Make your own Red Riding Dress from the Princess Bride: Easy Version

Princess Bride Costume


Halloween is coming up and I’ve gotten some questions about this costume. I made my version of this costume a few years ago from self drafted patterns with hand pleated sleeves and hand sewn eyelets. I went all out on it but not everyone has the time or wants to make something that complex.

So here is the lite version of how to make the costume, it will not be 100% screen accurate but I think it gets the job done.

You will need some sewing experience, be able to follow patterns and set sleeves.


Using this pattern:


simplicity 3956
Simplicity 3956

This is a wrap front empire top with gathers at the bust and gathered sleeves, it closes with a zipper in the back.

Now granted the neckline looks nothing like the movie, at the moment the tall collar look isn’t in style.

But take a good hard look at the teal version in the drawing. It has an empire waist like in the movie and gathers rather than tucks but the sleeves are close.

Fabric: You will need more fabric than the envelope calls for, as we are going to adjust the “skirt” of the top in both length and width. For a rough idea measure from your underbust to the floor and multiply by 2. If in doubt get a yard or two extra just in case.

Make up the pattern as it says on the instruction sheet and incorporate the changes below.



Pattern changes:

sleeve band to sleeve cuff

Extend the sleeve bands into sleeve cuffs. Gather the sleeves to that and add a few hooks and eyes or even velcro to keep the cuffs closed.



gold trim

Add some fancy trim along the underbust to mimic the belt from the movie.



Finally extend the “skirt” part of the top to be floor length, this will need some pattern modification.


Skirt traced

Trace the shirt “skirt” front and back pieces on to some paper, (newspaper works in a pinch) Transfer all markings, grain lines and notches.



Divide skirt

Divide each skirt piece into 3 to 6 sections, depending on how much flare you need to add.


Skirt hinge

Cut up each line you’ve drawn stopping short at the top, leaving a small hinge of paper.


Pivot the skirt

Pivot, or spread out each skirt section equally. Tape more paper under it to fill in the pattern.

Divide the skirt into equal sections


Divide each skirt piece again, this time horizontally.


Slash the skirt and spread

Cut all the way though and spread each section equally until it reaches your desired length. Tape paper behind to fill in the pattern, clean up your lines and check your hem length.


Finished Skirt

Finished hypothetical skirt piece.



3 thoughts on “Make your own Red Riding Dress from the Princess Bride: Easy Version

  1. What kind of fabric did you use?? I’m having someone make this dress for me and I’m having a hard time determining the exact type of fabric. Thank you!!

  2. Sorry this got caught in the comment filter. For my gown I drafted my own pattern with a rolled neckline for the collar.

  3. How did you adjust the neckline? Your picture of the finished dress looks accurate, unless it’s just how you’re standing. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.