First.... Pick the princess you want to dress as..
If you didn't pick Snow White, then this isn't the tutorial for you.
Not only did I make the outfit, I"m the one wearing it as well.
You can see more of my costume work on my Facebook page
Step 1: Gathering Referance + Picking Fabrics
I'd like to apologize in advance for some of my terms used throughout this tutorial. Many times I’m not sure of the proper terminology so I took a best guess.
Anyways, this guide is based off of the great work done by Annie Leibovitz. I made adjustments to make it my own version but her guide was a great starting point. I also studied what era this dress would have been in, looking at details like the sleeves, collar and the cut of the corset.
When picking fabrics my motto was “If I was a little girl, would this be soft enough to rub my face against?", if it met this motto then it was a winner. In addition the fabric should look expensive - ones that absorb light rather than reflect it.
Ultra Suede Dark Blues (Corset)
Ultra Suede light Blue (Sleeve)
Stretch Yellow Velvet (Skirt)
Cream Lining (Skirt)
Duchess satin for the Red (Bow, Inside the sleeve, Inside the cape)
Stretch Red Velvet (Cape)
White Cotton (Collar)
Heavy Duty Interfacing (Collar)
Double sided iron on interface (cape)
Yellow Zipper (skirt)
Skirt Hooks (corset/Skirt)
Red Bias tape (cape)
If you can find a yellow fabric that DOES NOT stretch, I would highly recommend it! I really wanted mustard yellow, so this was the only way to get it - which it ended up being a bit of trouble to work with and I cannot store it hanging up.
You will need a large amount of fabric for the skirt, so I’d recommend using a less expensive fabric for that so that you can treat yourself to an iced coffee and lobster dinner with the money saved.
Step 2: Corset
Dark Blue suede
I started off with the Disney Simplicity pattern for the corset. I started off by making it up in Muslin, tried it on and modified, modified, modified, till I got the shape that I wanted.
Once the mockup was done and I liked the fit, I sewed bias tape on, as a way to act as a channel for my corset boning and then slid my boning in. Finally I sewed the top in to keep it in place. I now have my muslin corset with the boning.
From here I had to cut out
-A copy in the blue fabric
-Copy in Muslin
-Copy in the lining.
Then I took the Muslin and sewed it to the blue fabric - ironed them together and then sewed with the longest stitch - approximately where I was going to sew the corset itself together. Next I trimmed the excess muslin to close the stitch and then sewed all the corset pieces together - using the previous stitch as a guide. You want to sew on top of the stitch or to the inside of it, so you can’t see it when you flip the piece over. If you do see stitches, you can just seam rip them off.
Next take your lining pieces and sew those together. Then I sandwiched the Muslin piece with boning in between the blue suede piece and lining. Stitch the whole outside of that together. Make sure you pin it so your layers don't shift on you and your boning lands on the areas that you want it to. I then cut a long piece of suede and bound off the collar and the bottom/back. This gives it a nice finished edge.
Besides adding the sleeves, all that is left is to add a privacy panel - sew a square piece of fabric to one side of your corset, so that way you can shut your corset completely, you don’t want to show any skin - and put the grommets in.
Once the corset and the skirt are done, I sewed in some skirt hooks (as you can see). This is just to make sure that the weight of the skirt doesn’t cause it to sink and helps to keep the waistband under the corset.
Step 3: Sleeves
Light Blue suede
Dark Blue suede
The sleeves are based on a slash sleeve. The reference material had red fabric along the outside edge but I wanted it as two separate elements. So I made the sleeve pattern, cut out the holes that I wanted the red to peek through then I made a copy in the red fabric (with no holes). Making it slightly bigger than the blue sleeve so a bit would peek through; I then stitch the red to some muslin to make it thicker.
Red under sleeve: I just did two running stitches and gathered it till it was the same length as the blue sleeve. This also causes the sleeve to be puffier.
Blue sleeve: just finished all the edges.
Sew the two together, cut a strip of the dark blue suede and finished off the arm hold. Once that was done attach it to the corset.
You’re a little closer to being a pretty, pretty, princess!
Step 4: Skirt
Muslin (Waist Band)
Small (Waist Band)
Velvet is considered a grain or pile fabric – meaning it has a raised (fuzzy) surface. Pile fabrics will change in color depending on how the light hits them. So even though I wanted a circle patterned skirt, I went for the tube pattern to guarantee that the light would be hitting it at pretty much the same angle all around.
It’s been awhile so I don't remember exactly how many yards of fabric I used but I cut half circles, so the seams are down the side.
First thing I did was to locate the center and then create some darts. Then I pleated outwards from there and sewed it with two running stitches and gathered the last little bit. I finished the hem by serging the lining and then serging the velvet. Flipped it up and then just did a basic stitch around the hem.
I added the cream lining and sewed it up into a waist band. I ended up adding a side zipper.
Step 5: Wig & Bow
I found a wig locally that looked flattering on me, but gave the same silhouette as the animated drawing of her hair, also with the curls reads a little more youthful then if they were tight rolls. Also decided putting the bow to one side for the same reason as well.
Sometimes its better to go with something that looks flattering on you then something that is canon to the character.
To tie it into the rest of the Costume, I used the satin I used in the inside of the sleeve for the bow. I started by traced out my headband, made a little sock and shoved the handband in it.The Bow is just one piece of fabric, that I hand tacked some pleats into then another piece tightly wrapped around the middle then stitched to the underside of the headband to prevent sliding.
Step 6: Collar & Cape
Red Satin (cape)
Red Velvet (cape)
Red Bias Tape (cape)
Double sided iron on interface (cape)
White Cotton (collar)
Heavy Duty Interface (collar)
Collar: Found this cute Snow Flake fabric and created the shape I wanted. I put the heavy duty interface and sandwiched in between. The collar has a lip that slides underneath that have female snaps that attach to male snaps on the inside of the corset. It helps keep the collar "popped!"
I'm sure there is a better way to do this but this is the way I went with :)
Cape: The cape is a stretch Velvet lined with satin. You have to double side interface these two things together because stretch and non-stretch obviously don't play well together! The collar of the cape is all one piece that lies over top of the back piece. I tack stitched some wrinkles and then BLAMMO Disney cape! To make is easier I ended up just stitching the cape to the front of the corset because the weight of the cape was causing it to fall back.
Step 7: Additional
Shoes: Purchased flat shoes(flats equal Disney heels equal stripper Disney) also Snow White doesn't need additional height. She is a Short princess.
Petticoat: Purchase at Mary Jo's, in North Carolina.
Apple: Great prop to have, I opted for the fake apples, which when I let the kids hold it, they always call me out on it. If you see the number of times I drop my fake apple you will see why I don't get a real one.
Step 8: Pictures!
Find 7 little people or short men
And remember "Whistle while you work!"