*This post is part of a series on my blog for a sew along using a single pattern to create many pretty princess dresses. Join in at any time!*
Today I’m going to share for you my tips on how to make a Rapunzel dress. Remember, we are using just one pattern (simplicity 2377 I believe) for all the dresses I’ll be making and I’ll be showing some adaptations along the way to get the dress to “feel” like each particular character. For information on previous dresses and general tips on making this pattern check out the page on the Pretty Princess Sew Along where you can find all of the posts on all of the dresses.
So on to that little gal who loves to brush and brush and brush and brush her hair!
- I’m making a Disney-esque purple Rapunzel dress. Once again I pulled from my fabric stash for a couple of shades of purple. These could easily be tone on tone prints rather than the solids I’ve chosen. You just want to make sure you have a lighter and darker shade. The lighter shade is for the bodice and the darker for the skirt. So buy or choose fabric according the measurements of your child and size.
- One fabric that I did NOT have in my stash but that I consider just the easiest way possible to achieve the necessary striped sleeves, is the pink/purple striped fabric. You may be able to find one at your local fabric store but the one I used is from Michael Miller. I don’t even remember where I bought it, but I do remember thinking that whoever designed this color way had EXACTLY this project in mind…because the name of this colorway of the clown stripe….wait for it…. PRINCESS. We are just using this for the sleeves so I don’t think you would need for than a half yard for any size. I probably only needed a fat quarter for the smallest size.
- You don’t see it pictured here in my supplies but I also ended up adding a fabric ruffle at the waist. You could do ribbon trim as well if you prefer. For the fabric, I simply used a 3″ x WOF strip. So just grab something you have on hand!
I chose two trims for this dress. One is a wider floral pink ribbon for the tie at the waist and the decor on the skirt. The other is a cheap and simple satin 1/4″ wide (or whatever) ribbon for the detailing in the bodice. I just bought a spool of each.
To help with the placement of the ribbon, I show two methods…a washable glue stick or a 1/4″ double sided fusible tape. Again I had both on hand and tried them out. I definitely prefer the glue stick for the bodice work if you are looking for a place to start.
Getting Started! Let’s make the dress
Cut your bodice fabric from the light purple fabric and your skirt from the dark purple fabric.
Cut your sleeves from the stripe, orientating the stripe with the sleeve pattern piece as shown. Doesn’t it make just the perfect sleeve for this dress?!
Next I applied the ribbon to the skirt. This is quick and simple. You just want the ribbon to come out at a bit of an angle from the top of the skirt. I fused the double sided fusible tape onto the ribbon back and then placed it along the lines I drew with a pencil on the dress. I folded the dress skirt front in half to find the center and marked a line on each side in a gentle diagonal equal distances from the center of the skirt. Then top stitch the ribbon in place.
*** I didn’t add anything else to the skirt but I think my daughter wishes I had. She would have preferred a little sparkle. So in retrospect I probably would have added a little sheer piece over the center of the skirt and fused it in place along the edge. Then added the ribbon along the top to finish it off. ***
Next I applied the ribbon to the bodice front. Classic Rapunzel or any princess! I again drew diagonal lines spaced evenly from the center. This time they are closer at the bottom of the bodice front and wider near the neckline. *I think in retrospect I should have made the angle a little stronger here. I didn’t account too well for the fact that the neckline will be gathered and pull the design inward. Ah well. Still cute*
I used the glue stick and place a dab here and there, placing the ribbon in the order shown in the photo above. Totally free handed this with in the lines but you could measure it. The glue holds the ribbon nicely in place until you can top stitch it down. Just criss and cross. (By the way, this is why you want a satin ribbon because you will see both sides of the ribbon). Then place a straight piece of ribbon along the edge of each side to help hold it all down and top stitch.
Ruffle at the Waist
I made a quick and easy optional ruffle at the waist by cutting a 3″ x WOF strip. I just gathered it quickly using a long stitch length and fit it to the bodice. You could apply this after your bodice is sewn together or cut it in half and fit one to the front and back bodice.
I also added a simple ribbon as the tie following the pattern instructions for placement and length. So much easier for costumes!!
(those paying close attention will notice that I don’t have the ruffle at the waist around the back. Trust me it would have been easier to do it that way!)
Then sew all the parts together following the pattern! It’s easy peasy! And you will have your own happy Rapunzel in no time. Mine comes complete with chameleon friend and pretty hair brush. Her hair isn’t quite the right length, but that’s because she doesn’t brush it as well as Rapunzel 😉