Back in May, my husbands colleague asked him if I could custom make new princess dresses for his twin girls. After much deliberation the girls decided that they wanted to have Ariel’s blue dress and Tiana’s green lily pad dress.
I have done Ariel’s dress before so that one I knew exactly how I wanted to execute this however I had never created a Tiana dress so this was a new challenge.
First things first, aka my favorite part of the process, fabric and pattern shopping! I wanted to give these girls a beautiful and dress that resembled the dresses they wanted but also give them a little princessy flair. So my first hunt was for satin fabric that was already coated in glitter. (Not going to lie, Tiana’s dress was an inspiration for that.) I also wanted to make sure that the girls were going to be comfortable in their dresses so I chose some light weight materials such as cotton, jersey, and chiffon to make up for the fact that I was using glitter satin for the skirts.
[Insert Photo of fabric]
For the body of the dresses I picked up (pattern info) to get the basic structure down. I also picked up (pattern info) in the hopes of using the petals for Tiana’s dress. I ended up not using the second pattern and hand drafting my own petals, more on that in a little bit.
For the Ariel dress I used the version of the pattern with the sleeves since Ariel’s blue dress has long renaissance like sleeves. However, for the sake of simplicity however I just did a regular long sleeve. To construct the contrast bodice I simply took the bodice piece and cut off the top of the bodice where the basting line is on front of the bodice and eyeballed the back, matching the side seams.
With these I ended up doubling up the navy chiffon to give a finished edge. (After listening to a podcast episode by “Sewing Out Loud” on Hems I realized I could have avoided doubling the fabric by sewing a rectangular section of fabric to the bodice in the shape that I wanted to give that finished edge. Live and learn right?) In the end the results were exactly what I was aiming to achieve. With one dress down it was time to move onto the second.
Tiana’s dress is technically a strapless dress however these girls are 7 years old and I personally didn’t feel that it was appropriate for her to have a strapless dress. Also she will be running around in the park in this gown could you just imagine the catastrophe that could be. So I went with the strapless version of the dress in the pattern.
For the main layer and basic assembly I used a yellow broad cloth cotton which I layered a pale mint/sage green chiffon on top to soften the color. I used the glitter satin for the petals I used the glitter satin.
As mentioned earlier I had purchased a skirt pattern with petals to use however these petals were super short and just were not the right shape so I decided to hand draft each petal for a design that was almost perfectly accurate.
I cut two of each petal in the glitter sating and assembled them together because I wanted them to sparkled as they twirled. For the petals on the bodice I drafted four petals out of the satin and one center piece out of the green chiffon to match the skirt. Also to save time and make the garment a little more kid friendly I did the back of the bodice in glitter satin with a cotton lining.
Here you can see the dress basted together for their fitting. I ran out of chiffon for the back of the skirt (the one time I don’t purchase an excess of fabric) and had to piece together some scrap to give it a compete look. As a result I added a center back petal to cover the oops and the bottom of the zipper.
In the end the girls loved their dresses and I am quite proud of them. I had always been intimidated by children’s clothing because of their size but I’m surprised how quickly they come together. (No wonder my mom made me so many dresses when I was younger and none for herself. Thanks mom.)
So take a gander through the finished photos and let me know what you think.