Monday 7 January 2013

The Perfect Princess Dress...

The dress up box is well used when the little people in the family come to visit. However, it was missing a Princess Dress. Here's how we quickly made one.

Take a petticoat from a wedding dress, a stretchy waistband left over from a dress refashion, the bottom of a skirt, some ribbon and elastic, and you have all the materials required.

The aim of this project was NOT to produce a perfectly sewn dress, but to make one of these little people feel like they were a major part of the whole creative process.

First up was to grab and try on some suitable pre-loved items. I knew the tulle petticoat would instantly be approved off. Luckily for us, it was a good length.

Put the stretchy waistband over the top and a loose fitting petticoat instantly had gathers. Here's where Little Miss totally took over. As she was holding the bodice of the petticoat up, she saw the pile of blue, left over, skirt fabric. If we cut that, and put it here, we can have sleeves... and her little face lit up as she described with her hands and arms how they would look.

It was important that the machine sewing be super quick, as Little Miss wanted to sit, watch and chat. There was no careful aligning of fabrics, no pinning or basting.
  • Cut an extra piece of blue to form a peplum
  • Quickly sew the black stretchy tube, the peplum and the tulle, in one step, pushing the gathers in place while sewing.
  • Cut two rectangles for sleeves, gather and roughly attach.
  • Stretch elastic and sew around the neck.

Now, you'd think that I would have pulled the left sleeve down while I took photos... LOL!!! The sleeves are just attached to the fabric on either side, sort of like a peasant dress, but left to hang loose. The left hand one is attached to a slit in the fabric where there was originally a zipper, while the right one is attached by leaving a gap, thus unwittingly creating the asymmetrical neckline.

The last step was to attach the ribbons. Little Miss chose all the ribbons (pre-loved), decided where they would go, pulled them through the lace and made sure they were even in length, before I tied the bow.

That's all there was to it. I'd estimate actual sewing time was between 15 minutes to half an hour. We took much longer, though, as we talked, planned, laughed and created together.

This is a PERFECT Princess Dress, Little Miss exclaimed when she put on the new dress. She twirled, she danced, she skipped and she sang, very, very happy with her creation.

I have no doubt that the Perfect Princess dress, will not hold up to a lot of wear and tear. A princess dress now, will become something totally different; whatever the little person wants it to be, at another time.

And that's the whole point to a dress up box... to foster creative thinking, to encourage imaginative play and to have fun.

... Pam


  1. awwww... this so cute! what lucky kids to have you in their lives!

  2. love it! What a perfect dress-up dress!

  3. so sweet.. gives me an idea for my own little monkey.

  4. What a great experience for you both Pam!

  5. So sweet! The ribbons are a perfect finishing touch.

  6. So special! If the dress doesn't hold up to wear and tear she can repair it and be the like the Paper Bag Princess :)

  7. What a wonderful way to share time and inspiration!

  8. Aww.. this is soo sweet! Happy Monday.. I am featuring your Art Caddy at this week's Pink Hippo Party @
    Amie @ Pinkapotamus

  9. Oh, what a great idea...letting a little girl create her own special dress! I would love to do this with my daughter someday!

  10. What a wonderful way to spend some creative time together! Little Miss did a fabulous job in her selection of the sleeves and ribbons.:)

  11. Pam, this is fabulous! I think Little Miss and my Princess would get along famously!! :)

  12. Fun! We only have a few dress up things (mostly hats) so far.

    I hope we can have as much fun as you guys did sewing up the kids perfect creations in the years to come!

  13. I would love to make this for my grand-daughter. I’m a new follower. I saw your link on Creating my Way to Success. I would love for you to come by and share your creativity with my friends @

    Robin@ Fluster Buster
    Fluster Muster Linky Party - Wednesdays

  14. That's a special dress for a special girl. I love the light blue part of the dress.

  15. What a fun dress! I love how combined all the different elements! I bet she loves it!
    Thanks for linking up!

  16. OMG !!! I would have loved to have one like this when I was little !!! Love it, love it, love it!!!!!!
    Thanks for sharing!!!
    Marisa from

  17. Awesome! Great job! Hope you are keeping cool!!

  18. What a great dress and it looks like it would fit a variety of kids!

  19. I LOVE this dress Pam - and how wonderful that Little Miss got to design and help make it herself! Brilliant!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you’re having a fabulous weekend.
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  20. great, a dress up box is the very best! Thanks so much for sharing on craft schooling Sunday!

  21. How special that it has been made too. Beautiful.


Thanks for stopping by! I love reading your comments and try to reply to all of them via email. If you don't receive an email reply from me, check back here.