We recently let Bean and Sprout watch Sleeping Beauty after lots of begging by them and promises that they were “big kids now” that are not afraid of scary dragons and witches.
Aurora was instantly her new favorite princess and she kept saying she wanted a pink dress like Aurora’s dress. Making the Prince Philip costume for her brother only fueled her desire for this dress even more.
We are, however, trying to combat a sense of entitlement in our kids that seems to have sprung up. We are tired of them thinking life is about stuff (toys) and the maintenance of stuff (cleaning them up, organizing them, setting them up, hoarding them, and acquiring new ones).
Bean went with me to pick out the fabric for this dress and a replacement Rapunzel dress (that will be another post). The day I started sketching out the additional pattern pieces and cutting the fabric she began demanding that I make a Princess and the Frog dress (we haven’t even seen that movie?!), a Merida/Brave dress (have not seen that one either), and a Snow White dress.
I mean sheesh. This sewing business isn’t easy and it is a bit time consuming.
And she had just complained around the same time about the uneven hem line on the Cinderella dress I made. I knew about it (the front of the dress hangs about an inch lower than the back) and honestly, the perfectionist in me is bugged by it every time she wears the dress. Stephen had come home at lunch during the height of the complaining and explained that sewing wasn’t easy, that I worked hard on the dress, that she should be grateful because not all little girls have a Mama that can sew, and that I make mistakes just like she does sometimes. Stephen headed back to work. She seemed to ponder what he said, but kept tugging at her dress while looking at her reflection in the oven door. Then she walked over to me, put her hand seemingly lovingly on my shoulder and said, “I don’t want you to make your mistakes on my dresses. It’s OK to make other mistakes though.”
So I did the mature thing and complained about her complaining on Facebook. And now I’m writing this blog post. Maybe she gets it from me?
She’d make a perfect managing editor someday if the journalism industry still exists, “Make your mistakes on your own time, don’t make them in my publication.”
As I worked on this dress, there were many days that I felt my only (perfect) recourse was to say, “If you keep being sassy and bossing me around I’m going to put away the dress and stop working on it.” And I did. She still doesn’t know that it is finished, actually. I’ve decided that it will be a birthday gift now instead.
Disney and Simplicity have discontinued (it seems “The Vault” holds more than just movies) the Aurora princess costume. I wound up looking at lots of pictures of Aurora and I found this adult replication, the “bones” of which are pretty similar to the Cinderella costume I’d already made. The only differences are long sleeves instead of short, the stand-up pointy shoulder collar and the triangular (or zigzag as Bean kept calling it) overlay.
I am sure there are lots of other tutorials out there (or will be soon thanks to Pinterest) with better photos and instructions. There are also likely others that don’t begin with a lengthy introduction tangent on parenting. I am sure someone will make a dress completely from scratch, too (if they haven’t already). I did not find those, if they do exist.
Aurora Dress Tutorial
I used the bodice pattern pieces from the Cinderella dress to help me sketch the other pieces out of gift-wrap tissue. I also used a cardigan of Bean’s to help me with the long sleeves.
I decided to keep the shoulder straps of the original dress instead of the off-the-shoulder look in the adult costume and most of the cartoon drawings of Aurora I found. Bean was pretty adamant about the shoulders, but I explained that it wasn’t really an appropriate look for a three-year-old.
I used the bodice pieces and skirt pieces from the Cinderella costume for the rest of the costume. I followed most of the same directions and style in which the sewing pattern suggests.
There were two different collar pieces, one for the back bodice neckline and one for the front neckline. I cut eight of each out of white costume satin that had some sparkles and four of each of the pieces out of some really stiff interfacing. I cut four of each of the bodice pieces of dark pink sparkly costume satin and one of each of the skirt pieces out of the same color. The directions say to cut two of the back skirt piece, but I think it makes the skirt too full and hard to sew once all gathered up. I cut two on the fold of each of the overlay pieces (2 for front and two for back) in light pink sparkly costume satin and two of the sleeves.
I used an overlock (zigzag) stitch to attach each of the interfacing pieces to one of the white fabric pieces, right side out. Then I sewed the front and back pieces for each shoulder together to make four diamonds. I put the diamonds (one with interfacing, the other without) right sides together and sewed along the top edge of the collar. Then I turned it right side out and top stitched it.
I followed the directions for the bodice piece from the pattern and then attached each side of the collar/shoulder to the neckline.
I hemmed the pointed ends of the sleeves under, sewed down the underarm seam and then attached them to the armholes of the bodice.
I sewed each of the front overlays to the back ones at the side seams, then put them right sides together and sewed along the zigzag. I turned it right side out and top stitched it.
Instead of doing the gathered stitch on the skirt like the Cinderella dress, I decided that I would do pleats. Once the pleats were in place and the skirt was the right width to match the width of the bodice, I attached the overlay to the skirt first at a 3/8in seam and then attached the skirt to the bodice at a 5/8 seam as directed in the pattern. Then I put in the zipper at the back. I had to take a lot of length off the skirt to be right for Bean’s height (I used one of her longer formal dresses as my gauge).
There are mistakes. I am not sure how long it will be before she figures them out and says something about them, but overall it is something that I am pleased with.
It is also a plus that I know it should hold up really well for awhile just like the Cinderella dress I made. And maybe one of these days I’ll fix that pesky uneven hemline.