Fabric: bodice is a cotton knit, shells are quilting cotton, skirt is a performance knit
Started: January 15, 2017
Completed: January 17, 2017
In February my family went to Disneyland. It was our first ever vacation to a non-family destination, and we had an amazing time. I wanted to go all out on magic, so I decided to make my daughter a different costume to wear each day we were in the parks. She decided on the characters, and then I designed the dresses. I wanted them to obviously read as the character, and also work as an age-appropriate play dress that would be comfortable for all day wear and that she could keep using once we got home. It was so fun to study the classic costumes and figure out how I wanted to interpret them.
I was making 3 dresses in a month, so I wanted to focus my energy on embellishment rather than construction. That’s why I decided for the bodice to order a plain purple t-shirt from primary.com. Based on the fit of her favorite dress I trimmed down the shirt, leaving a seam allowance to attach the skirt. Using the measurements from that same dress I drafted a circle skirt pattern and cut it from this amazing shimmery performance knit I found at my local big box store. I centered the print so the scales would be right side up in the front and back of the dress and then I serged the bodice and skirt together without clear elastic. So far I am pleased with how it is holding up. I skipped hemming the skirt because the fabric didn’t need it, and I love the way it looks.
Most of my time went into the shells on the bodice. I ironed interfacing onto the fabric and then did some fussy cutting to give me lots of shells to work with. Each layer was ironed on individually and then once they were all in place I stitched around the edge of the stripe. I found that didn’t give enough definition, so I went back and machine embroidered around each edge. It was very much worth the effort, as it’s my favorite part of the dress.
My little mermaid had a blast wearing her dress around the park and meeting Ariel in it. Keep an eye out the next two weeks for her other costumes – Alice in Wonderland and Sleeping Beauty.