Saturday, April 20, 2013

Radiant Rapunzel

 Last A to Z Challenge post of the week! Today's letter is R, for Radiant Rapunzel, the first character costume I made for my daughter.
 We're big fans of Tangled in my house, so when I asked my daughter what she wanted to be for Halloween, she picked Rapunzel. I might have encouraged the choice a little bit... and then she tried to change her mind after I bought the fabric and started planning the costume - no turning back then! (If you look above, this dress is one of the items in my logo banner!)

I stubbornly refused to buy the Disney brand Simplicity pattern for this costume, partly because I thought I could do better without it, and partly because I do not like single-style patterns, and there were no other dresses it showed as options. The Cinderella costume pattern from last year was different - it can be Snow White also. Instead, I used a formal girls dress pattern my mom had handed down to me. I think she got two copies of it by mistake one time. Free patterns can sometimes be best patterns, and Simplicity 4764 was a good fit!
Pretty flower girls, aren't they? I liked the skirt and sleeves, but the bodice needed work to be Rapunzel's.
This was my sketch, to get an idea I could draw and scribble on, not one of my daughter's books or her play table with Rapunzel on it! I decided to just make the bodice wider, and fold over and sew for the corset parts - it didn't need to be supportive or shaped around breasts, not for a two and a half year old!
 I did a lot of this work in a marathon sewing session, staying up all night watching The Lord of the Rings Extended Edition, finally - after probably five or more years of having those dvds and never watching them. (I watched all of our Star Wars dvds while sewing the Cinderella costume [original trilogy]) Remotes can make handy pattern weights!
My first attempt at widening the bodice for the corset inlay wasn't quite wide enough... the wider one was actually my third attempt! Good thing I got extra fabric, and this didn't take much yardage.
This is a little bit of the steps I took - figuring out how far apart, fold, pin, sew, iron, sew more!
The sleeves weren't too complicated, once I discovered the ribbon I thought would work for stripes was too sheer and wouldn't show up. Extra bit of pink satin to the rescue! I cut the pink satin close to the shape of the sleeve - narrower because there wouldn't be stripes in the underarm area, taller because I wanted them caught fully in the seams. Then I cut strips, ironed down both sides, pinned to the purple sleeves in rows, and stitched them on. Adding the lace at the bottom is just the perfect little touch!

For the skirt, I made the main front panel a lighter purple, with two overhangs of darker purple coming over that on both sides. Gathering the skirt together to attach to the bodice can be a pain when it's a full skirt, but that rectangle sure does look pretty when it's all together, doesn't it?

Here you can see the dress almost finished... with sleeves, then the grommets! I love my grommet presser, it's so nice to come up with a project like this, and know I can add in grommets with ease. This dress also has the MOST trim I've ever put on a single dress - but it's all costume-appropriate. Since in the movie, Rapunzel makes her own dresses, I think she just has a thing for lace.

I may be a snob when it comes to store bought costumes, but I can be a sucker for licensed accessories... This year, she didn't get the princess shoes (they were sold out anyhow), but she got a light up crown that came with a musical necklace and a purse - mainly I wanted the iconic crown! And she already had the doll, I can't resist taking a photo of doll and costume!

 And here, the princess herself in her dress! She still loves it, even though the satin snagged early on. Maybe it's because I let her sit on that bridge? There is a lot of length hemmed up in the skirt with the idea of letting it out as she grows taller, but with the snags I'm thinking that's a no-go. Oh well, she can have fun with it now!
Thanks for joining me again on the A to Z blogging journey! Check out the other bloggers in the challenge and come back next week for more!


  1. Tangled is a favorite of mine too! I especially love the song "at last I see the light..." And that horse was hilarious!

    What a beautiful dress you saw!! Your daughter looks like a perfect princess in it. She's so cute!

    1. Maximus is awesome! Gotta love a horse with character.

      Thank you, she is my little princess - first Rapunzel, then Cinderella, next Aurora!

  2. I still love the costume you did. If I start sewing maybe I should tackle making the girls' costumes this year. Be prepared for lots of questions :)

    1. I'll do the best I can without giving you in person lessons =) I can share a few simpler patterns with you - like the one for the gypsy costume isn't too difficult.

  3. I've nominated your blog for Very Inspiring Blogger award. If you are at all interested in accepting it, you can see the details here

    1. Oh, you're so sweet, thank you!!

  4. I am impressed, to day the least! I am collecting ideas to make a Rapunzel dress for my 3 year old and came across this entry. Simply fabulous! I love making costumes for my daughter but it would be a second proper dress that requires such an amount of hard work and attention to detail. The first one was Princess Sofia the First, the dress is still a huge hit and was so worth confectioning it myself.