Designing the Golden Silk Skirt for Belle’s Yellow Gown
Designing the Golden Silk Skirt for Belle’s Yellow Gown

Designing the Golden Silk Skirt for Belle’s Yellow Gown

The Golden Silk 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 — a lovely combination of gold & silk!

Belle's Golden Silk Skirt

The Fabric 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 duper expensive! Whew, what a relief! No need for guessing or finding a substitute. (I had the budget for this.)

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

Once I had all the swatches, I had to decide which replicated the color perfectly — also deciding which dress color to replicate. Yes, the dress shows up in various shades of yellow/gold, depending on the setting.

You know, they decide to edit the movie to make it look better and it often messes with the color of the costumes. Well, I’m sure it makes the movie more enjoyable and cinematic, but for us costume fanatics, it just annoying! (I’m kidding. Kinda. I know it’s a necessary manipulation.)

I decided to replicate the “darker” gold yellow which is the movie coloring. I ordered 15 yards from EZSilks in the color 5046

Circles, Radius, Diameter, Geometry — oh my!

Yes, geometry is a necessary skill when you’re a seamstress. Well, at least a simple knowledge of geometry. Using these calculations help in patterning the skirts and also deciding how many yards are needed.

A sample of some of my skirt calculations.

The base layer of the skirt is just over a full circle and is created with 3 pieces.  My fabric width didn’t allow for a full circle and if I cut 2 half circles, that would make a seam in the front.

The result — a half circle was cut for the front, the waist wrapping around the sides, closer to the back. Then two, 1/3 circles, were cut for the back.  — There’s 2/3 of a circle cut skirt laying at the back and 1/2 of one laying along the front and sides. This achieves a flatter front and sides to the skirt with 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 I think! 🙂
Should we call it CinderBelle?

The 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:

I am not going to attempt to describe my design process.

Nor attempt to describe the final product.

You just get a picture of the final pattern!

I’ve given some markings to help distinguish what is what. Maybe it will help! 🙂

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.

Remember to always learn, create with passion, and inspire others!


  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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