ~ 1- 11.5″ x 41″
4t/5t ~ 1- 13″ x 42″


1 ~ 2″ x Width of Fabric


12m/18m ~ 1- 8.5″ x 40″
2t/3t ~ 1- 9.5″ x 41″
4t/5t ~ 1- 10.5″ x 42″


Pixie Cut Tulle Strips
You will need approximately 60-80 strips. it just depends on how big the shorts are and how tightly you gather them. I suggest starting with about 60…you can always cut more. Only cut one of the short ends to a point
12m/18m ~ 11″ x 6″
2t/3t ~ 12″ x 6″
4t/5t ~ 13″ x 6″


Seam allowance is 1/2″ unless otherwise specified.


2) Assemble the bodice: With WRONG sides together, stitch tulle bodice to the cotton bodice along ONE of the long edges (this will be referred to as the top of the bodice from now on).


Press* the seam allowance toward the cotton side, and stitch the seam allowance down 1/4″ from the original seam. Trim the seam allowance down close to the second line of stitching. Baste the tulle to the cotton on BOTH of the short sides.


Pin the short sides together; stitch. Trim the seam allowance down to 1/4″; finish the seam allowance. Press to one side. Baste the tulle to the cotton along the bottom edge.


* I usually press tulle on a polyester setting and have never had any trouble BUT it can melt so you may want to test first or use a pressing clothe or scrap of fabric over the tulle.


3) Make the bloomers: With RIGHT sides together, stitch the short sides of the shorts together; Trim the seam allowance down to 1/4″; finish the seam allowance. Press to one side.


Fix the seam so that it is the center back of the shorts. Then, from the bottom, measure up the seam 2″; mark it with a disappearing fabric marker. Then, measure 2.5″ to either side of the seam and mark. Join the three points to form an arc and cut it out (you should be cutting both the front and back fabric).


With RIGHT sides facing stitch together with a 1/4″ seam allowance; finish the seam; press towards the back.


Hem the bottom of the bloomer legs. I just did a rolled hem but a narrow hem would work well also.


4) Make the tulle skirt: You can do this one of two ways:


a) Set your stitch to the longest length, and lower your upper thread tension to 1. Stitch the tulle strips together along the top edges(the FLAT short edge) with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Tie off the starting end and pull the bobbin thread at the other end to gather the tulle until the skirt is the same width as the shorts.


b) I use my gathering foot so that I can gather them and stitch them together at the same time. I just keep adding tulle strips until the skirt is the same width as the bloomers.


Either way, all you have to do is stitch across the top edge of each strip and when there is only about 1/2″ left, overlap the next strip over the previous one.


5) Attach the skirt to the bloomers: With RIGHT sides together, baste the top edge of the skirt to the top edge of the bloomers with a 3/8″ seam allowance. (you can just barely see the bloomers peeking out under the skirt…)


6) Put it together: With RIGHT sides together, match the center back seam of the bloomers to the center back seam of the bodice; stitch. Trim the seam allowance down to 1/4″ and finish seam. Press the seam up toward the bodice and stitch the seam allowance down to the bodice 1/8 – 1/4″ from the original seam.


Here’s what it should look like.


7) Shir the bodice: Starting 1/2″ from the top of the bodice, shir all the way around the bodice, and continue shirring rows 1/2″ apart until you get to the bottom of the bodice. (If you need tips on shirring, you can check out this post)


8) Shir the bloomer legs: Run one row of shirring 1/2″ from the bottom of each of the bloomer legs.


9) Make and attach straps: Fold and press the long edges to the center of the strap piece. Fold it in half again longways; press. Cut it in half so that you have two straps and edge stitch along the folded edges making sure to reinforce at the beginning and end of each stitch. Attach the straps to the front of the bodice on either side by stitching them in place at the first and second rows of shirring.


Done! Any questions?? Please ask them in the comments section so everyone can benefit.



  1. Katie says

    I can’t see the pictures! Is it just me? I really want to make this dress for my daughter but I’m not sure I’ll understand 100% without the photos. Is there any way to fix that? Maybe you deleted or moved the photos from the original folder where they were when you linked them in this post? Thanks in advance!

  2. Shannon Cruze says

    I am working on making these for my two girls for Halloween this year. My question is, 42″… that’s 42 inches right? They look HUGE, but I assume this is to allow for the shir that will shrink the size? Right? Also, you do the shiring once its put together, the top and bloomers? Sorry, just trying to wrap my brain around this. Also, what measuments do you thing for a 9 year old? she measures 23″ at her widest around the chest.

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