Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Finished: Ursula Inspired Dress for Sew Disney

This may sound strange, but I have wanted to do a Disney inspired outfit for a couple of years now so when I saw that the Sewcialists had November for #sewdisney, my procrastination skills kicked in. "Oh, good," I thought. "I can wait until the end of the year."

And somehow I've finished BEFORE the deadline! I mean, I still have several days left in the month! This is huge for me, you guys.

So let's talk Disney. I love the parks, the princesses, and especially the non-princesses. The villains are usually pretty amazing as well and arguably better than the heroes, but isn't that usually the case?

But something happened when I watched the Little Mermaid as a child. Sure, I rooted for Ariel - who wouldn't want to leave their family and marry into royalty on a French colony in the Caribbean? (That's what was happening, right?)

 Anyway, my innocence was shattered when Ursula had her moment because while part of me was thinking, "No, Ariel, don't do it!!" - the other part of me, most of me actually, was in shocked awe. WHERE DO I SIGN UP TO BE A SEA WITCH?! (For a while, my sister only answered to the name Ursula, so clearly it runs in the family.)

I kind of forget until some point in college, when I rewatched the movie and I realized how many truth bombs Ursula drops in her song. While I don't necessarily agree with manipulation and tricky contracts, she's pretty amazing. (She's also my inspiration for this dress, in case you weren't sure why she's the focus here.)

The hardest design part about Ursula is that she's an octopus. This is only a problem because most people can't see past that, and most dresses have weird bits of fabric hanging down. Like, I'm not trying to look like I have 8 legs, people, thanks.

So I focused on her. She has purple skin and accessories, dresses in black, and oozes sexiness and confidence. She knows what she's about, and she goes after it.

So obviously I had to go for it as well! Party dress in black and purple. I was actually going to buy lace, but the sequins just spoke to me in the store.

And can we chat about sequins? I was panicking about sewing with them, similarly to how I panicked the first time I sewed with lace, and it was fine. So fine. In fact, I didn't even pick the sequins out, just sewed over them. My machine didn't break. My needle didn't break. I did not require a trip to the ER to remove parts from my eyes. (Though I did wear sunglasses, just in case.) I was told that if my machine could handle wool and/or denim (it can), then sequins would be fine (it was).

To be fair, originally I didn't want to chance a broken machine/needle/eyeball, and I sat down with some scissors, seam rippers, and my fabric, and I was going to start taking everything apart, and then I was all HAHAHA NOPE.

So yeah, sequins on mesh and crushed silk.

I used McCalls 6460, view C, and I adjusted a bit. I brought the yoke up, as reviewers complained that it was dangerously low. This also brought my hem line up, and I forgot to adjust for that, which was disappointing as it's a bit shorter than my liking. I didn't want to use bias tape on the sequins, so I underlined everything, which worked out beautifully. I also didn't think a zipper through sequins was smart, so I made the zipper stop with the silk, and attached the sequins at the neckline with a hook and eye.

Because of the neckline/my small ribcage/my ability to stand up straight I had to bring in the back 2 inches so it didn't droop - or I could have slouched, which kind of irritated me. It still gaps a little, but it's SO much better.

Also, I added pockets.

Anyway, I'm incredibly pleased with how it turned out, and I kind of want to make a second one, but I don't know if that'll happen anytime soon.

Bf review (while making it): Why are you asking me? You know I don't like sequins.
Bf review (after): Wow, this is my favorite dress yet! Except... why did you have to ruin it with pockets?

Just for fun, here's Ursula's song. It's messed up in the middle, but stick with it as the second half of the song is clearly superior!


  1. Gorgeous! And I love it paired with the red lips, like Ursula. She is def my fav Disney villain. :) Great job and you are smokin!

    1. Thank you! Ha, I tried making my hair as big as hers, but I think I failed on that one. ;-)

  2. Great dress! It's so fun and sparkly. I hope you get to wear it lots and be the life of the party.

  3. This came out great! And you look stunning in these pictures.

  4. This looks amazing on you and I love that it was inspired by Ursula! Great dress! I hope you wander around singing Poor Unfortunate Souls when you wear it! Best disney movie ever!

    1. Oh my gosh, I had to fast track this dress because I COULDN'T stop singing that song!

  5. Tried commenting the other day on my phone, but it didn't work. Anyway, this is amazing! Great interpretation of Ursula. You're anything but a poor unfortunate soul in this little number. :-D Also, you're the third person in the past week who I've seen working with sequins. It must be in the air? Or the sea water? You were the only one to just sew right through them though. Glad you didn't get hurt!

    1. Thank you! I did take precautions - I wore safety goggles just in case, and I made sure that the sequins weren't in contact with my machine, by which I mean that the sequins faced fabric, not either end of my machine, and it worked perfectly. They actually made more of a mess when I was cutting the sequins than when I was sewing the sequins. :-/

  6. Such a great dress Kristin!
    By the way, you are down as a no-reply blogger, so I couldn't email you a reply from my blogpost about the Pay-It-Forward.

    Could you email me your postal address please? xx I'm nessahux at gmail dot com.

  7. To be shared on SSB tomorrow. Thanks for permitting.