Halloween 2012, Version 2: Once Upon a Dream…

by Dana on October 31, 2012

When Lucy said she wanted to be a princess, I was bummed.
Rapunzel, Belle, Ariel?  You can pull those out of the dress-up box any given day.
(boring).

So we tried to brainstorm other ideas but she kept coming back to the princess.
(at what age do they move beyond the Disney obsession?)

Then we found out that her good friends were dressing up as the three fairies from Sleeping Beauty (adorable!)  Hmmmm, I thought…..I suppose Lucy could be Sleeping Beauty and Owen could be Prince Phillip?  Clara could be Maleficent?  (Haah.  Owen nixed that one pretty quickly).

But I was warming up to the Sleeping Beauty idea.  Perhaps I could make a dress that we both liked; something couture to her body and more fancy than the cheap store-bought version we already had.

The only question was….do you make it pink or blue?

What if she could have both?

Yes!  I used that great scene from the movie as my inspiration.  “It’s blue!  It’s pink!  BLUE.  Pink!”  (photo source).

And we came up with:

Pink from one side, blue from the other.

And ready to dance into the clouds with her prince.
If only life were that simple.


In some ways I suppose it is.  Lucy. Was. THRILLED with the dress.
Another happy moment for us all!

She felt like royalty and walked around the house talking to everyone as such.  And then we had a talk about treating your “servants” kindly, even if you’re the queen.

So.  For the dress…..
• I actually did a quick sketch before starting just to make sure I wasn’t crazy.  It’ll look okay, right?  Lucy said yes.  Moving onward…
• I filled my shopping cart with every fabric I swore I’d never use again after last year’s Halloween costumes (and the year before, and the year before): satin, chiffon, and taffeta.   The taffeta, however, was awesome and I highly recommend (btw, you can read more about all these fabrics in my book!  wink wink).  Taffeta is stiffer than satin but still drapes beautifully and doesn’t slip underneath itself as you sew.

• I created my own pattern by tracing the width of a T-shirt, then created a boatneck-ish neckline without it falling off her shoulders (wanted to keep it age-appropriate), and added additional room for seams down the middle front and back.
• I also sewed two test-bodices (which I don’t normally do) just to make sure I was on track and didn’t waste the fancy fabric.

• I added a zipper in the back so the dress could be fitted to her body and a lining so the taffeta seams wouldn’t scratch.  I know a lining sounds fancy but I honestly think it’s easier to do that, than dealing with all the exposed seams.
• The collar is two layers of satin lined with interfacing, sewn right in-between the dress and lining layers.
• The sleeves are sheer chiffon and cut in a “V” at the wrist.  And yes…I found an excuse to make bias tape! From Taffeta! Thankfully I only needed small amounts.

• I intended for the bottom to be a circle skirt but I didn’t have enough fabric for a full circle.  So instead, I created a partial circle from 6 pieces.  I measured the distance around the bodice waist and divided it up into 6 (accounting for seam allowances), then cut triangular type pieces and sewed them all together.  When I was almost finished with the dress, I trimmed the bottom to a circular shape for the hem, making it slightly longer in the back for a mini “train” look.

• The center piece was the biggest beast and I’m sure I went about it the hard way.  But I created a double-layered mini version of the large skirt, sewed zigzags into it, turned it right-side out and basted it to the skirt before sewing the dress all together.  It sounds easy saying that but the math drove me insane.  I was overjoyed when it worked out.

It was a lengthy project but the finished product made it worth it!  And with every thread change (which was often) I felt like fairies were barking over my shoulder.

Lucy patiently waited as I sewed, checking in every so often, and drawing her own version of the dress next to mine.

She helped me make a crown from spray-painted cardstock and hand-drawn ideas.
It fit!

Then our little pink/blue princess was ready….waltzing and twirling around the room all afternoon.


I’m so happy when my kids love something I can make for them.
It’s the best!

Eventually on Saturday night, we ran into Fauna and Flora….

….who continued to cast spells on her enchanted gown (baby Merryweather was asleep in her mom’s arms).


And that my friends, is a happily ever after Halloween for you.

No satin next year.
Maybe.

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{ 78 comments… read them below or add one }

1 hillary October 31, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Oh I love it! My daughter was such a princess from ages 2-5, and so I am especially charmed by creative interpretations of the princess theme. The particolored Sleeping Beauty idea is GENIUS and you executed it beautifully!

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2 Vanessa October 31, 2012 at 2:38 pm

So awesome! You just keep impressing me!

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3 Lynette October 31, 2012 at 2:38 pm

That is a fantastic way to do a princess! I love it!

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4 Lora October 31, 2012 at 2:48 pm

The most beautiful princess dress I saw!

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5 Olivia October 31, 2012 at 2:48 pm

You are one awesome sewing mama! I am sure she is loving it! Enjoy this satin-filled Halloween… they’ll be over before you know it. ;)

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6 Nancy October 31, 2012 at 2:52 pm

I LOVE this! Sleeping Beauty is my favorite Disney princess, and I love that you made a pink and blue dress. :)

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7 Vanessa October 31, 2012 at 2:53 pm

I love it! That was always one of my favorite scenes in the movie. Looks like Lucy loves it too! My daughter wanted to be Rapunzel. I hate sewing with satin too — so I opted for KONA instead. (http://punkinpattern.blogspot.com/2012/10/rapunzel.html) It is a great feeling when you can make something for them that they love!

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8 Julie H. October 31, 2012 at 2:58 pm

You are my sewing hero! My daughter, who will be 3 next weekend wanted so desperately to be Princess Aurora. I had the skirt ready and the bodice just flopped…satin is no joke to sew with. At one moment I did feel like the good fairies that messed up making hers without magic! I didn’t want to spend any more money, with the chance it still wouldn’t work out, so I talked her into Tinkerbell (what I wanted her to be but didn’t want to force my childhood favorite onto her). She ended up loving it and it was easier for me to make. But we promised as a potty training reward if she fills her sticker sheet that we will take her to the Disney store for her birthday and get her a Princess Aurora dress, so she will have it. I really wanted to make it for her, yours looks fantastic! You are so talented!!!!!

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9 hannah elise October 31, 2012 at 3:10 pm

What an awesome idea! Love it..

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10 Stephanie October 31, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Oh this turned out lovely. I had the same battle with my daughters dress she decided to be Cinderella. She’s three and has become obsessed with the movie. I agree no more satin next year! I did satin and tulle and I am over satin after this unfortunately i have too much left over!

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11 Joy October 31, 2012 at 3:22 pm

That’s awesome! I especially love the pics with her friends! Perfect!

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12 Kristen Southwick October 31, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Love it Dana! That is by far my favorite Disney princess movie, and that is one of my favorite scenes! What a great mom you are!

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13 Vicky October 31, 2012 at 4:02 pm

When I was 3 or so my mom made me a Merryweather costume, which is hanging in my closet right now. Hopefully in a year or two my daughter will want to wear it.

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14 kristin October 31, 2012 at 4:03 pm

OH OH! It’s great! I totally forgot about the pink/blue scene (Em’s into Cinderella at the moment, so my Sleeping Beauty is a little rusty) but your dress captures it perfectly. Love Lucy’s drawing alongside yours, and love the pure joy on her face in her costume! Best part of Halloween – making your kids’ dreams come true.

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15 Hannah @ MiniMe Paperdolls October 31, 2012 at 4:07 pm

NO WAY! This is AWESOME Dana!

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16 Joy October 31, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Oh mama you scored big bonus points with this darling dress! Great job, she will never forget this! Loved Owen’s outfit also. I woud never guess Halloween is not your very favorite holiday!! And Clara? She can just be the cutie pie she is every day.

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17 anna October 31, 2012 at 4:20 pm

oh gosh, so perfect! and I love how you shared the whole process. very cool.

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18 Emily October 31, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Best Sleeping Beauty dress ever!! Love that scene and the way you captured it and the way the math all worked out. I say the same thing about satin, chiffon, and fleece oh and minky and then a few months later I find myself using those fabrics again.

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19 Kimberfly October 31, 2012 at 4:27 pm

I love this so much! I was obsessed with Sleeping Beauty when I was a little girl (to the point that my imaginary friend was named Aurora), and my mom made me a Merriweather costume for Halloween one year. I think I lived in that costume for the next two years! Mom still has the pattern, so I hope to get one of my two girls to wear it one year.

I would have DIED to have this when I was little! :)

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20 allie hoopes October 31, 2012 at 4:32 pm

I wish I could be a six year old again! Wow…you would not have been able to get this off of me. It is so perfect and so clever.

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21 Jessica October 31, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Soo stinkin’ cute! But I wish you’d had your costumes up earlier!! I’ll have to keep both in mind for next year! Happy Halloween!

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22 mandie October 31, 2012 at 4:35 pm

So, so cute & creative!

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23 Marci October 31, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Brilliant!! It’s win-win for a princess who wants to be unique… I love it, Dana!

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24 Kendra October 31, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Love it! A fantastic twist on a traditional princess :) My daughter turned 7 this year and has finally outgrown the princess stage. Though I have an almost 2 year old so we’ll be coming back around to it very soon, I’m sure…

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25 Kim October 31, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Wow. I can’t imagine being able to make this dress. So awesome.

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26 Jennie October 31, 2012 at 5:02 pm

LOVE it!! what a great idea!

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27 Sara October 31, 2012 at 5:07 pm

My daughter was into princesses until Kindergarten. In Kindergarten and grade 1 it was all about the fairies. Grade 2 until now (grade 4) it’s vampires, mythological creatures and Harry Potter.

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28 liZ evans October 31, 2012 at 5:18 pm

That’s awesome! Luckily Grace never wants to be a princess…unfortunatly this year she has chosen to be the ickiest thing I could imagine…a “Barbie Cheerleader”. Honestly…I’d take a satin princess over this anyday.
Happy Halloween!
-liZ

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29 Angela October 31, 2012 at 5:32 pm

OH MY GOSH! Sleeping Beauty was always my favorite and this costume makes my heart pitter patter! Could you make one for me, in solid blue, haha!

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30 Delia October 31, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Dana…I love everything you do but this is AWESOME! Best princess dress I’ve seen thus far. Love the half blue half pink. That is one of my favorite scenes in that movie. Also love that Lucy adores it.

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31 Angela October 31, 2012 at 6:07 pm

It felt like my daughter would never outgrow princesses and then suddenly she did and I miss it. Lucy is adorable and the dress is fantastic, great idea.

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32 Bethany October 31, 2012 at 6:26 pm

So adorable!

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33 cinti October 31, 2012 at 8:18 pm

wow, great job. I bet she didn’t want to take it off!

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34 Cas October 31, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Dana you are truly inspiring. Amazing that you can create something so beautiful from a sketch! You have amazing talent :) glad your little one was pleased with the result & I love the idea of 2 colours.

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35 Lindsay October 31, 2012 at 9:58 pm

That is adorable. I wish I’d have thought of that when I was a kid! I loved Sleeping Beauty.

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36 Michelle October 31, 2012 at 10:07 pm

So much fun! And Aurora is the best of the princesses anyway. ;-)

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37 Connie in California October 31, 2012 at 10:10 pm

You are too FREAKIN talented Dana!! LOL Amazing costumes…..your children are very lucky.
Connie in California

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38 Daniela October 31, 2012 at 10:27 pm

aaaahhhh – how genius is that!!
i sooo have to steal this idea, my little girl adores aurora and thinks that last movie scene is just hillarious :)

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39 Rebecca October 31, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Did you dress up Clara?

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40 Casey October 31, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Ah! I love it!! Aurora is my favorite princess!!

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41 Katie October 31, 2012 at 11:25 pm

This is seriously adorable! I would have loooved this when I was a girl. And those little fairy friends really complete the ensemble!

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42 Anneliese October 31, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Just perfect! Hooray for you! And her! Such a great idea!

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43 Devin November 1, 2012 at 8:51 am

Such an adorable and creative idea, especially when those precious Winegar fairies (we’re friends of theirs from VA!)

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44 Teronia (Tara) Bayonne November 1, 2012 at 9:18 am

Oh my gosh Dana, that is truly inspired!! And lovely, will your book teach me to sew and be creative like you? I hope so, I’m so sold.

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45 Elizabeth November 1, 2012 at 10:03 am

Adorable and so creative!!

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46 Nancy November 1, 2012 at 10:10 am

Absolutely beautiful!

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47 Chris November 1, 2012 at 10:19 am

Sleeping Beauty is one of my all-time faves. I love the all the background paintings…and in my opinion, “make it blue!” I’m a Merriweather fan. :) Lucy looks adorable. Using the two colors was so clever!

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48 birdyboots November 1, 2012 at 10:33 am

How fun! I have one girl who likes her dress blue and the other pink, so it’s always fun to watch the movie together :) Great job!

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49 lisa November 1, 2012 at 10:48 am

I love the flora, fauna, and merriweather sisters. I’ve always wanted to do something with them!

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50 ira lee November 1, 2012 at 11:33 am

both the kids costumes are amazing!!!!! i love to work on something and the kids LOVE IT!!! its such a reward!

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51 Jenn A November 1, 2012 at 12:05 pm

My four year old just gasped with envy at Lucy’s dress!!!! Great idea!

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52 Felicity @ Our Little Beehive November 1, 2012 at 12:15 pm

So adorable!

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53 Chelsea November 1, 2012 at 12:40 pm

That is lovely. Way better than those store bought customes anyday.

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54 Tracy November 1, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I think it must have something to do with age, the indecisiveness. My daughter couldn’t decided if she wanted to be a bat or a cat so I made her a totally reversible costume. It was a journey. Not difficult but handling the extra layers (one fabric was very thin so I used white fleece in the middle) was a bit more difficult than I was used to. Your little indecisive princess looks gorgeous and your sewing skills continue to impress.

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55 Kay November 1, 2012 at 12:57 pm

So wish I would have seen this sooner. I did the “Disney’ queen this year for the perfect granddaughter. This would have been perfect—-I’m filing away for next year….you never know. That you so much for sharing your creative ideas.

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56 Meghan November 1, 2012 at 12:58 pm

so cute- I hope to get to this level some day! Question: where did you find Lucy’s shoes? They look so cute but also very comfortable- would love to find similar ones for my little one.

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57 Ash P November 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm

So clever and awesome!!!! I love it! They all look adorable in their costumes, you did an amazing job!

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58 Mary Kay November 1, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Love Love L.O.V.E.

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59 Candace November 1, 2012 at 1:09 pm

That is awesome! You perfectly captured one of the best Disney scenes ever!

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60 amy November 1, 2012 at 1:30 pm

love it! …and it is about 1 or 2 grade that the princess novelty wears off, at least for my girl.

her friends outfits are adorable as well. Love the hats!

amy

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61 Kiersten November 1, 2012 at 2:11 pm

I love it! What a great idea! I bought satin a few years ago and made a number of capes with it. I keep meaning to make more, but I just can’t bring myself to sew with that again!

And as far as outgrowing Disney princesses, I keep wondering the same thing. I have a 7 year old 2nd grader and her excitement of princesses does not seem to be waning.

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62 Ariana November 1, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Satin’s not so bad….you just have to pin the living shinola out of it.

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63 Kelly November 1, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Beautiful! Halloween made me feel the impact of not bringing my sewing machine on our temp move to the other side of the country (big mistake!) My daughters would have died for this dress. Btw, my eldest daughter is 9 and still likes princesses (thankfully no longer an obsession but spent most of her birthday money at the Disney Store on princess dolls!) and frequently is caught playing princess with her 5 year old sister ;)

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64 Emra November 1, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Adorable and awesome.

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65 Terri Sue November 1, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Lucy really does look like a princess in the dress!

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66 Margarida November 1, 2012 at 6:41 pm

so beautiful they are and such a good idea!

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67 Jill November 1, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Ok, that is an amazing dress! I love it. I never understood why Sleeping Beauty is always pictured in a pink dress, when she spends most of the movie in blue. Having both is lovely!

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68 Sarah November 1, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Now THAT is adorable. Genius of an idea!! Truly!!

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69 bdaiss November 1, 2012 at 8:50 pm

Beautiful work as always Dana! But wait – you mean you missed the most obvious Princess that would have still given you coordinated outfits? Or did Lucy nix Princess Leia just like my girl?

As for the Disney princess thing…I find the best offense is a good defense. None of that crap is allowed in my house, therefore my girl is perfectly happy playing trains, legos, and dollys of no movie origin. : ) Unfortunately that bit of advice might be a bit late for you… (Sidenote: this does not mean we haven’t watched a few of the movies. I just refuse to buy the branded crap they think we need to go along with it.)

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70 Sarah November 2, 2012 at 8:28 am

Right there with you on the satin! Last year, I made a princess dress for my daughter out of crushed stretch velvet with a polyester satin skirt. Since I don’t have a serger, I zig-zagged the top edge of the satin before gathering it (a 3X width). It was a hairy mess! That stuff is horrible to work with! this year, I just made a dino hoodie and tail for my son out of cotton knit. Hooray for more wearable (and workable) fabrics!

The dress turned out beautifully! Glad to hear the taffeta was not so bad, since there is some waiting on my sewing table for a Christmas dress.

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71 Melissa November 2, 2012 at 9:57 am

You are so creative and talented. How do you find time to do all this AND blog about it!? I would love to know how you do it all.

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72 lisa November 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm

As I realized where you were going, I got super excited! I love that idea! Like, enough to attempt one for me next year! (Ok, that probably won’t happen but I did think about it.) I would have loved this as a little girl! Especially with the three little fairy godmothers!

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73 Melissa Yoder November 2, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Completely amazing!! I love Sleeping Beauty and the 3 fairies. I normally don’t make Halloween costumes, but this year I sewed my husband a full blown Jedi costume, and he’ll have to wear it every year now because it was a BEAST! I’m pretty relieved Halloween’s over for another year, haha.

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74 Jean C. November 3, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Well, my DSIL and her DH still love to go to Disneyland…. all the time… I suppose that is better than her wanting to be a “princess”… just remember…. “This Too Shall Pass”!
the costumes turned out cute! Looks like they all had a happy Halloween too! Now… if we could just get past the sugar rushes!!!!

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75 Sarah J. November 4, 2012 at 4:12 pm

fantastic! i love that you made it both blue and pink! such a cool mama! :)

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76 Carmen November 4, 2012 at 4:49 pm

When I was little, I had the Belle costume and the snow white costume. I always wanted a sleeping beauty costume more than anything. Lucky little girl :)

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77 Max November 6, 2012 at 5:35 am

Dana this is so cute! So So cute. I know I say that for everything, but the whole story, and how you had to give her a little talk. It’s so awesome seeing real life stuff behind the scenes :) She seems like such an amazing little girl!

And the dress is perfect!

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78 Sophia November 6, 2012 at 1:33 pm

the costume is just adorable! i love it! you’re amazing dana… i don’t know how you manage to pull it off each time. your children are so blessed to have you as their mom – almost makes me wish that i had a mom as cool as you! LOVE LOVE LOVE your blogs <3

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