Ariel Original Ballgown: Progress


Ariel is my favorite of the Disney princesses, so I’m not sure why its taken me so long to make her! I fell in love with her new turquoise/teal sparkly dress, so I decided to use that as a jumping off point. At some point I made the decision that I wanted to be poofy and crazy, so style-wise I crossed her new dress with Sarah’s ballgown from the Labyrinth.

For fabric, I allowed myself to buy stuff I would never use normally, like glitter costume satin and shiny organza. I can be kind of a fabric snob, but I wanted this dress to be silly and boisterous. For the color, I chose blue radiance from the casa line for the tulle and organza and a matching glitter satin (some generic brand from Joann’s.) I also found a gorgeous mint green peachskin fabric for the sleeves and binding (not sure if its peachskin, since it was in the cheap costume fabric section, but its so pretty!)

As with most of my costumes using corset style tops, I used my modified version of this pattern. All the costumers I know love this pattern! The way its cut just looks so nice and slims the waist. I made an inner strong layer using twill and used the seam allowances and twill tape for boning casing. Most of the boning is zip ties (not meant to cinch, just to keep shape), with steel boning for the closure ends. When I made the outer later, I sewed the decorative pleats into a big rectangle of fabric, pressed/fused it to interfacing, then cut out the center pattern piece. The outer layer is glitter satin, and the lining is the same satin but reversed so the glitter isn’t touching the skin. I made bias tape out of the minty peachskin to bind the top and bottom.

For the sleeves I drafted a poof shape and made it out of organza. Basically I made it as big as I could without it sagging under the weight. The rest of the sleeves I just draped over my arm for the snug fit. Admittedly I should have used a stretch fabric, but I couldn’t find any I liked. I did cut on the bias to help with movement. The ends have button closures to allow a more snug fit around my wrists. Since the sleeves are designed to sit low, my arms would be restricted movement-wise (I learned my lesson with Amalthea), so I attached little tabs to hook onto the bodice to make it easier on me.

For the skirt I used this pattern. I like this one because of the pleated V in the front. I made one layer out of my glitter satin. Over that is a layer of tightly pleated shiny tulle, then another layer of pleated organza. I like doing pleats because it makes it super poofy up top, and is easier and flatter than gathering (since I have a ruffle foot). I hemmed the satin and organza with a tiny rolled hem. Before attaching to a generic satin waistband, I put the organza over a tarp and painted on the shells/stars with glitter paint and added all the sparkles I could. Under the skirt is a generic hoopskirt I’d already made, plus a turquoise tulle petticoat to hide the hoopskirt ridges.

For her hair, I used a Maroon Claudia from Arda Wigs. I didn’t have to cut anything, I just went nuts with the 80s poof styling. I made a crown out of craft foam and decorative paper, and added all the crazy fishies and stars and whatnot I could find. The leaves and bobbles are leftover from my Margaery costume.

The purple shell jewelry is all real shells I painted and bedazzled. I also made the necklace out of random pearls/star/shell beads. (I used to make jewelry before this costuming thing :P). Also Michaels mysteriously put their Swarovski crystals on clearance, so I went to town bedazzling everything I could!

Below is a gallery of progress pics, and later I’ll link the gallery with the final images!