This part covers many of the small and easy things to make. This post isn’t picture heavy, as they are all very rushed. I took on a second costume for another event and cut my time short. I only had six days to finish this costume and make a Cinderella peasant costume. Which will be a post on its own.
The first thing will be the skirt. Very simple, here is a picture of my supplies for the skirt.
The fabric was a light blue as you can tell from the swatch but I dyed the fabric the color I needed it to be because I couldn’t find a fabric dark enough. And it turned out perfectly. It took a few tweaks to the dye bath to get the right color. My issue with the fabric was that there were two holes in the middle of the fabric. Not good, but nothing I could do about it. There wasn’t a way I could cut around it because I wanted a full skirt and I had a little over two meters.
So, before I did anything further I repaired the holes using a scrap from the bodice fabric that I interfaced with the outside fabric showing instead of the way I did it for the vest.
Here you can see the hole, and the repair I did. It isn’t perfect, but it is a peasant dress and in this version she is an inventor. I think she wouldn’t have taken a lot of her time to make a repair pretty. I feel like she would have hurried up at that to get started on other things. She didn’t spend most of her time on her looks or attracting a husband.
The skirt is pretty simple from here. Cut out the strip you need for the waistband. Approximately three to four inches. Then cut the length down the center. You want to be able to use the edges as the selvage. It gives it that unfinished but finished look that I am going for. And hey, I won’t have to hem it. Go me.
With that I am left with two large rectangles in length of about 2 meters. I folded down the edges and sewed a straight stitch. With that I then sewed right sides together and then straight stitched the seam down on either side. Doing this will cause the edges to be trapped inside the fabric so you won’t have any raw edges. Leave a gap of about six or seven inches at either side. And by that I mean both sides. Don’t just choose one.
Dresses from this era were sewn this way so you can reach your pockets from either side. The pockets were under the skirts and petticoats and not seen at all. Interface the fabric for the waistband to give it some stability. I cut them both to be 20 inches. Folded the sides under and stitched. Then I folded one edge in half and sewed it down. This edge will be sewn to the inside.
You are going to have to gather this fabric by hand. I found I had enough fabric to give it nice cartridge pleats, small ones, but nice. Then I sewed this to the free edge of the waistband, folded the other edge over is and stitched with a decorative stitch into its place. I repeated this process with the other waistband and was done with the skirt. Thread the grosgrain ribbon into the channels and try on. It should overlap nicely at both hips. I tie the back to me first and then tie the front at the back so you get a clean silhouette in the front.
Closeup of the waistband inside and out.
Onto the apron.
I purchased at a sale this cotton that I was going to use for mock ups. It was an odd shaped piece with a couple holes in it here and there. I believe it was less than a dollar. It was in may stash for a few months, but I rummaged through it because my local JoAnn’s didn’t have any checkered fabric available.
I trimmed the bottom of the fabric and the top to get it even. I just followed the lines it gave me. You can tear some cottons but this print was printed on the grain and tore unevenly in my test piece. I then pinned it to my dress form like so.
I then proceeded to find the smallest width available and cut along that line. I was left with roughly 3 decently sized almost triangles and one giant rectangle. The rectangle I folded down three edges twice encasing the raw edges inside and with a decorative stitch sewed the sides down. That just left the free edge at the top, which I gathered down using basting stitches and tugging the strand onto the length of the waistband.
The waistband I made using the three large triangles. I cut two really long strips and one strip that was the width I wanted the apron to be. Interface the waistband not the two long ones. Then I sewed the long edges to the sides of the interfacing making them an equal width. Sew the rectangle/apron piece to the interfaced waistband.
Then fold over the other edge and sew. To make the ties you can create it kind of like a bias tape. Fold each edge down and then fold in half. Super simple. Stitch with the same decorative stitch. I did this all in one step.
Put aside the apron and begin on the pockets.
I patterned the pockets over the petticoat I did. I made these pockets before I made the vest. Here is what the pattern looks like.
I cut them out of a woven fabric and the rest of the shift fabric.
Then I bought embroidery floss and bias tape for each in the colors I needed. Albeit what you see is what I thought I would need. I was wrong. I had to go to the store twice to buy more floss.
On the red I backstitched three rows of stitches each with three rows in hem. Each row had varying thickness of the floss and various stitch lengths
The blue was a little more complicated. The sides had each six rows of floss, varying widths and lengths again. And the center bunch had five rows of floss with various lengths and widths. Then between the six and five rows there is a set of chain stitches with six threads as the width and only three lengths long. The lengths I am referring to are the woven bits. Each line was one length.
Below is a better picture of what I am talking about.
When that was all sewn I interfaced the stitches in the back because they were a little on the loose side.
Then I sewed the rectangles together with right sides together. Serged/overlocked the free edges. Cut down the center of the fabric and sewed the bias tape onto the fabric. I used decorative stitches like I did with the apron. Try to sew this in the center or however long you want the strings to be. The last thing you want is to have them uneven. Or wonky.
Now onto the final piece that required sewing and was also undocumented. The kerchief.
The simple way to make a kerchief is to cut out a triangle and sew the edges down. That is basically all I did. I measured out the length I wanted by measuring around the back of my neck to just below the fullest part of my bust. Then I measure the length I wanted it in the back. Cut out the triangle and sewed each edge down. Simple as that. I did fold the edges down double to encase the raw edges and I also used the same decorative stitch as I had done with everything.
I guess I am not actually done. I forgot about the necklace I made. Which is also undocumented, but the bonus bit about this is that I have enough materials to make another. If it is requested I will make one and show the process of that.
But for now I will just write about it. I bought the vase thing at Michael’s a year back thinking I wanted to make a Belle dress. Never got around to it so it laid in my stuff for a while. It took me a while to find it.
And for the rose, I could not find a fabric rose small enough to fit inside. Every rose was either paper or too big. And the paper ones had no stems. While searching through my various drawers I came across small white roses, possibly from a wedding I was a part of or maybe something my aunt sent. I can’t remember. The good thing about this is that I had it.
I took the little bunches of white roses and trimmed the petals off one by one. It took me the fourth try to get the shape right. And that left me with two. I ended up liking the fourth one the best and used it.
The paint I had wasn’t the right consistency or colors. And a little dried out. So, I searched through all of my nail polish bottles and came across four red bottles. As well as three green ones.
I painted the rose first going light to dark. With sparkle at the top. Then continued the same for the leftover petals that I trimmed to make smaller and fit into the vase.
Then I made little leaves out of the petals and added them to the stem.
For the layers I put some E6000 at the bottom, put the rose down with a curled up wire at the base. It was curled into a coil to help the rose stay in place. On top of that went little pieces of slate mica in three different shades. Next came three of the prettiest petals of the five that I cut out to create the falling petals. To secure the dome-ish vase to the base I used E6000 again. That stuff works wonders. But make sure to use a well ventilated area as well as a mask.
That finished off the final piece of this costume that was hand-made.
The remainder items, socks and shoes, were bought or something I owned. I already owned reddish brown arm warmers that I used as the rolled down socks. They were too large for my arms and work perfect for this costume because I have never worn them no matter how long I owned them. Probably years. The shoes I found the day before the event. They were perfect for this costume. Tiny chunky heel almost not visible. With lacing in the front and mini tassels. I love them. I would wear them more often if I wasn’t afraid to ruin them. For now they remain with this costume.
Shoes and arm warmers
I will have better pictures of this costume after my event on the 1st of April and will try to get them added in then. Otherwise that is the end of my making of for Belle’s town dress from the new live action movie. I finished in time to watch it the day of the premier. A group of us princesses went from the Disney group I am apart of as well as a Gaston. More pictures to come.
This is the final post about making Belle from the new Beauty and the Beast town dress. Up next weekend I have either Anastasia 1910 Russian Court Dress or Inara Serra Gold and Ivory Ball Gown from Shindig. If you have a preference let me know.