Tips for Sewing Character Inspired Outfits

Hi guys!

So this year, instead of sewing for Halloween, I’ve sewn for Disney Dapper Day! Dapper Day is just a few days after Halloween and so I wanted to use my time and creative juices wisely. Dapper Day is NOT a costume event, instead it’s where guests celebrate sophisticated style drawing inspiration from the 1950’s  feel of Disneyland. I love vintage style clothing, and welcomed the opportunity to sew something Character Inspired instead of an actual cosplay, like I did for her Ariel, Snow White and Mother Gothel outfits.

Character Inspired simple means you are creating your garment with a majority of the focus on the color scheme of the actual character garment. Our Dapper Day Outfits will be Disney’s Moana themed and #theSpiritedOne’s outfit draws inspiration from Te-Fiti!


Sewing a Character Inspired outfit is so much more easier than re-creating a true outfit. That being said, even though it’s easier you still want to keep a few things in mind so that when the outfit is worn, people don’t have trouble guessing what character it was inspired by. So today, I’ll share with you a few tips  for character inspired sewing.

TIP #1: Choose the RIGHT fabric.

Choosing the right fabric to characterize your look is crucial. Think about the function of your look, does it need to stretch? 2 way stretch? or 4 way stretch? Does it need to have a good drape? Does it need to be puffy and/or stiff? Do you need it to breathe? Do you need it to be comfortable for all day wear? All these characteristics will help determine what kind of fabric you’ll need. I decided on a vintage retro style dress for #thespiritedone, so I needed something with an elegant finish, non stretch, good drape and that was comfortable enough to wear all day , this Avocado Shantung Satin from was perfect! I really love the beautiful snubbed textured, (almost like little lumps on a hill right?) lol

Look at that drape! It was the perfect mix of color of shimmer.

TIP #2: Choose the right COLOR fabric.

While this is a Character Inspired Outfit, In my PERSONAL opinion, I think picking colors close to what the outfit on the character depicts really takes your sewing game to the next level. While this is not easy to achieve for some characters, as colorways in some fabric types are not easily available, I think once you can match the colors, definitely go for it! I couldn’t match the exact color fabric with the right functions I needed, but I’ll say this was pretty close!

TIP #3: Choose a relevant pattern.

If you don’t have much experience in drafting or modifying patterns, spend time searching for a pattern that has the features you’re looking for and is made for the type of fabric you are using. You can save a lot of time and fabric doing this rather than by trial and error. Trust me, I’ve had to trash an entire project because I thought I could wing it and ran out of fabric. However, if you’re a pro at drafting and modifications you can totally disregard this tip! Because I was going for a vintage, Dapper Day look, I used The Tea Party Dress by Tadah Patterns for my dress. (I slightly modified the bodice by extending it 2 inches.)

TIP #4:  Accessorize!

ACCESSORIZE! ACCESORIZE! ACCESSORIZE! Again, because this is not a true costume, and because some character outfits  might have similar colorways, accessorizing will help others GET your character inspired outfit.  Alone this just looks like a regular green dress, but with her flower crown and little Moana pin (ordered from a great friend of mine HERE), If you’ve seen the movie, I’m sure you could guess she was Te Fiti right?

Well that’s it for today guys, I hope you’ve found these tips helpful! HAPPY SEWING!!

Candice Ayala, from Sewing Portfolios

Wife. Mom of 2. Sewing Blogger & Owner and Creator of

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