Sewing Project: Tremaine Sisters' Costumes

1900 Park Fare is one of our favorite restaurants. On our 2011 trip, we did the "Cinderella's Happily Ever After Dinner" and on our 2013 trip we tried the "Supercalifragilistic Breakfast". (You can read my comparison of the two character meals here). When I was planning our 2015 trip the Cinderella dinner was at the top of both girls' wish lists to do again. The girls were excited to see Cinderella, of course, but what they really wanted was some time with the Tremaine family. We've always enjoyed our witty and irreverent meetings with the evil steps sisters. 

My girls are girly-girls and they love costumes (in cases you hadn't noticed!) The fancier the better. At some point (probably when we were making the Anastasia / Drizella halloween masks!), the idea came up to make Anastasia and Drusilla costumes and we started keeping an eye out for suitable materials at our favorite thrift store.

I was able to find some pretty good used clothing items (skirts, shirts, etc.) in fuschia and lime green that I thought would work, as well as a costume that looked like a close match in terms of the cut of the dress that the sisters wear in the parks. I wish I could say these costumes were made with up-cycled clothes like our Harry Potter sundresses are but, unfortunately, things didn't work out exactly as I would have liked with the pattern/sizing and we ended up having to shop at JoAnn Fabrics for material about halfway through. 

Making Anastasia Tremaine's Pink Dress: 


The thrift store fabrics that I originally started with is on the left. Because of the placement of buttons on the outfit and my own ineptitude laying out the pattern, and because my daughter is bigger than I realized!, I had to start over. Pretty much, if I'd just winged it like I did with the Harry Potter sundresses I would have been fine, but because I was trying to follow a pattern fabric got wasted that I couldn't afford and I ended up with not enough to complete the outfit. 

Below is my second attempt with the fabric store materials. (So, so much more expensive than upcycling, btw!)


She's thinking, "What is it that those mice sang about needing 'Trimmin'?"  That it's good for covering up sloppy seams, my dear! :-)

There was a little gap in the hem of the overskirt and it let the tulle spill out behind like a little train. Evie loved it, so we left it that way. I'd also bought some strands of magenta beads to make a gaudy necklace out of, but we simply ran out of time....


Making Drizella's Tremaine's Lime Dress: 

Learning from my mistakes with the pink dress, instead of following the pattern for Drizella's dress exactly, I decided to create the bodice from a thrip-store button down I found and attach it to the sleeves from another thrift store button down I found. I also tried to make the bustle out of the same green shirt, but there wasn't enough material and despite my best efforts the bustle never really worked out as nicely as it did on the pink dress and ultimately I had to tear it out and replace it with a new bustle made from teal fabric I found from the fabric store. 

The original skirt was meant to be made from this awesome lime green curtain I found at the thrift store. However, when we went to the fabric store my daughter found this fancier material and convinced me that her skirt should be beaded like her sisters. I'm a sucker for pretty material, I guess, so I gave in. (Have I mentioned how much more expensive buying fabric is compared to upcycling from old clothes?! Even with my 20% off entire purchase and 50% off one-item coupons from JoAnn's the shopping trip really hurt!)


The final skirt had a tulle underskirt (gathered with a running stitch) and a really pretty lime green detailed top skirt. I tried to find a way to incorporate the green curtain I love so much, but in the final dress the only place it stuck was as a lace accent on the sleeves. As is a common theme with my sewing projects, the area where the skirt meets the bodice got extremely thick and when I was trying to sewing it together I kept breaking needles. Super frustrating! I certainly could have used some little mice and bird friends to do that part!


These dresses were also my first experience with sewing on a zipper, which was both harder and easier than I expected. I've always used buttons or ties wherever possible because the idea of zippers made me anxious, but in retrospect button holes are no easy feat either!

At this point I apparently stopped taking process photos because I was so frustrated. I tore out the bustle and replaced it with a new one, and I folded up the sleeves and added elastic / trimmings to make it look like the poof sleeve in the cartoon. I would like to say that it was substantially easier to use the sleeve off an up cycled shirt and to just shorten it than it was to make a sleeve from scratch (as I had to do with the pink dress). I added tulle to the poofy sleeves as well as to the bustle on both dresses to help them keep their shape.

The girls were super excited about the bustles and couldn't wait until the dresses were done to start playing evil step sisters. Every time I needed them to try it on in the  middle of the process I lost the dress to 20 minutes of flouncing around and evil stepsister posing! (Note to self: time to get a mannequin!)

To complete the outfit, we made Anastasia/Drizella themed headbands. I bought the big flowers at the same time I bought the fabric (they were really inexpensive, on sale for .50 each!), and was fortunate to still have lots of ribbon leftover from our fancy halloween crayon hats from the year before! 

The dresses were a big hit at the 1900 Park Fare dinner! My only disappointment was that the photos photographer at the Park Fare entrance didn't do a little bit more with that photo. I'm hoping to get some better pictures of the dresses taken sometime soon, because I'm really proud of how they turned out!


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