How to make indian costumes for boys and girls

Halloween, dress-up parties, Indian costumes are always popular with young kids. You can make the outfits by using patterns you already have or clothes that are in the closet. A girl’s shift pattern with short sleeves or long sleeves, cut from suede, can be the beginning of the Indian costume. Choose a pattern that doesn’t require buttons.

Zippers are fine or use Velcro to close. Alterations can be made to the pattern before cutting and sewing it. For instance, if the pattern calls for a collar, eliminate the collar and cut interfacing for the collar area instead. After cutting and sewing, string colorful seed beads and sew the strands around the collar. Instead of beads, you can use fabric paint to give color to the outfit. Fringe can be added around the hem and the sleeves.

Purchase fringe or make your own from leftover suede. With no pattern you can still make the Indian outfit; just trace around a tee-shirt, bringing the hemline down to the knee area or below. It’s easiest if you turn the shirt, the wrong side out, and fold the shirt in half, fold the fabric in half (right sides together) and cut the front piece. Then fold the shirt in the opposite direction, place the shirt back onto the folded fabric, and cut the back piece.

Almost any boys’ pants pattern will work for the male Indian outfit, so long as the pattern doesn’t have pleats. Cut the pattern out of suede, but don’t cut out unneeded extras, like pockets. While sewing the sides, insert fringe down the outer side seam. Buttons shouldn’t show, so use Velcro to secure the waistband, or choose a pattern with an elastic waist.

The shirt pattern can be any slip-on shirt, long-sleeved or short, or can be made by tracing a tee shirt. Use a scoop neck or V-neck on the pattern and use beads or paint to make the collar area more colorful. If you chose a long-sleeved pattern, insert fringe as you sew the underarm area closed. The fringe should range from the wrist to almost the armpit area. The shirt looks great if you first make it a V-neck then cut a V shape from a different fabric, like black corduroy, and sew the V into the V-neck of the shirt, with the point of the V aligning with the point of the V-neck.

A feather headband is easily made by measuring around the head and cutting a strip of leather or suede and attaching a Velcro strip to secure. Glue a couple of feathers from the craft store right in the back of the band, sticking straight up, for the girl. For a boy’s headpiece, measure around the head and cut the strip of suede, attaching the Velcro. Now glue a wide strip of suede that hangs down in the back, as far as you’d like. Glue feathers all over the suede that hangs down, with the feathers pointing downward. Glue feathers sticking up from the top edge of the back of the headband.

Quick moccasins can be made by covering slippers or low-cut, low-heel shoes with suede or leather. When using slippers, they should be the type that comes up on the back of the heel. Cut a piece of suede into a square to begin. Lay the shoe on top of the suede and bring the back heel portion of the suede up to the heel and glue. Besides the heel, take another piece of the suede and pull up to the outside foot area of the slipper. Do this again on the instep part of the shoe. Bring the suede or leather up over the front of the foot and secure it on top of the slipper.

Now you will have a lot of extra suede on each side of the front top part of the slipper. Trim the entire suede piece around the opening of the slipper. Fold each piece of extra suede over, towards the top of the slipper, with the two excess pieces folding towards each other and meeting along the top of the slipper. Glue or use a punch for holes to insert laces.

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