Belle (Ballgown) - Disney's Beauty and the Beast




Worn to:
- Manchester MCM Expo 30th July 2011

Belle is my favourite Disney Princess - always has been. :) When I was a little girl, one of my friends had a couple of those Princess dresses you can get from the Disney store, and one was Belle. I always wore her Belle dress when I was at her house.

Anyway, this is a costume that I've always wanted to make since I started cosplaying, but I always put it off for various reasons - I didn't think I was skilled enough, couldn't find the right fabric, yadda yadda yadda. However, when my cosplay group decided we were going to all cosplay Disney characters together, I decided it was time I stepped up and did this costume at last.

I think one of my favourite things about this costume was that I finally had an excuse to buy a hoopskirt! It's really fun to swoosh around in, although my skirt is rather heavy (more on that later) and weighs down on it quite a bit. However this didn't stop the hoopskirt from being a nuisance - it liked folding up inside itself, due to the gathering, which meant that my friends had to re-adjust it for me several times during the day. I am so grateful to them for putting up with me and my impractical costume!

The shoes were bought, although originally they were white, because I have big feet and it's difficult for me to find shoes in both the right colour and style that I want. Because of this, I bought a shoe dye kit and dyed them yellow myself, and I'm really happy with how they turned out. The gloves were also bought, because I am rubbish at making gloves and trying to find stretch fabric in the same colour as my dress fabrics turned out to be unsuccessful.

The wig was bought by my boyfriend and styled by CrazedTeensie's sister. I have a huge head so I needed to be wearing it while it was styled, and it was then re-styled a further two times, I think! But nonetheless, I am incredibly grateful to her for styling it for me, because I know it drove her beserk at times. The hair accessory was just a piece of ribbon that I hemmed and tied around the bun, and I made some earrings myself from a pair of clip-on findings (I don't have pierced ears) and some buttons. However they were too light in the end, and stuck out at funny angles when I wore them on my ears. Instead, I took a pair of old earrings that I had and painted them with some sparkly gold nail polish that CrazedTeensie had.

Underneath my hoopskirt, I am wearing bloomers! :) The fabric I chose to make them was awful to sew, but as they won't be seen this doesn't matter too much. I wanted to wear something underneath my skirt instead of just tights, so I took a little bit of inspiration from the Disney park costumes and made myself a pair of simple white bloomers, for comfort's sake.

As a last-minute thing, I made myself a little bag out of leftover fabric that I had, so that I had something to carry my phone/camera/etc around in. I didn't really want to take a big bag, and the bonus with it being made out of the same fabric as my dress meant that if I couldn't hand my bag to a friend when someone asked for my photo, it blended in with the dress and didn't stand out too badly.

And finally, the dress. I had originally planned to use duchess satin for the dress, but couldn't find it in the shade of yellow that I wanted - all of the yellow-ish duchess satins I came across were either murky shades or actually gold or champagne instead. In the end, I went with poly-satin for the darker yellow sections, and satin-backed crepe for the lighter sections. I really like how they look together! The bodice of the dress was easy and was half a day's work. The sleeves proved to be troublesome at first, as they kept sagging when I first attached them and dragged the bodice down. However, I unpicked the sleeves and re-attached them in a different way, which solved the problem.

The gathering of the skirt was the most difficult part of the dress - I first used my sister, Mungojerrie (who is about two inches taller than me), as a dress mannequin while CrazedTeensie and I did the vertical gathering, and it looked fine until we put the skirt on me, when it turned out to somehow be far too long. I fixed this by re-doing the gathering with embroidery thread, which CrazedTeensie and Mungojerrie then helped me adjust to the right length while I was wearing it myself. For anyone who wants to ask, there are twelve metres of fabric in the skirt alone!

I had a great time wearing this costume, and it definitely paid off for all the times it drove me mad while making it. However I have realised that it's not a very practical costume to wear at an event, so I might just use it for photoshoots in the future.


RavenBlakh posted on 10 October, 2009 - 21:59
I WAS ONE OF THE KIDS WHO HAD HER DRESS <3 Ah, will have to dig out some photos at some point - I had the shoes and this little tiara and everything! XD; I really didn't want to part with it when it stopped fitting me, it was so comfy and pretty ;_; I can't wait to see this when you eventually do it - i've always loved Belle's ballgown the best out of a lot of Disney costumes so it'll be cool to see this irl. Plus, I think you really suit Belle :)

Zelda posted on 28 January, 2010 - 23:03
Belle is so beautiful, you will do this great =].

TheStarlightFairy posted on 13 February, 2011 - 15:29
Your fabric sound beautiful! Really can't wait to see this <3 You're going to be so so gorgeous ;.;

rosieroo posted on 17 June, 2011 - 16:46
cant wait to see this belles such a good one to cosplay hugs x

magicalpantsu posted on 6 July, 2011 - 21:39
Awesome can't wait to see this! I used to have her dress when I was like 7, was sad when I outgrew it and had to part wats with it though :(

Mungojerrie posted on 20 July, 2011 - 20:53
This looks so awesome 8D I'M SO PROUD OF YOU ;________________;

Relion posted on 20 July, 2011 - 23:01
This is so amaaaaazing /hurrr

Devil_Trigger posted on 21 July, 2011 - 11:18
Wow this is amazing 8D well done Zoe c: you has awesome skillz yo, also I see a sleepy Sam in the background xD

FlyingMammal posted on 21 July, 2011 - 14:24
WOWS *beathetaking* the dress looks beautiful! You are going to look gorgeous, and look who;s sleeping in the background ;) hehehehehehehehe zzzzzZZZZZZZZzzzz

Mungojerrie posted on 24 July, 2011 - 10:39
Well considering you only started your dress a little over a week ago, I'd say the little updates left won't take you long at all :P

TheStarlightFairy posted on 25 July, 2011 - 21:58

Athora.x posted on 25 July, 2011 - 22:00
You've made this so well!! congrats to you!! <3

MadameLapin posted on 25 July, 2011 - 22:28
ZOE THIS LOOKS AWESOME! I know how much effort you've put into this, and it really shows. Great work ^^

Devil_Trigger posted on 26 July, 2011 - 11:03
That dress is amazing... very well done Zoe! 8D

MissAriel posted on 29 July, 2011 - 19:35
You have made the skirt perfectly :) very impressed! I have been looking around for other Disney Cosplayers who will be there so hopefully you will let me get a picture if i see you! :D x

Sephirayne posted on 31 July, 2011 - 15:51
Lovely dress. You looked great.

J-Po posted on 31 July, 2011 - 15:58
you all looked amazing:D

CrystalNeko posted on 31 July, 2011 - 19:45
Wheeee watched your performance and you all look amazing! Belle is also one of my favourites and you've done this dress so well, you look amazing as her!

Pandora-Chi posted on 31 July, 2011 - 20:59
The dress is soo beautiful <3 You look great ^^

Newdles posted on 31 July, 2011 - 21:59
You looked gorgeous as Belle at the Expo - she's my fave and you definitely did her justice :-)

Newdles posted on 31 July, 2011 - 22:01
PS I love your journal! Not just impressive but a jolly entertaining read :-)

Luminescence posted on 1 August, 2011 - 01:49
Thank you all so much! <3

Aks100 posted on 1 August, 2011 - 20:49
heya, I see you found my Ms Marvel. Your belle looked amazing. I can't believe it only took you a few weeks, lol. I loved the skirt! Will hopefully see you around.

FuriePhoenix posted on 1 August, 2011 - 21:13
Your Belle is adorable! Very beautifully put together!

rosieroo posted on 1 August, 2011 - 21:16
this is such a good finnish very nicely done

ToroSonyCat posted on 9 October, 2011 - 19:58
Beautiful cosplay! I saw you when your group photoshoot was going on at Manchester but I didn't know it was you! :o I was sitting across from where it was happening with the Homestuck group.

ToroSonyCat posted on 10 October, 2011 - 16:56
Yeah, I was! I was on the stairs but I'm pretty sure you didn't bump into me hehe, it's understandable if you did so no worries. Aw, oh well! It's a shame though.

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Progress Journal

25th July 2011

Dress progress~

Here's a photo of my dress so far :) Sorry if I look a little rough; it was a mad cosplay making day today! All I've got left to do on the dress now are the swoopy things and the gems, and then all that's left after that is to trim the wig! Yay!

23rd July 2011


This journal's a little bit more positive than the last one - Alex finished styling my wig today and it fits over my head, which is great :D I have terrible trouble when it comes to wigs because I have a big head lmao. So that's done and dusted - I've made the accessory for it, so now all I have to do is trim the wig to the length I want it at the back.

On the subject of the dress, I decided to move away from the skirt for a while and concentrate on the sleeves - they'd been driving me mad because they kept dragging the bodice down (an unfortunate side-effect of the fabric being quite heavy), so I'd unpicked them from the front and left them attached at the back. However, I've now managed to solve the problem, and I won't need invisible bra straps! Yay! :D I've also sewn the three gems onto the front of the bodice, so that's done.
Just as a checklist for myself, all I've got left to worry about on this costume now is:

- Trim the wig
- Make the darker yellow swoop things and attach them to the skirt
- Sew the gems for the swoops onto the skirt
- Raise the hem of the skirt so it actually sits at the correct length on me

I can do all that in a week...right?

20th July 2011


This costume = bane of my existence.

Anyway! Today I got my skirt gathered and sewn to the bodice...and came to the conclusion that I will have to use invisible bra straps because the skirt is so goddamn heavy! D: Also I need to somehow raise the hem because my sister is taller than me, so it sits properly on her but drags along the floor when I wear it.

The photo on the left is my sister modeling the skirt after it was gathered, and the photo on the right is me wearing it after I'd sewn it to the bodice. The hoopskirt isn't sitting properly, though, because I'd thrown it on quickly just to get a progress photo, lmao.

16th July 2011

More skirt progress

Done all the gathering stitches for my skirt! :D Unfortunately I can't do anything else on it until my sister comes home on Wednesday and acts as a dress mannequin for me. But yay, progress! I feel like I'm getting somewhere now.

15th July 2011

Skirt progress

All eight parts of the skirt have been sewn together now :) I'll be carrying on with it tomorrow. I aim to at least get the hem done and then will come the part that I'm least looking forward to - the gathering... D:

14th July 2011


I've started making the skirt part of the dress at last! I took over my boyfriend's living room and after a battle with his two curious kittens, I managed to cut my fabric up into the eight sections I needed. Now I just need to sew them together, gather it all and then sew it to the bodice :D Yay!

12th July 2011

Wig styling :)

CrazedTeensie's sister, Alex, started styling my wig for me today :) It looked really awesome until it was pointed out that the bun wasn't centered on my head, so I've left the wig with Alex as she wants to re-do it. I'm so happy with how it will look, though :D

6th July 2011

Shoes complete!

Aaaaand the shoes are done! Just got to wait for them to dry properly now.

I also forgot to mention that I finished the bloomers a while ago, too. Now I've got the rest of the time until the expo to finish the dress and style the wig (although CrazedTeensie's sister and mother will be helping me with that, as it needs to be styled while I'm wearing it), as well as finish my friend's Esmeralda costume as well :) Yay!

6th July 2011


Here's a photo of my shoes so far - one's been finished, whereas for the other one, I'm about to start dyeing it.

6th July 2011


So today I am dyeing my shoes :) I had thought it might be difficult, but the kit came with instructions that were easy to follow and I've been pleasantly surprised by the results of one coat of dye!

I'll upload a photo later because my camera's battery is currently charging :)

2nd July 2011


Bought a shoe dye kit for my shoes at last! They'll be bright yellow soon enough (and hopefully there'll be enough left over to have a go at my sister's shoes for her Snow White costume, too...if they're the right material, that is :B).

Oh, and I also started the bloomers! All I've got left to do on those is the bottom hems. :)

24th June 2011


Made the earrings today :) It's only a little thing crossed off my to-do list but it's still something!

17th June 2011


Today I finally found some buttons that I liked enough to use for the gems on Belle's dress! :) I also bought a zip, and some fabric and elastic to make bloomers with - this was taken from the park versions of Belle's dress, and also I think bloomers are totally adorable so I wanted to make a pair to wear underneath my hoopskirt.

28th May 2011

Wig wig wig!

Yaaaaaaaaaaaay my wig arrived today! :D It's exactly the right shade of brown that I wanted too so I'm mega pleased. I haven't taken it out of the packet yet because it's very long, and I don't want to style it until closer to the event I'm wearing it to because I don't want it to get all messy or anything (and also I know what it looks like when someone is wearing it because one of my friends has the same wig, but in a different colour). But yay!

20th May 2011

Wig drama...

So nearly two weeks after I ordered it, my wig has just been shipped out so I'm waiting for it to arrive now. Dunno how long that'll take. There was an error when the store received the wrong wig from their supplier, so they've sorted that now and sent the correct one on it's way to me.

I always seem to have the worst luck with their store, haha XD But their wigs are so nice... D:

14th May 2011


Gloves arrived today :D

8th May 2011

Wiggy wiggy wiggy

My boyfriend just bought the wig I had chosen for Belle for me :D He made a deal that if I helped him with some stuff, he'd buy it, so I agreed! It's a Godiva 951 XL from's store, and I'm hoping to use most of the long length to make up the bun. Now to wait for it to arrive...

13th February 2011

Mirror mirror...

Forgot to mention - one of my best friends (who is planning to be Esmeralda from The Hunchback Of Notre Dame for our Disney group) is letting me borrow the perfect prop for this costume - the Beast's mirror! :)

12th February 2011


So after nearly two months of searching, umm-ing and aah-ing, I finally bought my Belle fabric! :)

Next week there is going to be a 15% off sale on at the fabric shop I go to, but today my mum wanted to go on the way home from work to pick up some things, and I decided to take my purse with me in case I wanted anything. I'd already seen the fabric I wanted before on a previous visit, but I'm so glad I went today because I happened to pick up the roll of lighter yellow fabric I wanted by chance, and it had 12.5 metres on it - exactly what I needed! I decided not to wait until next week and instead bought it all today, because I knew that if I'd left it until next week, it would have either been partly bought or gone entirely, knowing my luck. That, and, being a student, I get 10% discount anyway, so I didn't mind paying a little extra to make sure I definitely got my fabric!

Also, when the lady was cutting it for me (she had to pull it off the roll to make sure there actually WAS 12.5 metres and I didn't get ripped off), there was actually closer to 13 metres, and she was kind enough to only charge me for 12 even though she let me have all of it! :) I think it's because I go in there so often, haha.

As for the darker yellow, my mum pointed out that the one I originally chose didn't go well with the light yellow, and she picked out another one instead for me that went much better with it. I had actually seen it before and wasn't sure about it, but in the end I decided to choose that one because it was a closer colour to Belle's dress. It's got a faint pattern on it, but I like it because it gives the dress some more detail, and it's not really that noticeable until close-up.

Long journal is long! Thanks if you read all of that. :D

12th January 2011


My shoes arrived today :D They're a little big (which is something I never thought I'd be able to say!), but I can always stick in-soles or something in them. Just need to make them yellow now :)

8th January 2011


Just bought some shoes off eBay for this costume :D Unfortunately, as I have huge feet (size 9...ugh) I find it difficult to find shoes in the right style AND colour, so I've had to go with some white heels which I'll paint yellow at some point. :)

29th November 2010


My hoopskirt arrived this morning, yay! It's awesome. I have glided around the living room wearing it and wrestled with it to get it back into the bag it arrived in. Unfortunately I forgot how the guy packed it, so I had to make up my own method and use two bags instead. Much fun. BUT YAY :D

18th November 2010

At last!

This cosplay can officially be counted as in progress now because yesterday I bought a hoopskirt for myself! It'll be here in the next couple of weeks, hopefully, as it's coming from the USA. I'm so happy to finally own one! :D I don't think I'll be buying fabric for this until after Christmas, though, because I may be getting vouchers for my favourite fabric store and so I'll want to put them towards this and Bo Peep. :D