Earlier this month my 3-year-old proclaimed to me that she was going to be Snow White for Halloween this year (as if I had any say in the matter). Initially my reaction was to go to the Disney store and pick it up. Then I looked around our apartment. A Rapunzel dress was rumpled in one corner. An Anna dress stuffed between toys on the floor. A Princess Sophia outfit hanging precariously on top of the cupboard. If I had to look at one more over-priced, over-sparkled outfit that remotely resembled the dresses from the actual movies, I think I would pull my hair out. It was precisely at that moment I had an epiphany. Why don’t I make her costume? Considering back to when I used to dress up for costume or halloween parties, I prided myself in finding most things from my own wardrobe. Surely I could put in some effort and whip up some semblance of Snow White. Challenge Accepted.
From time to time I get a creative urge to physically make something with my hands; projects for my daughter are usually that outlet. But I torture myself in wanting to make it perfect so not to disappoint that little mini me (hey she may not look like me but she’s got many of my idiosyncrasies).
Alright so here is my DIY (but not 100% because well I am also a little lazy and did not have time to get into complicated stitching). So here is my creative compromise on a hand made costume.
STEP 1 (A):
Go to your nearest fabric store.
I somehow ventured into Queen West and stumbled upon Affordable Textiles. It really felt like being in Karachi’s Gulf Market, except confined within four small walls.
STEP 1 (B):
Ok so I cheated a little. I used my daughter’s Princess Anna dress as the base to which I would attach the rest of the material to. This worked for me because the sleeves of the Anna dress would work for Snow White (with a little modification) and also I wouldn’t have to worry about how to get my kid in and out of that dress since I certainly didn’t have the time or the tools to figure out how to get a zip or buttons on there. So a ready made, stretchy dress as the foundation was ideal for me to use. Yes I am not a true DIY-er. A fraud I tell you.
Fold the fabric in half and cut the shape that you need for the bodice and skirt. I basically held the fabric up to my daughters chest and marked dots around the arm and neckline. For the skirt made sure after the folded fabric length was good enough and cut a quadrant. Mainly cut freehand with a fabric scissor. The skirt piece when opened should be a semi circle. If you are a stickler for precision you probably want to tape measure your desired specs. I just didn’t have one on me.
Thankfully Snow White’s original dress doesn’t have too many bells and whistles. She seemed to have a yellow line going down the middle of the bodice. I found one of those head bands that you use to put your hair back when washing your face, from the Dollar Store. I cut it at one end and stitched it together using a needle and yellow thread .
For the skirt I cut out 4 quadrants to drape on each side of my daughter to give as much flow as possible. I put the bodice on top of her and pinned it close just to see if the shape fit.
I took the dress off her and proceeded to attach the bodice and the skirt to the Anna dress in the areas I had held together with pins. I used blue thread for the top and yellow for the bottom.
Lastly I cut out tear drop shapes from the red fabric and stitched it onto the original sleeves of the Anna dress. Since the sleeves were long I just tucked them inside to give the right puff effect.
And voila! There you have it. A simple, creatively compromised version of a hand stitched Snow White costume. Please note the fraying on the fabric as a result of not hemming. But you get the picture. With the right foundation you can up it to whichever level of standard you are satisfied with. I just hope mine lasts the school Halloween party as well as trick or treating!
Oh I forgot to tell you i cheated some more! Before I thought I could do this I had picked up a couple of accessories from Party City, to make it look a little more costume like should my dress have turned into a disaster. The snow white wig and a cape. I totally could have made a better cape now that I see what I actually bought. But oh well, I ran out of fabric in any case. Happy costuming!!
PS: my little model was perfectly patient throughout this whole process. It took practically the whole day, mostly in one sitting. Good luck.