A Gown for a Little Princess


Princess Ariel Gown BackMy three year old granddaughter absolutely loves Princess Ariel.

Our Little Mermaid modeling her Ariel Halloween Costume

Our Little Mermaid modeling her Ariel Halloween Costume

For Halloween, she Trick-or-Treated as the Little Mermaid in a costume Grandma made just for her, so it was no surprise she wanted to celebrate her birthday as Princess Ariel in her very own custom made gown.

I had a couple of princess gown patterns, so I pulled those out to see what might work best. Some quick research on the internet and I had a good visual reference for making the perfect Ariel gown. I quickly realized that although there are several little girl princess gown patterns available, none of them quite matched Ariel’s gown.




mccalls M6420 sewing pattern

I decided McCall’s M6420 sewing pattern was closest to the gown style I was looking for, but I needed to make some alterations in order for it to match Ariel’s gown style.  Ariel’s dress required a round neck line without an inset or corseted upper bodice.




simplicity 2065 pattern

Simplicity pattern 2065 Tangled gown had the upper bodice neckline similar to what I was looking but it still had an inset.  Luckily I was able to use the upper bodice front and back lining pieces from that pattern since those pieces did not have the inset.

Using my granddaughter’s measurements, I adjusted the pattern pieces and cut my muslin for the upper bodice and sleeves. Once I had that complete, we did a quick fitting. Fortunately, I only needed to make minor adjustments to the upper body section of the gown.

Princess Gown Bodice Muslin

Princess Gown Bodice Muslin

NOTE: It’s important when making any custom garment to take accurate measurements of the recipient to ensure a proper fit. I always make a muslin first to check the fit. This may seem like a lot of extra work, but it is well worth it in the end.

Other Alterations

The sleeve caps in my reference image showed contrasting insets. I was able to simulate the look by drafting a pattern piece I then used to make those sleeve sections.

The only other alteration I made was lengthening the gathered overskirt to match Ariel’s gown style. That was easily done by adding a few inches to the overskirt pattern piece.

After constructing the actual gown bodice, we did another fitting and checked measurements for the skirt and bustle length. Once I had my measurements, I cut and constructed the underskirt (lining), the skirt and bustle.

I chose Pongee for the gown lining and underskirt and added lace trim to the underskirt. The gown was constructed in two colors of pink satin and trimmed with a simulated pearl beading at the neckline and waist. The bustle/bow was detachable. I also made a flower bow from teal satin to match the one Ariel wore in her hair.

Princess Ariel Gown Photo Gallery

My advice to anyone making a custom garment such as a gown is to take your time and pay attention to detail. I am not the most patient seamstress and usually like to work on projects that can be completed more quickly. By allowing myself ample time, I was able to break this project up into shorter work sessions, so I didn’t get tired or frustrated (which in my case usually leads to a careless mistake).

Our Little Princess wearing her Ariel Gown and enjoying her Special Day

Our Little Princess Wearing her Princess Ariel Gown and Enjoying her Special Day!

Happily, in the end, our Princess Ariel gown was a perfect fit and ready in plenty of time for the big day. Our little Princess loved wearing her special gown on her very special day!

This entry was posted in Sewing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *