Saturday, October 20, 2012

Cinderella and Belle Princess Dress - Costume Pattern and Tutorial

It's real. You'll notice a few new changes here at Homemade Toast. (1) I am officially a domain owner. Horray! (2) I attempted to re-design. Not what I anticipated, and still working out the kinks - but I am learning and having fun along the way. (3) I'm going CRAFT!

Yup. It's time.

One of the things that I have loved about Homemade Toast is how it has pushed me to try new things, new recipes, new ingredients, new hobbies. Cooking is something that I love to do, and also something that I love to share. (If only I could share the pounds too, can that be a thing?)

I am so excited to take Homemade Toast to the next level, and start sharing even more of what I love. I will still continue to post recipes, but you will also start seeing tutorials for DIY projects and crafts here at the blog (now sans .blogspot!). I hope that this new change will continue to push me to try and make new things, serve as a creative outlet, and hopefully - inspire others to create as well!

So, to kick things off - I thought I would post a tutorial for these cute little Cinderella and Belle dresses.

Meet my loves: Kyah (Cinderella) and Hannah (Belle).

They are sisters, best friends.... and princesses.

Like most little girls they are in love with anything princess. Particularly, princess dresses.

We have such an obsession with princess dresses in our home that Daddy finally instituted "Princess Hour." The girls have one hour to wear whatever princess dress they want, their crowns, their magic wands, their plastic high-heels. Sometimes they even get to wear lipstick and blush.

When the hour is through, the idea is that they will change back into their play clothes and put their princess clothes away. We are trying to get through this phase without tears, but it has yet to be perfected. We're working on it.

So, it came to no surprise that Kyah insisted on being Cinderella for Halloween.

Hannah just wanted to be a princess like her big sister, and I just love her dark skin in yellow - so I subtly convinced her to be Belle. Didn't take much.

I first went to the fabric store - looking for a pattern that I could adjust to what I had in mind. I didn't really find anything I loved, and I wasn't excited about spending $8 on a pattern I didn't like.

So, I decided to make my own.

My number one priority was for the dresses to be comfortable. My little sillies like to dance and sing and wiggle and run. Their dresses needed to be able to do those things, too.


I thought about using a stretchy knit at first - but I loved the idea of using shirring pieces to add flexibility to the dresses. Knit fabric just doesn't have the same princess appeal as shiny and sparkly fabric does.

Needless to say, the girls LOVE their princess dresses. Although, I think the best reward came when I showed Kyah her dress for the first time. Her eyes lit up. But, before she ran to her new dress - she ran to me, gave me a hug and said "I love it so much Mommy!" Can't beat that.

Halloween is less than 2 weeks away! But there is still time. Promise, your little princess will go nuts over their handmade dress. And, who says they even need it for Halloween? Princess are princess anytime of the year - at our house, most of the year!

Both the Cinderella dress and Belle dress are so different and unique - but they both have one thing in common - the shirred bodice. The shirred bodice is what makes the dresses so comfortable - so my little princess can dance and play just like princesses should.

I love the way the Cinderella dress flows, and how the little hip poofs (yes.) are actually poofy. It adds so much dimension to the dress, and is a distinguishing characteristic of the classic Cinderella dress.

And then there is the Belle dress. I was a little hesitant at first, using so much fabric - but it is surprisingly light weight and so comfy and soft, not to mention those ruffles are to die for on pretty little girl!

These are my first ever tutorials - I am learning and apologize in advance for any mistakes that you may find. If you have any questions about a tutorial or pattern - please comment or contact me directly through the link at the top of the page and I will answer as soon as possible.

Also, please excuse my well-loved cutting mat. If you have a princess in your life, I'm sure you understand. :)

Belle Princess Dress - Costume Pattern and Tutorial

Little Hannah was coaxed into being Belle for Halloween this year when her big sister insisted on being Cinderella. Hannah loves to be like her big sister, and wanted to be a princess as well. I just couldn't resist dressing up that pretty Armenian skin she inherited from daddy with yellow and gold - so I decided to make her a little Belle dress. mMMmm.

I set out to make these dresses with a vision in mind, but had no idea they would turn out so dang cute - especially with a cute little girl to match!

But really, I am seriously in love with this dress. It is so beautiful with all of its pretty ruffles – and really, quite simple to make. The secret to all of those ruffles: fabric. Lots, and lots, and lots of fabric. This 13-inch long skirt used 2 yards. But, so worth it!

Surprisingly, even with all of the fabric, this dress is so comfy and flexible - the shirring lets little Hannah dance and play just like a princess should.

Both the Cinderella and Belle dresses begin with the same shirred bodice - so, you'll notice that the photos in the first few sections are shown using the Cinderella dress. Just use the fabric in the color you need for your dress!

Bodice Pattern

First, we need to create our bodice pattern. You can use mine, adjusting to the size you will need, or create your own.

Cinderella Princess Dress - Costume Pattern and Tutorial

The last few years, Halloween has kind of passed by. I would dress the girls up, and last year we even took them trick-or-treating to a few houses - but they didn't really get it. When I explained to Kyah what Halloween was a few months ago, without any hesitation - she decided that she wanted to be Cinderella.

I knew I wanted to make a dress for her - because I wanted something that would out stand all of the dancing, twirling, and playing that it would endure. I knew that the Costco version, that she had previously been dying over, just wouldn't last through the season.

Finally, I sat down and came up with an idea that would be comfortable and fun - and make my little princess feel just like Cinderella. The shirred bodice does just that - it adds so much flexibility and stretch that will play with her, even grow with her - and is sturdy, yet elegant enough, to be fit for Cinderella.

Bodice Pattern

First, we need to create our bodice pattern. You can use mine, adjusting to the size you will need, or create your own.


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