About Bella Mae

LEARN // CREATE // INSPIRE

I’m a gal who loves costume design and sewing.  What started out a simple desire to make a costume, turned out to be an amazing journey!

I’m not exactly sure how my interest in costumes was sparked, but I grew up Civil War reenacting. During my growing up years, I watched my mom and sisters create historically accurate gowns. I am blessed to have five generations of expert seamstresses in my family history, so maybe it’s in the blood!

It seemed appropriate that my first costume would come from the second Chronicles of Narnia movie – Prince Caspian.  These movies have long been my favorites.  It figures I would choose to create the dress that had the least amount of screen time, absolutely no information on the details, nor behind the scene photos!  But now I think that’s just part of my personality; being attracted to complexity. In researching this dress, I also discovered how much I enjoy the details of costume design.  To my surprise, I also found a bit of perfectionism in my personality.  Not always a good thing!

Now that I make costume replicas, I love watching a movie, old or new, that has beautiful costumes.  When I see a lovely dress, my intrigue takes over and I start picturing how it was made, what kind of fabric was used, and that dress gets on my “Inspiration” Pinterest board!

Dresses are a form of beauty for me. Some people look down from a mountain, out into the sea, or into the sky and think it’s absolutely stunning.  I agree, but to me, seeing an elegant, intricately-designed costume is just pure splendor!  What’s even more exquisite, is recreating the gown and either seeing it worn or wearing it myself.

Today, fashion can be pretty dull, and every now and then, I wish I could go to a different time period that’s bustling with elegant gowns.  But let’s get realistic, that can’t happen, but I find that recreating a costume comes pretty close.

Since my first reproduction, I added a 1900’s walking dress (one was purchased by Universal Studios in CA!), an Alice in Wonderland dress, and many more!

My designs have gone international with dresses shipping to England, Italy, France, and Czech Republic. But my most challenging and successful costume is my reproduction Ella’s Ballgown from the live-action 2015 Cinderella. It has been a dream come true!

In the spring of 2016, I launched my blog and started an Instagram. Little did I know, that less than a year later, my Instagram would explode! Not literally, of course! One morning I woke up to so many Instagram notifications that I convinced myself that Instagram had a glitch or something of that sort…but no, it was all real, and all thanks to a video I posted featuring my newest costume replica (and it was just a progress shot!)

That new replica? Belle’s Ballgown from the 2017 Beauty and the Beast. At this point of time, the film hadn’t been released yet.

When replicating a costume, the details are the most intriguing part, but they also produce an abundance of questions for the seamstress.  Many times Google can’t answer my specific questions and I have to find the answer on my own.  I’ve learned to enjoy this research and all the digging to find the nugget of needed information.  In this blog, you’ll find me sharing tutorials, tips and tricks, and progress information from my sewing journey, as well as inspiration for you to accomplish all your sewing dreams!

Enough of me – now it’s time to inspire you and lead you to your very own sewing corner.

Enjoy looking around!

~Isabella Mae ( aka Bella Mae )