Step 1: Decide on a character.
I love the idea of going as a themed duo or group, so I ended up with Snow White because my little guy, Valentino, makes a perfect Happy the dwarf.
Step 2: Research.
And who needs an excuse to watch a classic Disney cartoon!
Step 3: Gather your pattern and materials.
Pattern: Simplicity 2813
Bodice: Blue velvet
Skirt, Collar, & Lt. Blue Sleeves: Flannel backed satin (great for a little extra warmth!)
Cape: Iridescent Taffeta
Cape & Sleeve Lining: Crinkle satin with random sequins and embroidery.
Petticoat: White Muslin
Most of the fabric was purchased from the clearance section at JoAnn Fabrics.
Step 4: Make alterations and adjustments to pattern.
The one thing I really did not like was the cheap looking sleeve treatment. The pattern advises you to fuse sections of one fabric to another with raw edges - ick! It took a bit more time, but I cut an inner and outer sleeve. I created a template for my cutouts a bit more tear-drop shaped than the pattern, cut those templates with seam allowances, sewed right side to right side on my outer-sleeve, clipped the seams, and turned to the inside before invisibly stitching the facings down. The inside sleeve was then basted to the outer sleeve, right side to wrong side and treated as a single piece for gathering and setting in.
I made covered cording in my yellow skirt satin for the center bodice seam as suggested, and added cording to the bodice/skirt seam as well for a more finished look.
Because I did not have enough yellow satin, I left one skirt section out completely, gently pleated the front section, and pleated and gathered the back. I think I prefer the flat front to the gathered Simplicity look (this is also more like the original cartoon drawings as well).
Instead of using velcro to attach the collar, I used snaps (I have never had a good relationship with velcro, and I hate how everything always catches in it - especially hair, and this piece is attached at the neckline). You could also slip-stich the collar in place, but if you plan on driving anywhere, it would be helpful to have an easy way to remove the piece. My collar was interfaced with heavy sew-in interfacing on both pieces, and I also added three lengths of plastic boning to help keep it from flopping over.
My cape was attached with a hook and eye to two thread loops I sewed on the bodice shoulders so the cape did not pull back toward the neck. The pattern suggests sewing snaps to both shoulder seams, but I would recommend thread loops if you plan on wearing the dress without the cape at some point.
Step 5: Hint!
Step 6: Finishing touches.
The wig was originally a Bettie Page wig purchased at Party City. It is not a fabulous wig, and not exactly what I was looking for, but I was able to style it a la Snow White. The extra length of the wig and the funky “curls” were tucked under and secured with pins and the bangs were “opened.” A cheap headband from Claire’s was covered in the red fabric.
I added a white petticoat for a bit more warmth and to add a bit of poof to the skirt.
Step 7: Puppy Costume
Felt is a great inexpensive choice. This is craft felt, and not nearly as nice as the wool stuff, but for a costume that is going to be worn a few times it works great.
And because a drafted pattern is always helpful instead of starting from scratch, I used Simplicity 3939. The pattern helped with placement of front leg openings and sleeves. I eliminated the back leg business because I don’t think ‘Tino would have been very happy with the restrictive quality.
The biggest challenge with creating Happy’s costume was the cap/beard. I knew that any type of headdress was going to require an elastic to keep it on my furry little guy. So to help disguise the elastic band, I grabbed a small bunch of fiberfill I had on hand and folded it over the elastic and stitched.
What a cutie!