This princess dress project began back in September. I was having breakfast with a lady friend at a local diner where I ran into Liam having breakfast with his lil’ niece Chloe and friends. Chloe is sharp and eloquent, truly bright as she is beautiful. And for someone fascinated with child development, five-years-olds, in my opinion, is the best age. I invited Chloe to come by the house sometime since her uncle was staying with us and I would make her a dress. Her eyes widened, “Make a dress?” “Yeah,” Liam interjected, “she has a sewing machine.” “A what?” Chloe asked, “a magic machine?” “Exactly. She makes dresses!”, Liam said. Upon leaving the dinner I hear a small voice yell,”Natasha! Natashaaa!” I turn around to Chloe’s flailing arms . “It’s blue!! Elsa’s dress is blue!!” Chloe called across the restaurant. “And white, blue and white!” We all laughed. Blue, eh? A welcomed change to the typical pink princess, I thought.
I had seen only a part of the movie Frozen, in & out of sleep on a long journey to Vietnam last summer, but I did remember the beautiful Snow Queen Elsa. I searched Etsy for a pattern that would be appropriate for a five-year-old and chose to use a CJets pattern by designer C. McNeil for Chloe’s Princess Elsa (Disney movie Frozen). That Friday, I headed north on St. Hubert in search of princess fabric! I found some beautiful blue satin, velour, sheer and sequins, all of which I had never used and sewn with before. AH! Freak-out #1! I chose fabric with stretch in order to accommodate multiple layers for a colder Halloween night. Wouldn’t you agree that as a child, having to cover up a beautiful Halloween costume with a coat was the absolute worst? Looking back, I can now understand how frustrating that must have been for my mom- bundling us up and having to hide all her amazing work.
Clara texted me Chloe’s measurements that night. They weren’t as scary as baby Ella‘s disproportionate and pumpkin-like measurements. Chloe is five-years-old and proportionate but her small frame is just very little compared with my own measurements and those I frequently work with. Freak-out number two! I ended up sewing the dress 50% and safety-pinned the rest for Chloe’s fitting. She loved it. I could easily tell because little girls are incredibly honest and Chloe’s face lit up when I placed her in front of the full length mirror!
I adjusted the pattern a little for Chloe’s measurements. I felt the front corset was a unique and important feature to the character’s dress and so I altered the pattern by completing the heart shaped corset with a contrasting fabric. I opted out of the zipper given the stretch of the fabrics. I double layered the front bodice piece as I decided to a use very sheer sparkly blue fabric. I used pale blue stretch velour for the front corset piece and the back bodice top. I made the skirt portion of the dress with a silky bright blue stretch satin. FYI, canned air really helps when your machine becomes clogged with princess glitter!
Regardless of how challenging and nail-bitting it was to work with these fabrics, I’m so happy I dove in and chose these novel fabrics as they looked beautiful once pieced together. Even better, Chloe was absolutely thrilled with her princess dress. She insisted on wearing the dress home and her mom Clara later informed me that a Let-It-Go-dance-sing-a-long-party took place later that night. Happy Halloween, Everyone!