Anne is a Disney fanatic so I knew a Belle inspired dress-up would be just her thing 🙂
Turns out I was right!
And you’ll be glad to know I’ve done all the hard work for you and have a free pattern and tutorial to share 🙂 Anne is almost 4 and has plenty of room to layer this over her regular clothes. I imagine it will fit most 3-5 year olds and with a few tweaks you could pretty easily make it larger or smaller
Make sure you stop in Wednesday for Will’s coordinating costume 🙂
I’ll give you a hint…it’s a bit on the furry side!
It’s 2 pieces so make sure you tape them together along the dashed line. You’ll also find a little schematic for cutting your skirt pieces and measurements for the shoulder and skirt swags. I used 1/2″ seam allowances
For my dress I used 2.5 yards of costume satin and 1 yard of swag fabric. You’ll have some leftover but it’s pretty cheap fabric so I prefer to err on having a bit much. You’ll also need 6 yards of 1/4″ elastic and some velcro for the back closure.
1. With right sides together (RST) sew your front and back pieces together at the shoulder seams. Repeat with your 2nd set of bodice pieces. Press the shoulder seams flat and open.
2. With RST lay the 2 bodices on top of each other with the shoulder seams lined up. Sew together around the back opening, neckline and arm openings. Leave the side seams open. Trim your seam allowance at each corner and clip it along the neckline to help it lay smoothly when you turn it. Turn right side out by pulling the back pieces through the shoulder seams.
3. Now open up your side seams (remember your bodice should be right side out) and match up the back side seam with the front and sew together with RST. You are essentially sew the back and front together at the side seam and the back and front lining together at the side seam all in one step.
4. Now you have a complete bodice Topstitch around all edges so it lays well.
5. Add velcro to the back. You could also do buttons/snaps but I find velcro is easiest for dress-ups
Now for the skirt!
1. Mark your skirt pieces into 4 panels. You can use a fabric marker or just press the lines with your iron
2. Stretch your 1/4″ elastic as tightly as possible and measure how much you need to cover each marked line. I used 15.5″ for the center line and 16.5″ for the diagonal lines. Tack the elastic down at the top and bottom of each line making sure you don’t twist it.
3. Stretch the elastic as tightly as you can and sew it in place along your marked line using a zig-zag stitch. If your elastic ends up a little short (this happened to me a couple times) just gather the fabric a bit with your fingers and it will turn out just fine 🙂
Once the elastic is sewn on you’ll have a nice gathered skirt piece. Repeat for the back of the skirt
4. With RST sew the front and back skirt pieces together along the side seams
5. Use the same method as steps 2-3 for the skirt side seams.
6. Serge the bottom edge of your skirt, turn up 1/2″ and topstitch in place. If you don’t have a serger you can fold over twice to finish the hemline. Costume silk frays a lot so you’ll want to make sure you get the raw edges completely enclosed. Finish the top edge of the skirt with a serger or a zig-zag stitch.
7. Cut a piece of elastic to the same length as your velcroed shut bodice. My piece was 25″. Sew the elastic ends together and then stretch it to match the skirt. Sew to the inside of the skirt using a zig-zag stitch. I found it helpful to mark my elastic in 1/8s and pin it in place at the top of each gathered panel.
9. With RST sew the finished bodice and skirt pieces together. If you have any raw edges left finish them with a serger, zig-zag stitch or bias tape to keep the costume silk from fraying
10. With RST fold the swag pieces in half so the long edges meet up. Sew together and then turn right side out (I used a safety pin).
10. Tuck the skirt swag ends inside each other (you’ll need to fold one end under a bit) and then topstitch together forming a big loop. I positioned my seam from step 9 so it would be on the underside of the swag.
11. Pin the swag in place at each panel. Create slight gathers and topstitch down along each panel line. Belle’s swag starts high in the front and then drops down a bit as it reaches the back.
12. Tuck the raw ends of the shoulder swag inside and topstitch shut).
13. Pleat each end
14. Wrap the swag around the dress and hand-sew the 2 ends together. We covered ours with a pink rosette. I also tacked the swag down at the shoulder seams but you could also just leave it loose to make it easier to get in and out of
enjoy dressing up your little princess!
Amy is the founder and owner of Peek-a-Boo Pattern shop. She is a wife and mother to 3 children. Amy loves to sew, read and spend time outdoors.