Monday, 10 November 2008

Princess Costume

One of my nieces turns 4 later this month, and I promised some time ago that I would make her a princess costume for her birthday. I have been putting away suitable fabrics as they revealed themselves, and thought I had best get around to finding a pattern.
There have been lots of beautiful princess costumes on patternreview lately - costumes for Halloween, which is much less ghoulish in the USA than Australia, obviously! I was tempted by some of these, but was lucky enought to pick up this pattern in the local Op shop for 10c a week or so ago. It would have to be out of print by now, it was published in 1992 , Butterick 6428, and looks IMO just the sort of thing a 4 year old princess would love.

I had planned to scale down to a size 4, but all the sizes other than the smallest in this envelope, 5, had been cut off the pattern, and I was feeling too lazy to both measure and redraw,so I made a straight size 5. I hope she will like to wear it for more than 1 year. I made a few changes to the pattern.
The princess costumes on patternreview seem to have shorter sleeves, than this pattern, which was just as well, as I made the sleeves and centre bodice from some brocade scraps left over from another project, and really had to squeeze to get all 5 pieces from the odd shapes of fabric remaining. I shortened the sleeves by 10 cm, and the cuff by half. The sleeves also have 15cm of width removed - they were HUGE, and look quite full as they are in the heavy brocade.

I crossed some lime green picot edge elastic over the bodice instead of the gold ribbon I had purchased. The elastic was a better colour against the brocade(leaves in pattern on brocade), and I think it will be more comfortable to wear. I also made tiny roses from some bias strips of batiste, as I found the rose in the pattern far too big and heavy for the poly organza drape. (The pattern wanted a double layer of this, but I just rolled the hem on my overlocker and used one layer). I have put the original rose, made according to the pattern, at the back waist of the dress. The main fabric is a mystery synthetic dupion style fabric, given to me by a non sewing friend. She was cleaning out her cupboard and cannot remember why she bought this.

The pattern has an attached petticoat with tulle ruffles on the inside. I thought this was crazy - how scratchy!. Instead I made a seperate petticoat, with an elastic waistband, and only two of the three ruffles. I suspect that the 3 ruffles would be needed on the girl's size 14, but there is barely room for two of them on the size 5. I did not make ruffle as full, either - the bottom ruffle is 2/3 of the pattern length, and the dress looks suitably puffy to me. As this is a costume, I rolled all the hems on my overlocker, which was delightfully quick. I also bound the inside waist seam with bias binding, as an anti scratch measure for the organza gathers. I went so over the top with this glitzy costume, and it was great fun.
I am really looking forward to seeing my niece wear this on the webcam.
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Sue said...

That is so adorable and looks like so much fun to make. Your niece will be one happy girl!

Claudine said...

She will love it!

Sew4Fun said...

Very princess like. I'm sure your niece will love it. It bet it felt good to be sewing.

Lisa said...

The costume is great!

I have made a costume for my 8 year old daughter for about 6 out of the 8 years. She loves them! She has played with them long after the intended day. Just this last July she put on a witches costume she wore when she was about 4. Then it reached to her ankles, now it was used as a shirt.

katherine h said...

Just gorgeous...I'm sure she'll want to wear that dress for years and years.

MaryPat R said...

That is gorgeous! I would have given my eye teeth for a dress like that as a child.