Cupcake Costume

Pattern: with help from Kaiya Eve's Pettiskirts pattern on Make It and Love It
Materials: 3yds each of nylon chiffon in candy and ivory (although I wish I'd bought the precut nylon chiffon ribbon), pleated stretch lame, remnant polyester lining, Christmas tree ornament (cherry), and beads (sprinkles)
Cost: $40

I've been dreaming of cupcakes since Halloween last year. After gathering my inspiration, I came up with a delicious cupcake costume recipe:

          pleated lame          girls' pettiskirt pattern               beads

Using Make It and Love It's amazing pettiskirt tutorial, I made a fluffy frosting layer over a polyester shift dress. In all, the dress uses over 100 yards of nylong chiffon: 66 yards of 2" pink strips and 54 yards of 3" ivory strips (and I ran out--I could have used some more!). I thought people were lying when they said they used 100 yards of fabric for their dresses...

To save myself time, I would have been better off buying my nylon chiffon in ribbon form rather than cutting endless strips from the yardage. The real time saver though was the nylon chiffon becuae it doesn't ravel--no need to finish the ends! But needless to say, this creation took hours to sew. Usually when I say this, I'm talking about the entire process: designing, cutting, fitting, adjusting, ripping seams... For this garment, I literally spent hours sitting at the sewing machine, feeding fabric through and watching ruffles come out the end. The pink ruffles on the frosting (the outer layer of the top) took about five hours of straight sewing over a period of six hours.

In all, the project was a really great learning experience for me. For one, I learned I had a ruffler/gathering foot. I was 15 yds into gathering my pink chiffon by hand (using Make It and Love It's advice) when I decided to check to see if I actually owed a ruffler foot. Low and behold, I did! After googling a few instructionals on how to use it, I realized that all you actually have to do is put it on your machine and sew a straight stitch (don't ask why some people felt the need to make a 10 min youtube video on the subject). Returning to this post at 1am after 6 hours of sewing ruffles, I can't remember what my second lesson was, but I'm sure it was insightful.

For the sprinkles, I bought some packets of seed beads from Michael's. I lacked the patience to sew them on by hand, so they got the hot glue gun treatment, which I think turned out better anyway. The cherry was a Christmas ornament, also from Michael's (they're selling Christmas stuff already?!), and its stem was from some fake flower leaves I picked up from the floor on my way out of the store.

Check out my review of the pettiskirt tutorial at!

For those curious, here's my construction process:

1. Cut fabric into 2" strips, and sew together to make a 60+ ribbon. 

2. Turn the ribbon (left) into ruffles (right) by sewing down the middle using a ruffler foot (below).

3. Attach the pink ruffle to the edge of a 3" wide ribbon.

4. Ruffle the other edge of the 3" wide ribbon (left), and attach the other end to a second 3" wide ribbon. Ruffle the third layer (right). Things are getting really ruffly!

5. Try the ruffles on your dress. (Make it look ridiculous.)

6. Sew the ruffles one above the other going up the dress, and attach lame skirt. The dress is both a base for the ruffles and a lining for the skirt, and should be made big (mine was 40" round) to give the cupcake some width.

6. Attach accessories and you're ready to go!


  1. this is SO so awesome, great job!


  2. Fabulous costume! The ruffles and cherry look yum! :-)

  3. Super cute, and totally worth the effort!

  4. That's great. I wish I'd thought of it.

  5. This is too cute, the patience it must have taken! Hey,and I learned of my ruffler foot the same way you did, thank God I did!!
    Great job!


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