I used Simplicity 2563 and found it to be pretty easy to work with. There were very few pattern pieces and the directions for construction were fairly clear. I only had a few issues, which since this was just a Halloween costume I largely ignored, but if I were trying to make some sort of heirloom they would've been bothersome.
For one - like all patterns - this one seemed to be sized to some strange race of human that is 9 feet tall at the age of 3. While Lilah met the measurements perfectly for a size 3 dress, it ended up being quite large on her through the shoulders, causing me to need to take it in after it was finished lest she have her own tiny tot topless review. For the record, I did try it on her before finishing it, but thought the problem would be corrected once the zipper was in. And see how short the model dress is? Yeah, there is no way they cut that by the pattern. In the following pictures you'll see Lilah's ankle-length dress, which I came to after cutting about 4.5 inches off the suggested pattern length.
Another issue I found was that it seems - and this is most likely user error, because patterns are mathematical and we have well-established that I am special math needs - that the sleeves go in yet are not enclosed in the bodice lining, leaving an ugly hot mess that I ended up top-stitching over to keep the sleeve edges turned in.
Finally, it bothered me that the headband calls for a naked piece of elastic to stick out from the back of the finished piece. It took me an extra five minutes to cover the elastic and make the headband really pretty. Given that Cinderella is rocking an up-do, I'd think having that little secret elastic piece remain mostly a secret would be a priority.
The changes I made were to use super super cheap materials. The satin is costume satin that cost about $2.96 a yard. Instead of organza for the bustle puff and sleeves, I used two layers of sparkly net that ran me $1.17 a yard, and I think the effect is just as pretty if not more so than the intended organza. In photos and in person, it just seems more like a fantasy ballgown than if the materials had been ten bucks a yard.
Plus, it's not going to hurt my feelings for her to play hard in it as soon as Halloween is over.
Overall, the ease of constructing this dress and the happy face of my little princess made my few frustrations well worth the extra wrinkles in my brow this week. Plus, I like that Simplicity offers Disney-sanctioned versions of its princess dresses. Sure, you could rig up something to look a lot like Cinderella's dress, but when you can score the real deal pattern for a dollar on sale, why not?
And yes, I do know that there are a million pre-made versions of Cinderella's dress available in toy stores and big box retailers for low low prices like $14.95 which would keep me from having to sew them at all. However, they all have one, annoying similarity that totally keeps me from going the easy route: The plastic "cameo."
You know what I'm talking about - that stupid shiny plastic oval in the center of every freaking costume with the princess in question's picture on it, like you don't know what costume you're buying. Like your kid is going to be out trick-or-treating and someone will say, "Well, who are you supposed to be?" and your kid will go, "I don't know - wait! I have this handy crappy, plastic medallion to tell me!"
There's a part of me who wants to go around with scissors and cut all those things off. It would increase the validity of the costumes by a million percent as far as I'm concerned.
So. The lesson for today is that I am still differently math-abled and I have a seething hatred for plastic princess-face cameos on costumes.
What's your costume pet-peeve? Or would you rather deal with the peeve than a project?