Happy Birthday, Danica!


I can’t believe my oldest girl is five! FIVE!!

She asked me for a Belle (Beauty and The Beast) dress for her birthday. Which, I had zero motivation to do. Yellows are not my favourite colour.

It took me a lot longer than it should have. I played around with my narrow hemmer foot, which I’ve never used before. So, that accounts for a good portion of the time. I also played with my ruffler foot, which I think I might be in love with. Any excuse to bust out my ruffler foot. I also mashed up four different patterns/tutorials, plus my own ideas to make it. That took time to jump between all of the different directions. It’s far from perfect, but it’s passable.





I accidentally woke Danica up. She’s sleeping in my bed because Danny is gone. She says it is so I won’t miss him. I think that’s just an excuse. I accidentally woke her up when I came to bed, so she’s already seen her dress. She sat bolt up and squealed about her dress. That’s a great response!

Now, it’s nearly 4am here, and this Mama better catch some sleep before everyone is awake. I doubt there will be an opportunity to nap tomorrow, with all the birthday fun.

I suppose it’s actually today, not tomorrow. But I haven’t slept yet, therefore it’s still tomorrow. Or, however that works. Uh….. I should sleep.


She loves it.



Worst group shot ever. I made all of their dresses, River’s coat and hat, and Elle’s hair clip (which you can’t see, but I know it’s there).

BODICE: Candy Castle Patterns – Peppermint Swirl. I accidentally cut that front V a little low. It was fine on the lining, but I cut the sheer material lower by accident, so cut the extra out of the lining to match. I made the regular size 5. Should have made her a slim fit instead. Pattern here.
SLEEVES: Candy Castle Patterns – Swizzle Sticks Sleeves Add-On. I made the short sleeves with elastic casing in a size 5. Pattern here.
SKIRT: This is a more complicated answer. I cut the skirt lengths to that of the size 5 from the Candy Castle Patterns – Candy Castle Princess Dress. Pattern here. That’s really the only thing I used from that pattern, the lengths for the skirts. The widths were just that of the fabric. Then I attached my ruffler foot and ruffled them along the width of the fabric (after serging the edge first). I think I had my ruffler foot set to a 1, and the screw turned past the 1 for the lining, and I think to the 4 for the sheer fabric. I then used the concept from Peek-A-Boo Patterns blog post Belle Inspired Dress-Up Free Pattern. However, I don’t have that much elastic. I might. But my elastic bin is all tangled and didn’t want to waste time untangling it. I opted to do shirring to accomplish a similar effect. And because it was late and I wasn’t thinking, I joined the skirts together at the top before attaching to the bodice, and at the back seam. I should have done the back seams separately, because the back of the skirt looks funny there. Pick-up style everywhere and then weirdly long at the back where the seam is. It bugs me. And there is zero chance I’m showing a picture of it. It is the one thing I hate about the dress and wish I could take back. I’m also lazy and don’t want to unpick the seged seam. She loves it, and it doesn’t bother her. So, I’ll try and let it go.

I’m linking up, here.

The Girl Creative

And here.

And here.



About manningthemachine

I'm Laura. Mama to four, and wife to one awesome guy. I'm ever so slightly sarcastic. Just a little bit. I like to quote movies, but since our house is managed by little people, most of those quotes come from kiddie shows. At least my husband generally gets the references. It makes me feel less awkward. I took sewing lessons starting at the age of 8, through the Kids Can Sew program. I took lessons for four or five years. Then I became a snotty teen and decided sewing was lame. I've repented of my ways, and enjoy sewing for my little ones. And sometimes other people. And almost never for myself. Oh hey. My blog name. "Manning The Machine." I think it's probably only funny if you know me in real life. And even then, maybe it is only funny to me. My last name is Manning. This is a blog about my sewing. Manning The (Sewing) Machine. Do you get it? Do you? No. That's fine. I think it's funny even if you don't.
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7 Responses to Happy Birthday, Danica!

  1. Eska says:

    I like the neckline you used. It’s a nice detail.

    And I totally agree. If you haven’t slept, it can’t be the next day. πŸ˜›


  2. Melissa says:

    A very happy birthday to your beautiful “Belle” The dress turned out gorgeous


  3. Lovely story, and dress!!


    • Thanks so much. She loves how it turned out. And I learned a few things for next time. I’m sure there will be more princess dress requests in the future. Her three year old sister keeps asking when she gets a new princess dress.


  4. Kathy says:

    Great pattern mashup. Very cute dress and girl. Now you need to make Elsa! And then Ariel! And then all the rest of the princesses!!!! LOL (I have two girls. )


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