I don’t know about your house, but mine is in full “stop changing your mind about your Halloween costume or I can’t make it” mode. Certainly no one else’s child has changed their mind a gazillion times over the last week about their costume?!? Thankfully, Magnus is too little to tell me what he wants to be (flying monkey) and Stella had her mind set on a witch and it stuck. That’s two outta four, which is pretty good around here! So here it is – the great transition from the Noelle Party Dress to the Spooky Witch Costume complete with fitted point sleeves and an overlay.
Get your Noelle pattern, print it, and cut to your desired size. Gather up all your supplies.
This is a great time of year to get costume quality fabrics. The point is to get the costume made, but go cheap with supplies because it is likely to be worn only a couple of times. No sense in getting real satins and silks if polyester will work and cost a fraction. Pro Tip: Check your local fabric stores for some serious discounts in the costume fabric or remnant section. I found the spider web overlay at Joanns for 40% off. Isn’t it divine? It glimmers and sparkles and I knew it was just the right addition to Stella’s costume.
Before you get to cutting your fabric, we need to do some alterations to the sleeves first. Be sure to have the kid handy, because you will need more than the basic measurements. First, measure from the shoulder to the wrist; Stella’s was 15 inches. Then, measure from the wrist to the second knuckle on the middle finger; hers was three inches.
Measure across the widest part of the hand; it was 2.5” for Stella. And finally, measure around the wrist. Stella’s was just over 5 inches. Whew! Did you get all that?
Here’s a handy dandy table to help you keep all this stuff organized.
Now comes the fun part. Get the sleeve pattern piece and measure it from the shoulder (tallest part) to the hem. The 5T was coming in a little over 15.5” so I needed to add length to make the pointy part of her sleeve. Stella’s Shoulder to Wrist measurement was spot on for the 5T pattern piece when I included a half an inch for seam allowance. Your child may need to have some length added or taken away depending on their arm.
We are going to make a scalene triangle together. See that? You DO use geometry after high school.
To make things less complicated, I’ll be using Stella’s measurements from here on out. Be sure to substitute the measurements in your chart to make a proper sleeve.
Grab a sheet of paper and mark down from the top your Wrist to Second Knuckle measurement.
Now fold your paper in half vertically.
Hold on to your hats, math is next! Take the Widest Part of the Hand measurement and divide it in half.
i.e. Stella’s measurement was 2.5.
2.5/2 = 1.25
From the fold of your paper measure to 1.5″ and make a mark. Draw a line from the fold at the line to the mark you just made. You now have a triangle!
Cut it out making sure that you cut the fold too.
Tape that triangle with the right angle to the left side of the sleeve pattern piece. It should look like this.
Now we need to reduce the width of the sleeve so that the point is fitted. Your sleeve pattern piece is only half of the sleeve as you cut it on the fold. Keep this in mind. Stella’s wrist measures 5” and the pattern piece was a lot bigger. I am using a stretch lace for the sleeves, so I can get away with making the sleeves a little more fitted. If you are using cotton that doesn’t have stretch you may need to add a little room for hands to make it out the sleeves.
We will begin next to the point we just made. Half your wrist measurement plus one inch will give us our first mark. Mark that from the edge with the triangle. I wanted a fuller sleeve at the shoulder so I graded the pattern based on the current point of the shoulder. Draw from the corner of your sleeve to the new mark you made at the wrist like this.
Cut the excess off. You should now have a slimmer sleeve. Because my sleeve is stretch lace I chose to serge the edges where we made our point. You can do this with a satin stitch on your serger, but if your fabric is stretchy and has holes (like the lace) just use a regular serge stitch length or your machine will eat the fabric. Now, with right sides together serge your sleeve along the long part to make your sleeve. It essentially is like a tube at this point.
Depending on the look you are going for, you may want to add elastic loops to the sleeve like I did. Just cut two pieces of elastic about three inches long and stitch them about halfway down the point making sure they are on the wrong side of the fabric.
They should look like this.
Now you will continue to follow the directions in the pattern until you get to the skirt. I scrapped the width measurement for the skirt and just did width of fabric for my skirt and overlay. I wanted a big full skirt so that we could eventually put a pinafore under the dress if Stella wanted it to be puffy. An overlay is pretty simple. You are essentially adding a second skirt. I do this all the time with dresses to add a little apron or a shorter layer to give the appearance of ruffles.
You will hem your overlay – or in my case it was the stretchy shimmery silvery spiderweb fabric. Say that three times fast! I chose to use the serger and just do a quick run along the bottom of the fabric. This is a costume remember? Now, if you are making a holiday dress or something to be worn a lot, take the time to do a real hem!
Now, just like we did last time with the ruffle skirt, you’ll sew the short end together and make a loop.
Then, gather just like the ruffle skirt and pin it to the bodice as indicated in the pattern. Be sure to pin the overlay first. You want it to be on the outside of the main skirt fabric. If you want to stop and check your pinning at this point, it is a good idea. I like to give a quick stitch to keep the overlay and bodice together. It can be really difficult to try to keep two gathered layers and a bodice from slipping once you get over to the serger.
Now, just follow the rest of the pattern instructions as though the overlay wasn’t there and voila – you have a beautiful dress!
This is a great dress to add embellishments as well. I found some brocade in the clearance bin and had just enough to line the neckline. I love it when it all just works out!
This was my end result. We picked up striped stockings at Target and this great witch hat at the Halloween store – look closely, it has spiders!!! Oh and see her matching treat bag??? You can make one too! Here’s the Tutorial!
Stella sure knows how to work a witch costume! Happy Halloween!