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!










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