I am very late in posting this, which was a Halloween costume for Laura, but since I want to keep a record of my sewing -- such as it is -- for an Elizabethan costume for myself, I will recap it here.
Some of the boys in Laura's class decided that they wanted to do a mass Super-Mario dress-up for Halloween, and they asked Laura if she could dress as Rosalina (good heavens, there's a whole Super-Mario wiki!). Laura, still with touching faith in my sewing abilities after the Pilgrim costumes I ran up for her and a classmate in first grade (all straight seams with an elastic casing at the neck, to be covered with already-made white collars), said, "Oh, my mom can do that!" and so after thinking to myself that it would be good practice for the Elizabethan one, I said I would. Two weeks' notice, mind you!
We went to the fabric store and I chose this pattern to adapt, as the neckline was the closest I could find, and the sleeves would be fairly easy to make a little more bell-like --
I bought swathes of white costume satin for the underskirt and trim, and they happened to have some lovely acqua satin with sparkles -- I was aiming for more costume satin, but as it turned out, this was a lucky find, as the sparkly stuff had much more body to it, and was easier for me to sew, being much less slippery than the costume satin.
I made a full underskirt, not sure why now. Partly the petticoat effect, certainly, and since I intended all along to make the bodice and skirt with that Empire-effect as in the Rosalina illustration, I figured that it would hang better to have the underskirt go all of the way around. This would probably have been much easier if I'd had more experience altering patterns, but as it's all a blur to me now, it apparently worked fairly well. And, well, yes, partly because if the dress had been for me, I would have wanted a full underskirt -- the feel of it is wonderful as you walk!
I did make a muslin before cutting the satin. I still always get that "oh, I don't need to take all of that time" feeling in addition to "what a waste of fabric!", but it's really worth it, especially with such extensive alterations of a pattern. I did the muslin hip-length, though, with no fastenings at the back other than pins and marks to myself where the zipper would go.
All of the seams are French. This took more time, but I think was worth it as the satin would have frayed quite a lot otherwise, especially the plain one. I didn't finish the edges at the zipper and they look dreadful on the inside already! (In fact, you can see a little poof of it in the photo of the back below.)
The collar is a complete invention, done mostly free-hand, with the neck edge following the bodice pattern. It is doubled for more body.
The cuffs were comparatively simple, done free-hand following the pattern for the sleeve edge after adjusting for a fairly emphatic bell shape. I doubled the satin like the collar for more body, and also so that the hem wouldn't show as much; if I'd been a better seamstress, I would have turned the side seam to the inside, but that would have involved a) planning further ahead, b) more time, and c) hand-finishing, so I didn't.
The bodice was very difficult to get to lie flat, and I had to take it out and re-sew it more than once. I'm still not entirely pleased with it, but time was running out.
The trim around the bottom was theoretically fairly simple, but proved to be quite a hassle. The satin was very slippery, and despite careful measuring I still managed to cut it wrong, so that some of the turnings were hair's-breadth close. I sewed the upper edge to the skirt with the machine, turned it under at the bottom hem, and finished it by hand. The inverted-V at the front never did lie flat, even with heavy pressing.
After that, the accessories were easy. The bodice pin is sparkly stiff white felt from Michael's, with a big jewel on the front and a safety pin glued to the back. The sceptre is yellow craft foam glued to a piece of dowel painted white, with more jewels. The crown is the same sparkly white felt -- double thickness both for stability and to have a place for the seams to be glued to -- with large gems all around.
I have to say that Laura looked a picture of loveliness. The color suits her very well, and she is tall and slender, so that the line of the skirt was very regal on her. Plus of course it twirls!