Sewing a Beauty – Belle’s Yellow Ballgown – Step 2: Outer Skirt
Sewing a Beauty – Belle’s Yellow Ballgown – Step 2: Outer Skirt

Sewing a Beauty – Belle’s Yellow Ballgown – Step 2: Outer Skirt


Step 2: Outer Skirt

“Think of the one thing you’ve always wanted, see it in you mind’s eye and feel it in your heart” ~ Beauty and the Beast 2017

Last post we examined the construction of the underskirts. Today, we will dive into the outer skirt details!


The Fabric of Choice ~ The Easy Decision!

“The layers of yellow satin organza, the gown is airy and perfect for Belle’s active character.” ~ Jacqueline Durran

“It’s still made of silk, but it has a satin finish, so it’s less transparent then other organzas.” ~ Jacqueline Durran

The costume designer tells us exactly what fabric to use and….. it’s not super expensive! Whew, what a relief! No need for guessing or finding a substitute!


But finding the perfect color?!?! Well, let’s just say that it was VERY hard and took a lot of swatch ordering (I think I spent over $30 on swatches ?).

16387430_1657509061210944_1518497207429392967_nOnce I had all the swatches in my hand, I had to decide which replicated the color perfectly, but also, deciding which dress color to replicate! Yes, the dress shows up in various shades of yellow/gold, depending on the setting.

iPiccy-collage.jpgYou know, they decide to edit the movie to make it look better and it often messes with the color ?…. well, I’m sure it makes the movie more enjoyable for the average viewer, but for us costume replicators, it just annoying! (I’m kidding… I know it’s a necessary manipulation.) ?

I decided to replicate the “darker” gold…. the movie coloring.


Yes, geometry is a necessary skill to have when you’re a seamstress. Well, at least a simple knowledge of geometry!

A sample of some of my skirt calculations.

The base layer of the skirt is just over a full circle and it’s created with 3 pieces.  I knew I needed a back opening, thus, I needed a seam there.

I definitely didn’t have the fabric width to cut a full circle. If I cut a 2 half circles, that would make a seam in the front…. that would definitely not work.  So thus, a half circle was cut for the front, the waist wrapping past the center side by a couple inches (this was to achieve a flatter front and side of the skirt).  Then 2, third circles, were cut for either side of the back.  These pieces achieved a fuller back.

Here’s some pictures that show just the base skirt:

As I was creating the Belle Dress, I also had a Cinderella dress to make….the combination looks quite like a Snow White dress! 🙂

IMG_2865The next shorter layers were created with “almost” full circles, each with a seam in the back.

The variety of skirt lengths wasn’t too hard to replicate.  The hard part was the back, pleated, ruffled thingy.  As you can tell, I have no name for it and can’t describe it, so here’s a picture!

IMG_1825I am not going to attempt to describe my design process… I’m not going to attempt to describe the final product… I am going to show a picture of my final pattern!

IMG_6340 copy 2
I’ve done my best to describe this pattern…now the rest is up to you!

Hemming the Base Skirt….By Hand!


All Cut Out and Pieced Together


The outer skirt isn’t finished yet. There’s all the detail of the gold leaf to add! But I’ve dedicated a whole post to that process!

Thanks for looking and learning with me!


  1. liz rowe

    your dress is stunning. can you show me a pic of the pattern pieces for the ruffle layers, are they full skirts and layered different lengths ?? how did you do the ruffle in the back

  2. Thank you for your comment. In this post I’ve shared all the behind the scene images and information that I’m willing to share.
    I do show a good picture of the back ruffle pattern piece. That piece is pleated and attached to the back. In total, the ruffles are made up of two full circles.

  3. Pingback: Belle's Yellow Ballgown - Costume Replica -

  4. Ellen Schepers

    Hello this dress is so amazing you really did such a wonderful job! I love it so much!! But I have a question how can you get it on? because I have seen you wear it, but is it stretchy enough that you can pull it over your head or do you use something else? I hope you can answer the question.

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