This is a pattern that I created for my 10 month old (who is a little on the small side, but this would fit a wide range of sizes) daughter's Bride of Frankenstein Halloween costume using cloth diapers! She will be wearing a long sleeved white onesie, long white pants and white socks underneath. I have also made her a Bride hairdo hat to complete the look. This tutorial is for the white gown/robe/tunic portion of her costume. Click on the pictures for larger versions of these images!
You will need:
4 white cloth diapers (the kind everyone uses as burp cloths these days)
(sewing machine is preferable for a couple of steps*, but not necessary)
First, you lay out two of the diapers; then fold over the inside edges to the middle, away from each other.
Next, sandwich the top edges of the diapers together so that the open flaps of the foldover are on the inside. Sew all four layers together just to the width of the folded over section. This creates your first shoulder seam. You will repeat steps 1-3 on your other 2 diapers so that you have 2 halves of your costume.
This caption reads (other side of stitched edge) It shows you what the shoulder of your finished costume looks like when it's folded right side out.
Now, lay your costume halves wrong side out again. Bring the two long edges that were folded over in step 2 together to make a side seam *easier with a sewing machine; leaving space for an armhole. Again, do this for the other half of your costume as well.
Now to start bringing your two halves together! First (a somewhat optional step - mostly for aesthetics, somewhat for fitting) accordion fold and stitch the top edge (the leftover part that was not sewn into your shoulder seam) of one of your front-of-the-costume pieces to create a gather at the neckline of the costume. Do so to the other half as well.
Next, bring the two long edges that form the front of your costume together and sew the entire length *easier with a sewing machine. The gathered edges should be at the top of the seam you are creating. You will then (another aesthetic step) fold over just the edge of your gathered section and stitch it down so that the serged edge doesn't show on the front of the costume.
Check your costume. It is almost complete! 11a is what the front should look like; 11b is the back.
On the back of your costume, there are two side pieces of cloth diaper that will overlap easily when you hold the garment by the shoulder seams. In order to finish the costume, you will need to sew 4 snaps (2 pieces to a snap = 8 sides to sew) so that they will serve to adequately close the back of the costume and keep it from falling open when your child bumbles around in it. You could do this step with velcro, ties, buttons, hooks and eyes, etc. Whatever your preference is will probably work just fine.
I'm using this pattern for the Bride of Frankenstein, but it would work for many fun characters; such as Princess Leia, Gandalf, Mr. Spock from Star Trek IV, a ghost who didn't like to have their face covered...and that's just with it being white! You could throw it in the sink or washing machine with some fabric dye of your choice and the possibilities would be endless!!! :D*
The cloth diapers I used were ones with a pretty thick middle section. I preferred these as they created the big square shoulder that I was trying to achieve. You could use a less padded diaper if you wanted less of a shoulder pad effect.