Bella Mae's Designs · My Costumes · Progress

Sewing a Beauty – Belle’s Yellow Ballgown Creation – Step 4: The Bodice

~ Beauty and the Beast Costume Remake ~ Step 4: The Bodice

“In the bodice there’s layers of net laid on each other to be like feathers.” ~ Jacqueline Durran (Costume Designer)

Once I figured out what “layers of net” meant, I was on my way to success!

By looking at up-close photos of the dress, I able to see the many details…the several layers of strips…the wavy edge of the strips…the gold flicks on the strips…the fabric that looked like netting…and finally, the layers of net that are on top of the strips.

Oh, in case you’re wondering, this post is about Belle’s bodice!

How am I going to cut the strips with that wavy edge?! After some research, I was able to find a rotary cutting blade, found here.

It worked perfectly!


Cutting up a yard of fabric, on the bias. Each strip, at the widest point, is 1.5 inches.


Flicks of Gold

I’m still not sure my process of applying these Gold flicks is the accurate way…but, I’m happy with it, and it works for now!  Also, I used imitation gold leaf for the bodice…a decision I highly regret.  Working with genuine gold leaf was such a pleasure, plus the results were perfect…next time ;)!

Until then, the process (you can easily use this process and substitute genuine gold leaf):


The Fabric

Layering different fabrics to achieve a replica fabric…sounds crazy? Well, it’s my specialty!

Bridal Satin…Satin-Faced Organza…Glittered Gold Netting…basted together…yes, that’s what created this piece of the bodice!

In case you’re wondering, the center piece doesn’t have layers of fabric because it’ll be covered up with the strips! Everything is ready to be pieced together.
Layering the Strips

First a piece of gold-flicked strip. Then a piece of glittered gold netting. This is placed about 1/4 inch lower than the first strip.


I just love the back of the bodice…so many stitches…evenly sewn…yes, I’m weird!
Boning channels!

And there you have it: the complete explanation of my Belle dress! (BTW, a post about Belle’s shoes will be coming soon!)

Thanks for looking and learning with me! ~ Bella Mae

6 thoughts on “Sewing a Beauty – Belle’s Yellow Ballgown Creation – Step 4: The Bodice

  1. Hi, I’m rather new to sewing and were wondering what kinds of boning you prefer/use the most?
    Thanks in advance.


    1. Thanks for commenting!
      I mostly use steel boning (1/4″). For any side front boning, I usually use spiral boning (this is to help with the curve of the bust).

      Also, I recently used “Dritz White Covered Boning” (plastic) for a full bodice and I actually liked it. It definitely doesn’t give as much stability, but it still worked great!

      So really, it just depends on the project and where the boning is placed! 🙂


  2. hello,

    do you mind sharing what type of fabric was used for the bodice strips? I think you mentioned it was satin faced organza but I wasn’t sure if that one was it. Also, could you recommend any good alternatives to that fabric, please.

    (trying to get a shorter version of the belle dress made for my niece for her birthday at disney world. Trying to be an awesome aunt).


    1. Thank you for commenting! I do apologize for my late reply. Wow, you really must be an awesome aunt!

      Yes, you are correct in the fact that I used Satin-Faced Organza for the bodice strips.

      Unfortunately, I have not looked into any alternatives for this fabric…it’s just not something I’d like to do (I love working with silk!)
      My best advice would be to order some swatches from some online stores of fabric that might work as a substitute. Maybe a thicker organza? Or a thin satin? Hmm…not really sure. Wish I could be more of a help! Good luck!


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