Throwback Thursday: Barbie Cinderella Dress

I love Disney, and I love Barbie. But I don’t love the cheap, mass-produced Disney princess dresses for Barbie. So it’s always been my goal to make my own version of each dress. This was my first attempt:


As you can see, it didn’t go so well. The darts are uneven, the shoulders won’t stay up, the hemline is uneven, the list goes on and on. It was my first time working with organza, and I definitely underestimated how quickly it unraveled.

The pattern came from McCall’s 6232.

The only alteration I made was to leave off the lower sleeves. This is actually a pattern I’d like to try again someday, because it isn’t bad, I just wasn’t experienced enough to do it justice.


Belle’s Ballgown Pt. 3

Okay, I’ve got the bodice sewn together now. Voila!


This is just one of them, the one that I’ve decided will be visible. Just to reiterate for those that are reading through this pattern, yes, there are two of these, as well as two lining pieces.

I had a little trouble getting it to line up well because of the curved princess seams. My advice, don’t skip on stitching a line on piece 2 and then clipping down to your stitch. These pieces don’t go together easily, and you need the flexibility that clipping gives you.

It’s coming along, though, and I love the look of the bodice. Now to tackle the drape, then the skirt!


Belle’s Ballgown Pt. 2

Well, I got all the pieces cut. And let me tell you, there is  A LOT of cutting. There are more than 80 pieces in all. So if you’re working on the same dress, you’ll need to stay very organized. I labeled everything and kept all the pieces for the top in one place, skirt in another, etc.

But oh, it just looks so sweet. Here’s a picture of the bodice pieces before I iron on the interfacing: dsc01239

(Ignore the water stains on my ironing board!)

And yes, there are two sets of each piece. Most dresses have the outer shell and the lining. This has two sets of the outer shell and two pieces for the lining. So in the picture there are 28 pieces of fabric (this is before I attached the interfacing.) The lining has another 8 pieces. It’s insanity. But it’s so pretty! I love working with this fabric. It feels so expensive, nothing like the cheap costume satin you find in costumes at Halloween. This is more like bridal gown quality.

Throwback Thursday: Build a Bear Dress

I love Build a Bears. For both of my kids’ first birthday, we took them to make their first Build a Bear. I am not, however, happy about the price of their clothing. It adds up fast.

So I decided to find some patterns of my own. Here’s the first one I tried.

Here’s how mine turned out: img_1464

Overall, an easy pattern to follow and very versatile. You can add trim, ribbons, etc. to make them all look new and unique while sticking to a basic pattern.

Delving Into Beauty and The Beast Insanity

The new Beauty and the Beast movie is coming out in March (eep!) which also happens to be my daughter’s birthday. And amazingly, with absolutely not at all any subliminal messaging whatsover (*cough cough looks askance*) she decided she wants to have a Beauty and the Beast party! And what party is complete without a Belle dress?

So off I went to look through the patterns that I bought when they were all on sale for 3/$5 from Joann’s (I love sales.) I found one that was supposed to be for Belle, but then I found Simplicity 1028.

Even though it’s supposed to be the new Cinderella dress, it occurred to me that it actually looks like the original Belle dress. Big ballgown, drape over the shoulders, etc. I never really liked the ruching on Belle’s dress, so it doesn’t bother me to cut that part. As long as I get gold fabric, it should be fine, right?

Haha. We’ll see!

In the pattern it uses two different shades of tulle for the skirt, but I’m really not fond of tulle, so I decided to go for organza instead. But I did really like the iridescent effect that layering sheer fabrics has. So I finally settled on this for the skirt: Bottom layer is the yellow lining fabric, then the gold crepe-back satin used for the bodice, then a sheer iridescent lame (which looks really terrible unless there’s something on top of it to tone down the shine), then two layers of yellow tulle (about 6 1/4 yards), then gold glitter tulle (4 yards), then yellow organza (4 yards.) These yard measurements took into account that I was also going to use the same material for the drape. Here’s a picture of the fabrics:


From the top left: Ivory netting, gold/silver lame, glitter tulle

From the bottom left: Yellow costume satin lining, yellow tulle, gold crepe-back satin, yellow organza.

I admit, they look a little crazy here, but layered I think they look okay. I wish I could have gotten a better shade for the lining material, but I really didn’t want to spend more than I already did, and who cares about lining anyway? Altogether, with coupons, it cost about $60, give or take. Luckily, everyone knows me and got me Joann’s gift cards for Christmas, so I didn’t actually pay anything! 🙂

Going to get started. Wish me luck!

Throwback Thursday: Old McDonald Hand Puppets!

This is the second thing I learned to sew! They’re made out of felt, which is great to learn with. It’s thick and stiff, but you don’t have to hem it and you can get tons of colors for very low prices. Walmart has a good selection for $0.23/sheet ( sheets are 9×12) and Joann’s has an even larger selection for $0.49/sheet (though they often go on sale for 50% off.)

I got the pattern for these here.

It’s a free pattern and easy to follow. I recommend always tracing the patterns onto freezer paper (which is translucent, so you just place your picture under it and copy) and then ironing it onto your felt before cutting. It makes your cuts come out clean and precise.

Here are my little guys:


It took quite awhile to make each one, maybe an hour or two. They had to be hand sewn, and I think it would be more trouble than it’s worth to sew them on the machine since the pieces are so tiny. What I did was separate all the pieces into individual baggies and put the name of the animal on it. Then I’d add in the needed thread, needle, and sewing scissors to each bag, so that I could grab it whenever I had 5-10 minutes throughout the day. Being organized really helps you to find more time than you think you have!

Throwback Thursday-The First Thing I Ever Sewed (by myself!)

So when I was a little girl, my grandma wanted me to learn to sew, but I just wasn’t interested. However, once I had a little girl of my own, I wanted her to have those sweet homemade dresses and costumes! So I set out on a mission to learn how to sew. This was my very first attempt:


(Ignore the fact that Barbie is wearing a painted-on swimsuit underneath!)

This project was pretty simple, and it was handsewn because I didn’t have a machine at the time. I got the pattern and instructions from here.

All I needed to buy was a fat quarter ($0.97 at Walmart,) a needle, and some thread.  (The ribbon I had already.) It took me a few hours to make, but with a sewing machine I imagine it would only take half an hour or so. It’s a really easy, versatile pattern that can be used with scraps. It makes a quick and easy gift for all the Barbie-lovers in your life!