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.