Halloween 2012, Version 2: Once Upon a Dream…

When Lucy said she wanted to be a princess, I was bummed.
Rapunzel, Belle, Ariel?  You can pull those out of the dress-up box any given day.
(boring).

So we tried to brainstorm other ideas but she kept coming back to the princess.
(at what age do they move beyond the Disney obsession?)

Then we found out that her good friends were dressing up as the three fairies from Sleeping Beauty (adorable!)  Hmmmm, I thought…..I suppose Lucy could be Sleeping Beauty and Owen could be Prince Phillip?  Clara could be Maleficent?  (Haah.  Owen nixed that one pretty quickly).

But I was warming up to the Sleeping Beauty idea.  Perhaps I could make a dress that we both liked; something couture to her body and more fancy than the cheap store-bought version we already had.

The only question was….do you make it pink or blue?

What if she could have both?

Yes!  I used that great scene from the movie as my inspiration.  “It’s blue!  It’s pink!  BLUE.  Pink!”  (photo source).

And we came up with:

Pink from one side, blue from the other.

And ready to dance into the clouds with her prince.
If only life were that simple.


In some ways I suppose it is.  Lucy. Was. THRILLED with the dress.
Another happy moment for us all!

She felt like royalty and walked around the house talking to everyone as such.  And then we had a talk about treating your “servants” kindly, even if you’re the queen.

So.  For the dress…..
• I actually did a quick sketch before starting just to make sure I wasn’t crazy.  It’ll look okay, right?  Lucy said yes.  Moving onward…
• I filled my shopping cart with every fabric I swore I’d never use again after last year’s Halloween costumes (and the year before, and the year before): satin, chiffon, and taffeta.   The taffeta, however, was awesome and I highly recommend (btw, you can read more about all these fabrics in my book!  wink wink).  Taffeta is stiffer than satin but still drapes beautifully and doesn’t slip underneath itself as you sew.

• I created my own pattern by tracing the width of a T-shirt, then created a boatneck-ish neckline without it falling off her shoulders (wanted to keep it age-appropriate), and added additional room for seams down the middle front and back.
• I also sewed two test-bodices (which I don’t normally do) just to make sure I was on track and didn’t waste the fancy fabric.

• I added a zipper in the back so the dress could be fitted to her body and a lining so the taffeta seams wouldn’t scratch.  I know a lining sounds fancy but I honestly think it’s easier to do that, than dealing with all the exposed seams.
• The collar is two layers of satin lined with interfacing, sewn right in-between the dress and lining layers.
• The sleeves are sheer chiffon and cut in a “V” at the wrist.  And yes…I found an excuse to make bias tape! From Taffeta! Thankfully I only needed small amounts.

• I intended for the bottom to be a circle skirt but I didn’t have enough fabric for a full circle.  So instead, I created a partial circle from 6 pieces.  I measured the distance around the bodice waist and divided it up into 6 (accounting for seam allowances), then cut triangular type pieces and sewed them all together.  When I was almost finished with the dress, I trimmed the bottom to a circular shape for the hem, making it slightly longer in the back for a mini “train” look.

• The center piece was the biggest beast and I’m sure I went about it the hard way.  But I created a double-layered mini version of the large skirt, sewed zigzags into it, turned it right-side out and basted it to the skirt before sewing the dress all together.  It sounds easy saying that but the math drove me insane.  I was overjoyed when it worked out.

It was a lengthy project but the finished product made it worth it!  And with every thread change (which was often) I felt like fairies were barking over my shoulder.

Lucy patiently waited as I sewed, checking in every so often, and drawing her own version of the dress next to mine.

She helped me make a crown from spray-painted cardstock and hand-drawn ideas.
It fit!

Then our little pink/blue princess was ready….waltzing and twirling around the room all afternoon.


I’m so happy when my kids love something I can make for them.
It’s the best!

Eventually on Saturday night, we ran into Fauna and Flora….

….who continued to cast spells on her enchanted gown (baby Merryweather was asleep in her mom’s arms).


And that my friends, is a happily ever after Halloween for you.

No satin next year.
Maybe.

  1. 1) hillary

    Oh I love it! My daughter was such a princess from ages 2-5, and so I am especially charmed by creative interpretations of the princess theme. The particolored Sleeping Beauty idea is GENIUS and you executed it beautifully!

  2. 2) Vanessa

    So awesome! You just keep impressing me!

  3. That is a fantastic way to do a princess! I love it!

  4. The most beautiful princess dress I saw!

  5. You are one awesome sewing mama! I am sure she is loving it! Enjoy this satin-filled Halloween… they’ll be over before you know it. 😉

  6. I LOVE this! Sleeping Beauty is my favorite Disney princess, and I love that you made a pink and blue dress. :)

  7. I love it! That was always one of my favorite scenes in the movie. Looks like Lucy loves it too! My daughter wanted to be Rapunzel. I hate sewing with satin too — so I opted for KONA instead. (http://punkinpattern.blogspot.com/2012/10/rapunzel.html) It is a great feeling when you can make something for them that they love!

  8. 8) Julie H.

    You are my sewing hero! My daughter, who will be 3 next weekend wanted so desperately to be Princess Aurora. I had the skirt ready and the bodice just flopped…satin is no joke to sew with. At one moment I did feel like the good fairies that messed up making hers without magic! I didn’t want to spend any more money, with the chance it still wouldn’t work out, so I talked her into Tinkerbell (what I wanted her to be but didn’t want to force my childhood favorite onto her). She ended up loving it and it was easier for me to make. But we promised as a potty training reward if she fills her sticker sheet that we will take her to the Disney store for her birthday and get her a Princess Aurora dress, so she will have it. I really wanted to make it for her, yours looks fantastic! You are so talented!!!!!

  9. Oh this turned out lovely. I had the same battle with my daughters dress she decided to be Cinderella. She’s three and has become obsessed with the movie. I agree no more satin next year! I did satin and tulle and I am over satin after this unfortunately i have too much left over!

  10. That’s awesome! I especially love the pics with her friends! Perfect!

  11. 12) Kristen Southwick

    Love it Dana! That is by far my favorite Disney princess movie, and that is one of my favorite scenes! What a great mom you are!

  12. 13) Vicky

    When I was 3 or so my mom made me a Merryweather costume, which is hanging in my closet right now. Hopefully in a year or two my daughter will want to wear it.

  13. OH OH! It’s great! I totally forgot about the pink/blue scene (Em’s into Cinderella at the moment, so my Sleeping Beauty is a little rusty) but your dress captures it perfectly. Love Lucy’s drawing alongside yours, and love the pure joy on her face in her costume! Best part of Halloween – making your kids’ dreams come true.

  14. 16) Joy

    Oh mama you scored big bonus points with this darling dress! Great job, she will never forget this! Loved Owen’s outfit also. I woud never guess Halloween is not your very favorite holiday!! And Clara? She can just be the cutie pie she is every day.

  15. oh gosh, so perfect! and I love how you shared the whole process. very cool.

  16. Best Sleeping Beauty dress ever!! Love that scene and the way you captured it and the way the math all worked out. I say the same thing about satin, chiffon, and fleece oh and minky and then a few months later I find myself using those fabrics again.

  17. 19) Kimberfly

    I love this so much! I was obsessed with Sleeping Beauty when I was a little girl (to the point that my imaginary friend was named Aurora), and my mom made me a Merriweather costume for Halloween one year. I think I lived in that costume for the next two years! Mom still has the pattern, so I hope to get one of my two girls to wear it one year.

    I would have DIED to have this when I was little! :)

  18. I wish I could be a six year old again! Wow…you would not have been able to get this off of me. It is so perfect and so clever.

  19. Soo stinkin’ cute! But I wish you’d had your costumes up earlier!! I’ll have to keep both in mind for next year! Happy Halloween!

  20. 23) Marci

    Brilliant!! It’s win-win for a princess who wants to be unique… I love it, Dana!

  21. 24) Kendra

    Love it! A fantastic twist on a traditional princess :) My daughter turned 7 this year and has finally outgrown the princess stage. Though I have an almost 2 year old so we’ll be coming back around to it very soon, I’m sure…

  22. 25) Kim

    Wow. I can’t imagine being able to make this dress. So awesome.

  23. 27) Sara

    My daughter was into princesses until Kindergarten. In Kindergarten and grade 1 it was all about the fairies. Grade 2 until now (grade 4) it’s vampires, mythological creatures and Harry Potter.

  24. That’s awesome! Luckily Grace never wants to be a princess…unfortunatly this year she has chosen to be the ickiest thing I could imagine…a “Barbie Cheerleader”. Honestly…I’d take a satin princess over this anyday.
    Happy Halloween!
    -liZ

  25. 29) Angela

    OH MY GOSH! Sleeping Beauty was always my favorite and this costume makes my heart pitter patter! Could you make one for me, in solid blue, haha!

  26. Dana…I love everything you do but this is AWESOME! Best princess dress I’ve seen thus far. Love the half blue half pink. That is one of my favorite scenes in that movie. Also love that Lucy adores it.

  27. 31) Angela

    It felt like my daughter would never outgrow princesses and then suddenly she did and I miss it. Lucy is adorable and the dress is fantastic, great idea.

  28. wow, great job. I bet she didn’t want to take it off!

  29. Dana you are truly inspiring. Amazing that you can create something so beautiful from a sketch! You have amazing talent :) glad your little one was pleased with the result & I love the idea of 2 colours.

  30. That is adorable. I wish I’d have thought of that when I was a kid! I loved Sleeping Beauty.

  31. So much fun! And Aurora is the best of the princesses anyway. 😉

  32. 37) Connie in California

    You are too FREAKIN talented Dana!! LOL Amazing costumes…..your children are very lucky.
    Connie in California

  33. 38) Daniela

    aaaahhhh – how genius is that!!
    i sooo have to steal this idea, my little girl adores aurora and thinks that last movie scene is just hillarious :)

  34. 39) Rebecca

    Did you dress up Clara?

  35. Ah! I love it!! Aurora is my favorite princess!!

  36. This is seriously adorable! I would have loooved this when I was a girl. And those little fairy friends really complete the ensemble!

  37. Just perfect! Hooray for you! And her! Such a great idea!

  38. 43) Devin

    Such an adorable and creative idea, especially when those precious Winegar fairies (we’re friends of theirs from VA!)

  39. Oh my gosh Dana, that is truly inspired!! And lovely, will your book teach me to sew and be creative like you? I hope so, I’m so sold.

  40. 46) Nancy

    Absolutely beautiful!

  41. Sleeping Beauty is one of my all-time faves. I love the all the background paintings…and in my opinion, “make it blue!” I’m a Merriweather fan. :) Lucy looks adorable. Using the two colors was so clever!

  42. How fun! I have one girl who likes her dress blue and the other pink, so it’s always fun to watch the movie together :) Great job!

  43. 49) lisa

    I love the flora, fauna, and merriweather sisters. I’ve always wanted to do something with them!

  44. 50) ira lee

    both the kids costumes are amazing!!!!! i love to work on something and the kids LOVE IT!!! its such a reward!

  45. 51) Jenn A

    My four year old just gasped with envy at Lucy’s dress!!!! Great idea!

  46. 53) Chelsea

    That is lovely. Way better than those store bought customes anyday.

  47. 54) Tracy

    I think it must have something to do with age, the indecisiveness. My daughter couldn’t decided if she wanted to be a bat or a cat so I made her a totally reversible costume. It was a journey. Not difficult but handling the extra layers (one fabric was very thin so I used white fleece in the middle) was a bit more difficult than I was used to. Your little indecisive princess looks gorgeous and your sewing skills continue to impress.

  48. 55) Kay

    So wish I would have seen this sooner. I did the “Disney’ queen this year for the perfect granddaughter. This would have been perfect—-I’m filing away for next year….you never know. That you so much for sharing your creative ideas.

  49. 56) Meghan

    so cute- I hope to get to this level some day! Question: where did you find Lucy’s shoes? They look so cute but also very comfortable- would love to find similar ones for my little one.

  50. So clever and awesome!!!! I love it! They all look adorable in their costumes, you did an amazing job!

  51. 58) Mary Kay

    Love Love L.O.V.E.

  52. That is awesome! You perfectly captured one of the best Disney scenes ever!

  53. 60) amy

    love it! …and it is about 1 or 2 grade that the princess novelty wears off, at least for my girl.

    her friends outfits are adorable as well. Love the hats!

    amy

  54. I love it! What a great idea! I bought satin a few years ago and made a number of capes with it. I keep meaning to make more, but I just can’t bring myself to sew with that again!

    And as far as outgrowing Disney princesses, I keep wondering the same thing. I have a 7 year old 2nd grader and her excitement of princesses does not seem to be waning.

  55. 62) Ariana

    Satin’s not so bad….you just have to pin the living shinola out of it.

  56. 63) Kelly

    Beautiful! Halloween made me feel the impact of not bringing my sewing machine on our temp move to the other side of the country (big mistake!) My daughters would have died for this dress. Btw, my eldest daughter is 9 and still likes princesses (thankfully no longer an obsession but spent most of her birthday money at the Disney Store on princess dolls!) and frequently is caught playing princess with her 5 year old sister 😉

  57. 64) Emra

    Adorable and awesome.

  58. 65) Terri Sue

    Lucy really does look like a princess in the dress!

  59. 66) Margarida

    so beautiful they are and such a good idea!

  60. Ok, that is an amazing dress! I love it. I never understood why Sleeping Beauty is always pictured in a pink dress, when she spends most of the movie in blue. Having both is lovely!

  61. 68) Sarah

    Now THAT is adorable. Genius of an idea!! Truly!!

  62. 69) bdaiss

    Beautiful work as always Dana! But wait – you mean you missed the most obvious Princess that would have still given you coordinated outfits? Or did Lucy nix Princess Leia just like my girl?

    As for the Disney princess thing…I find the best offense is a good defense. None of that crap is allowed in my house, therefore my girl is perfectly happy playing trains, legos, and dollys of no movie origin. : ) Unfortunately that bit of advice might be a bit late for you… (Sidenote: this does not mean we haven’t watched a few of the movies. I just refuse to buy the branded crap they think we need to go along with it.)

  63. 70) Sarah

    Right there with you on the satin! Last year, I made a princess dress for my daughter out of crushed stretch velvet with a polyester satin skirt. Since I don’t have a serger, I zig-zagged the top edge of the satin before gathering it (a 3X width). It was a hairy mess! That stuff is horrible to work with! this year, I just made a dino hoodie and tail for my son out of cotton knit. Hooray for more wearable (and workable) fabrics!

    The dress turned out beautifully! Glad to hear the taffeta was not so bad, since there is some waiting on my sewing table for a Christmas dress.

  64. 71) Melissa

    You are so creative and talented. How do you find time to do all this AND blog about it!? I would love to know how you do it all.

  65. As I realized where you were going, I got super excited! I love that idea! Like, enough to attempt one for me next year! (Ok, that probably won’t happen but I did think about it.) I would have loved this as a little girl! Especially with the three little fairy godmothers!

  66. Completely amazing!! I love Sleeping Beauty and the 3 fairies. I normally don’t make Halloween costumes, but this year I sewed my husband a full blown Jedi costume, and he’ll have to wear it every year now because it was a BEAST! I’m pretty relieved Halloween’s over for another year, haha.

  67. Well, my DSIL and her DH still love to go to Disneyland…. all the time… I suppose that is better than her wanting to be a “princess”… just remember…. “This Too Shall Pass”!
    the costumes turned out cute! Looks like they all had a happy Halloween too! Now… if we could just get past the sugar rushes!!!!

  68. fantastic! i love that you made it both blue and pink! such a cool mama! :)

  69. When I was little, I had the Belle costume and the snow white costume. I always wanted a sleeping beauty costume more than anything. Lucky little girl :)

  70. Dana this is so cute! So So cute. I know I say that for everything, but the whole story, and how you had to give her a little talk. It’s so awesome seeing real life stuff behind the scenes :) She seems like such an amazing little girl!

    And the dress is perfect!

  71. 78) Sophia

    the costume is just adorable! i love it! you’re amazing dana… i don’t know how you manage to pull it off each time. your children are so blessed to have you as their mom – almost makes me wish that i had a mom as cool as you! LOVE LOVE LOVE your blogs <3

  72. 79) JoAnne T.

    What a delightful time I’ve had reading your post! Thank you so very much for sharing this. Decades ago, my mother made costumes for the seven of us. I cherish those memories, as will your dear children cherish theirs. Oh, yes, always treat your servants kindly, even if you are the queen. I love it!

    • 80) Dana

      Haha. Thanks Joanne! Seven costumes is impressive! Very impressive. You had a good mom :)

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