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hi there everybody

I'm looking for some expert help here. I want to make some dressing up costumes for my Reception class. I have looked in the 'Three Bears' catalogue and was very inspired but also very put off by the prices xD . So off I did trot down to the rag market today and bought lots of cheap material. :D


However... i haven't a clue where to start. :o Is there anyone out there that can give me help, email, fax me with a few simple patterns. I would like to make Red riding hoods cape (the hood part probably being the trickiest), and a king/queen/princess gown and cape.

here's hoping that some out there has lots of talent



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Hi Liza


I made some very simple costumes last year with felt. I basically cut a large square of material and folded it diagonally in half and then cut a head hole. The material then rested on the shoulders of the children (diagonally, so the point is towards their chest) and I accessorised with hats, belts etc. Worked particularly well at Christmas in 'Santa's workshop' when I had a whole range of different characters!!


It's very simple, but I found the children could dress up independently and it did not take long for me to make the cosutumes (very important - with everything else we have to do!) I'm all for saving money, but not at the cost of having no time left for me!


Three bears could have a simple band with ears to place on their head (oops just read your message and you want capes!!!).


Capes are dead simple. Hem material if neccesary then fold over material at the top & sew leaving plenty of space for some nice cord. (If you want a collar, you could fold over a larger amount and sew twice, leaving a gap between for the cord). In my head, a hooded cape could perhaps be done by cutting from the middle of the top edge down and then folding it across and sewing the two bits together into a hood. Below the hood you could sew some bits of red ribbon to tie it.


I'm no expert, but enjoy dabbling with sewing!! Are you using a machine? I suggest you try out your ideas in miniature with some scrap material to check they work!


Good luck & have fun!!

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I once made a hooded cape and found that the best way to make the hood was to use a coat hood as a pattern. I used a rectangular piece as the main body and gathered it to attach to the hood.


Good luck with your venture. I found that elastic sewn in a hoop rather than cords are safer and easier for the children to be independent.


To make an apron for mummy bear cut a rectangle of fabric and hem on three sides. Cut another piece of fabric about 3 inched wide to use as the belt/staps to hold it on.... if you buy hemming tape it will be easier for you to get a neat finish and stiffens the fabric slightly as well.



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HI Liza, how about lots of tabards, one size fits all!

You need a rectangle of material, short or longish, hem or zigzg along all raw edges. Fold in half and cut head hole and finish edge, either zigzag again or use bias tape.

Then you can provide accessories such as aprons belts, scarves, hats etc and children can create whatever roles their imagination gives them.

Plain materials might lend themselves to uniforms, police etc with appropriate props etc or more glittery pieces as kings, queens etc.

I had visions of doing this but never got as far as the shop so good luck. Post some photos of costumes in use!!

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I have made tabards for our fairy tale topic.

I asked parents to donate any old fabrics etc, trekked around charity shops and spoke nicley to local fabric shops.

I made 3 bears (brown fabric, paler tummy sewn on the front) Dad had a tie, mum a lacy bow and baby just plain.

There were the 3 pigs, each one had a number sewn on the front and a pink pipecleaner tail.

Our wizards capes are rectangles of fabric with a large channel sewn into them so that we can thread ribbon through and gather around the neck.

Princess dresses have been adapted from a seemingly endless supply of ladies cocktail dresses, adding a waist tie, sewing on sequins and beans to jazz them up and reducing the length of the sleeves


Hope this makes sense and may be useful to someone.


I am just getting up to date with all of the new postings, whislt trying to finalise my new long term plan for the next 2 years (we have previously worked to 1 but more children will now stay in our dept for 2 years, it means a FSC and a pre FSC!!!!)



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thanks everyone for some great ideas. :D

Yep I will be using a machine Shelley so thanks for the idea of trying out some mini designs first.

I've got lots of tabards already sewn for bears, wolves etc so the ideas for the cape was welcome Lorna.

Now to get down to the nitty gritty!


Liza :o

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