A jester’s costume is supposed to be eye catching, but it also has to be flexible in nature. That might be hanging out at a Halloween Party, or it might be doing handstands and back handsprings, or both. Whatever you’ll be doing should be kept in mind as you create anything that’s meant to be worn!

Durability, comfort, and (of course!) appearance are all factors that need to be considered. I chose a stretchy fabric, which is good for flexibility, but more difficult to sew, or at least require more patience. For women’s size 10-12, I used 1 yard of red, 1/2 yard orange, and 1 1/3 yards yellow fabric, costing about $15 (US). I should note that I used pretty cheap fabric because that’s what was available and affordable, but I always regret it because it breaks down so fast. This was just a Halloween costume, so it wasn’t a huge deal, but I was sad when it started to tear apart around the seams.

Patterning always (I think anyway) starts with measuring. Just to keep my measurements organized and quick to refer to, I lettered them

A: Waist circumference = ________inches

B: Hip circumference (______inches) + 12 inches (for gathering) = ______inches

C: Skirt length (waist to end of skirt) = _______inches

D: B divided by 12 = ______inches


The skirt is made in twelve identical sections of alternating color. The pattern for these sections is a rectangle with a triangle on the end. I made a pattern of newspaper, then add on the triangle to one end. I added a half inch for seam allowance around all the edges. The skirt lining is exactly the same size and shape as the skirt, but I cut this piece out in two pieces instead of twelve because its a solid color and its less sewing if you use bigger pieces.

For the waist band, I made a rectangle is A inches long by 2 1/2 inches wide.

E: Neck circumference + breathing room = ______inches

F: Wrist circumference divided by four = ______inches

Picture of Pattern Making - Collar and Cuffscollar.tiff

The frilly part of the collar is six diamonds with the ends cut off. The neck band was cut at five inches wide, but got folded over in the end.

I used a pattern from another dress to make the basic shape of the bodice of this dress.




I sewed the skirt outer pieces together along the long seams, adding one piece at a time until all were together. I then sewed this to the lining inside out. I turned it right side out and top stitched the lower edge to keep the edge creased in the right place. I then sewed the waist band to the skirt, because it was stretchy, I didn’t have to worry bout gathering the skirt.


Next, I pieced together the bodice, and marked where I wanted the skirt to attach.


I sewed the cuff and collar frills together inside out and then turned them. The cuffs have no band and just get sewn to themselves, but the collar was sewn to the neck band and closed with a snap.


I liked the idea of small golden bells on the ends of the frills, but I didn’t like the idea of jingling as I walked, so I got a package of jingle bells, pried open one of the sides, removed the jingle inside, and closed the side again. I then sewed these on to the ends of the flaps.

Picture of Synthesis

I sewed the skirt to the bodice and put a zipper up the back. I also sewed on the collar.

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Halloween fun!