Ready to make a Prairie Dress, Pioneer Dress or Little House on the Prairie Costume? About the time I was working on my youngest daughter’s costume and Halloween Ideas my second youngest daughter Krissy asked if I could make a prairie costume for my grand daughter Audrey.
Prairie Dress DIY
They are reading through the Laura Ingalls Wilder books; Little House on the Prairie. I said I’d do a quick search and see what prairie patterns I could find to make her a Laura Ingalls Wilder Costume.
I hope these prairie dress costume diy and sewing tips help you when you are ready to make a pioneer dress costume. You can use this prairie girl costume for Halloween, Old Fashion Days and Pioneer Days…
Although this dress is for a girl the tips will help you when sewing any size prairie dress.
How to Make a Prairie Dress
It took one day for the prairie dress construction (layout, cutting and sewing) and one day for the bonnet hat and prairie apron. Then time to to finish the hem on the dress. I had everything I needed prior to starting the prairie dress and had read through the pattern before ordering what I needed to start. See Part two for more tips. (link at bottom of post)
This pattern has quite a few places where you’ll want to pin and baste to make sure your placement is good prior to sewing! This video may be helpful to you- Making the sleeves
It’s not hard with practice. Just follow the directions on the pattern, view the video and go slower when sewing. When sewing moving and adjusting fabric while sewing around the sleeve. Above is the sleeve pinned.
Laura Ingalls Wilder Costume
- I did make a few alterations to the Little House on the Prairie pattern.
- Looking back on the bottom of the sleeve’s construction as cute as the ribbon is for the sleeve read the notes below.
- On the sleeves I changed this to elastic and tacked on a bow vs. creating button holes and stringing lace to create the gather.
- NOTE: Be sure to sew (tack) your ribbon in place so it doesn’t come undone during wearing the costume or gentle washing.
I am recommending this because: Even with the extra ribbon length, when Audrey was playing in the dress the sleeve ribbon came untied and she lost it. Luckily I had brought the extra up with me, re-cut, laced through sleeve and tied. This time I used a safety pin to hold it in place under the ribbon tie until I had time to tack it in place. But, then it can’t be altered for loosening if someone with a larger arm width uses the costume. Pick what works best for your needs.
For this pattern you create a casing and thread ribbon to use around the neckline as well as the sleeves as shown above. I used more than ample ribbon so this area wasn’t a problem. Tomorrow I’ll show back view where you can see what I’m talking about. When adding the eyelet lace at neckline and sleeves I used a larger width than called for. It’s what I had on hand and ended up working really well. I pinned it in place prior to sewing. New to making dress casing? See this video tutorial: making casing and threading elastic. But, follow your pattern directions for making it on your dress.
I hadn’t made button holes in years! I almost avoid patterns with them. Call me chicken. lol They always seemed so complicated. But, I didn’t realize this pattern had them. Game on! I pulled out my button hole foot, manual and read how to use it. I inserted button into sizer on button hole foot and followed the directions.
Are you new to adding buttonholes? See these video tutorials for how to make a buttonhole
Both these have great tips.
Remember you will need a seam ripper too. I practiced on several pieces of left over fabric before making the buttonholes. I marked them with my favorite invisible disappearing pen. Don’t use a pencil as suggested in video number 1 as, it will leave marks. the disappearing pen erases with washing or wiping with water.
Guess what, it wasn’t as hard as I thought! And they came out pretty! Can you hear the Mario Brothers music as I level up?!!
- The pattern listed below comes in several sizes. We used size 7-14 girls.
Prairie Dress Pattern, Fabrics and Notions List
- Sweet Shoppe Petite Nosegay
- Eyelet Fabric
- Notions and Interfacings
- Little House on the Prairie Pattern
- how to sew a bonnet
- apron for the prairie dress
- more prairie dress sewing tips
Is this the first time you are sewing a prairie dress?