The most recent addition to our cosplay collection is Disney Princesses! It is my dream to make the Disney Princess ball gowns, but for now I’m happy we’ve made their peasant attire.
We first wore these outfits at Calgary Expo in the spring and then at a Princess Picnic a few weeks later. There’s just something magical about little girls (and adult women) wanting photos with you as a princess.
Today I’ll share the next instalment in my How To Cosplay series. This is how I turned myself into Belle.
The first step was looking at photos. I’d never sewn anything from an animated character before so instead of looking at Beauty & the Beast screenshots I turned to the character Belle from Disney Parks. This is exactly what I wanted to make. Next I had to look for patterns. I’m decently confident in my sewing ability, but I’m not so confident at drafting patterns from scratch yet. For the dress I used McCall’s 6027 C and for the shirt McCall’s 6750. After looking at patterns for hours I figured I could work with these.
The next step was fabric shopping. I always bring Kris along for this as she’s the best at picking out the right fabric. For the dress we found a perfect blue that’s a little heavier and slightly stretchy. Perfect for shaping into the dress and making it hang like I wanted. We also found some basic white cotton for the shirt and apron. The material is pretty thin but I wasn’t too worried for what I needed it for.
The dress itself was quite simple. I mostly just followed the pattern, but there were a couple adjustments. First, I added length to the dress to make it tea length and then made the straps a little thinner. The neckline also needed to be more square. It was too round to start and simply altering it once I had the rest done was easy and made the dress feel more like Belle.
Belle has what appears to be a white petticoat under her dress. I didn’t particularly want to make or buy one of these so instead I simply bought some white trim and sewed it to the bottom of the dress so it peeks out.
The shirt was probably the most challenging aspect, but still not too difficult. The pattern calls for a number of darts on the front and back. I did do these, but you probably don’t need to if you prefer to keep it simple. I made the sleeves slightly baggier than the pattern. I also used some extra white material to create bows for the bottom of each sleeve. I used snaps to fasten the shirt. The pattern calls for buttons but as the front was going to be covered I stuck to snaps. I sewed 1 button to the front of the dress over the top snap, just to make it look prettier if the blue slipped too low.
The collar was a little tricky. The pattern has a very triangular collar whereas Belle’s is more round. With some difficulty I managed to reshape it into what I was looking for. It then didn’t want to stay pressed in place so I added a couple stitches and attached the collar corners directly to the shirt.
For the apron I decided I could probably put something together from scratch. I measured one side of my waist to the other and the approx length I wanted. I can’t remember the exact measurements, but I don’t think you can really go wrong here. I then attached the apron to the waistband and made it slightly pleated. If you prefer it more pleated just make the piece of fabric a little wider. I double finished all of the edges here as the fabric I bought really likes to fray. I also make sure to iron out the apron and shirt before each time I wear it
Belle’s apron does up with a nice bow in the back. The fabric I used as the tie wasn’t quite long enough to make a bow. So instead I created a white bow from leftover fabric and attach it with a pin each time I wear the outfit. In doing this I used one of the many bow tutorials that exists online.
I then used the same formula to create a blue bow for my hair. I wanted this bow to have a bit more structure so I sewed in a piece of coat hanger. I also attached a barrette clip to the back to allow me to pin it into my hair.
I have bangs which don’t quite fit the Belle image, but I decided I was ok with that and didn’t want to pin them up. I started by curling my hair. Next I did a little twisting of both sides and secured with bobby pins. Belle’s hair is quite big and poofy around her face. This is difficult to achieve unless you have Disney Princess hair or a wig, but I was quite happy with the outcome. I just had to work at it a big to give it some volume. Next I pulled all of the hair back into a low ponytail and placed my blue bow right above where the tie is.
For shoes I just wore simple black flats. At the Disney Parks Belle wears cute little heels with straps. Kris found some of these for Ariel, but I chose to stick with comfy shoes I already had.
Being a Disney Princess is a perfect opportunity to go overboard on makeup. I chose to wear some fake eyelashes in an attempt to get those big eyes all the Princesses are known to have and some red lipstick.
Don’t forget your accessories! As Princesses we all carry baskets instead of purses. It’s an easy way to keep close everything that’s important while still being in character. I added a few items to my basket. First I found an old hardcover book – mine is A Tale of Two Cities. I then bought a large rose from the local dollar store. I really love how the blue of the dress matches the red, green and brown of the basket and accessories. For our Princess Picnic I added a baguette to my basket (I still have half a baguette and now need to figure out to preserve it for future cosplay needs).
And then comes the photos! When you’re Belle, be sure to take lots of photos of you reading. I know I did! If I’d have started at the beginning I would probably be well into A Tale of Two Cities by now.
I hope you find this tutorial useful! Cosplaying as Belle is one of my favourites. If you’re interested in learning how KG made her Briar Rose felt corset you can check it out here.
Have you ever cosplayed a Disney Princess? Have you made that yellow dress I want so badly? I’d love to see photos in the comments!
Thanks for reading. Let me know if you have any questions.
– Justine Alyssa