Mary Abreu from Confessions of a Craft Addict, author of Little Girls, Big Style: Sew a Boutique Wardrobe from 4 Easy Patterns, is back with more costuming tips. (Here’s her first post in the series: Costuming: Concept, Planning, Construction + More!) Mary is a true expert on all things related to costumes, from concept to creation. Mary’s back with more this weekend and on Monday, and you won’t want to miss any of it!

One of the things I’ve always loved to do is hack the patterns I own to give them a new look. It satisfies both my thrifty nature and my desire to stretch my creativity.

My go-to pattern for my daughter is probably a peasant dress. It’s simple to sew, easy to wear– And it’s a great starting point for creating costumes. I based these costumes off the peasant dress pattern from my book, Little Girls, Big Style: Sew a Boutique Wardrobe from 4 Easy Patterns, but feel free to use your favorite pattern.

Alice in Wonderland
Alice is one of my all-time favorite characters and I love the idea of making a light blue peasant dress (Kona Cloud, Cornflower or Evening are all great choices) and topping it with a simple white apron.

Start with black or purple fabric (if you shirr, you can use black elastic thread so no white stitches show through), add a witch’s hat, striped tights and a broom. Add a little oomph by using a fancier fabric– Michael Miller Fairy Frost, flocked taffeta, even a fun Halloween print– and then add some of the fabric to your hat. A tutu or petticoat under the dress will fill it out and really make an impact.

Make the bodice and sleeves from white fabric, then create the skirt portion of the dress (waist down) from a stripe (I love this red and white Cabana Stripe. Add shirring or an elastic casing at the waist instead of across the chest. A black sash, swashbuckler’s sword and buccaneer hat or bandana make for a fun, fast costume.

Use ready-made wings as the starting point for your color palette. A flutter sleeve is a great look too, if it’s weather appropriate, but you can certainly use a longer sleeve. As with the pirate costume idea, shift the elastic to the waist for a more defined top-and-skirt look. A shorter skirt with tulle ruffle will help your fairy take flight. Just add tights and flats (my daughter thinks glitter shoes are the perfect touch).

Your little princess will be over the moon, and super comfortable too. You can move the elastic to the waist and make a separate, defined skirt or use empire waist instead. This is a great look for cotton or voile, or you can really go all out with silk, silk taffeta, velveteen, velour. (Just make sure you use an elastic casing at the neckline instead of shirring if you opt for heavier fabrics). Layer tulle or organza over the skirt, bodice or sleeves. Ribbon, lace and beaded trims will make the costume sparkle. Add a petticoat or tutu underneath for a more princess-y silhouette. Gloves and a tiara complete the look. Prince Charming is optional.