Research: Snow White

I’m working on expanding my Princess Party’s business and it looks like my next gig might be Snow White (or as I call her for legal reason The Snow Princess – lol). So of course I just can’t make a Disney costume without looking into the history of it.


Everyone pretty much seems to agree that Snow White is set in 16th century Germany and I can totally agree. Here are some photos from that time in European (mostly German, but just to be safe) fashion. In these photos we can see the fuller skirt that Snow has, you can also see that many of them do not have have petticoats or hoopskirts. Snow’s skirt would probably have been made of hand dyed silk. In this period many fabrics were dyed to change their color. While people preferred blues and purples, the most common dye found in flowers was a yellow dye, this is probably what Snow would have used on her skirt.

Another thing to look at are the slashed sleeves. This is my favorite part of this costume and the part I’m most looking forward to making. This look originated on in the late 1400’s. German mercenary soldiers wore uniforms with Puff and Slashed sleeves and that’s where it began, or so I’m told.
Anyway I just love the look of slashed sleeves, that extra pop of color is really something! Luckily these are not as hard to make as it may seem. You simply cut two sleeve pieces (one for the outer layer and one for the inner layer). The outer layer is interfaced and the slashes are cut into it, you then want to either face your slashes or use fray check. Place the other sleeve underneath your outer layer and gather the two together, then stitch em to your garment! Pretty easy! This is the way I would do Slash sleeves, since most early European clothing was worn over a  simpler dress to keep dirt and sweat off the garment, I feel this method best looks like this. However there are other ways to do it! Check out these tutorials! [1] [2]

Snow is wearing a modified version of a Ruff, which originated in the later 1500s in England, not Germany, but may still have been found there.. Of course we mostly know Ruff from Queen Elizabeth the First who wore them quite frequently, at lest in paintings that is. To make a Ruff like this One would need to use TONS of interfacing. To make it simply cut the shape out of your fabric and the interfacing then bag line the fashion fabric and insert the interfacing! Now you can attach it to the neck of your dress! Make sure to clip your seam after attaching so that it will lay flat!

Now we can move onto the bodice! Like most princess dresses the bodice is a simple princess seam bodice. The bodice would have been heavily boned and would have laced up the back to create the hourglass silhouette. Snow’s bodice seems to have piping in the seems (which is super cute!!), and is probably lined with a blue cotton and made of a blue velvet.

All that’s left is the accessories! Snow wears a cute ribbon in her hair and occasionally a red velvet cape!

I can’t wait to complete this costume and add it to my Princess repertoire!
Till next time!

Leave a Comment