Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Belle of the Ball

Ready for the next "princessification" of the Simply Sweet pattern? This beauty is a lovely yellow gown with off-the-shoulder swags and gathered peplum. These elements are very easy to add (despite the number of pics in this tutorial). Simple twists of the fabric give these elements the extra fullness needed to keep them light and poofy.

This dress is all yellow, which happens to be my favorite color :) . You could use multiple shades of yellow to add interest, or use a tonal printed fabric like the gorgeous Marie from Jennifer's Pretty Please line.

For this dress, I am using the jumper bodice (natural waist length option) with scrunched elasticized straps. Cut the pattern pieces as described. Also cut two strips that are the same length as your strap pieces, but twice as wide (bottom left on the photo below). These will be used to make the swags.

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) for the peplum.

Sew the scrunched elasticized straps as described on page 13, and stack the bodice pieces and stitch the armhole edges as described on page 16.

Insert the straps into the front bodice as described, but only stitch the top edge at the position of the straps. The center should be left open for the swags.

Make the swags by folding the strips in half lengthwise, right side facing in. Stitch 1/4" from the long raw edges. Turn the tube right side out.

Run a two rows of basting stitches at one end of the tube. Open out the other end, and refold it so that the seam is centered on top. Maintaining this fold, run two rows of basting at this end. The swag should look like a tube of toothpaste at this point.

Fold the front bodice in half. Insert a pin through all layers at the center fold.

Gather the centered seam end of a swag and insert it between the the front and back layers, between the scrunched strap and the pin. Stitch into place. Note - I inserted my swag with the seam facing up, because I think it adds interesting detail. If you don't want the seam to show, just flip it over.

Repeat with the other swag.

Stitch the swags into place 1/4" from the top edge.

Turn the front bodice so that the right sides are facing outward,

Move the swags out of the way for now. Insert the scrunched straps into the back bodice piece as described on page 18. Stitch the straps into place, but leave the center open as you did for the front piece. Fold and pin through all layers at the center.

Gather and insert the other ends of the swags. The edges with the seams should be right next to each other in the center. Make sure the straps look like mirror images of each other at this point with no extra twists or turns.

Stitch the swags into place 1/4" from the top edge.

Assemble the bodice as described in the eBook. Notice how the swags stand on their own? That little twist makes a big difference!

Make the hemmed skirt as described as on page 45 and set it aside.

Fold the peplum pieces widthwise into 4ths and press to make creases.

Fold the front and back pieces lengthwise with the right side facing in. Using a water soluble marker, make dots for the gathering points. Put dots on all of the creases, and right next to the side edges on the front pieces only. You can place all of the dots at the same height, or stagger them like I did. For the doll skirt, I made the front center marking 1" from the folded edge, and made the others progressively lower. For a "big girl" skirt, I would start at 2".

Place the front and back pieces together, right sides facing. Make sure the dotted ends are together. Stitch 1/4" from the short side edges. This will make a tube of fabric.

Fold the tube in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. Align the raw edges.

We are also going to work a little twist into the peplum so it is nice and full like the swags. At the top edges, shift the fabric so that the creases are 1/4" to 1/2" apart. Pin the layers together just between the creases.

Shift in the same direction at every crease and seam. Notice some poof forming?

Run two rows of basting stitches at the top edge.

Now is a good time to go ahead and gather from the points to the folded edge. Using a hand needle and thread, make big stitches through both layers, which should be slightly shifted at that position. Use the thread to draw the fold up to the point. Secure the gather with several knots at the end of the thread.

Make the gathers at the other dots.

Pull the bobbin threads to gather the peplum and align the raw edges of the peplum with the bottom edges of the bodice. Arrange the gathering so that the seams and midpoints are in line.

Zig-zag stitch over the edges to "set" the gathers in place. Remove the pins and gathering threads.

Add the skirt as described on page 51.

Optional - add embellishments to the gathering points on the peplum, and between the swags at the top of the bodice. I made simple silk ribbon roses as described in this tutorial, but you could use pre-made ribbon roses, bows, or even artificial flowers.

Now Beauty is all set for an evening with the Beast!

Doesn't Buddy look like he has a faraway romantic look on his face? He was actually eying my burrito over on the coffee table!


...t. said...

Fantastic tutorial as always Carla!! Thanks so much for the effort you put into all you do. You are truly and amazing and gifted woman and I'm glad you are my friend.

Anonymous said...

Carla, this is wonderful!!!
Thank you so much for these great tutorials!

Nicole C. said...

Absolutely amazing; can't wait to make this, thank you so much! And Buddy looks adorable!!

teresajoy said...

Carla, you amaze me! Can I borrow your mind for a day?? Thanks so much for this tutorial!!! I am realizing though what a horrible lack of princess dresses our AG dolls have!

Cathy said...

I love the additions to the pattern....they seem easy enough and make a great impact! It came out so beautifully and I can see the Beast is in love! LOL! (...with the burrito..hahahahaha)

Courtney said...

SO cute! You are just absolutely amazing!

Yellow is my little Emma's favorite color too! :)

Heather said...

Oh how fabulous! Now, only if my mind could handle making this in a girls size 4, I think I would have my little Roxanne throwing roses at me! Life is sweet but kids are the sweetest! Love it :)

Jennifer Paganelli said...

You are tooo much..gorgeous!!!!
you never told me about the pooch..I love him or maybe you did and I 'm having a moment!

Stephanie said...

Love this! I made the Cinderella dress for dolly and it was so easy so I can't wait to try this one too. Thanks!

Rachel said...

Thank you so much for sharing these instrucions with us. My daughter's favorite princess wears a dress just like this :) so I am hoping that I can make one for her.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! You are wonderful! I have several of your patterns and I love them all!

Cole's Corner said...

Thank you so much for this awesome tutorial. I used it this week to make a Belle dress for my niece and it came out sooo cute!

DestineeQuinn said...

So I am making this....in a young adult size =P I am 18 years old, size 4. Wish me luck!! I am modifying it a bit of course to be a bit more complex-ish. So excited! I will send you pictures when I am finished! This tutorial was exactly what I needed to figure out how to accomplish what I saw in my head!


Peter said...

Great job with this Belle dress. The way you've figured it out and were able to share the instructions are really helpful.

I thought you and your readers may be interested in the Creative Costume Contest at http://www.halloweenhero.com/costume-contest-2013.html - there is a $250 Grand Prize.

Thanks again for sharing this costume tutorial!


Unknown said...

Where do I find the pattern for this?

Carla Hegeman Crim said...

Very Crafty Mama the pattern is in our Etsy shop right here https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/83221231/easy-girls-dress-pattern-and-top-pattern?ref=shop_home_active&ga_search_query=simply%2Bsweet

thanks so much for reading :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so mush
Im not big on Disney but Belle is my favourite, i think she is the reason yellow is my favourite colour, i liked her because she was one of the only rincesses that had brown hair like me
Thank you again