Tiana 10th Anniversary Dress Build
It's been a hot minute coming and I'm finally able to sit down and write out how she came to be. January 2020, Disney released a doll based off of Tiana's blue dress in the movie, but much more glamorous. I told my partner about how beautiful it was and unbeknownst at the time, he had got it for me as an anniversary present (despite the fact that our anniversary wasn't until 2 months later) and paid for this gorgeous limited edition doll. When I opened the TOTALLY NOT OBVIOUS PACKAGING (sarcasm is so hard to read on posts, isn't it? XD) I knew immediately that I had to bring this dress to life. When the pandemic hit, and I got a HUGE flood of orders in, I had to put the build on hold, and just time got away from me, so I wasn't able to get started until January of this year. Time got away from me again, planning and panicking before my friends' wedding, and then I rushed to get her done before ASTL's early deadline. This baby has been a long time in the making, and I'm glad she is finished, so I can now work on Suki! But that's another post waiting to happen! Here we go!
Light blue chiffon satin (3 yards)
Light blue bridal satin (3.5 yards)
1 yard of White twill fabric
White twill tape
Corset boning (I used plastic on this one)
1 yard of Silver satin
SIlver fabric paint
3 yards of Blue Sequin fabric
2 yards of sapphire blue satin
Light blue satin ribbon (One spool)
One package of variety clear rhinestones
2, 4, 6 mm foam
Silver paint meant for an airbrush (I just painted it on like normal. SO PIGMENTED)
2 62x30mm clear flat back rhinestones
4 50x25 mm clear flat back rhinestones
Silver Tennis necklace
Silver floral wire
Blue and Light blue sharpies
2 spools of silver embroidery thread
5 spools of DMC Jewel Effects in Blue Topaz
2 bottles of Ritmore Synthetic Sapphire dye
Light Blue opera gloves
1 spool of silver rickrack trim
1 big hoopskirt
1 pair of silver heels (Since you don't see them anyway)
I'm going to go through the build the way I did it. If you decide to make it any other way, that's fine! I just usually go smallest to largest parts, save for attaching everything, since I needed the hand embroidery to be done.
This was the easiest part, since I just needed to measure the gloves on my arm to make sure they were long enough, and then measured the rickrack around the top of the gloves and made sure it was even and would stretch when I wear them.
I had one of the 60 mm for the main gem, using my blue sharpie to get that good, deep blue, with still having the ability to see through it (If you use paint, it makes it opaque, and looks fake.) I wrapped some of the floral wire on the back, hot gluing and then using e6000 to make sure it stayed. I made sure to include a loop in the top so it just slides onto the tennis necklace. I didn't do anything extra to the rest of the necklace since there was no extra details.
Originally, I was just going to have it zip up, but because Quarantine has not been kind, I gained a little more weight than I had originally thought. So I had to change last minute to a bodice that had a corset backing. Luckily, due to making a few of them on my bunny suits, it wasn't super difficult. I used the Elsa dress pattern from the first movie for the bodice, cutting out technically 4 layers, with one of them being the chiffon sewed on top of the blue satin. The boning layer was made with the white twill with the boning channels sewn onto the seams, not only to give it a flatter look, but to make sure it fit against my body. The boning layer was then sewn around the edges to the lining layer, then, once the hand embroidery for the upper piece was finished, I sewed that on top of the outer two layers, sewed the now two layers together. This was then flipped and I finished the edges, and put in the grommets for the corset backing.
This was the scariest part to me as I have never done any ombre dyeing before, and I didn't have a ton of extra fabric to work with, so it was basically a one and done type of job. I had to sew the basic skirt, which was four panels of satin and chiffon sewn together. I finished the bottom before dyeing it. I then panicked as my one bottle of dye was not going to be enough to darken the poor thing to what I needed it to be. So I took a last minute trip to walmart (since of course I couldn't do this during the day.) After I returned, I put some gloves on and got to work. I slowly dipped the slightly damp skirt into the soup, making sure to hold it and dip it slowly in and out of the dye bath as to not over-dye the lighter parts. I worried about it sitting overnight to dry, but I also didn't want it to stain my washer or dryer, so I went to the lesser of two evils and let it sit before washing it. I then used the rhinestone glue and some tweezers to put them in the appropriate spot. This took a few hours, and I let it dry a bit before moving on to the next section. I also spent time hand embroidering everything, so it was nice to multitask. Once all the hand embroidery was done, I was able to sew the bodice to the skirt and finish off the main part of the dress.
I Don't even really know what to call it, so that's what they're called here. I cut out the main pieces a little larger than normal, as I knew the hand embroidery would shrink it a little bit. I painted out the design with the silver puffy paint, allowed it to dry overnight, then got to the nitty gritty. This part took me the longest out of the whole process. 72 hours of hand embroidery, well spent. I put on several different shows, and took my time. I started with the blue flowers, since I knew they would take the least amount of time. Then I moved on to the silver. After my hands were plenty bloody and sore, I sewed the blue drapes onto the main parts, then sewed it to the dress as it was very heavy fabric.
This was the easiest part, as I just had to follow the waist and make it drape a little over the belt tails. I made it a little wider and sewed it in half, then hand sewed it closed, setting it over the belt tails and the bodice/skirt seam. Once the dress was finished, I could move on to the more important part: the wig and tiara.
This bad boy is an Arda Jasmine Classic in Dark Brown, as I didn't want to appropriate Tiana. I wanted it to be believable to my skin tone, and I cannot pull off those gorgeous curls. I had to sew in some wig clips to make sure it wouldn't slide off my head as it is a VERY heavy wig. I pulled the sides I wanted curled out and pulled the rest to the back. I rolled the ponytail around itself to make the bun, stuck a bunch of bobby pins into the poor bastard, and hair sprayed the hell out of it. While that was drying, I curled the side bits and then sprayed all over. I also managed to get it stuck in the wig head from all the pins.
I stared this damn thing down for so long before cutting into the foam because I was so terrified of messing it up. The clock was ticking down and I didn't want to miss my chance to submit this build. I cut out most of the detail pieces with the 6mm foam, and the main gem holder with two layers of 2mm foam (I figured the first layer wasn't going to be sturdy enough.) I took more of the floral wire to make the base of the headband, since I knew a standard headband would be too thin. The main headband was made with sandwiched 2mm foam with the wire, then took the foam details out to the garage to dremel them into a more rounded piece. They were then glued onto the headband with contact cement. Plastidip then covered as the base coat, then the silver, then finally I added the gems that were colored with light sharpie before gluing them into place. I mod podged over them to make sure they stayed put and took a sigh of relief.
I still needed to do her makeup, and luckily already had some gold eyeshadows in my palettes. BH Cosmetics in "Take me to Rio" and I believe I used another palette, but can't remember it off the top of my head. I used a lighter red lipstick than Tiana, since the tone she wears would not have looked as good on me. I didn't add the contacts because I was rushing to get the photos in, but I used the Sweety Candy Brown from Uniqso. I haven't made solid plans to get good photos of her, but as soon as that happens, you know I'll have prints of this beautiful babe.
I managed to get her done before the deadline and entered her into the cosplay contest at ASTL 2021. I won Best in Master's Class and am so so grateful for my wonderful followers pushing me to be the best!