Wednesday, May 1, 2013

princess for a day: cinderella

Back in October, I looked at Belle's costume and how you could make a not-80's inspired Belle dress. Basically, it was I-wish-I-had-a-sewing-machine-and-money daydream about pretty dresses around midterms. Now that I'm getting into spring finals, the same thing is hitting me. This time though, I picked Cinderella--and I want to do a little better at putting this together now!

This is the Cinderella I'm used to (and that I think most people are used to). Cinderella came out in 1950, so her look was very Dior New Look inspired, with the holdovers from the '40s. Her dress has a series of box pleats going down the center of her skirt, an overskirt/bustle/pannier thing going on, a tight, center-seam bodice, and cute little puffed sleeves. For the most part, though, to be identifiably Cinderella, you just need a pale blue dress with sleeves (preferably puffed!) and a natural waistline. But mainly the color. 

This is a 1943 pattern that looks a lot like Cinderella's! You can see the inspiration from things like this in her gown.


This might be colored Belle, but that full fifties skirt and the little sleeves are definitely also Cinderella reminiscent. And if it were blue, this would look pretty Cinderella-ish. 

B5696--with sleeves this would actually be a fairly decent 1870s repro!

Here's a mid-1880s bustle gown with an overskirt, vaguely reminiscent of Cinderella's. It has the same tight-fitting bodice with a very different skirt silhouette, which plays up the historical changes. It wouldn't be too hard to add in some puffed sleeves, with a little bit of sewing experience.

Dress (Ball Gown)--if I ever have the time to attempt a dress like this, I want it to have *that* neckline

Not at all the right color, but the 1890s were all about puffed sleeves, tight bodices, and full skirts. Many evening gowns had tiny little puffed sleeves much like Cinderella's. Done right, something like this could be very princess-y!


Now, we don't do the big floofy skirts of sixty years ago. But I'd love to see someone take a simple pattern like this A-line skirt one and make it a fantastic formal for Cinderella--especially with the cut-out back!

About the Artist Dress in Navy - Long, Blue, Solid, Buttons, Ruffles, Shirt Dress, Cap Sleeves, White, Work, Vintage Inspired, Belted, Cotton, Best Seller, Button Down, Collared, Fit & Flare, Casual, Variation, Nautical, 50s, Daytime Party, Pinup

Of course, most of these are so costume-y/formal, I'd never sew them for their impracticality. So I also love the idea of an everyday princess dress, for all those days when your social calendar is perverse and simply won't give you a ball to attend. This has such cute, mid-century princess-esque details, like the puffed sleeves and ruffles. 

Where do you find inspiration for a princess dress?


  1. Love this fashion history! Thanks for sharing! Xo, M&K at

    1. I love fashion history, especially princesses! :D Check back in, I've got more historical princesses (and historical fashion in general) planned. Thanks for visiting!


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