Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Princess Gown by Linda Leopold Strauss - Princess Kate Paper Doll Wedding Dress Craft

The upcoming Royal Wedding is getting a lot of media hype right now. For the most part I haven't paid much attention to the details, but I have discussed the event to some extent with my kids. I was about the same age as my daughter when Prince Charles and Princess Diana married. According to my mother, we watched the wedding on TV and followed the news reports. While I don't have any specific memories of watching the wedding as a child, I do know that I loved pretending to be a princess, and I enjoyed and still enjoy reading fairy tales. A couple weeks back I discovered the perfect picture book for a royal wedding themed story + art craft post.

The Princess Gown by Linda Leopold Strauss, illustrated by Malene Reynolds Laugesen. Houghton Mifflin (September 2008); ISBN 9780618862597; 32 pages
Book Source: Copy from public library

"So what do you think, my Hanna?" asked Papa as he sewed a pearl to the bodice of the wedding dress. "Will the princess like it?"

Much work goes into designing and sewing a wedding dress, especially a wedding dress fit for a princess. As Princess Annabel's wedding approaches all the tailors in the kingdom design elaborate wedding dresses in hopes of becoming the official Embroiderer to the Princess. A little girl named Hanna excitedly watches as her papa lovingly pieces together a beautiful and elaborate dress. All the members of the Abraham family, including each of the children, put a stitch into the dress. When it's Hanna's turn to stitch she notices a small smudge on the skirt. Shaken, the family frets about how to fix the small flaw. Little Hanna offers a very creative solution involving an embroidered squirrel, but will the princess approve?

This book has all the markings of a lovely, old-fashioned fairy tale, but surprisingly it is partially based on fact. According to a statement on the author's website, "This picture book, with lavish illustrations by Malene Laugesen, got its start in the author’s family history, where in Victorian England, her husband’s great great great grandfather was Embroiderer to the Queen." The Princess Gown is a fascinating read, especially as rumors swirl as to the identity of Kate Middleton's own wedding dress designer. The Victorian styled hoop dresses portrayed in the book are truly exquisite! My daughter studied Laugesen's oil crayon and linseed oil illustrations with intensity. The dresses on the last pages remind me of Tiffany lamps with their intricate, nature inspired designs. I so want one of those owl tree dresses! If there's a princess or fashion lover in your family, I highly recommend this book.

Related Links:
Linda Leopold Strauss Website

❖ ❖ ❖ ❖ Princess Kate Paper Doll / Design a Wedding Dress Craft ❖ ❖ ❖ ❖

Disney offers a handy and free Princess Kate Paper Doll printable[pdf]. It includes a few dresses, but I thought my daughter would have more fun designing her own special wedding dress for Princess Kate.

We printed off a copy of the doll onto cardstock, and I traced the upper part of her body onto printer paper so that my daughter could design a dress to fit the doll. She decided on the shape of the dress and added several details including, according to her, a "flower petal pattern" on the bottom. After she finished her design, she used some glitter paint to make the dress shimmer. My son saw the project and wanted to participate so he colored one of the printable dresses. I'm sure both these designs would look lovely on Princess Kate. We're looking forward to seeing pictures of her actual dress tomorrow!

abc button Shibley Smiles

A Mommy's Adventures hosts the "stART" meme (Story + Art) each week. Add your kids craft post to the Kid's Get Crafty linky at Red Ted Art's Blog. Join in Read Aloud Thursday at Hope is the Word. Show off your ideas at ABC & 123 Show and Tell. Wrote a post about play? Join the It's Playtime party! Find more great book tie-ins at JDaniel4's Mom Read, Explore, Learn link-up.

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Unknown said...

I found those paper dolls via Disney too! I really like how your daughter designed her own dress- Kate may need to have a last minute wardrobe change... :0)

RedTedArt said...

Oh the book sounds lovely! how appropriate! And the printables look great too! If I have time, I will print some off for our street party tomorrow!

Thank you!

Thank you for your ever so faithful linking up to Kids Get Crafty each week :-)


Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

This is awesome, I love the dress your daughter has designed. We talked a little about royal wedding, but daughter hasn't been really interested in princesses - real or fairy tales ones.

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

What a great title! My girls would love it, I bet. Thanks for the paper doll link, too.

Ticia said...

I love the dress she made! I wonder if Princess would like to do this

Christy Killoran said...

That book sounds great, and R would definitely love to do this. I like the way she designed her own dress - very nice. We haven't talked about the royal wedding at all.

Shauna said...

I love finding new books like this one. My girls are constantly drawing princesses and "designing" gowns. So, this would be the perfect activity for us.
Take care,

Shauna said...

I have really enjoyed reading your past posts! I am a new follower of your blog.

Books4Learning said...

I dropped by to let you know that your blog has been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award. Congrats! Follow this link to know what you need to do next.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

Both dresses are wonderful! The book looks really interesting!

Thanks for linking to Read.Explore.Learn.

An Apel a Day said...

I miss paper dolls! You just can't find them in the stores like you used to. I did get my boy's Joey for Easter. He has magnetic clothes. Mica really likes playing with Joey, while Isaak doesn't yet. I used to cut out magazine people and play house with them.