Monday, May 16, 2016

Princess Dress Up Skirts

A couple of years ago Frozen was the big thing in our home. I won't be sad if it is a long time before I hear the song Let it Go again. Emma loved everything Frozen and at two and half years old she was just getting into playing dress up. I found some pretty blue fabric,  fabric with glittery snowflakes on it and decided to make her an Elsa outfit.
Because Emma was only two at the time she could pull elastic pants and skirts up and down, but couldn't easily dress her self otherwise. We were also beginning potty training and I didn't want complicated dress up clothes getting in the way. This is how the dress up skirt was born. (In my home anyway. I'm sure this had already been thought of by someone else). I made a very simple Elsa inspired skirt and a cape. It was a huge hit on Christmas morning and it is still affectionately worn by Emma and often times Leah.
As Emma has gotten older she has started to notice and love more Disney princesses and Elsa is not the favorite anymore. As she was approaching her fourth birthday, she asked if I would make her a Belle dress, because "Belle has brown hair like me." I'm always so excited when the girls request I make something for them. Most times I'm forcing (in the most loving way) all this handmade stuff on them.
I took a trip to Joann's and found some really pretty yellow fabrics, but because I had just made up the Elsa skirt I really wasn't sure what I was going to do. I knew I wanted to keep it a skirt, because that has really worked out, but other wise I had no idea how to make it "look like Belle." So I did what I do too often, I just started sewing with no real plan.
Here's what happened.

Note, all pictures she was in motion. This girl loves to dance.

I think it turned out awesome, but that's just my "humble" opinion. I've had several people ask how I made it. I wish I had taken step by step pictures, but I was too concerned with figuring out what I was doing. Maybe one day I will make it again, do a better job, and take pictures with instructions. Maybe.... But for now I will do my best to give my step by step instructions. It was so simple, I kind of hate to share how I did it, you will no doubt think less of my sewing ability. (You will also think much less of my sewing terminology) Oh well, here it goes.....

First I bought 1/2 a yard of the silky yellow fabric (we'll call it fabric A) and 1/4 yard of the shear yellow fabric (fabric B).

I bought my fabric a few weeks before I actually started sewing. When I unfolded fabric A it had natural lines/creases every 8 inches or so running perpendicular to the selvedge ends.

At every natural line/crease I would sew a long running stitch without locking my stitch at the beginning and end. I then pulled on one end of each of the running stitches to create slight gathers.

Once I had gathered ever so slightly all of my running stitches, I started working on fabric B. I stitched fabric B's longest sides right side together, leaving the selvedged pieces open at the end. This created a long "tube" of fabric. I turned it right side out and rolled the seam of the tube to the back.

I took my fabric B tube of fabric and started pinning it to the right side of fabric A, pretty much in the middle of the length. At every running stitch gather of fabric A, I would gather (let's be real, I just bunched it up) fabric B and pin it to fabric A. I then stitched fabric B to fabric A just over the running stitch.

All of this created my ball gown gathers and extra swooping line of fabric like Belle's dress. (Don't you love my technical wording)

After this, it just gets easier. You have your fabric ready to make a skirt. This lazy day skirt (from Oliver+S) is my go to pattern for making an elastic skirt with pretty much any fabric. I only modified the length and hem to make it a long ball gown for my four year old.

I hope this made sense. Dress up skirts are so easy and so much fun for little girls. I would love for you to be able to make a Belle dress for your little girl with brown hair (or blonde, or red, or any color hair!) If you have any questions please feel free to ask! If you make your own princess skirt, please feel free to share what you made and how!

Leah did not want to be left out. This is the Elsa inspired skirt. The cape was made out of the snowflake fabric. It has held up nicely, but I have sworn off ever sewing a glittery fabric again.

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