This was actually the first costume I made for Halloween this year. Lane was pretty set on being Belle for a few months, so I figured it was OK to sew up without the threat of her changing her mind a week before trick or treating.
I used McCall's Pattern 5494. As usual, I really hate sewing from commercial patterns. I do much better when I design the thing myself because I end up getting frustrated and changing the pattern until it fits what's in my head anyway.
This pattern called for 3 or 4 layers of dress. I cut it down to two (and then one small ruched one). I decided that Lane needed a luxe princess dress, so I chose gold taffeta to make it. That way it would make that lovely swoosh swoosh sound when she walked. Of course, taffeta is really heavy, so two layers was all I was going to subject Lane (and my sewing machine) to.
The ruche method described in the pattern might have been good for a normal adult person, but seriously a child can rip that out in about 5 minutes. You have no idea how many times I had to tack up that netty/gauze sparkly layer.
- After she wore it to her pre-school Halloween Party (Oct 30th)
- After she wore it to her kindergarten Halloween Party (morning Oct 31st)
- After she decided to wear it while playing princesses on Friday afternoon while Logan was at school (Oct 31st afternoon)
- After she tried to climb up onto our bed after dinner on Halloween evening (Oct31st just before trick or treating)
- right before she wore it to ballet class (Saturday Nov1st)
Yeah, I'm getting really good at tacking that stuff up. Thank goodness that taffeta is so tough. It didn't rip out when I started tacking the netting right to the taffeta in the hopes that it would gain some strength and stay put for awhile. This girl is a twirling, whirling, rough and tumble kinda princess.
We had a little trouble with the bodice being way too wide. Lane had to wear something underneath the dress. I hemmed it up pretty high so that she could move and walk up steps etc - although even then she came home early from trick or treating for me to safety pin her skirts up. The pattern called for a zipper down the back. I was ready to fight a zipper in there when a friend on Facebook suggested Velcro. I put the idea to Lane and she thought that was a fantastic idea because then she could put on her princess dress all by herself. Zipping a back zipper was going to prove tricky for a five year old. It's tricky for an adult too!
I made a scrunchy out of leftover gold and put her hair in the Princess Belle bun thing. We also got a cute ribbon clip with a Belle pendant on it from Scattered Seeds (a local craft show) that I placed underneath the bun at the back of her head. So pretty!
Overall, I think this costume worked out. And now Lane has a pretty new princess dress to add to her play costumes box.