"Mommy, you should get a Belle dress for ME for YOUR birthday."
My three year old, AKA "Belle," has a bit of a princess obsession. She collects princess dresses like my grandma collects S&P shakers...by the hundreds. But one all important princess had yet to arrive at our house. We had NO Belle dress. This was just unacceptable, and since my birthday was approaching (Belle knows she has to wait until every other member of her family has a birthday before she gets another one), it was only logical that I should get a Belle dress. Of course!
As part of Belle's princess obsession, she wears one of her dresses every moment that she is home and awake. We don't let them leave the house (though a few of our tutus have made cameos at Target) and we don't let her sleep in them, but other than that you can pretty much bet she has one on. It goes without saying that these commercially made costumes aren't holding up to constant use very well. The layers of once glittery tulle are now dingy and shredded. The sparkly sequins are jazzing up our carpet instead of the hemlines. And the satiny bodices are decorated with more marker than lace. So when contemplating yet another princess dress, I decided it was time to find something a little more durable....and our peasant Belle dress was born.
I modified a simple peasant dress pattern (remember googooagogo.etsy.com???) to allow for a full double-layer skirt. Then I just had to fancy up the top hemline with some gathers to create the iconic image that we all associate with the Beauty.
This Beauty is made of cotton, machine washable and fully hemmed (no fraying edges...yay!). It is roomy through the body, elasticized at the neck and sleeves, and about a size big so my Belle can put it on by herself. There are no buttons, snaps, zippers, or velcro to complicate matters.
All in all, I'd say it is a success! Belle's response, "I think it is just beautiful! Too stinking cute!" Yes - she said that:)