Way, way back when we first found out that we were going to Disney World with Husband’s family and had booked our tickets, I decided that V should have some princess dresses. In fact, I wanted to make a different princess dress for her to wear each day of our trip! (Yes, I was living vicariously through her. I love the princesses, too!)
We do have lots of princess dresses in our house– a generous neighbor family gave us their daughters’ dress-up clothes, and V loves them. However, I wanted something sturdier and more functional–an actual dress, not a play-dress-up-dress– so that there would be a chance of V wearing the dress for the whole day.
I wanted it to be a surprise for V, too. At first, the plan was for V to know nothing about the dresses before we actually went on our trip, but as I considered how much time and effort would go into the dresses, Husband and I decided to spread out their “reveal.” There were five days of visiting the parks on our itinerary, and I realized that I would have to make one dress per month to meet my goal! We made a list of V’s favorite princesses: Cinderella, Rapunzel, Belle, Sofia… and based on the complexity of the dress decided to make Sofia’s first. In order to get even more “bang” out of the project, we ended up using Sofia as the basis of our family Halloween costume! Because I ended up making myself a gown and my son a suit jacket for Halloween, I ended up with just four princess dresses for V, but I still think I did a pretty good job of meeting my goal! We tried to plan it so that V would match a princess we were planning to see on each of the days. V received Belle and Cinderella (post coming on Friday!) dresses for Christmas gifts.
V wore the Belle dress on our very first day in Disney World– we went to the Magic Kingdom. We had a FastPass+ for “Enchanted Tales with Belle,” and it was completely magical. As we entered the park, music from Beauty and the Beast was playing! At the attraction, Vivian had a wonderful interaction with the actress playing Belle.
About the construction of the dress:
After Sofia, I realized that I needed a “real” dress pattern, not a costume pattern, to work with. I found Simplicity 2463, which had a really versatile set of variation options, and a V-shaped waistline that is common to many of the princesses’ dresses.
Belle is pretty much a straight-up sew of view E of the pattern, but I changed the shoulder drape. I cut matching yellow organza on the bias and made it into a tube. I gathered it at the middle front and stitched it in place, adding three large pearl beads. I finished the ends of the tube, gathered them and stitched them on either side of the zipper in the back.
When V opened the dress on Christmas morning, she was so excited about it that she had to put it on right away– and she ended up wearing it for the entire day! I was so happy that she was so comfortable in it. She had no problem wearing it for the whole afternoon we were in the Magic Kingdom on our first day in FL!
See all of the Project Princess Dress posts by clicking HERE.