Looking for costume inspiration for your little one? Read today's post and get your imagination revved up. The Henry Dress might be the key to the perfect costume! Both of my kids love the movie Hotel Transylvania and the newly released, Hotel Transylvania 2, so when it came to picking out costumes this year, they quickly settled on vampires. Yesterday, I showed off the details of my son's Dracula costume. Today we are talking the 'Vampiress.' My daughter loves the "Mavis" character in Hotel Transylvania, but she informed me that a costume consisting of a black turtleneck dress with striped leggings was not fancy enough for her (sigh) so we went to the drawing board.
My daughter knew she wanted the dress to be black and red. She described a color blocked, long sheath dress and I immediately thought of the Henry Dress by Brooklyn Pattern Co. By removing the pockets and extending the length, we could achieve the look she was dreaming of for Halloween.
The Henry Dress by Brooklyn Pattern Co. is a sweet pattern with fabulous details like geometric pockets and gathered puff sleeves. It is professionally drafted, pieces together quickly and the directions are clearly written. There is a nice size range too, 18 months - 8 years. The style lines of the pattern lend themselves well to many classic Halloween costumes. By adapting the skirts of the following inspirations, or by adapting the pattern to include a circle skirt, any of these looks are absolutely doable with the Henry Dress.
Today I will show you how we created the 'Vampiress' look by extending the length, adding bodice details and adding a layered sleeve.
Adapting the Pattern: Start by measuring your child from the top of their shoulder to the floor. My daughter measured 40". Next, measure the length of the Side Back piece in your chosen size. The Side Back piece measured 28" for the size 6 that I made. You want the total length of your pattern piece to equal the shoulder to floor measurement you took. In my example, I needed to add 12".
You will be adding the calculated length amount to the Side Back, Back and Front piece (the Side Front piece will need a different length added to it). To add length to the Side Back piece, use a ruler to follow the side angle down to your new length. (** Sorry my pattern pieces are so wrinkled ... my Labrador decided they would make a nice napping place!)
The Side Front piece is shorter than the other pieces because it get some of its length from the pockets in the original pattern. To calculate the length you need to add to make it the same length as the other body pieces, lay it down on a table next to the Front center piece, aligning the notches in the pattern. Now you can measure the difference in the pattern piece length. Add enough length to the Side Front piece to equal the length of the other three pieces. For the size 6, I added 16 3/4". Again, use a ruler to follow the side angle of the piece.
We do not need the pocket pieces for the full length dress. If you want a layered or long sleeve, that piece will need to be drafted. To do this, measure your child's arm from their shoulder down to where you would like the sleeve to end (plus seam allowance). Fold the Henry Dress sleeve pattern piece in half. Trace the curve on a sheet of paper and extend from the shoulder down to the wrist measurement you took. I added an angle to the end of the sleeve because my daughter wanted pointed sleeves.
Cutting Your Fabric Now you're ready to cut. Cut 2 Side Front, 2 Side Back, 1 Front Facing, 1 Back Facing, 1 Front center (I also cut 1 lace overlay of this piece), 1 Back center (again, I also did lace), 2 short sleeves, 2 long sleeves (and I did 2 lace overlays at a shorter length to take advantage of the scalloped edge).
Sewing: If you are doing a lace overlay, now is the time to baste in on. I started the lace about 4 inches down to show off the scalloped edge.
If you are adding bodice details, now is the time to do so. I added WonderTape to the back of the trim to keep it from sliding during sewing. If you haven't used WonderTape, you're missing out. It's SO helpful!
Tape your ribbon/trim to the bodice and sew to secure.
Trim off the excess ribbon/trim.
You can now follow the steps in the Henry Dress pattern to assemble the body of the dress. Next, follow the pattern instructions to add the pleats to the short sleeve and hem. Lay the short sleeve over your other sleeve pieces (you may need to trim the other pieces to fit now that you have pleated the sleeve). Pin/clip and baste together.
Also hem the long sleeve. I hemmed mine by turning twice by 1/4" and topstitching.
Follow the pattern instructions for inserting the sleeve and hemming the dress. It's time for the big reveal ... you're finished!
With a little imagination and pattern adapting, you too can make your child the costume of their dreams!
The Henry Dress is a beautiful pattern that can be adapted to use for many different looks and costumes. We would love to see what you do with the Henry Dress. Tag us on instagram @upcraftclub and @eastandeden with the hash tag #henrydress