Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Belle Once Upon A Time Costume

My second costume I made for AVCon :)

Once Upon A Time

This costume was probably the fastest costume I'd ever made. I started it the Saturday before AVCon, had a princess gig in the afternoon, continued it Saturday night, and finished it Sunday morning... I was really proud that everything I've been learning along the way came into effect!

Because of this, however, there is literally 1 progress photo...

Like any good project, I started with finding a pattern for the bodice.
Simplicity came to the rescue again with pattern 5582!
It was the perfect shape, all I needed to do was add boning to give a nice fit.

The blue fabric I found for the dress and skirt was an upholstery fabric- it was lovely and thick and had the texture similar to the costume in the show. Because of this, I only cut out one lining fabric from coutil, and used sew-on boning channels.

I added 2 spiral steel bones in the bust, 4 on the sides (2 each side) and 3 in the back.
4 white steel bones were added to the front where the lacing needed support.

The trim was some polyester suede I cut up from a 30 cm width piece, and sewn on once the bodice front was attached to the lining (no bones added). The hardest part was sewing the trim to the front area- I needed to make sure there would be room to slide the white steel stays through the trim/bodice stitching!

Before I added the trim along the bottom, I added the eyelets for the lacing (the pattern only asks for 6 but Belle's dress has 10) and slid in the boning, hand-sewing the boning channels closed behind them so they wouldn't slip around! 

Here is the only progress photo, haha:

Next was the skirt.

Belle has a lot of pleating around the waist, and wears some small hip-rumps to give the skirt shape. I decided to avoid the hip-rumps purely because my hips are big enough as it is! lol!

To make the skirt I took a long rectangular piece of the blue fabric, the shorter length cut to the length I wanted it to sit at my calves, and hemmed one side. I then proceeded to hand-pleat the other side. I put a running-stitch through the pleats to hold them.
The underskirt was a circle skirt of cotton with lace sewn to the hem, and I pinned it to the pleated top of the skirt.
The waistband was then added, as well as a zipper (which I didn't make invisible but the pleats happen to hide it perfectly! Yay!) and after sewing the last seam of the skirts I hand-sewed a hook-and-eye to the waistband above the zipper.

The white undershirt was one I found at a second-hand shop, lol. I cut the sleeves shorter, added extra material to them to make them puffy, and sewed the lace onto it.

And that was it! (For now!)

Photo by TiMarsh Digital Imaging

I wore it on the 19th of July, the Saturday of AVCon. It was super comfortable. haha!

I do, however, want to finish the costume completely, and make Belle's cloak:
So you'll be seeing more pictures of this in the future, on my Facebook page! :)

Time to Complete:
This costume took me a day and a half!

In total it was probably about $80-$100 in materials, including boning.

Final Thoughts:
For a thrown-together costume, I am rather proud of it! Its far from perfect, and it really was 'thrown together' when I compare it to the hours and slow progress I did making Ariel's gown. lol!
My only regret is the skirt- I wish I had done a large circle skirt, making the waist very big so I could pleat it like usual, because it would've made the skirt fuller. I love big skirts. Other than that I am happy with this quick costume!
It wont be complete until I finish the cloak, though, so stay tuned for updates on the cloak :) Just trying to find the perfect material for it (that doesn't cost hundreds of dollars a yard...) but I've got the exact clasp used to hold it together, woo!



  1. Is there a zipper in the back of the bodice as well? I'm really interested in the details, I'm hoping to make this for a production of Beauty and the Beast I'm costuming!

  2. Gah, let me know if you ever find the fabric for her cloak. I have been looking for ages. I have one that is beautiful and similar-ish but I am ever searching for the original fabric.