Making Costumes

You can use all kinds of existing tops for stilting (dresses, tunics, t-shirts, etc.), but to cover your stilts, you'll need stilt pants or longer-than-usual skirts. The pants must be wide enough so that they won't be binding. You can add length to existing pants or skirts by adding ruffles or--our favorite--strips of cloth that move when you move (fringe!). Use anything you can to make you look taller, such as hats and headdresses, banners on poles that wave in the wind, etc.

Simple drawstring or elastic waist pants can be made as follows:

  • Cut out two pant legs.
  • Sew seam that runs down inside of leg on each piece.
  • Turn one leg inside out and put inside the other leg so that the inside seams match (they should both be on the same side of fabric, either inside or outside).
  • Sew crotch seam, beginning at waist and curving down between legs of pants.
  • Make small clips along curves from edge of fabric perpendicular towards seam (not too close!). This will help the fabric give where it needs to.
  • Roll the top down from the top edge and stitch to make a casing.
  • Insert fabric strip, string elastic, etc. to make waist.

To make a simple tunic:

  • Cut fabric to desired length.
  • Make a casing on either side at waist height by sewing around three edges of a rectangle of fabric. Be sure to catch the end of the ribbon or fabric strips you'll be using for ties in the inside edge of casing so it doesn't get caught up in long seams.
  • Make these casings on front and back of tunic.
  • Cut neck hole.
  • Put over head and slide fabric along ribbons or ties and make a knot or bow on the sides.