Costuming, Disney Princess Series

Eric & Ariel go to the Masquerade Ball

As I mentioned in my last post, the husband and I were planning to attend the annual masquerade ball for Halloween. I changed up his Prince Charming jacket and threw together a pair of matching pants super quickly, and we were ready to go! I got some photos back from two of the photographers there that night and thought I would share.

As always the ball itself was lovely. Brief performances from the Pacific Ballet and the Canadian College of Performing Arts, excellent live music, hors d’ouevres and an all around great time.

We’re already planning and hunting supplies for next year.. Devin’s wanted Gerard Butler’s Red Death costume from Phantom of the Opera for ages and I can hardly turn down Christine’s pink ball gown, so Phantom movie costumes it is!

Costuming, Disney Princess Series

Disney Princess Series Part 6 – Ariel, The Little Mermaid (version 1)

So, I lied when I said no new princesses for a while. In my defense it was an accidental lie, life happened and plans had to change, so I had to go with the flow!

Before I get into the princess stuff I have to do a little shameless plug.. I’ve entered my Belle gown in Ballet Victoria’s costume contest. If you can spare thirty seconds to vote it’s super easy, especially if you have a Facebook account. Click here to vote for me in Ballet Victoria’s costume contest, I’d really appreciate the vote! 🙂

After a few different sets of Halloween plans fell through, the husband and I decided to attend the annual Masquerade Ball that’s held at the Fairmont Empress every year. We attended back in 2011, and really enjoyed the evening. It had been one of our earlier plans for this year, but due to a lack of time to make costumes the husband deemed appropriate, we scrapped it in favour of other options that obviously didn’t work out. Together we sat down and took stock of all the Disney couples we have. His Prince Adam outfit is only about a third done, and I’m really wanting to start from scratch with better velvet for the jacket, so that meant no Belle and Adam. His Prince Charming outfit is perfectly fine, but my Cinderella shoes are in the middle of an upgrade; I started gluing on rhinestones ages ago so they weren’t plain silver glitter, and one shoe hasn’t even been touched. Rapunzel and Flynn aren’t really masquerade ball appropriate as they aren’t overly formal, and my Sleeping Beauty wig was ripped apart to make Rapunzel so that option is out as well.

I remembered nearly at the last minute that I’d started Ariel’s pink dinner gown months ago, but then left it half-finished in a bin to work on other, more recognizable gowns. We looked at quite a few options for Prince Eric, both parks character costumes and his outfits in the film. Husband preferred the outfit he wore at his almost-wedding and then real wedding, and it was formal enough for a masquerade.. and the extra time-saving bonus, his white Prince Charming jacket is close enough that we can get away with using it for a night! I’d already purchased fabric to make casual Eric stuff, so it’s simply a matter of whipping up a quick pair of blue pants and making a detachable blue collar and cuffs to tack onto his jacket. Ariel was another story; back in May, I’d finished the outside of the dress but wasn’t 100% happy with the pink overskirt, so I chopped a bunch of it off and regretted it. Pretty sure that’s why it ended up in a bin. I’d actually added a fancy metallic decorative stitch all along the pink hem, and convinced the awesome husband to sit there with a stitch ripper and take it all out as I decided I didn’t like it anymore.

I'm sure you can see why I hid it in a bin under my bed.

Between working on commissions (and at the sake of completely giving up having a social life for the last few weeks/next month to get them all done) I put the finishing touches on Ariel to make it masquerade appropriate. I’d kept the fabric I chopped off, so I re-attached it with ivory braided trim to disguise the seam. Adding trim pretty much finished the skirt, so from there it needed a hemming and that was it! It’s not my ideal solution, I wish I hadn’t chopped it off months ago, but I can’t get this fabric in Canada to start the skirt over so I have to make due with what I have. The corset needed to be lined, and fortunately I’d thought to cut everything out before stashing it all away months ago, so it was a simple matter of quickly whipping it all together and machine stitching the trim onto the outside.

Fabric added back to skirt and loads of trim!

The sleeves were the most tedious part and even they they weren’t so bad. Since Ariel’s outfits were a mix of things that the previous princesses had worn, I used my Snow White sleeves as inspiration for hers. I did my first draft of the sleeve with a minimal number of pink straps over the ivory/organza, and while it was pretty it just didn’t feel right. I felt like there was too much of the ivory puff sleeve visible, so I added more straps.










I was much happier with the extra straps added, so it all got sewn together with a long pointed sleeve added to the bottom. The ivory ribbon on each strap is top stitched with a soft gold metallic thread. The same gold thread was used to add a decorative satin stitch along the wrist and upper part of the long sleeve.

20131014_105744Technically the dress is complete, but when I have more time post-commissions I’ll be adding a lot of hand beading and embroidery. Since Ariel doesn’t really get merchandised in this dress I want to enjoy the creative license I can take with it, and make it a bit more my own.  Here’s a front and back shot of it on the dress form, followed by some glamour shots wearing it around a nearby park!










Costuming, Disney Princess Series

The Next Princess

I’ll be honest, I’ve been swamped lately. I’m working on three commissions right now, plus my own projects. Posts have been severely lacking and for that I apologize; I haven’t been sharing what I’m working on as I don’t have permission from the intended recipients of these commissions. If that changes I’ll be sure to post more! My own projects have been pushed to the back burner until I get these commissions done, which I am aiming to have them all finished in the next month.

I’ve also entered my Belle gown into a local costume competition, voting is here is you should feel so inclined. 🙂 It’s being run by Ballet Victoria to promote their upcoming performances of Frankenstein. A photo of me wearing the TARDIS ballgown is part of the banner, so it only made sense that I enter! The deadline is midnight on Halloween, and there’s more entries being added every day.

With that said I am still gradually working on my next princess; little bits here and there when I just need a break from the commissioned stuff!


The wig is styled and the accessories are made, but when I’m done sewing Ariel will be my most flexible princess yet. She will have three outfit options. One is the pink and white gown she wears when having dinner with Prince Eric; my version is going to be taking a bit of creative license with it. It will be ivory and a soft dusty rose with loads of trim and beaded accents. Options two and three will be mermaid!Ariel, one with a walking tail and the other with a swimming tail. I am still waiting for my monofin to arrive in the mail, but it will happen! I’m hoping to take the swimming tail version to Cancun in December and get some really amazing shots in it.

If I get permission to post about any of my commissions I’ll update again soon, but in the meantime please enjoy my ridiculous Ariel fishfaces. 🙂


Welcome to Jack & Ginger Co!

Ever since I was little, sewing has been my passion. In recent years, I’d even say that sewing has become my superpower. With 18 years of experience behind me, bringing costumes to life has always been a specialty. Feel free to explore the designs I’ve created for myself and clients, as well as the various appearances that friends and I have made as Disney characters.

Welcome to my new home, Jack & Ginger Co!