Dressing Charlotte (Cinderella): Wedding Wear

At the end of the Broadway version of Cinderella, the cast all come onstage in various tones of neutrals for the wedding.  I absolutely love the effect of that.  It was one of my “more” goals from the beginning that we would be able to make that happen.  We clearly could not accomplish that for our entire 60+ member cast, but we were able to do it for the main characters, the Knights, and a select group of strong female chorus members.

wedding wear for Charlotte

Some of this was planned from the beginning, for example, we made matching gray breeches for the Knights.  They wore them with the regular Knight costumes, and then were able to use them for the wedding.  If we had picked black, or maroon, or some other color, this wouldn’t have worked.   As a rule these were fairly quick costumes as they would only be worn for a few minutes at the very end.  The purpose was for effect of the “picture” more than anything else.

As a member of Ella’s family, Charlotte of course, needed a dress to wear to the wedding.  I had a very simple, very full-skirted wedding dress.

The dress was strapless.  It had a corset back, but was missing the corset-tie, although the modesty panel was there.  The dress had silver embroidery and beading at the waist and was a slight off-white/ivory color.  The train was long, and tied up under the dress.  I originally had no idea how large the train was until I started untying it.  The dress was fully lined, and the lining was stitched to the outer fabric at the hem with a row of narrow horsehair braid.  The satin was very heavyweight.  This was no light dress.

The dress had been bustled by the original owner and there were stains along the bottom where it had touched the ground.

stains along floor line left from bustling dress

Not so nice if you wanted to wear it as a wedding dress . . . a perfect pinning and cutting line for me to cut the train off.  I pinned the layers together, and then cut along the pin line (mine was a little different because of the bum pad).  Then I turned the cut edge up and zig-zagged in a narrow hem.

For the back, the added a row of velro on the dress and on the modesty panel to close it.

The dress needed sleeves, and I happened to stop in my local thrift store right about the time I was working on this dress and found this:

front of dress #2

Talk about perfect sleeves.  These were reflective of the divided sleeves that Charlotte had in some of other other outfits, and the color blended with the main dress nicely.  I put this dress on the dress form, and then layered the main dress on top.  I pinned it securely, and after removing it, trimmed the rest of the second dress away.  The two were stitched  together.

I decided to make Charlotte a bow.  I took the discarded train and sewed the cut edges together.  It was a nice half-moon sort of shape.  I just twisted and tied it, and made a bow.

I attached this to the back by sewing the tails of the center wrap to one side of the dress.  Unfortunately, this was a fast change and her bow was often twisted and flipped to the side.  In retrospect, there should have been some velcro or snaps to secure the loops of the bow.  A little petticoat net in the loops might have helped as well.default

Charlotte at the wedding

back view of wedding wear

I was really happy how the wedding scene looked.  The initial picture with all the characters who quickly changed into their wedding neutrals, and the the color added by the villagers coming in on either side made a very effective final look.  I didn’t agree with the decision to have the lights on the top of the stairs as dark as they were, but, I don’t always get my costume-focused way.

wedding scene


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