Can you believe that Halloween is just around the corner? Halloween is a big deal in our house, which is funny because just a few short years ago, I really disliked the holiday! Before I had kids, there wasn’t much Halloween had to offer me. I hate being scared and I don’t eat tons of candy. But once I had kids, I started enjoying it, and once I started making costumes for my kids, I started LOVING it!
Today I’m going to tell you how I made this Little Red Riding Hood tutu costume:
This was the very first costume I ever made, and once I got my hands wet, I was addicted! I ended up making the same costume for my niece and it was a blast.
You may be surprised to learn that these types of dresses are REALLY easy to make and they involve very little actual sewing! You can use this technique to make any number of characters; all you really need to worry about is adjusting the color of your tulle and the crocheted headbands. One thing to note: The tulle can get quite heavy so if you use a lot of it, adding straps is a good idea (like you see with this costume). I used two layers of tulle for this dress and it wasn’t see-through at all. You’ll find that different colors of tulle are more or less see through and lighter colors may require more layers or a slip underneath.
I don’t have this costume any more and I didn’t take how-to pictures while I was making it, but don’t worry—it’s easy enough that I can just walk you through it with the help of a few other people!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A stretchy crocheted headband in the color of your costume (you’ll need several if you have different colors in your costume)
- Tulle. You can buy it in spools like this, or you can buy it off the bolt and cut it yourself.
- Other accessories to match your costume (fabric for the hood, black ribbon for the bodice or any other accessories you might want to go with what you’re making!)
To make the bodice for the Little Red Riding hood costume, I bought several of these headbands. I bought the 8” long headbands; two of the black headbands, and one white headband. Since I made this costume, the store has also added lined tutu tops that are 10”, which is awesome! I didn’t need a lined headband for my tiny toddler, but it is great to have the option for older girls!
The headbands come as one circular piece. I wanted the costume bodice to have the appearance of an apron, so I cut the black headband and then cut out a piece of the white headband and sewed the white piece into the black headband, making it into single circular piece again. When I made my daughter’s costume, I just hand-stitched the pieces together; when I made the costume for my niece, I sewed them with my sewing machine using a zig-zag stitch.
After I added the tulle, I knew I’d want straps for the dress. I took the second black headband piece and cut it into wide strips. I then folded the strips so that the raw edges were hidden, the way I show in this post here (look for the demonstration with the greenish fabric pieces) and then sewed the straps down the side so they wouldn’t come unfolded. Once that was done, I simply added the straps to the dress by sewing the straps where I wanted them on the front, cris-crossing them in the back, and then sewing them to the back. Easy peasy. Once again, I used black thread. I did all my sewing so none of the seams showed, and this headband fabric is extremely forgiving so locating seams would be difficult for the naked eye!
Last but not least, to make the “laces” I just used some black ribbon and laced it through the white part of the bodice, cris-crossing the ribbon on the outside and tying in a bow on the bottom.
Making your own tutu is insanely easy! For this costume I made the skirt the same way this YouTuber did in her video. For my Little Red’s tutu, I did one layer using the bottom loops on the headband and one layer using the loops in the row above. To save a little money, I did the bottom layer in plain tulle and the top layer in glitter tulle.
There are pros and cons to using the spools of tulle vs. tulle on the bolt (I’ve worked with both). The spools of tulle are really convenient, because you only have to cut off lengths of tulle. However, I’ve found that the tulle on the spools tends to be a little more rough, scratchy, and stiff. Some of the tulle on the bolt can be that way as well, but you can also find really soft “bridal” tulle on the bolt, and that is a lot easier to work with (and the result tends to be prettier as well). The downside to tulle from the bolt is, of course, that you have to cut the width of your pieces as well as the length, and that can be a HUGE pain.
Here’s a great tip for cutting a lot of tulle from the spool quickly: find an object such as a picture frame, book, or back of a chair that has roughly the circumference equal to the length of tulle you need (your tulle length needs to be 2x what you want your finished skirt to be—if you need a skirt that is 10 inches long, your tulle pieces need to be 20 inches). Once you’ve found an object that works, you can wrap your entire spool of tulle around the object, make one cut, and dum da da dum! You’ve got a bunch of tulle pieces ready to go! Need a demonstration? Check out this great video here!
For the Red Riding Hood skirt, I let the edges be quite jagged, as I thought it gave it a nice peasant look. You can make your as even or as uneven as you prefer!
Of course, if you are not making a Red Riding Hood costume, you won’t need to worry about this part!
When I made this costume, I was a baby in the sewing world. I had just barely started sewing and had no idea how to go about it, so my mom made the hood for me.
Last year, though, I made this Fairy Godmother costume for myself:
I learned a bit about hoods while making this!
Here are some tutorials I used:
- A fabulous hooded cape like Belle’s in Once Upon a Time
- A simple Red-Riding Hood cape
- A hood cape with an actual free pattern
To make the Fairy Godmother costume I took advice from the above tutorials and made up my own costume. I recommend looking at the tutorials and using the one that makes the most sense to you—or just winging it like me!
And that’s it! The hood can be a bit tricky, but if you have just a small amount of sewing experience, I’m confident you can do it! And the dress part is very, very simple, with hardly any sewing at all—no machine is necessary! Last year my best friend made the most incredible Snow White costume using a headband tutu. I wish you could see it! Maybe you can persuade her to let me post a picture if you leave some nice comments.
But for now, here are are few more pictures of my itty-bitty Red Riding Hood:
(I didn’t make the wolf costume, but I bought it here and loved it!)
And to give you another example of a costume you can make yourself, here are some pictures of her as Tinker Bell the year before:
This was made using a neon green headband and matching tulle. So cute, right? This outfit was strapless—the straps you see are from her fairy wings.
I hope this has given you the inspiration and confidence to run wild this Halloween! Nothing gives you quite the satisfaction as making your child’s costume and hearing people ask you where you bought it.
Now go and get creative!
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