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: 

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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!)

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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....

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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!)

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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!

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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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Star Wars Sundresses - sewing project!

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Happy May the Fourth, everyone! 

You might not have guessed it from all my Princess rants, but I'm a really big SciFi geek at heart! And my favorite SciFi of all is Star Wars! Oh, how I'd love to go to Disney for the Star Wars weekends someday!

About a year and a half ago, well before we started planning our 2015 trip to Disney World, we were spending time with our good friends --- who also happen to be Eva's godparents --- when they remarked how the girls remind them of R2D2 and C-3PO.  Eva, at a little over 2 yrs old, communicated through gibberish punctuated by lots of squeals, and Viola was always nearby to translate in her flabbergasted 5-yr-old-going-on-15-yr-old tone: 

"She wants another cookie, mommy, obviously." 

"She's saying she doesn't want to take a bath, mommy, duh."

"What she means is she wants to keep coloring, mommy. Didn't you hear her say: COLOR MORE?"

In fact, Eva didn't really find her voice truly until last summer when her sister went away on vacation. Then she suddenly had lots to say for herself! 

But, I digress. 

After the R2D2 / C-3PO connection was brought to my attention, I thought it would be funny to buy the girls tshirts, so I ordered some tshirts online.

The R2D2 shirt was just fine, but the C-3PO one, despite being a child's Small, was waaaaay too big for Viola! 

So, I decided to alter it from a tshirt to some sort of a sundress.  My original plan was pretty simple: cut off the sleeves and add some straps and maybe a tie-back and turn it into something like a pillow case dress.  

As I did a little research (you can see my pinterest board for the project here) and started getting into the sewing, though, I decided that a pillow case dress was just too plain. I picked up some gold lamme and glitter tulle at JoAnn's for the C-3PO dress and, of course, then I needed to pick up some blue outerspacy tulle to make a skirt for the R2D2 dress, too. 

My sewing assistant. Super helpful for unwinding spools of ribbon!

My sewing assistant. Super helpful for unwinding spools of ribbon!


R2D2

R2D2 was pretty straight forward: I created a tulle skirt by panelling together the two styles of tulle that I'd bought, the regular shiny blue with the "metal-infused" sparkly one (I told Eva that those were robot bits). Underneath the tulle was a metallic blue mini skirt to give it some extra robot-y-ness, too!  

I then also removed the tshirt sleeves and added a little ruffle to the shoulder. Finally, some blue holographic ribbon to tie it all together!


C-3PO

C-3PO was a bit trickier. I used the same dress pattern as I was using for our Harry Potter sundresses to create the collar, then attached to it the graphic portion of the tshirt that I wanted to keep on the front and the back. 

The skirt was perplexing and I tried LOTS of different variations.... 

attempt #1 was to do the same thing I'd done with the R2D2 dress, but it was too... I don't know. Too not right!

attempt #1 was to do the same thing I'd done with the R2D2 dress, but it was too... I don't know. Too not right!

Attempt #2 was too princessy.

Attempt #2 was too princessy.

For attempt#3 I thought maybe a more mini-skirt type ruffle skirt might work, (I was inspired by this grey skirt that the girls had) but that was too.... again, I don't know. Too not right.

My husband pointed out the C-3P0 would be better suited with just the gold lycra pants, but that didn't fly with Viola, who kept insisting that the gold pants would look great under a skirt, so that was out as well...

(Let's call that one "too not fancy enough".)

Finally, I returned to the ruffled skirt idea. The first version was WAY too big... 

Way, way, ridiculously way too big.

But close!

As much as I hated to do it (because by then, as you can imagine, I was so over this outfit), I had to entirely remove the tutu, pare it down, and reattach it. I was pretty happy with the end result. 

I was only able to find gold lycra pants in sizes too big for Viola, but that was fine. I trimmed them down by stitching along the inseam and tucking in the waist, then I cut off some of the leg length and used the excess material to make "gloves", that Viola prefers to wear like sleeveless. nd I found these amazing gold sneakers from an overseas vendor in eBay! They took a few weeks to arrive, but totally worth it!


HAPPY DANCE!


Even though it wasn't the initial inspiration for the outfits, we did take them with us on our 2015 Disney vacation for the girls to wear to Hollywood Studios. We knew we were going to try to get Viola signed up for Jedi Academy Training. The outfits garnered lots of compliments and I think played a part in Viola getting placed front stage for the show. 

Of course, there are some things I would change if I were to make them over again, but all told I'm really happy with how they turned out!

For those of my readers who followed this sewing odyssey on my Facebook page, I thank you for your patience and feedback as I was working through the designs. I'm so excited to finally be able to share with you the final costumes and pictures from our trip, and of course make sure to check out the video of Viola participating in Jedi Training Academy!  


 

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