Hannah wanted to be Wonder Woman for Halloween. She was absolute about it…for a couple of days. Since then, she has been firm on Sleeping Beauty. Of all the princesses, this is the one I was least wanting to sew. The off the shoulder bodice and the peplum skirt just seemed like a lot of work…and they were. But I’m super excited with the final product. The costume I dreaded most of any costume I’ve made so far, but the one that I might be most proud of in the end.
Since I was really unsure of how I would draft a Sleeping Beauty costume, I scoured the internet for ideas. Not many out there, so I bought the Simplicity 5835 pattern on ebay. Don’t get me started on store bought pattern sizing! Again, a total fail with the sizing. So again, I turned to the trusty Geranium dress pattern and used the Simplicity pattern as a guideline.
I lengthened the bodice a few inches and used a zipper instead of buttons. The zipper was definitely not done in the proper way, but it works for a costume.
For the sleeves, I used a long sleeve pattern I already had. I tried to make a v-shape hem using a facing, but it’s not very obvious. Oh well. It was a last minute thing after I had already attached the sleeves and I was afraid to cut too deep a v shape and make the sleeves too short.
For the peplum skirt, I used the Simplicity pattern as a starting point, then drafted my own. I made it one piece and attached it to the bodice before attaching the skirt. It was a good natural stopping point for the zipper and looked better without a seam down the middle.
And for the off the shoulder look, I decided to do the easiest thing possible. Rather than do anything to change the construction of the bodice to include a fully attached collar piece, I took the easy route and sewed a fabric tube. I gathered it and attached it to the front bodice along the gathering stitches and then attached it to the back of the back bodice, sewing along the zipper seam line. Easy and done.
The crown and necklace were pretty quick and easy. I used the Simplicity patterns but assembled them differently than called for in the pattern. I made the crown one piece instead of two sewn together. I also fused the gold lame fabric to yellow felt using spray ‘n bond instead of using stiff interfacing. Even though the crown is fairly floppy, it stands straight up like it should when worn.
And that’s Hannah as Sleeping Beauty. Phew, done with Halloween sewing! Yipee!
UPDATE: If you want to use an inexpensive but beautiful costume fabric that will stand the test of time, I included links to the fabrics I used. After one year of near constant wear and many washings (oxyclean spray ‘n wash, cold water, gentle cycle), the costume is still in excellent condition and looks almost new! I will only use slipper satin from now on for all costumes. The crown and necklace did not survive long but lasted for Halloween, so they served their purpose.
There is no better basic dress pattern than the Geranium dress pattern from Made by Rae. I have made so many variations of this dress that I’ve lost count–definitely more than ten! And anytime I need to make a dress and I don’t have the right pattern (like this year’s Halloween princess dresses, which you can read about here and here), I just modify the Geranium dress to get what I want. It fits perfectly EVERY SINGLE TIME! My girls have different body types and it still fits them both perfectly.
This Geranium dress was a little bit unplanned. Usually I like to pick a pattern first and then find a fabric that suits the pattern. It was the opposite this time around. I had this fabric from Joann’s that I thought was adorable and just didn’t know what to make with it. I realized that fall is quickly passing us by and so I wanted to make something cute, quick, and easy. The Geranium dress with cap sleeves fit the bill.
I added the red ribbon to break up the mostly neutral tones and to give the dress an added pop. Since I didn’t really have any buttons that matched, I just went with clear buttons. Not the best buttons for the dress, but certainly acceptable. Besides, the ribbon is what I wanted as the main embellishment anyway.
I was a little worried about the large print, thinking it might be overwhelming on such a little dress, but it looks great. And it is especially precious on my sweet Katie, who by the way is getting three teeth right now. Yikes!
When I asked Katie what she wanted to be for Halloween, she said Rella. I was sort of joking when I asked her, thinking she wouldn’t really get it since this will only be her second Halloween, but she seems to understand and has not wavered since I first asked her. Despite Hannah’s daily attempts to get Katie to change her mind for some unknown reason, Cinderella it is.
I intended to use the Simplicity 2563 pattern that I already had, but unfortunately the muslin I made was too wide, even sewing one size down from what Katie normally wears, so I ditched the Simplicity bodice and skirt patterns in favor of the tried and true Geranium dress pattern from Made By Rae. One of the best sewing purchases I’ve ever made!
To alter the Geranium pattern to look more like the Simplicity one, I lowered the neckline on the bodice about an inch or so to make it more of a scoopneck.
I also made the front bodice two pieces so that there would be a seam in the center front. To do this, I simply added a seam allowance to the fold line of the Geranium pattern, cut two, then sewed them together to create a front bodice with a center seam.
I didn’t do the pointed base on the bodice like the Simplicity pattern because I didn’t want to fuss with it while attaching the skirt.
The Geranium dress does not include a sleeve pattern, so I used the Simplicity sleeve pattern and followed the Simplicity elastic casing guidelines. I’ve done this before and it’s always turned out perfectly.
For the puffs around the waist, I used the Simplicity pattern piece. They are simply large circles folded in half, gathered along the curved edge, and then basted to the bodice before attaching the skirt. Having the seam in the front of the bodice helps to line up the puffs in the exact center of the dress. A bonus to adding the extra step.
And finally, the Simplicity headband and a grosgrain ribbon necklace to complete the look.
And there you have it, miss Katie as Rella. She is one happy girl!
On March 11th, we welcomed our beautiful little Katie into the world. She has been such a dream baby and I’ve enjoyed every minute since she arrived! I can’t believe that she is already 7 weeks old today.
My biggest worry was how the adjustment would be for Hannah. After all, it is a big change to go from almost two years of uninterrupted mommy time to suddenly having to share mommy with a newborn who needs to be fed, changed, and held round the clock. But Hannah has been an amazing big sister and absolutely loves little Katie.
It’s been such a smooth transition that I’ve actually started to sew again! Throughout the later part of my pregnancy I was just too tired and unmotivated to sew most of the time, and when I had the energy and the desire to sew, I was too lazy to take pictures and write up a post.
This dress was the first outfit that I sewed for Katie. I used the Geranium Dress pattern from the blog Made By Rae. It was so much fun to work on this dress (one of the best patterns I have ever used!) not long before she arrived and to think about what it would look like on her. Thankfully I did get this dress sewn up before she arrived, otherwise I’m not sure what she would have worn for her one month pictures!