When my husband and I decided to take the kids to Disneyland over spring break, we thought they would be excited. You know, like kids going to Disneyland excited. The initial response? “Ho, hum. I’m a teenager and I don’t get excited about anything.” Even the little kids were nonchalant about it. I think Théa actually said that she would stay with Gran while we went on our trip. What on earth was going on here?
Despite the kids’ lackluster response, I started looking into tickets and schedules. When I found out that princess makeovers are offered in the park, the deal was sealed for the girls. Best part? This experience gives the older kids an excuse to act like kids. I thought it was hilarious that Théa and Abby decided to dress like the same princess for the day and could not WAIT to break out my camera. Unfortunately, there was a catch to the princess makeovers. You can’t be older than 12 to get a makeover within the park. And here I thought the whole point of the Magic Kingdom was to remind everyone how to be a kid. I’m not one to dis on Disney, but lame. Totally lame.
We forged ahead with plans to princess-up the girls despite this annoying setback. You have by now seen how we tackled Minnie Mouse and Anna. You know that I am first a shopper and only a seamstress if I have to be. It will not surprise you then that I took the same approach for Belle: I began by searching the web for all things yellow.
If you can sew, there is an excellent tutorial on how to make a Belle dress from scratch using t-shirt knit here. It is so cute that I really wanted to make it for Théa. Seriously, this blogger has some excellent costume ideas. Go pin that site for Halloween. Anyway, time being an issue, I found a perfectly acceptable yellow knit dress at Old Navy and changed my plan.
Of course this still meant sewing, so I had to enlist my mom for the project. Our initial plan was to make a dress similar to a Cinderella dress that we concocted last year for T’s birthday. For that dress, we tacked a ballet wrap to a sale-rack dress (over a sale-rack t-shirt) to form the swoops of Cinderella’s dress, then added a little silver rick-rack trim to the top and bottom for shimmer. Very simple. I can’t tell you how many times she’s worn it.
Once we got to playing around with the extra tulle from Abby’s Belle costume (you will see that amazing outfit on Thursday), we decided that a little gathered neckline and some edging on the bottom of the skirt would work better than a waist swoop. The waist still needed something though (especially because the dress was a little big on T), so we added a ribbon belt.
We began by cutting 5" strips the entire length of the tulle (I think it was about a yard). Mom sewed these into tubes.
I pinned the tubes loosely onto the bottom and neck of the dress in small drapes. We briefly discussed hand stitching the edging at each pin then decided that the stiches, no matter how ugly, would not be noticed on a moving four-year old. Lazy? I prefer to think of it as choosing not to over-complicate the task.
The finished dress? It is pretty cute.
I have no idea where this pose came from.
If you can sew even a little bit, you can make this in an afternoon, easily. Just think how excited your little person will be to play (or in my kid's case, go to school and the grocery and a restaurant and a rehearsal dinner....) in this dress.
Stay tuned: the teen version of Belle will be posted on Thursday. Until then, check us out enjoying Disneyland on Instagram!