Beauty and the Beast Ballgown

Paris Oliver | May 2016


My inspiration for this dress is from the 1991 Beauty and The Beast Disney movie. While that movie is what inspired me to start my project I shifted the dress to reflect my own style and creativity.

Making the Dress

This ballgown was the first sewing project I’d ever done. Before, I’d made little pillows (and one time an apron) but never without help from my grandma. This time, I wanted this project to be completely my own.

I began by choosing a pattern for my dress. I’m not a huge fan of the ruffles/ribbing in Belle’s original dress, so I decided to do a smooth dress using the Simplicity pattern 1026. Then I gathered my supplies and got to work.

My original plan was to use a solid yellow fabric with a layer of organza, but as soon as I saw the gold rose fabric in my local Joann Fabrics, I knew that was the fabric I had to use. I made both the bodice and the first layer of the skirt with this material. It was perfect for me because one of the main elements in the story is the enchanted rose and to be able to bring it into my dress was a fun choice. I also chose it because it added some texture and dimension to the dress.

For the next two layers of the skirt I used simple yellow tulle. And the final layer was a yellow organza, also found at Joann Fabrics. The same material was used on the sleeves to tie it all together.

This project was really challenging for me. I had to learn lots of elements for this project, like boning and gathering. Because this was my first time, this dress is by no means perfect. I wasn’t sure of the best way to gather the skirt, or line the bodice. The boning was another challenge that I hadn’t even thought about before. But despite all of the “flaws” of this dress, I’m still incredibly proud of myself because I was able to learn and create a dress all on my own. It sparked my passion for sewing and as soon as I finished this dress I was ready to start the next.