The blueprint of... Cosplay: Belle

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Myana's avatar
By Myana
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The blueprint of... is an article serie where we're taking a closer look on an Artisan Crafts deviation and how it's made.

Today we are dissecting Cosplay: Belle by Adella

Cosplay: Belle by Adella Belle by Adella Belle Gown Back View by Adella

First off, please introduce yourself?

My name is Sarah and I'm 27 years old! I've been cosplaying since 2001 and have over 30 costumes (some undocumented which I pretend never existed!!). I have a love hate relationship with sewing, the beach, and my serger. dA is probably my main form of crack aside from and seeing the wonderful new things people are producing, and I have a childish obsession with Legend of Zelda. I admire people who can draw and produce art in ways that I cannot imagine, so this site brings me joy and inspiration on a daily basis.

Please explain what we are viewing.

This is my costume of Belle from Beauty and the Beast. I think a lot of what you see here is self explanatory. It was sewn by me, but not HAND sewn.. I used a machine! There are 8 gores to the skirt and then eased into the bodice with a customized hoop skirt beneath to give it flare. Disney is very inconsistent with how this dress appears throughout the movie, so I did my best to recreate it as accurately as possible, in my own interpretation of course. The fabric is satin-back shantung in polyester (silence you snobs I am not a richie rich! Besides it looks JUST like dupioni so =p) and the bodice is an acetate bridal satin with the matte side facing out. I've always found that satin adds weight to me in photos and I'm horribly self conscious so I like to use the less shiny side of things. This is also my real hair that I am using and not a wig. I tend to be semi-masterful at doing my own bangs and after several hours work I got them to look pretty good!

Can you describe for a layman how it's made?

I suppose I babbled a bit much about the material in the other question so you know about that, but the pattern was draped and drafted by hand by me. I did not use a commercial pattern (butterick/simplicity/mccalls) in order to create this silhouette. The bodice was draped to my body with much irritation, and the skirt was just a multiple of 1 drafted gore which I replicated 8 times and then altered the front and back to accommodate the ruching. It zips up the back with a very horribly infuriating invisible zipper which I've had to replace once already, and the gloves are hand dyed to match.

Cosplay: Belle by Adella Belle by Adella Belle Gown Back View by Adella

What tools did you use?

My serger, my sewing machine, dot paper, manila tag board, muslin, a hip curve, a french curve, clear rulers, thread, fabric... la dee daa... I don't have a workshop I just had a nook of sewing paraphenalia in my old bedroom.

What was your inspiration in creating this?

Since I was little I've been obsessed with Belle. I used to style my hair as her when I was about 12 or 13. When I was 13 (in 1995) I created my RP character 'Adella' to look like me/Belle. she had the same hairstyle, only I decided to make it longer back then and anime-ize my tracings of disney coloring books for her image. Because of this obsession with Belle I left my daily hairstyle in this manner till I was 25. a little silly I know! But hey... it was about time I cosplayed her. I had the money at the time, and the skill... so I did! It was a lifelong dream and goal of mine anyway to play dressup as a disney princess.

How long time did it take you to make this?

About 2 weeks of working off and on. Its a rather simple dress.. its just a skirt and bustier with the makeshift 'fichu' around the décolleté and a bit of handsewing. More aggravating than Belle was Sleeping Beauty, and that was only because my sister was a handful to make stand still during fittings.

Cosplay: Belle by Adella Belle by Adella Belle Gown Back View by Adella

Did you run into anything unexpected while creating?

In this Belle dress no, but in my blue Belle dress--the peasant version--I ended up clumsily accidentally bumping my serger presser foot beneath a shelf while I was finishing the inside of it, which of course caused my serger to go into hyperdrive mode and tugged the bodice under the blade and then chopped right through one of the straps. I had a cow and my friend had to pull me off of the serger before I went completely office space. Any seamstress out there who has messed something up royally at the very end of her project will understand my rage and pain at having to COMPLETELY redo the bodice thanks to that incident. HAW.

Are you happy with the result?

I am happy with the result. There are some things I would change now that I think about it, like adding some ease in the bust... and a bit more width to the gores at the base of the skirt. But I also couldn't afford anymore fabric.... the skirt itself was 15 yards.

Where have you learnt your skills in this area?

Self-taught primarily, with friends giving pointers here and there. My friend Justin and my friend Charlene have been my main tutors as far as learning how to sew and adopting techniques.

Cosplay: Belle by Adella Belle by Adella Belle Gown Back View by Adella

Do you take your own photos? Any tips you want to share for presenting your work?

I do not take my own photos! :) My photos are taken by my best friend kjphoto who is also the owner of worlds largest cosplay community. While initially the site was my idea in its planning and beginning stages, it is Kyle who does all of the work, holds the keys, and makes everything tick. Kyle has been there for me through many stages of my life, and is an extremely talented and inspiring cosplay photographer.

What is the best tip you can give to others wanting to test this craft/material/technique?

Please for the love of god make a muslin of it first. But that goes for any garment.

Are you selling your work?

I do not sell my work. If I did someday decide to sell my dresses I would make an announcement about it publically on my website,, and my DA journal… for the full gallery of the dress… and a little treat for the belle fans... my peasant dress as well.  Finally got those photos up :)

Belle Gown Back View by Adella Belle in the Garden by Adella Belle Cosplay by Adella
Cosplay: Peasant Belle by Adella Cosplay: More Belle by Adella Cosplay: Belle Blue Dress by Adella
Winnowill by Adella Cosplay: Castlevanias Alucard by Adella Celine Jules THREE - Costume by Adella

Thank you Adella for participating and taking the time to answer my question!


I'd love to recive suggestions for next "victim" to interview! Note me with a link to the deviation you'd like to know more about and I'll contact the deviant.

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caterpillartomoko's avatar
I was in awestruck when I first found her Aerith cosplay, and I love it.

She is one talented lady.
Digital-Artisans's avatar
That's amazing! She really looks like Belle! Lol!
arhcamt's avatar
wow. just wow. :clap:
snowmask's avatar
I remember coming across the costumes she's made before on dA and was astounded :nod:
mandeh's avatar
Awesome! Belle is one of the BEST Disney princesses ever ^o^
50calWolf's avatar
she looks great in those costumes ^^
Ikue's avatar
lovely article. Belle is one of my favourite characters and this is one of my favourite cosplays of her. Nice to see how it was made! :w00t:
snowmask's avatar
She's the hottest princess.
Ikue's avatar
second only to me :flirty:
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