Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.
Whoo Hoo! I’m done with my Missy’s Halloween costume this year, and I can’t wait to show it off. After a bit of back an forth on costume ideas, my Missy finally settled on a Medieval Princess Costume. (I’m fairly certain I influenced the decision-making process when I also suggested this idea would make the perfect Renaissance Dress Costume too, and how much fun she would have wearing it at the renaissance fair!)
I encouraged her to go the route of a Medieval Princess /Renaissance Dress route for a couple of reasons.
Number one, JOANN provided me with the fabric and supplies needed to make this dress. So, shout out to JOANN for being the destination for a handmade Halloween!
Number 2, I knew my peasant dress pattern would be perfect for a costume like this. Love that pattern – it’s the absolute best for costumes. There are just so many ways to change it up!
BTW, here are the links to the fabrics I used. (make sure to download the JOANN app to your phone for extra discounts at the register.)
- Yaya Han Brown/Gold Brocade fabric (also comes in other colors)
- crinkle lame
- guided mask (it’s on sale for $2!)
When we first tried on the mostly finished dress, the wide belt was making the dress look more like a silky kimono with an obi belt instead of a renaissance period dress, so I went back and added the ribbon trim (to look like lacing) to the front of the bodice. I ended up having to glue it on – it was impossible to sew it in place once the dress had been assembled. I’d actually planned on adding this detail from the first, but had forgotten the trim before assembling the dress. So if you do something like this, be sure to add the trim before adding the elastic and skirt.
Another detail I forgot until too late was to add elastic to the top of the sleeve. To fix the missing elastic, I tied a length of gold ribbon a bit above her elbow. It ended up looking just right, so crisis averted. (I guess I was too excited by how pretty the dress was looking and forgot everything important. So let my mistakes be your lesson on what not to do!)
(and yes, it’s true – I cannot spell or draw, lol.)
Someone was flying a drone around the park while we were trying to take these pictures… Half of the photos either had the drone in the shot or she was looking up at it!
How to make a Renaissance Dress (or medieval princess costume)
1. Extend the bottom of the sleeve to the amount equal the 3 times the width of the bottom of the original sleeve. (So after you are done extending it, it is the width of four sleeves.) Draw a straight line from the armscye curve to the sleeve end. (don’t try to angle the line any – I did that on the 1st practice top and it didn’t work that well.)
2. Extend the top of the sleeve and bodice pattern an extra 3 inches.
After attaching sleeves to the bodice (finish the top edge if needed, this was my practice piece, so I skipped it) Fold the top edge over by 3 inches and add the elastic casing to the bottom as shown. I also recommend upping the elastic width to 3/4 or 1 inch. (I ended up using on inch elastic.)
Came out amazing, don’t you think?
As an fyi on a few future patterns: I’ll be adding a size 12 to my peasant dress pattern soon. Also, the muslin of this bodice looked so amazing in white cotton. I need to work on the sleeve ends a bit (as is, the sleeves are a little too angled and wide) but I think I will try to have a new top pattern, based on this idea, done in time for the holidays. So, if you’re not already on my newsletter list, be sure to sign up here so you can be notified about pattern updates and changes.
Happy costume making!