Well, it’s just about the middle of February, and if you had told me a month ago that I would just now be getting this blog post up, I would have said you were crazy. Because to say I’ve been looking forward to finally be sharing in full detail what I’ve been working on for the past 6 months would be putting it mildly. But as it turns out, I can be a master procrastinator when I choose to be, which is precisely what has been happening all week as night after night, I came up with some sort of an excuse not work on this. But no more. And so today, I shall attempt to start making my way through a series of posts of costumes and parties centered around Disney’s Live Action Aladdin.
This whole crazy journey all started back in May when I took my kids to see the new movie. Growing up, Aladdin wasn’t in my top favorite Disney movies so I wasn’t especially looking forward to the newest remake. I honestly even debated on whether or not to see it in the theater at all. But I did, and oh my goodness, I looooovvvved it.
As with most of the live-actions, I really appreciated the added depth and backstory the characters were given. And the new song Speechless. But all of that paled in comparison to the costumes.
By far my favorite overall movie costumes of the remakes to date. Cinderella’s ballgown is gorgeous, Belle’s wedding dress is lovely, but every single one of Jasmine’s dresses were stunning. It kind of had me wanting to remake every one. I never even remotely thought I would actually end up doing that but now that it’s all said and done, it’s not too far off 😆.
At first, I started out by quickly taking a few women’s dresses I found at thrift stores, altering them a bit, and adding some extra trim, to give my little girl dresses that were inspired by the movie
They certainly weren’t anything fancy or even remotely jaw-dropping, but they did put a huge smile on her face which was hard not to want to replicate again and again. So I just kept on going.
I kicked it up a little bit when I decided to make her the Agrabah marketplace dress from the beginning of the movie:
This one I made from scratch and it was actually my very first time to do that without a pattern, so I was excited that it managed to come out in the end.
And then she obviously needed an Aladdin and Abu to go along with her:
Owen’s costume was super simple: just a basic women’s peasant blouse taken in a bit, some cut off pants with elastic added to them, and a simple vest.
All of that brought me until the end of summer and by then, I was mostly winding down. But then my girl came to me and asked if I could make her Jasmine’s wedding dress. I told her no. She would have to wait. Mommy was just too busy. (But I’m pretty sure that as early as that night, I checked my fabric stash and realized that I had enough for a beginning.)
So I decided that this was the perfect chance to surprise her with something extra special and homemade for Christmas (and also teach her a little bit of patience along the way.) Of course I didn’t realize that by the end of it, I would have to re-learn the lesson of self-control, myself. Because as you will see, one dress became two, then three, and then four.
What can I say? Minimalism meets its end with me.
But, as the title of this post suggests, I’m going to save sharing those other projects for another post, and just show you pictures of how the wedding dress turned out.
Here’s the inspiration:
And here’s how my version turned out:
I think what I’m most proud of is the fact that the dress itself (minus the embellishments), was made entirely from second-hand items. The fabrics were all either from what I had in my stash, or purchased for pennies at thrift sales. I shopped around on eBay and found a vintage saree border for the bodice, sleeve detail and hem of the skirt. (You’ll hear later how this shopping on eBay was the spark that spawned the next projects, but we’ll just focus on the initial money-saving aspect of this find right now, ok?)
Even the veil was from an old table linen, I think (not entirely sure what it is to be honest)? The shape itself isn’t the most ideal, but the pom pom detail around the edge was too perfect to pass up. My dear friend, Hannah (the lovely dryad from this post here), graciously gave me some lace clippings from her collection that I spray painted lightly with gold glitter spray paint.
The turquoise trim and sequin embellishments on the veil and dress were found over at this amazing etsy store. This was another place I found more good things than was good for me. But again, we’ll visit that later.
I purchased the satin material for the pants underneath at Joann. These also doubled for the pants on a future project as well.
I feel it necessary to once again reiterate the fact that I’m not going for a 100% authentic cosplay here. Just the essence of the dress is what I was going for. And since Disney’s costume version of this same dress sells for $130 on their website by the time you buy the dress and the veil (and in my opinion, it looks like pretty poor quality for that price), I’m pretty pleased with these results. And she is too, because just take a look at her face when she opened it on Christmas morning:
One final thing about this dress: when I first started to make it, I didn’t have any sort of pattern to go by. I had barely enough sheer fabric to make a basic skirt shape so I tried my best to cut it as close to that shape as possible (it’s by no means perfect.) Initially with the bodice, I attempted to use one of her old t-shirts as a pattern but it just wasn’t coming out the way I wanted. Since it was supposed to be a surprise, I couldn’t just keep trying stuff on her so in the beginning, I would literally go to her room in the middle of the night after she was asleep and attempt a fitting while she slept.
It was about as comical as you might imagine.
This obviously was less than ideal so I ended up having to take everything apart and find a more fool proof way to do this. Enter my amazing sister-in-law, Jess. You hear about my wonderful sister-in-laws a lot, yes? Well that’s just because they really are that incredible. They were my dearest friends before they were my relations, and they’re still putting up with my hair brained, over the top schemes. Jessica, especially, taught me how to sew in the first place, and has always been willing to help me on my projects when I get in over my head. Which, as you can probably tell by now, is kind of a lot. She helped me rescue this dress from the half-way job I started out doing in the beginning and she helped all winter on the rest of my crazy sewing adventures. She also is behind most of the photos you’ve seen so far on this blog, so really, she should be the one getting allllllllll the credit. Love you, Jess. You’re pure gold.
Ok, so I’m going to stop with all the gushing and written details and just leave you with some more photos of Aladdin and Jasmine. Til another day, my friends.