Monday 24 October 2011

Pocahontas Costume Tutorial

My daughter wanted to dress up as Pocahontas at the yearly Book Fair held at her school.  I wanted this to be an upcycle project so that I didn't need to spend any money at all. I used an old skirt of mine and an old pair of my daughter's trouser pants.

Materials Required
  • Tan Fabric (I used a long tan skirt)
  • Brown Fabric (I used child's trouser pants)
  • Elastic  +  2 Buttons
  • Scissors or/and cutter
  • Needle and Thread
  • Roll of Paper (Old Wallpaper roll will do)
  • Feathers (I used cardboard cut out feathers)

Pocahontas Dress 

  1. Unpick the seams on the skirt. (Pic 2)
  2. Use a currently used dress (or top and bottoms) to draw around to make a paper pattern. Add a couple of inches for hems. (Pic 3 & 4)
  3. Cut out your pattern templates. (Pic 5)
  4. Place templates onto your fabric, I matched bottom of dress to the bottom of my skirt fabric. (Pic 6)
  5. Cut out 2 pieces - for the front and back.  I personally made the back piece have a straight neck line.
  6. Place the front part of the dress onto the back part of the dress - Pattern facing each other, as if inside out! Stitch the sides of the dress together. Hem all around the arm holes and neck lines. (Pic 7)
  7. Turn the dress the correct way - not inside out! (Pic 8)
  8. Make sure that the dress fits at this stage, if too big then just take the sides in a little.
  9. Sew on two buttons to the front part of the dress at the top - so to fasten to the back of the dress.  Attach two button fasteners to the back of the dress - you could make two straps from the brown fabric - I cheated for time and used a piece of brown lace, ribbon could have also been used. (Pic 9)
  10. Make slits to the bottom of the dress with either scissors or a cutter to have a fringe. (Pic 10 )

  11. You can now make an optional sash to go around the dress (see below), or use a belt you may have.

Pocahontas Sash
  1. Using a tape measure, measure around the waist of the dress and up to the shoulder, divide this measurement by 2.
  2. Cut out a piece of the brown fabric by this measurement and about 10cm width. 
  3. Cut this in half lengthways. (Pic 2)  Attach the two pieces together at the short end, making a long belt.
  4. Cut slits to make a fringe all the way along the length. (Pic 3)
  5.  I attached one end with a couple of stitches at the front shoulder of the dress. (Pic 4)
  6. After a few complications of tangling I realised it was best to attach the other end down and around the waist only when actually wearing the dress - using a couple of hand stitches. (Pic 4)

Pocahontas Leg Cuffs
  1. Measure around the leg (under the knee), add a couple of extra inches. Measure the length from under the knee to the ankle, add a couple of inches.
  2. Cut out tan fabric with the above measurements it will be roughly a square shape.
  3. Cut strips into fabric making a fringe. (Pic 1)
  4. Make a casing, (a small hem) to put the elastic in.
  5. Cut out thin elastic the same width as the fabric. Thread the elastic into the casing (Pic 3) I usually use a safety pin - but this time I used my daughter's plastic needle.
  6. Sew the ends of the elastic together. Sew the ends of the fabric together to make it look neater. (Pic 4)

Pocahontas Arm Cuffs
  1. Measure width of arm (where you want the cuff to be), add a couple of inches. This is the length of the fabric.
  2. The width of the fabric should be about 10cm. (Pic 2)

  3. Cut strips into fabric making a fringe. (Pic 3 + 4)
  4. Make a casing, (a small hem) to put the elastic in.
  5. Cut out thin elastic the same width as the fabric. Thread the elastic into the casing. I usually use a safety pin - but this time I used my daughter's plastic needle.
  6. Sew the ends of the elastic together. Sew the ends of the fabric together to make it look neater. 

    Pocahontas Headband
    1. Make a headband using the tan fabric. Many tutorials are available online, I have a 10 minute headband tutorial on my blog, here is the link: 10 minute headband Tutorial   Or use a headband you already have or a handmade cardboard headband could also be used. (Pic 1)
    2. Hand sew dashes all along the bottom and top of the headband for decoration or any other style you wish! (Pic 2)
    3. Attach some feathers to the headband, (Pic 3)I didn't have any real feathers so used the cardboard from a nicely coloured pizza box! I just cut out two feather shapes and attached them to each other, glue or thread will do. Then attach these to the headband with a couple of hand stitches. (Pic 4)

    Finishing Touches to Pocahontas Costume
    • Shoes - I used brown slip on shoes (these were pink - but we coloured them brown!)
    • Necklace - I had a brown necklace which went well.
    • Hair - Most people prefer to have hair in plaits but we decided for the straight look in two pony tails.
    • Face - I used some face paint crayons to draw a couple of brown and black stripes across her cheeks and forehead.

    This week you might find me linking this post with some or all of the following link parties / blog hops:
      Pink Hippo Party Monday Monkey Hop at Mommy of Two Little MonkeysPhotobucketTipMeTuesdayButtonConfessions Of A Stay At Home MommyhomeworkPassionately ArtisticKatie's Nesting SpotbuttonDearCreatives HookingupwithHoHTodays Creative BlogSomewhat Simple


    1. Cool! The very first thing I sewed was an indian costume!

    2. Cute costume and way to be creative! Using old clothes probably saved you a lot of $$- those halloween costumes are expensive.

    3. Hey!! I am your newest follower :)
      Would LOVE if you could follow me back thank you!!


    4. This is soo adorable! Love that you upcycled your old clothes to make it.. we had to make one last year for my daughter.. and we used a pillowcase and some brown felt.
      Thanks so much for sharing with the Pink Hippo Party.. can't wait to see what you share next!
      Hope you stop by and enter my current and upcoming 500 follower giveaways @

    5. Great costume. Your daughter makes an adorable Pocahontas!

    6. This post has such great detail! Thanks for sharing!

      Thanks for stopping by and checking out my Cinnamon Roll pancakes as well as following me! I'm your newest follower!

    7. Love this costume. You did a fabulous job. Thank you so much for visiting my site. Looking forward to seeing what else you have on your site.

    8. Love the tutorial!! Thanks for stopping by my blog and for the sweet comment!

    9. Thank you everyone for your sweet comments and another thank you to those who are now following my blog too! Karima

    10. Cute costume!!

      Thank you for linking up with me on pinterest and GFC. I am following back on both. :)

      Heather From and Mommy Only Has 2 Hands!

    11. Awesome upcycled costume! I love how you used a skirt to make part of the costume -- awesome use of materials! Pinning this to my Pinterest board for inspiration for next Halloween!

    12. Your daughter is beautiful. You did an awesome job on her costume...I'm not a seastress, but I'd love to be able to make a decent looking pillow (which I can't do either) something like this is amazing to me.. Thanks for stopping by my blog...I'm a follower of yours too now.

    13. SO CUTE! Great tutorial! Thank you for linking to Wicked Awesome Wednesday!

    14. Thank you for your comments, and thank you to my new followers this is so easy to do, you don't need to be a seamstress, you just a needle and some thread! I have never bought a new sewing pattern, I mostly always sew things to my own style or as with this post, make my own pattern by drawing around clothes!

    15. what a wonderful costume, you're very talented! Thanks for following me, I'm following back :-)

    16. You are so crafty to make the costume. And your daughter is beautiful!

      Thanks for sharing your inspiration at Potpourri Friday!

    17. This is an amazing tutorial & your costume came out so wonderful!! Thanks for linking up & have a great weekend!!Hope you & your girl had a wonderful Halloween!

    18. excellent job karima... simple and kool :) lovely.


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