DIY Fairy Dress-up for Toddler




Introduction: DIY Fairy Dress-up for Toddler

About: I like trying new things and cheaper or better ways of doing old things. I like making things out of natural materiales such as wood, antlers, shells, clay, etc. but I also have an interest in synthetic polyme…

Even as young as she is, my daughter is already very girly. We can't walk past anything sparkly or frilly without her trying to snuggle or wear it. The other day she saw a tutu and fairy wing set and fell in love with it; if it hadn't been $20 I probably would have just bought it for her, but for that price I knew I could make more than just a tutu with some pin on wings. So here is what we came up with, it's fairly simply and easy to alter to fit your taste.

Step 1: Make the Pattern

I covered this step in another instructable, but the pictures weren't as good so I will briefly go over it again with better picture documentation.
The dress we made was for a toddler so we used a onesie, but I have also included a couple pictures doing the same process on adult clothing because it will probably be a bit easier to see what's going on.

 What you will need:




measuring tape

1 child

round neck shirt that fits the child without stretching

measure the child shoulder to waist, waist to knee, and around the waist.

 Fold the shirt in half lengthwise and lay it on paper with the center back along the edge of the paper. Trace around the shirt, folding sleeve back to carefully trace along sleeve opening. Add 1/4" seam allowance to edges.

Cut out and trace another copy of this pattern. Lay the front of the shirt on the second pattern to get front neckline, adding 1/4" seam allowance.

You can trace another Back pattern, adding 1/2" seam allowance along center back for zipper or just pull pattern back 1/2" from edge of fabric when cutting.

Lay sleeve on paper and trace around, folding back shirt to carefully trace along sleeve opening edge.

Add 1/4" seam allowance on edges with 1" Hem allowance on bottom edge of sleeve.

Step 2: Do the Math

To get the circumference of the Inner Circle - take the Waist measurement, add some extra for gathers

(anything from 1" extra, to double the waist measurement)

My daughter's waist is 17" and we added 14".  You can round off your numbers to simplify the math.  Since it's gathered, you have room to play with it.

17" + 14" = 31"

Divide 31" by Pi (3.14) rounding off the 4 you get 10.  I generally use a 10" diameter for toddler waistlines because the math is simple, but to make a larger waistline or add more gathers, just increase the diameter.

plug in the measurements to the chart. 

My daughter's skirt length is 9".

9" + 10" + 9" = 28"

I know that may be a bit to take in for those who don't like math, but I have included pictures to help and once you get it it's not too hard.

Step 3: Gather Materials

You will need:

1 Yd  Green Satin

1'4 Yd Green Organza

1/4 Yd Purple Satin

1 Yd Purple Organza

9” Green zipper (invisible is best)

12” of ¼” elastic (cut into two 6” pieces)

Safety pin (to thread elastic through sleeve casing)


Measuring Tape

Cardboard, Duct Tape & Thumb tack (optional to make compass for drawing circle)

Florist Wire (butterfly antennae)

Needle & thread for hand sewing

Plastic Weed Trimmer Line

As always, you can change the colors as you like but if you want to copy this one exactly this is what we went with.

Step 4: Make the Skirt

Fold 28" square Green Satin in half lengthwise and then in half widthwise to form a 14" square. Tape a small square of cardboard to cutting table and anchor the measuring tape to the folded corner of fabric with thumbtack. 

Measure out 14" from center (folded) corner and cut along curved line. Always cut the outer circle first. Then measure and cut 5" (radius of 10" diameter circle) curved line.

You should now have a large doughnut shaped skirt.

Cut along the fold line from outer circle to the inner circle to form Center Back and opening for zipper.

Step 5: Attract the "leaves" to the Skirt

Cut 16 - 2 1/2" X 7" Strips of Purple Organza.

Cut 16 - 2 1/2" X 6" Strips of Green Organza.

Cut 16 - 2 1/2" X 5" Strips of Purple Organza.

 Fold each strip in half and cut corners off of one end, making a rounded point (leaflike). Layer the 7" strips first around the edge of inner circle with points pointing outward. Then layer 6" strips and last layer 5" strips on top.

Sew a basting stitch around edge, attaching "leaves" to skirt. This seam will also be used as a gathering seam when attaching the skirt to the bodice.

Step 6: Make the Bodice

Lay FRONT Bodice pattern on folded Green Satin with center front edge along foldline of fabric.

Cut.  Repeat.  You need two Front pieces.

Lay BACK Bodice pattern on folded Green Satin adding 1/2" seam allowance for zipper along center back and cut. This will make 2 pieces. Repeat this step to make 4 pieces.

 Place right sides together of FRONT Bodice and 2 BACK Bodice pieces and sew shoulder and side seams.

Repeat with other FRONT and 2 BACK Bodice pieces.

Place SLEEVE pattern on folded Green Satin with center line of sleeve along foldline of fabric.  Pull pattern 1 1/2" away from fold to make puffed sleeve.

Cut.  Repeat.

Sew basting stitch along tops of sleeves. Sew the underarm seam of both sleeves.

Serge or fold under 1/4" on bottom edge of both sleeves. Turn under another 1/2" on bottom edge and stitch along inside edge of folded fabric to form casing for elastic.  Leave a small opening to insert elestic. Cut  6" of 1/4" wide elastic.  Attach safety pin to end and thread elastic through casing.  Zigzag ends together. Stitch casing shut.

Repeat on other sleeve.

Pin sleeve to sleeve opening with right sides together. Match at side seam to underarm seam and center top of sleeve to shoulder seam.

Pull gathering thread and adjust gathers evenly to match Sleeve opening. Hand stitch it in place.

Step 7: Attach the Bodice to the Skirt

I forgot to take pictures for this step, sorry. But as long as you remember to line the two pieces together so that the zipper lines up you should be fine.

Pin the INNER CIRCLE of the skirt to the bottom edge of bodice with right sides together. Line up the center back of the bodice with the opening of the inner circle. Pin the center front of the bodice to the center of the INNER CIRCLE.

Fold in half to find the sides of the INNER CIRCLE, mark and pin to side seams.
Pull the gathering thread to match the skirt to bodice and adjust gathers evenly. Stitch it together.

Step 8: Attach the Zipper and Sash

Attach the zipper according to zipper directions down center back and stitch the remaining center back shut.

Hem the bottom edge of the skirt. Pin the “other” bodice to the dress with right sides together, matching necklines, shoulder seams and center back corners. 

Stitch together along the entire neckline. Also stitch together along the center back seams with zipper enclosed between the two bodices.

Hand sew inside the bodice to the outside bodice at sleeve openings and bottom edge of bodice, covering seams. 

Organza can be scratchy.  Covering the seams will make a nice comfortable garment. If you are using a fabric that isn't scratchy you can skip that step if you want.

Cut two 2 ½”  X  30” strips of Green Satin and stitch, right sides together to form a 60” X 2 ½” Sash and hem the edges.

Repeat with the Green Organza.

Layer Organza on top of Satin and gather at center seam. Stitch it to the dress just off center front of the dress on top of gathering stitch of sash.

Step 9: Make the Butterfly

Cut a 6” square of Purple Organza and stitch a gathering line down the center front of the square. Stitch another gathering line from side to side at about 4” from the top. Tie a knot in one end of each line.

Gather tightly and stitch on the top of the gathering line to secure.

Bend in half a 5” length of Florist Wire and curl the ends. Zigzag the fabric wings to the wire body.

Attach the butterfly to the sash on top of the gathering seam.

If you want, you can make a second butterfly and stitch a barrett to it for a hair bow.

Step 10: Make the Vest

Trace another copy of the Back bodice pattern on paper. Fold it in half lengthwise and half again lengthwise and cut a scalloped bottom edge.

Trace another copy of the FRONT bodice pattern on paper and draw a line from shoulder neckline to bottom of center front to shape the front of the vest.

Fold in half like you did with the BACK and cut in scallops along bottom edge as well.

Place the BACK VEST pattern on folded Purple Satin, lining up center back along foldline. Do not leave seam allowance along the foldline.

Cut two.

Place the FRONT VEST pattern on folded Purple Satin and cut all the way around, making 2 pieces.

Repeat, making 4 pieces.

Stitch right sides together 2 FRONT VEST pieces to each BACK VEST piece at shoulder seams and side seams. 

Match the inside vest to the outside vest, pinning together at neckline & shoulder seams.  Match and pin together at bottom edges, matching scallops.

Stitch together and flip it right side out through arm opening.

Press the seams flat and topstitch around the entire edge of the vest. Hand stitch the arm openings of inside to outside.

Or press ¼” seam to inside of both inside vest and outside vest arm openings. Pin together and topstitch around the arm opening. 

I know it looks like bat wings at this point, but once you put it all together it looks better I promise.

Step 11: Attach the Wings

We are almost done! If you have had enough, just attach wings from $ Store to the back of the Vest.

 OR, if you want it all home made...

Draw a large wing shaped pattern on newspaper and cut 2 out of Organza.
Sew it together leaving a gap to flip rightside out and insert the WEED TRIMMER LINE. 

Zigzag over top of weed trimmer line around edges of wings. Pin it flat and iron. 

Let it cool in the shape of the wings. If it curls up when you take out the pins then you will need to re-pin it and iron it a little more, just be careful you don't burn it.
Sorry the pictures aren't as good in this step, it was getting late so we didn't have as good of picture taking light and I was running out of steam.

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    5 years ago

    This is really cute. It's a pretty design and the colour choice is lovely. On top of everything your model looks really happy wearing it, proving that it is both fun and comfortable. It also gives me a distinct sense of nostalgia as I used to make costumes for my niece. You get my vote. All the very best from France, Pavlovafowl aka Sue


    Reply 5 years ago

    She does love wearing it, ha ha. Thank you so much!


    5 years ago

    Anything looks good with model like that. But also great job on the outfit!!


    Reply 5 years ago

    Thanks ;)


    5 years ago

    Honestly, I do not care about sewing. But the little model is an angel. Aww, sho shweet.


    Reply 5 years ago

    ha ha, well thank you!


    5 years ago

    It's SO adorable!!!! :)


    Reply 5 years ago

    Thank you!