Monday, April 6, 2015

Little Aurora Costume



I had the opportunity to make this beautiful, tiny, Princess Aurora dress for my niece's 3rd birthday.  When I make costumes, my goal is always to make a high-quality and screen-accurate product.

 


I'll share some tips & techniques I used to make this cute little gown...

GENERAL:

I used the Simplicity 2569 pattern as a base pattern for the dress, although I made quite a few modifications.
 I ALWAYS make a Pinterest board with reference photos & pins that link to tutorials that might help me to make the best costume.  Here's the board I used for this project:

BODICE: 

I changed the waistline from going straight across to more of a v-shape like Aurora's dress.  I also divided bodice front into 4 pattern pieces in order to make the 3 seams you see on the front.  I traced the original pattern onto tissue paper and made modifications on there.  I tried out the pieces using cheap fabric (formerly curtains) to make sure everything would work, before I cut out the real fabric.

I made some bias tape using this sparkly pink satin, then used that to make some piping. (I used this tutorial for the bias tape and this tutorial for the piping).  The piping was sewn on the the 3 diagonal seams, then I used my curtain fabric to make boning casing and basted the 2 bodice pieces together.  When I finished the bodice, I added piping to the bottom, v-shaped edge.  I attached the skirt to the bodice lining (which didn't have the v-shaped waist) and laid the bodice (outside) on top.  I stitched in the ditch (between the piping & bodice) to attach the bottom of the bodice to the skirt.


 SKIRT & PEPLUM:

I made the skirt & lining according to the pattern directions.  However, when I attached the skirt to the bodice (after basting on the peplum), I sewed the front bodice lining to the skirt.  I wanted the bodice front to lay on top of the skirt to show off the v-shape.

I created the peplum from scratch.  I used a bowl to draw a rounded waist edge, then drew the shape I estimated that the peplum should be.  I (again) tested my pattern on the cheap curtain fabric and by some miracle was successful on the first try! So I cut the fabric & lining, sewed them together, then attached to the skirt.

 SLEEVES:

I bought a stretchy mesh fabric similar to that worn by Aurora in Disney Parks for the sleeves.  However, I used a darker pink to match the bodice & skirt which is more like what you see Aurora wear in the Sleeping Beauty movie.  Usually this fabric is found with the swim/dance fabrics.  It's more durable than most netting-type fabrics and has a lot of stretch.  This allows you to make a tighter-fitting sleeve without restricting movement.



Because this fabric is stretchy, be sure to use a ziz-zag or other stretch stitch to allow stretch without breaking the thread.  I added a little v-shape to the cuff of the sleeve, and sewed a thin elastic to the point so it would fit like Disney Parks' Aurora.  After attaching the sleeve to the bodice, I didn't want the seam allowance to show through the sheer sleeve.  So I used some bias tape as binding around the seam allowance.  Hopefully this will give more strength to the seam as well.

SHOULDER DETAIL:

Again, I used the (new) Disney Parks Aurora dress as a reference for the should detail.  I used the same fabric that I used for the peplum.  I cut a long rectangle, then pressed horizontal folds into the fabric.  I used lightweight fusible interfacing to give structure to the piece, then sewed the long edges together.


I folded at a diagonal near the center of this strip, then pressed.  I placed this section at the center-front neckline, then hand-stitched along the fold.  I hand-tacked the rest of the shoulder detail in place about every 2 inches around the shoulder and back neckline.



TIARA HEADBAND:

 I had some excess gold spandex fabric from a Princess Jasmine costume that I made.  I used this, some craft foam, and a headband to made a little tiara.  I drew out the shape of the crown, then traced this onto the fabric & craft foam.  I sewed the gold fabric, right-sides together.  Then I slipped the fabric over the craft foam & glued this to the headband.  I used hot glue & a gold sequin trim (also extra from my Jasmine costume) to cover the rest of the headband, although I probably would've preferred ribbon.




The hours working on this really paid off! The birthday girl LOVED it and I learned a lot too!  Any questions?  Leave them in the comments below!