Last Updated: 06-01-2010
If I had made a Disney Princess costume for the October 2007 Expo group, it would have been Cinderella. Although I didnít go all-out on a dress back then, the idea stayed in the back for my mind, and seemed like a good plan for the Ame 2008 cosplay ball anyway. The deciding factor was my holiday to New York, which let me raid the fashion district and get the fabric cheaper than anything I could buy in this country (bless the $ exchange rate of the time!)The saving I made on the fabric was what made this dress realistic for me! Itís almost 7 yards of some form of nice satin.
I mostly followed the version in the film/art/merchandise, but made some alterations to have it more like a real ballgown, and to my own tastes - most notably the shape of the bodice and the silly shoulder puffs.
I used Butterick 6195 which was very suited for this dress. I was able to use the bodice exactly as it was, just straps in place of sleeves. My original attempt at the bodice has now been redone. Itís interfaced, boned with spiral steel and lined in the same satin as the rest of the dress. The straps are made up of a layer of organza (for a little sparkle and stiffness) with a double layer of chiffon on top for a more matte effect. All that sheer fabric is sewn into a tube and gathered. Thereís a length of ribbon inside for strength. I bought gloves from angelsbridal on ebay, which pretty much match.
I also bought a 3-hoop hoopskirt on ebay, which was about the size I wanted, and the hoops can be adjusted anyway. With the hoopskirt to start, I could then get a better idea of the fullness of skirt I need to go over it. I did use the same dress pattern for the skirt, but found it wasnít anywhere near full enough, so I added extra panels, which allowed for the pleats at the front and back. I later wundawebbed the pleats at the front of the dress to ensure they stay in precisely. The peplum thingy is again organza and chiffon layers, which I messed about with draping and gathering until I got a result I liked. The skirt is constructed with French seams, and has a heck of a lot of fabric in it once you factor in the amount the pleats take up!
I also made the underskirt. Not that itís an important piece of the costume which will show much, but I think itís a nice touch, and it peeks out when Iím showing off my glass slippers. It also helps conceal the hoops of the hoopskirt. Itís a simple rectangle of polycotton about the same width of the circumference of the bottom hoop, gathered with elastic to the waist. I used suiting fabric to make a lined set of scallops which are sewn to the hem - that was the time-consuming part!
It sounds simple enough explaining it now, but I spent a very long time on this dress, making several bodice mock-ups, fitting it nicely, desperately trying to prevent the satin seams puckering (and not entirely succeeding), draping chiffon endlessly and messing with the pleats at the front and back of the skirt. It was my first project of this sort, and really was a learning experience! Having gone back and tried to improve it, Iím a lot happier now with the new bodice.
The wig wasnít as difficult as I expected. It was a fairly old wig which I already had, and it was getting a bit too ratty to wear down anymore, but still alright for an updo. I mostly styled it with trial and error. It is pulled it into a low ponytail, then formed into a sort of French twist, and clipped into place in that big bun shape on top - thereís batting inside to pad it out a little. Lots of hairspray and some pins secure it all. I messed about to make the bun and twist at the back seem more interesting and intricate - I love how the Disney park face charactersí wigs are styled, and would love to try and copy that, but canĎt quite face trying! I bought a hairband which is covered in the blue satin, and I already had the earrings (from my Bubbles costume) and choker (Dagger costume)
The shoes were a challenge to find, and after scouring ebay for weeks, I eventually got a pair cheaply enough. Theyíve got a blue heart on the toe, which is not my favourite aspect, but Cinderellaís do have hearts on them in the film, so itís alright. I donít even wear them much because (ironically) they donĎt fit me well, so theyíre primarily for photos and prop purposes.
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