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Weekend WIP: Ariel Dress

If you see some awkward spots remaining, remember this is a work-in-progress! Some parts are just pinned in these pictures, not stitched yet.

There are two main parts of this 3T Ariel ballgown that I am engineering from scratch: the skirt front, and the sleeves. I will admit, my only costuming experience is yearly Halloween costumes x 3 for quite a few years. But I am able to figure out ways to get what I want out of my fabric and sewing machine based on past experiences and logic.

I had a great time working on these sleeve insets. I refused to cave into the current no-brainer solution and just fuse some fabric shapes onto the sleeve — it just looks too “I’m a new sewer” for me. These dresses are not worth taking shortcuts. Besides, it takes away a lot of the fun :)

Always make a practice piece when you are experimenting like this! I didn’t show you the palm sized scrap of satin with one inset — my trial run! It’s essential to test how your material behaves, what stitch settings you want to use, etc. I ended up changing the shape of the inset quite a bit, based on my sample. So glad I took the time to work it up!

I wanted to make sure the sleeve didn’t wilt, had detail based on the ballgown from “The Little Mermaid” Disney movie, and was wearable, sturdy, and not too hot. Therefore I skipped the long sleeve portion of the dress, and used the layers of fabric to add support to the soft satin.

My original intention was to use matching thread to topstitch around the openings, but I liked the look of the narrow pink zigzag on my sample so much, I had to do it here.

Sewing this Ariel ballgown for the little friend who will wear it is like sewing for Samantha when she was that age! One size around, but another size or two up in length!

Next time you see Ariel or Belle around here, it won’t be in a WIP post! If you have any questions, I’d love to share!

Have a great 3-day weekend, everyone!



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