When it comes to making costumes, I don't know how to sew. I do have a great imagination though and can come up with ideas on my own for my child. My youngest daughter was looking at a Dora the Explorer costume the other day. I thought to myself I am not paying $30 for something so simple I can do it myself.
Dora always wears a pink shirt and orange shorts. You can pick these up in cotton at a store like Wal-Mart or Target. Hobby Lobby carries the plain colored T-shirts for less than $5 each. One great thing about this is that you can wear the shorts and shirt again. They are great for school matched with something else. If it is a cold night, you can put some tights on under the costume to keep your child warm.
For your feet, you will want a pair of yellow socks and a pair of white shoes. You might already have these at home. If not they are simple to buy and you can wear these again as well. Her socks have ruffles at the top, but any yellow socks will do for this costume.
Dora always has an elastic beaded bracelet on her arm. You can get one cheap or make one yourself. Most children have one of these at home already. Any color would look great since you never really see her bracelet close enough to tell what it looks like exactly. Her bracelet does have a flower on it if you want it to look authentic.
For hair, you can consider a Dora wig. My daughter has dark hair so I would just not worry about it. Everyone will be able to tell who they are dressed up as already without worrying about this part of it.
The most important part of the costume is backpack. She wears a purple backpack all of the time. It has a face on it. You could purchase a purple backpack and make your own face on it if you wanted to do it this way. This is the only part of the costume I would probably spend some money on for my child. You can buy a backpack toy on Amazon.com for cheap. Your child can play with this toy after Halloween so it is not a waste of money.
This costume is a great one that everyone will love! You will save money by doing it yourself and your child can wear everything again so it will not end up in the back of a closet somewhere. Consider dressing up as Dora the Explorer this year!