Growing up we really didn’t have much money. For a long time my mum didn’t work, then when she started to work she went to retrain as a teacher. We didn’t have a car for a long time although both my parents could drive. Until I was 9 I had never been abroad and even our first trip (which was to Walt Disney World) was because my dad had been made redundant. I wouldn’t say we ever went without though. Any spare money my parents had, they spent on my sister and I, and when I became a mother I vowed I would do the same. But as a single mother, it’s hard. To have our trips to Disney LM goes without weekly treats. I’m thankful that my parents have continued down the same vein with their grandchildren and anything LM receives between her birthday and Christmas is usually funded by them. I’m also blessed to have such wonderfully talented people in my life who also make my daughter feel like a princess, she’s lucky, we’re both lucky.
Little Miss is so lucky that my best friend is a talented seamstress with her own store. I’m so proud seeing Closet Geek go from strength to strength and the dresses Bee makes are so perfect for summer and Florida due to their light weight cotton nature. Not only that but I love that she sells the understated dresses such as the peasant and rags dresses that the princesses wear. Ariel’s town dress and Aurora’s Briar Rose dress are two of my favourites and they definitely make LM stand out. However, like all 5 year olds with princess tendencies, LM wants ball gowns too. Which is where we clash as they’re not exactly the fastest, easiest or cheapest things to make and due to her eczema the store bought ones irritate her skin.
On our last trip to Disneyland Paris, Vivi gifted LM with this beautiful Belle ballgown. She’d already made LM a pair of painted shoes last September so we feel truly blessed she gifted something for LM again this year! Vivi wants to be a costume designer and is currently studying textiles. She’s wanted to make LM a Disney dress since January and produced this absolutely stunning ballgown for her, complete with hoop skirt when we arrived at DLP last month. To say we were both overjoyed is an understatement and I’ve tried to take some photos to capture the detailing on the dress, because it’s just exquisite.
Up until now I never understood the draw for Bibbity Bobbity Boutique and Princess for a Day. I always think it looks fake and pagent-y which isn’t the sort of thing I go for with Little Miss. Even with the wig on I do think she looks silly in some ways (it definitely doesn’t suit her the way the Merida wig does) but I know she is so happy and that’s why I can finally see the draw of allowing little girls to do Bibbity Bobbity Boutique. I know she finally feels like a princess when she wears it and you can tell from some of the faces she’s pulling just how serious she’s taking it. And if she’s happy, I’m happy.
As you can see, the dress is truly a work of art and I genuinely believe Vivi could have a bright future in Disney costuming. I have no idea how she made it as I’m not a dress maker or seamstress but she put it together in just over a week. The hoop petticoat came from Amazon but everything else including the roses she made herself. It’s a corseted back to add to authenticity which hopefully means LM will be able to wear it for a few years to come as it will grow with her. I love the pale yellow colour, I knew it would suit LM as she suits the Jane Porter dress she has but until seeing this dress on her I wasn’t sure I’d like it due to the fact Belle’s dress is probably one of my least favourites in the Disney princess line up. I love that Vivi made it practical for a 5 year old by adding extra straps to it. These dresses were designed to be worn by women so I often find some of the store bought ones (and even ones on Etsy) don’t take this into account when designing replica dresses for children. I doubt LM would have been able to keep the off the shoulder top up without the additional straps.
She never wants to do things by halves so the wig is always a must. It’s from the Disney Store and I bought it at Christmas because LM does have Belle’s Enchanted Christmas dress it’s just currently being amended but hopefully it’ll be making an appearance in the parks at the end of the month (and again if I can squeeze a Christmas trip in!) Belle is currently LM’s favourite princess and now with the addition of this dress she has four from the animated movie, she’s only missing the green library dress now! Lumiere is also from the Disney Store. Her mirror was a gift a few Christmases back from Bee and Chip is the infamous one from Primark.
I’m hoping to do a convention this year so LM can wear this and hopefully we’ll be able to take it out to DLP in the summer if I pay for extra luggage when we fly. It’ll definitely be making an appearance in Florida next May too. There hasn’t been many Little Miss Cosplays post this year as she hasn’t had as many new dresses. She’s starting to grow out of some of her original ones so I’m giving them plenty of air time before they’re not longer decent on her! I know this will forever be one of her favourites because she feels like a princess in it. Thank you so much Vivi.
There are more photos of LM’s Belle cosplay over on my Flickr.