Once upon a time, there was a humble little pattern named Simply Sweet. This pattern was very practical in that it didn't require much fabric and made for a comfortable, wearable style. It was very easy to put together, too - no pesky buttonholes or zippers. As the name suggested, it was just simple, sweet, and cute. One day, a group of creative elves called the Disboutiquers got a hold of this little pattern, and an amazing transformation happened...Simply Sweet became a PRINCESS!!!
I have had lots of requests for princess patterns, but I feel like I already have them out there. I have seen so many regal, yet comfortable and sturdy princess costumes made from my patterns. If you check out our Flickr group, you will find lots of examples of practical princesses (and perhaps even a prince or two). By using creative fabric choices, fun embellishments, and a few modifications here and there, you can create the ballgown of your princess' dreams (then she can wear it in the mud and you can throw it in the wash). Over the next few weeks, I'm going to give a few simple tutorials on "princessifying" some of my existing patterns. Since my son is not a very cooperative model for these types of styles, I'll make the dresses dolly-sized.
I'll start out with Simply Sweet Cinderella. There are lots of variations on the classic Cinderella dress, both in terms of color combo and design. The main element that makes the dress is a peplum (at least I think that is what it is called) that attaches to the bodice and drapes across the sides ofthe dress. I'm sure there are lots of ways to add this detail, but I'm going to describe one that has lots of "poof," but doesn't require any extra patterns, calculations, or fluffy stuff.
For this dress, I am using the jumper bodice (empire length option) with ruffled straps. Cut the pattern pieces as described. Using the charts provided, determine the dimensions necessary to make a skirt that is calf to ankle length. Cut the 2 skirt pieces as described. In addition, cut 2 pieces (same size as the first 2) from the peplum fabric.
Cindy's bodice is pretty simple...in most pictures it looks like there is a seam in the center. If you want to jazz it up a bit, you can add some pretty trim or ribbon to the center line. The bodice is also a great place to add machine embroidery. My friend HeatherSue has some designs that are absolutely perfect for this particular princess.
Assemble the bodice as described in the eBook. Make the hemmed skirt as described as on page 45.
The diagram above shows how to make the peplum pieces from the remaining rectangles. It is very easy - fold the pieces in half lengthwise, right sides facing outward. Run two rows of basting stitches along the raw edges. If you are new to sewing, don't worry - the basting process is described in detail in the eBook.
Pull the bobbin threads to gather.
Align the ends of the peplum piece with the midpoints of the front and back bodice pieces. Evenly distribute the gathers.
Zig-zag stitch over the edges to "set" the gathers in place.
Repeat with the other peplum piece.
Add the skirt as described on page 51.
Remove basting stitches, and turn right side out. The peplum pieces will naturally puff out to the sides of the dress. I usually topstitch at this point to help the skirt hang properly and add interest to the waistline. In this case, I omitted topstitching because the peplum adds a lot to the waistline (both in terms of interest and thickness). If you do decide to topstitch, make sure to use a heavy duty needle.
I had a "ball" dressing up dolly!
Please let me know if you have any requests for the next royal star :) !