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A Breath of Fresh Air

I should start with a fair warning – this is a fairly text-heavy post that has very little to do with actual costuming. I’m in the process of expanding this blog from primarily Disney costuming to something I’ve always wanted to do – writing about all of the things I modify and create. I’m not just a seamstress or cosplayer, I’m also a DIY artist.

After my last entry in September 2015, I stopped writing. In fact, I gave up on this blog. For the longest time it seemed like there was no time in my post-divorce life for blogging about the things I loved. I stopped volunteering as Elsa after the Christmas parade in Victoria in 2015, and when 2016 began I felt like I started fresh all over again. 2016 brought a new me – a me that had learned that I could exist independent of a marriage, and that I had an identity beyond that of a navy wife. Up until that point it had seemed like my entire existence in this province was dependent on someone else and their title to justify my own existence, so when I was in the middle of making over the apartment I’d lived in for nearly 6 years I suddenly had an epiphany – after 5 years of that marriage and the heartbreak that followed, I had emerged on the other side victorious and re-discovered all the things about myself that I had always loved and been proud of.

It started with the apartment makeover. I was living by myself and working a decent job, and stuck in a city where the housing situation had gotten incredibly out of hand. Rent had increased substantially on new leases, and I was fortunate enough that my landlords loved me and had no interest in increasing the rent. I was staying in that apartment because it was affordable and convenient, even though it wasn’t where I wanted to be.

I woke up one day and decided I’d had enough. The majority of the living space was a light blue grey, but both the bedroom and living room had horrendous brown accent walls. I’d hated them the entire time I’d lived in the apartment, and had many times brought up the subject of painting them. Clearly, that never happened. Those brown walls were the tipping point, and after a trip to Home Depot they were charcoal grey.

Believe it or not, I’d made it to 29 years old and had never actually painted a wall in my life. I’d done minor touch up jobs here and there but never an entire wall, and never an entire textured wall at that. And wouldn’t you know it, because I was painting this wall a dark charcoal grey without any supervision, despite all of my drop clothes I managed to spill a large quantity of paint on the beige carpet in the bedroom.

Cue my instant panic, ugly crying, and promptly sending a picture of the spill to a few friends with the word ‘HELP?!’

Fortunately R and her partner came to my rescue with a carpet shampooer at the unreasonable hour of 11pm, and I managed to actually suck all the paint out of the carpet as if it never happened.

You’d think that I would’ve learned at this point. To paint those accent walls, I had to take down a couple of floating shelves that were mounted into the studs and also detach and safely neutralize some hard-wired wall lamps. Somehow the paint spill wasn’t a deterrent, and I decided to keep going.

I got a new couch and changed up my living room furniture, hung a giant Banksy print, picked up some faux fur for an area rug and got some extra lighting from Ikea (from amazing trip to Ikea with K in which we discovered THEY SERVE BEER!). I lucked into a French Provincial style bedroom set meant for a teenage girl (twin headboard/footboard combo and all) and discovered the magic of chalk paint and its ability to adhere to any surface. I re-wired a hard-wired chandelier into a plug in and hung it in the bedroom, built and upholstered a headboard, and also upholstered a boxspring and attached new legs to it with the help of R and her other half. I found an old farmhouse style kitchen table, picked up the chairs from someone else, and built a new tabletop (again with the help of R and her partner) and refinished the entire thing.

I got rid of all the furniture that I hadn’t chosen for myself but was left with, and re-made that apartment into something of my own. The apartment became both an ongoing DIY project to keep myself busy, and also turned into a shining reminder of the fact that I am capable of anything I put my mind to.

Shortly after this grand makeover that I poured (literal) blood, sweat and tears into, I did the unthinkable.

I sold the majority of it, quit my job, and moved.

I’d had enough of the city, and while I’d miss my friends and my job, I knew it was time to move on. I’d realized, during this grand apartment makeover, that I was still me. For the first time in years I did something entirely for myself, with ideas of my own choosing, with no one to tell me it was too silly or outlandish, and it helped remind me of who I really am and that who I really am is actually pretty awesome. My parents also made the big cross-country move from Ontario to Vancouver Island last summer, and since they were willing to move several thousand miles to be closer to me, a fresh start in a new city seemed like an entirely reasonable idea.

2016 brought a lot of change. I found myself in a serious relationship that had apparently been sneaking up on me for months without my realizing it. A friendship turned into significantly more; it seemed like it happened overnight and yet now, looking back, I wonder how it wasn’t so blatantly obvious to me (since it seemed everyone else knew) that it was just a matter of time. J has been an incredible partner, and I don’t use the term partner lightly. He actually treats me as an equal partner in our relationship. We have a relationship, not a dictatorship, and it’s been such a breath of fresh air experiencing this together.

Conveniently he already lived close to where my parents were moving, so the inevitable happened. We live together. A year and a half later we have an amazing home (that is still in the process of a full-blown makeover), different career paths than when we started, and the best yellow lab puppy we ever could have asked for. Our parents are nearby, we have the island at our disposal, and we make the most of the time we have together.

Since moving into the house last summer, it’s been an ongoing project. I’ve always heard that home ownership is the to-do list that never ends, and I’m learning first hand just how harsh a reality that is. There’s always something. Dishwasher breaks? Can’t call the landlord to have it fixed, as that is now our responsibility. Dog knocks stuff over and puts a hole in the wall? Better pull out the drywall compound and the paint, and be prepared for the exact same paint we put on everything months ago to no longer be a perfect match as the paint on the walls has aged. Roof starts to resemble a living carpet? Better be prepared to shell out a ton of money to get it replaced.

There are the practical things that need to be done, and they’re often where we don’t skimp. Appliances, a roof, those are the things that need to be done right. We leave the important (and risky) stuff to the professionals. But there are things that we can do ourselves (or more accurately, if you were to ask J, things that I think we can do ourselves and inform him that it is happening) and those are the things I enjoy. Those are the things I want to write about.

There will still be sewing and costuming on this blog – after all, it is my specialty. But I’m also branching out. I’ve always been more into DIY than ‘pay people to do it for me’. My parents are the same, and where I learned it from. My mother is very artsy (and has successfully been selling her chocolate and stained glass creations for years) and my father is an incredible woodworker. They took their house in Ontario that they bought in 1999, put in an insane amount of work themselves to make it over, and then sold it for nearly triple what they paid for it (thank you, makeover and housing market) and moved out here. They know what they’re doing and I’m very much my parents’ daughter. (For about 5 years, it feels like I forgot that fact.)

I plan to write about everything in my life that is DIY – sewing, costumes, my in-progress sewing room makeover, the DIY projects we do around the house, the antique Singer sewing machines I’ve started to collect and refurbish, the crazy projects I take on – you name it, and it’ll probably happen. I don’t do the princess thing anymore – my posts on those costumes will remain but aside from Halloween and possible conventions in the future, I am done with being a Disney Princess. I loved it – it was an amazing ~3 years, I met so many wonderful people and had incredible experiences, but I feel like I’ve grown out of it. The Disney parks cut off their princesses at age 26, according to the internet. I started being a princess at 26 and gave it all up at 29. I turned 30 this year, and that number seems to come with a sense of overbearing adulthood. I still dress up from time to time (J and I pulled off an impressive rendition of Bert and Mary Poppins for Halloween 2016) but I also enjoy putting my time and money into other projects with satisfactory endings like the multiple furniture makeovers we’ve done. I’m about to start work on an antique Singer model 127 treadle cabinet (from 1926!)- the machine is mostly cleaned and just needs to be re-assembled but the cabinet needs refinishing. There will be a little bit of everything here, and I plan to keep it interesting.

I’m back, and while it’s not necessarily in the way I used to be, I plan for it to be better than ever. I hope you’ll join me for this adventure.

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Disney Princess Series Part 5 – Rapunzel

The biggest challenge I knew I’d have with Rapunzel was her hair. I knew immediately that I’d be doing her big braid from her visit to Corona, as there was no way I was buying enough hair to make (and then have to manage) a 70 foot wig! It took me about a week and a half (and I ended up destroying my Sleeping Beauty wig as I needed more hair, it was the right colour and I didn’t want to wait for another wig to arrive), but when I was finished I was so happy! Then of course when I put it on with the finished costume all hell broke loose, and I thought I was going to have to be brunette Rapunzel for the fundraiser. I put the extra hair in too high on the wig cap, which made it not fit my head. I was afraid to try to move it down as there was loads of glue mixed into the hair for the flowers, but after spending two days looking at replacement wigs I decided that it was worth trying to move them before shelling out $100+ on more hair. Fortunately moving them worked, the wig was a bit messy but I smoothed it down with some Got2B Glued hairspray. 


As I’d mentioned in the Flynn Rider post, pretty much all of the fabric I bought ended up not being the right colour I wanted. In my defense I bought fabric for Rapunzel, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Ariel back in June in one big shopping spree at Dressew in Vancouver. I was overly excited as it was my first time there (and seriously, best fabric store ever!), and was working off a single picture for Rapunzel as a reference. Fortunately everything I bought was too light, so I was able to dye it. Once again, iDye Poly to the rescue! 

I drafted my corset out in broadcloth, then cut the duchess satin and poplin lining and threw it in a pot of dye. I did lots of tests with scraps first so I could make sure I had the right shade. I ended up remaking the sleeves as well; my first sleeve I got carried away and didn’t make a cotton mockup (because I am stupid), so the second time I made sure I did and it was perfect! In the end I went with an off the shoulder sleeve for more mobility; I’ve read writeups from many girls who have made Rapunzel’s outfit, and mobility was definitely a concern. I can pull them up over my shoulders if necessary, but I really like how the off the shoulder version looks and it’s considerably more comfortable.

The skirt was 8 panels of lilac satin and a center panel of embroidered purple taffeta. This all got run through the pot of dye to get a better shade of purple. The front panels were smaller than the back to accommodate for an even hem. When serging the inside seams the taffeta got caught in the knife and ended up with a hole, so I took that opportunity to remove it to make adding the designs on the skirt easier. Fortunately I had extra taffeta to replace it!


I found a reference image for the embroidery patterns around the skirt, blew it up to the correct size for each panel and then ended up tracing around the edges to make sure it was clear. Then, with that as a reference on top of my fabric, I freehanded the designs onto the skirt with chalk and painted them. Eventually I will embroider over them, but for now I am content with the paint. I also did a 7mm wide light pink satin stitch the whole way around to hem the skirt and add the same stitch Rapunzel has on her skirt.

I did add the white petticoat underneath with a lace edge, but after hemming both the lace comes just under the edge of the overskirt and isn’t really visible. At some point I will fix that. 

Once the waistband was on the skirt it was completed and I was back to finishing the corset! I did the double boning channels the whole way around, and it is completely spiral steel boning. The lilac contrast that is supposed to be the blouse under the corset was done like a modesty panel for a corset back gown. Grommets were installed (eventually I will make them purple like hers) and I hand stitched the lace across the top and bottom. The sleeves are a light pink stretch mesh that I painted designs onto, leading up to the puffed sleeves with top stitched ribbon.

I didn’t take many pictures as I finished the corset, so instead I’ll just give you loads of images of the finished product!


We showed up at the SPCA Paws for a Cause walk on Sunday, and while the event itself is awesome it really wasn’t the right fit for a couple of Disney characters to show up. We saw the same 5 kids over and over (only two of them were in the age group that cared) and it just got awkward. The looks we were getting from many of the adults seemed to say ‘who are you, and what are you doing here dressed like that?!’ …I don’t know, I figured puppies and kids go hand in hand, they had a bouncy castle, it seemed like a good idea.. but we only lasted about 45 minutes before it just got too weird. I definitely support their cause and everything they’re doing, and will look for a better fit for our next event.

We went to Craigdarroch Castle and the Government House to take photos afterwards, and then had lunch at Red Robin still in costume. We have a new favourite server there who is pretty amazing, and quite a few kids at the restaurant were happy to see us!
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The Makings of Flynn Rider

…or Eugene Fitzherbert, as I prefer!


I’m starting with Eugene and leading up to my Rapunzel outfit, but let me just say I am incredibly proud of how this one turned out, and how quickly! My husband was thrilled at the idea of dressing as Flynn; he’s probably Devin’s favourite now, and he loves the costume. 

I rushed to get it put together for the SPCA Paws for a Cause walk this Sunday, so the boot covers and little belt pouch aren’t the greatest. I will re-make the pouch and satchel at some point, and I’m also going to buy him appropriate boots.

I drafted the pattern over Wednesday and Thursday night, and then spent Friday night colouring the fabric while the husband was at work. It seems like nearly everything we acquired for these costumes wasn’t quite the right colour! He bought the faux suede in Vancouver, and while it’s the perfect fabric it was cornflower blue. Flynn’s doublet is considerably more teal.

Here’s all the pieces cut out and drying from being coloured (dye-na-flow fabric paint is a miracle, by the way!), as well as a colour comparison of how the fabric originally looked.


All of the sewing was done on Saturday. I am slightly insane. Aside from an hour of running around for last minute supplies, I worked on this from 10am to 2:30am. I started by basting the upper back and chest overlays onto the main pieces, and then quilting it all together. I ended up using painters tape as a guide for the lines, which was amazing as it didn’t mark the fabric at all!

Next came adding the collar and sleeves. I should point out that at this point I was SO thankful for my new sewing machine.. my old Janome would’ve probably had a heart attack sewing through this many layers of thick fabric, but my Husqvarna handled it like a dream.

The lining was the last bit of sewing. I machine stitched almost the whole way around for it, with some slip stitching at the back of the collar and at the armholes. Once that was in, it was time for rivets and buckles! The buckles aren’t screen accurate, but Devin really liked them so I just went with it. I actually took the doublet out to the parking lot of my apartment at 11:30 at night to hammer in the rivets; didn’t want to make my neighbours angry and didn’t want to wait til morning to do it! The doublet was finished by midnight, the rest of the time I stayed up working on it was spent on the boot covers and little hip pouch. I decided against making the satchel (for now) as I am still waiting for crown supplies to arrive. No point in giving Flynn his satchel if he has nothing to put in it!

I didn’t take photos as I made the boot covers and satchel.. honestly I just started drawing on the vinyl with chalk and stitching things together as I was exhausted. I did get photos of my husband in the entire getup though! His pants were a pair of sweatpants that I put through a round of polyester iDye in brown. I may dye them again with a cotton dye, as the pants are a poly/cotton blend.


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Disney Princess Series Part 4 – Aurora, Sleeping Beauty

Let the classic princesses continue!! I had a free weekend to sew thanks to my husband’s work schedule, so I managed to finish Aurora from 8am Saturday morning to 11pm Tuesday night. 


I used the same pattern I made for my Belle corset, but extended the upper bodice to accommodate the white collar. I also added armholes. I did this by taking my original pattern pieces, tracing them onto brown craft paper and then extending the lines upwards. The armholes I free-handed between each piece.

The sleeves were cut from a light pink mesh (stretchy fabric really helped being able to move!). I cut them a bit taller than necessary just to allow for any give in the fabric when adding on the white collar. I used black ribbon pinned onto the dress form as a guide for the white collar, and then some stiff interfacing to actually make a pattern. I pinned a scrap of it along the black ribbon and cut until I was happy with it, and then used it to trace onto the white satin and more heavy interfacing. The white collar was machine-stitched onto the corset at the front and then slip-stitched down at the back.


Next came the light pink pointed waist bits, which were a nightmare. I must’ve tried 4 or 5 different drafts of the pattern before I found something I liked. I was getting so frustrated with it that I stopped taking pictures and just re-did it until I was happy. In the end I made more piping to put along the bottom of the corset, and then topstitched between the piping and the corset to attach the light pink. I slipstitched it closed along the lining. 

The loops were also quite fun, but much better than the grommets I used on my last two dresses. They were a bit wider than I wanted due to the fabric fraying easily and not being able to find a single small safety pin in my house. They were stitched, pressed to the inside with an added boning casing and then top stitched down. 

Monday night I drafted up the skirt, cut it out and put it all together with the exception of hemming. I put it on the dress form over a hoopskirt and decided that was too full, but it was helpful for trimming off the edge of the dress to have the skirt at an acceptable length.

The skirt is four wide panels and then 8 smaller ones that are almost triangular, to create the splits in the skirt at the bottom of each waist point. 



The crown was made from craft foam, hot glue, mod podge, Rub & Buff in gold leaf and then floor varnish. I drew the design onto craft paper and made a test paper version to sit around my head. Then I cut it out from the craft foam, glued it together, and layered loads of mod podge on it to seal the foam. Quite a few alternating coats of Rub & Buff followed by floor varnish, and voila! Crown!

And finally, some pictures wearing it! These were at 9pm after a volunteer session, so the hem is now very dirty and we had to take them in the lobby of our apartment as it was too dark anywhere else. 


Spinning didn’t go too well, it wasn’t bright enough to get a nice pohot, but it helps to show how massive the skirt is! 

My next princess will be Rapunzel. I just have to convince myself that I do NOT need an almost $300 replica of her crown from Etsy… But it’s sooo pretty!! 
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Disney Princess Series Part 3 – Snow White!

After Belle and Cinderella were such a hit, I decided it was time to create the original Disney princess, Snow White. I already had an idea in mind of how I wanted to put it together, and fabric waiting for it, so it was a matter of putting that idea on paper and making it a reality.


I really need to get better at documenting my progress with these dresses.. the problem is I get on a roll and don’t even think to stop for photos! 

As I’ve done with all of the princesses so far, I started with wig styling. I keep my styrofoam wig head on my vanity, so I see it every day. I find it helps keep me focused on working on each dress, as it’s a daily reminder that I’ve got a project in the works! The wig I purchased for Snow White was a shoulder length straight black wig with long bangs parted to the side. It needed to have a straight part and be curly, so out came some bobby pins and the handheld garment steamer! 

Surprisingly, steaming the synthetic wig fibers works quite well without melting anything. I’ve read about methods involving putting the wig in boiling water, but I tried that once and it was a miserable failure. This gave me the loose curls and body I was looking for, so I’m happy with it!

The whole outfit was put together with a bunch of different concepts I’ve worked with before. The corset is almost the same as my Cinderella corset; I left the bottom pointy on it instead of rounding it off like for Cinderella, and I made it so the little straps would be more off-the-shoulder for the sleeves. I made the yellow piping for the center of the corset out of thin cotton cord and a strip of the skirt fabric. The skirt is a 7 panel skirt with a wide waistband. It was a bit of a pain to work out; since the pattern on the skirt went in only one direction I had to fiddle with the fabric to get the most width possible for the hem. 

The slashed sleeves were something that I knew how I wanted to do long before I started putting the outfit together. The animated movie has them drawn like little teardrops on the blue sleeve. While that’s nice it’s not my kind of thing. I love how the Disney Parks dresses look with their style of slashed sleeves, so I decided I would go with their concept. I don’t like how they use a really light blue fabric on the sleeve though. I wanted mine to be the same colour as the corset, so I stitched a very skinny light blue ribbon onto it for contrast. The red satin was cut almost the full width of the fabric and then gathered for maximum poofiness.

The collar was a challenge I was looking forward to. I had an idea in mind, it was a matter of how to execute it! I was nosy and peeked through some pattern instructions for ideas. The official Simplicity Snow White pattern had a narrower collar that appeared to only be held up with interfacing. Another pattern had a pointy collar held up with 24 gauge craft wire. That didn’t seem strong enough to hold up my fabric, but their method was a solid idea! I went with a rounder version of that collar, and used heavy duty cable ties and a stiff interfacing to keep the collar upright. Each piece of cable tie went into a bias tape casing sewn directly onto the interfacing, and was then sandwiched between the fabric. The collar is held on inside the corset with velcro, so I can remove it to get into it if I need to. 

The back of the corset is laced with grommets and poly/cotton cording. I don’t know what the issue was with these grommets as I’ve used the exact same ones before, but this time the metal split at the back and ended up tearing through two different lacings I made for the corset. After two rounds with the hot glue gun I’d managed to smooth over all the sharp bits, and I went with the heavier poly/cotton cording to lace it up. This is also the first princess costume I haven’t sewn bra cups into (I’m running out of the ones I got in Vancouver!), so I whipped up a quick modesty panel to cover the strapless bra I wore under it.

I wore this costume to a fundraiser for Cops for Cancer/Tour de Rock, and will likely be wearing it again for round 2 next week. They do a fundraiser prior to the local mall showing movies on a blow up drive-in theatre screen in the parking lot. I convinced a friend to dress up in my Cinderella gown, and we wandered the mall with the husband as Prince Charming to make sure people knew about the fundraiser and went out there! It was a lot of fun, we had an absolute blast and I can’t wait to do it again next week.

 
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Cinderella – Disney Princess Series Part 2 (With bonus Prince Charming!)

Belle was such a huge hit at my last two volunteer events that I decided to make more Disney Princess dresses. I thought it would be loads of fun for volunteering, and I can also branch out into birthday parties once I have the full line up. I spent hours poring over fabric websites and ordered fabric for both Cinderella and Jasmine, and then spent a weekend in Vancouver where I got to FINALLY visit Dressew. I ended up coming home with fabric for Ariel (mermaid version as I’ve already started her pink dinner gown), Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Rapunzel, and some amazing fabric to make a cloak for Merida. I lucked into the perfect fabric for her at Fabricland, and the dress is already finished. Just waiting for the wig to arrive so I can post about it! 


I also recently upgraded my sewing machine from an almost 10 year old Janome CT2480LX to a Husqvarna Viking Tribute 140C. This new machine is beyond incredbile, and Cinderella is my first major completed gown that I’ve made with it.

The design for this dress was a combination of a few different incarnations. I kept the original light blue and white from the animated movie, took the longer overskirt of the recent princess re-design, and the sleeves from the Disney Parks new costume.

My fabric arrived on June 28th, and I finished the dress on the morning of July 6th. 

I started by drafting a corset pattern that was a combination of a few different corset styles I’ve used before. I hadn’t decided if I wanted to have straps for the poof sleeves or just the organza like on the recent re-design of Cinderella, so I drafted with straps just in case. 


Pardon the duct tape arms; I’ve needed arms on the dress form for a few recent projects but finding ones that will fit mine is nearly impossible. Husband and I used some duct tape and an old shirt of mine to make arms that would make things much easier.

The lining is two layers of cotton broadcloth, one white and one blue. The boning channels are made with extra wide bias tape, as I use thick cable ties for boning. The two seams on either side of the center are boned with spiral steel, and bra cups were added.

Once I’d sewn the charmeuse for the outside of the corset, I knew I wanted to embellish it. I just had to decide how. I pinned a strand of beads on the center seam to see how it looked, and after hand beading the center seam I decided to do the two on either side as well.


Here I’d sewn together the skirt panels; there are 5 for a total hem width of about 6.5 metres. The waistband was gathered and pinned onto the lining so I could figure out how I wanted the white skirt poofs to sit.

At this point I stopped taking photos; I was incredibly pressed for time and got caught up in my work. I finished all the major sewing on the dress by 2am on July 6th, and when I woke up I finished the last few hand-sewing things. That was sewing the lining of the corset into the waist of the skirt, and adding hooks and eyes above the skirt zipper and at the back of the hip poofs.

The white overskirt was two ovals cut on a fold, and one layer of organza on top of it. I kept them folded but with the right side out, and basted across the curved side. I then hand gathered the curved side and stitched it into the seam of the blue skirt, which left the straight edge as the one along the bottom. It added a bit of extra volume this way and it looked lovely.

The back of the corset is laced with grommets. I usually do loops and lacing like on a wedding gown but with the time crunch, grommets would be faster. I’m not entirely happy with the cord I used as it’s slippery, but it was the only one in the right colour that I could get on short notice. I’ll be getting different cord later. Once the grommets were in all I had to do was stitch the corset and skirt together, and then hem. I put my shoes on and had best friend K check the various lengths, and then put the dress back on the dress form to trim the skirt, serge it and blind stitch it with the machine.

It turned out absolutely amazing, and I am so thrilled with it! I conveniently already had a blonde wig with bangs that I wasn’t using, so it was fairly easy to style it into an up-do and pin it to my own hair beneath the wig for stability. The gloves were purchased, the choker is black velvet ribbon with a snap, and the headband was purchased white and covered with the blue charmeuse. 

Husband was coming with me to volunteer on Saturday, and while he already had the white jacket from his last deployment, it needed some accessorizing. I picked up some dark gold satin, fringe and braided cord and turned it into shoulderboards and braids. It took about an hour and I did it just before we left on Saturday. 

Without further waiting, the pictures!


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Belle is finished!

12 days of sewing, roughly 10 yards combined of taffeta and chiffon, 4 yards of spiral steel boning, 11 chiffon covered gold buttons and around 7 metres of broadcloth and lace gathered onto one massive hoopskirt. It’s done!! 

Last we left off, I had done the outside of the corset and pinned it onto the skirt. Here’s how it progressed as well as some awesome photos of the finished dress.




Sleeve drafting and lacing was a bit more tedious than I expected it would be, but it came out well. I took a large strip of broadcloth and pinned it until I was happy with it, then cut matching pieces of taffeta and chiffon and attached it to the neckline of the corset. The lacing loops were very skinny taffeta tubes over cotton cord for strength, and the lacing itself is about a 1/2″ wide.

Sleeves sewn on, and then pinned along the top where I later hand stitched them.


The swags on the skirt came next, and ended up being one long tube of taffeta and chiffon. I pinned them on just for fun in the next picture, and then later hand stitched them on. When I sewed them on they were more even than they are here. All of the buttons were metallic gold; I covered them in chiffon by sewing the chiffon around the shank of the button, and then added a bit of glue to keep it all there.



And the finished product!





Yes, I walked into a book store like this. They loved it.



I found Phillipe!


The fundraising event was pretty good, but there were hardly any kids who were excited about a Disney princess! It was more of a car show than anything, the most excited little girl who saw me was with her mother going into the fabric store as I was leaving. (Fabric store is across from the arena we were at, and I promised my favourite girl there that I’d show her my dress.) 

After the fundraiser, the husband and I went downtown to take some awesome photos of the dress. We completely forgot that there was both a parade and a bike race going on, so trying to maneuver to the locations we wanted was pretty ridiculous. We walked 3/4 around the race before we finally found a point where we could cross and get to the book shop. There was also a pirate boat going through the harbour with a bunch of kids on board, and when they saw me they were yelling ‘LOOK! A PRINCESS! COME DOWN HERE PRINCESS, WE WANT YOUR JEWELS!’ ..Pretty funny! 


My favourite moment, though, was one of the little girls we passed while trying to get to the bookshop. She’d whacked her head on the fence separating the road from the sidewalk and was crying, so I stopped to talk to her. She was really sniffly and upset so I gave her a hug but she said it still hurt and asked me to kiss her head better. It was so damned cute. I talked with her for a few minutes and then her dad took a few photos of us, and she was much happier by the time I left.


I’m looking forward to making the rest of the princess dresses; I have Ariel’s pink dinner gown in the works right now, and will be doing Cinderella after that. 


Husband is still going to be my Prince Adam, but I’m holding off on his costume for a bit. I knew I couldn’t get it done by Sunday, and then we also found out that he may be deploying again in the next week or so. If he is, he’ll miss our next event. I don’t want to rush to make his costume if he won’t be here to wear it, so I may just hang onto the fabric for the masquerade ball in October and make it closer to then.