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.
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.
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.