Belle of the Ball Costume
Hi! My name is Sarah and I am a college student, studying musical theater. I have acquired a passion for photography and wanted to turn people into Disney characters, particularly their personal favorites. However, I had no costume and no one to make them. Thus, I began my quest to create the iconic character costumes. My first victory came with the creation of Belle from Beauty and the Beast. I went to a local thrift store for inspiration and found a gorgeous gold bedspread. I took it back to my dorm room and went to town.
First, I had to separate the ornate gold fabric from the bottom layer that matched but was thinner and more like a sheer fabric. Once the batting was removed along with the trim, I cut the gold into a large circle skirt (and hemmed it). With the help of a friend, I drew lines up the fabric from the edges of the skirt to the center/waistline, separating it into sections and allowing me to stitch on the lines later. After the lines were drawn, I attempted to use a machine to stitch a straight line up from the bottom of the skirt to the waist, following the lines I had drawn and only locking in the bottom of the stitch. Once at the top, I used the thread to pull the fabric up from the bottom, bunching it and allowing for the iconic, petal-like swoops in her skirt (my technical terminology is almost too accurate). At this point, my sewing machine decided to fail me and I had to continue the line-stitching by hand completely. I then took the fabric from the backside of the quilt and made a full circle skirt out of it to reach the floor and be the bottom layer below the petaled layer.
Once the skirt was completed, I used a cheap bodice as a basis to piece together a bodice of my own from the scraps left behind by the circle skirt. Again, this is really vague but all completely improvised and hand-stitched. I added a panel at the back to snap over, allowing for any extra skin to be covered in the back.
I sewed in some cup-inserts I had left over from a dress that had been made for someone a bit more well-endowed than me.
Finally, I took some sheer fabric and rough-cut some off the shoulder sleeves! Tah-Dah! It’s Belle!