What’s in the Sketchbook? – Volume 1 Issue 3 – Sleeping Beauty Brainstorming

Because I will be referencing it through this whole post, here is Disney’s famous version of Aurora’s blue dress:

Disney’s Sleeping Beauty

My idea for Sleeping Beauty definitely plays more into the darker side of the story. The whole, pricks her finger on an enchanted spinning wheel, in a coma for years, etc. side of the story that gets overlooked because of twuu wuv (true love you non-Princess Bride fans).

I didn’t have any specific ideas until I found this saree fabric on etsy:

I love the blend of the vaguely asian influence from the screen-printed affect and the fairytale-worthy castle. Though the color is in a different family than Aurora’s stereotypical dress, I think it plays more into my aesthetic than the light blue does. And the print.

Can you tell I’m in love with the print?

My first rough sketch is for a tea length dress with a short-sleeve/sleeveless version of the classic bodice and a full skirt. Because of the size of the fabric, the design would only make up one panel of the skirt; the rest of the skirt would be made of the rest of the fabric.

wpid-20140531_165746_20140531174548703.jpg

The bodice definitely lends itself to the Disney version, but it has some problems, construction-wise. The saree is a little over 1 yard wide and 5 yards long and as far as I can tell, the design is about 1 yard square, which makes it almost impossible to do a nice circle skirt. That’s just by the yardage–the fact that the design is square is also a problem.

Comparing my sketch to the original, I realized I had neglected the weird embellishment at the waist. Truthfully, it’s always been my least favorite part of any Disney dress. It just looks weird. But I felt I had to at least acknowledge its presence in my design.

So I went back to the drawing board.

wpid-20140601_075842.jpg

And I came back with basically the same dress, only with a gathered skirt and a contrasting petticoat for volume and a hint of the Disney dress.  Unfortunately, no matter how I sketched those weird triangles, they ended up looking weird. So they’re off the table, for now.

During this sketch, I decided to get into the logistics of the skirt. And it got tricky. Because, even though the saree is 5 yards long (more than enough for a full skirt), it’s only 1 yard wide (not nearly enough for a tea length skirt, even on someone as short as I am). So I had to face the fact that making this would have to include finding a matching fabric somewhere in the LA Fabric District to make up the majority of the skirt.

However, I still wanted to use as much of the saree as possible. It’s difficult to see in the picture, but the edges of the rest of the saree are decorated with rows of the main design, only smaller. In other words, it’s the perfect addition to the bottom of a skirt to tie the whole dress together.

I’m thinking that the bodice might be made out of whatever is left of the saree, or out of the matching fabric for the skirt, depending on which looks better.

Logistically, this dress is probably never going to happen. The etsy shop is in India and they ship within 20-35 days. Even if I ordered it now, it wouldn’t get here until more than halfway through summer. Ugh.

My only real hope of making this dress is if I can find a fabric locally with the same design idea, or if I can find someone to paint it onto fabric for me. Neither of which are likely to happen anytime soon. But I really love the dress.

The real world is such a pain.

–Samantha


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