Dressing Gabrielle (Cinderella): Act II/Wedding Wear

Gabrielle wears four different costumes in Act II.  She begins with her Ball Gown for the post-Ball “A Lovely Night” Quartet with Madame, Ella & Charlotte.    In this version of “Cinderella”, the glass slipper is not left behind at the Ball, but rather at a second event–the Banquet–that the Prince gives in an attempt to find The Mystery Girl.  Gabrielle hatches the plan that Ella can wear her dress to the Banquet and reconnect with Topher, while she pretends to be sick and stays behind and sneaks out to the soup kitchen with Jean-Micheal.

The initial “Banquet Dress” either needs to match the Act II transformation dress that Ella wears, or, if you are clever and the cast members are the same size, they could perhaps share a dress.  I described these  dresses in the post about the transformation dress.

Gabrielle in pink dress, Cinderella


The next costume that Gabrielle wears is the simple peasant dress she dons to accompany Jean-Micheal to the soup kitchen.

I selected to dress Gabrielle in a blue overdress, with a floral underdress.   We used the Simplicity 8161 pattern pretty much as it is printed, except for putting zippers in the backs of the dresses.

simplicity 8161

The blue overdress is the same fabric as the corset vest that Ella wears.  The floral underdress reflects the floral fabric Gabrielle wore in the Market scene, and while the pattern has some hints of pink, she has moved away from her bright “Stepfamily” pink.  This dress is styled a bit differently than the peasant garb worn by the chorus members.  She is missing the bum pad, the skirt is longer, and she has the one piece overdress.  Even as Gabrielle is trying to be a Villager, she is still just a bit “off”.  Gabrielle wears this outfit throughout most of the rest of Act II.

The final dress that Gabrielle wears is her “Wedding Wear” dress to attend the wedding of Topher and Ella.  By now, Jean-Micheal has assumed his role as Prime Minister, and she is one again dressed in finery as suited to her social status.

I began with an off-white wedding dress.



This dress had a slightly textured fabric.  It had a nice train with a scalloped him.  The back featured a large bow.  The sleeves were a bit off-the-shoulder with lots of lace  and pearl decorations.  The train bustled up on the sides.  The first picture shows one side of the dress down and the other side busted.  While all of the wedding party wore neutrals/whites I wanted Ella to clearly be the Bride, and so I needed to make some changes.

I began by securing the bustling.

I added small pieces of fabric on the inside of the dress to support the stitching, and then I secured the pleats to the skirt under the button bustle point.

stitching down the pleats around the bustle button

scraps of fabric for reinforcement

I decided to add an underskirt, and so I carefully folded the front of the skirt and marked the fold with pins.  Then I slit the front of the dress, and finished the edge at an angle so it would fall open.

front slit hem

A partial underskirt was made of pink tulle with gold flecks.  This same fabric was used to make sleeves.

The dress was a bit more off-the-shoulder than I thought, so I added straps of ribbon and covered them with some applique motifs I had cut off of a dress I used for a previous project.  I also added lace to the bias tape channels to give the dress a bit more pink, and because I had cut the sleeves a bit short.  The sleeves are similar to the ones on her Ball Gown.  The pink is a more subtle color.  The silhouette remains taller and narrower than Charlotte.  The dress closes with a zipper in the back.  Gabrielle and Jean-Micheal exited the shoe-trying-on scene as soon as their lines were done, so they had a bit more time to change costumes.  This dress closes with a zipper in the back.

front wit sleeves and shoulder straps

sleeve with lace  and pink bias tape

wedding dress back

In the show:

Gabrielle wedding wear

Gabrielle wedding wear

Cost:  The wedding dress was $9.88.  The tulle was inexpensive, like $1/yd.


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