Introduction: Ladybug Costume Tutorial
I have always been fascinated with tutu dresses, the numerous strips of tulle, the translucent fabric and the ruffles and waves all feel so feminine and delicate. I could make the skirt easily but the top always stumped me, it had to match the sophistication of the tulle yet it had to comfortable and stretchy enough so little kids don't feel scratchy or uncomfortable. All those questions were answered when I saw the various tutorials with Ruffle Fabric popping up in the blogosphere. It was equally girly and just beautiful and from what I heard from other bloggers, it was super soft and stretchy. I just couldn't help asking folks at ruffle fabric if they would sponsor some of their beautiful fabric for my projects. They agreed to send a couple of fabrics my way. My first thought when I saw the fabric was- Oh man! this is so beautiful, I could just drape a child in it and it will look good. No really! this fabric is simply gorgeous. I could think a ton of things that I could make with it, but one thing kept coming to my mind again and again - Ladybug!
So ladybug it was! and I think we found a rather cute one.
Here is how to make the ladybug costume.
Hot Tamale Mini Ruffle Fabric: Quarter yard
Quarter inch elastic: Black: 3/4 yd
6 inch Tulle Red : 50 yd ( You could also cut 6 inches strips from complete yardage, it will be a bit more work but will be probably cheaper)
Red elastic (quarter inch wide of Foldover elastic): 3/4 yd
Elastic thread - Red or Black
Fake red flowers - 1 stem from dollar store or 1 big flower
Construction Time - 2-3 Hours
Beginner to intermediate
1. I generally use my wooden floor to cut tulle faster and evenly. The tiles are 5 inches wide which is just fine for my purpose. I fold the tulle in multiple layers until it is about 10-15 inches wide and then lay it on the floor such that one end lines up with the tile edge.
2. Now I cut the tulle at each edge of the tiles and just like that, evenly spaced tulle strips!
3. Now from each of these strips cut out 30 inches long pieces. Make a nice pile of these pieces.
4.Now take the black elastic and cut a piece equal to child's waist -1 inch. Tie the tulle strips on the elastic as shown in the image above.
5.Keep tying the tulle until the whole elastic is full.
6. When you reach the ends of elastic secure them with a knot.
7. Now cut out a ruffle fabric 9 inches long X child's waist -1 inch wide. Sew the 9 inches long ends together ( right sides together)
8. Now use 3 step zig-zag stitch to sew the tulle skirt over the ruffle fabric. This will take a bit of patience as the tulle skirt becomes bulky at the elastic but just use a stronger needle ( home decor) and go slowly. Use hand stitching to sew the knotted part of the elastic to the ruffle fabric. Don't worry if it doesn't look very neat at this point. We will take care of it later.
If you don't think your machine can handle this you could always sew a 2 piece outfit with the top a bit longer (~13-15 inches) and the wear the skirt over it. I think it will still look the same.
9. Here is what you will have once you are done.
10. Use red/black elastic thread to shir the back of the bodice. Since the fabric will shrink as you shir, make sure you shir two third of the bodice to give an illusion of the back half bring shirred. Start shirring from the top and stop when you think you have a snug fit.
11.Cut two pieces of red elastic - 12 inches long each
12. Sew them 2.5 inches apart at both front and back edges of bodice. These will work as shoulder straps.
13. Cut two ruffle fabric strips 3 inch X 11 inch
14. Cinch the strip at the center and sew it at the center of the shoulder straps.
15. Cut another 3 inch wide strip with the length equal to the waist size + 1 inch. Cinch it at the center and sew.
16. Now sew hand tuck this cinched part of strip at the center of the waist of the dress front.
17. Now sew the 3 inches wide ends right sides together. Now hand-sew them at the center back, covering the knot in black elastic, if visible.
18. Cut any loose ends. If needed, hand-sew the belt at the sides too. You may have noticed that I didn't talk at all about finishing the raw edges. That is because ruffle fabric is a knit and it doesn't fray. Moreover, ruffles do a great job of hiding the raw edge, so I just spared myself the trouble and left them as is.
19. Now remove the stalk and stem of 3-4 flowers,
20. Layer them on each other and sew a black button in the center.
21. Sew the flower at the center of the dress. The dress is ready.
22. Pair it with red wings, black tights and black shoes.
Which flower caught your fancy today?