Costume Breakdown: Princess Bubblegum

Princess Bubblegum’s iconic pink and purple dress is easily achieved by altering patterns you can find in store!  In this costume breakdown I’ll go over everything I did to bring this sweet bubblegum blob to life!

The Crown:

Princess Bubblegum Crown 2

I wanted PB’s crown to be very shiny, so I used mirror backed gold acrylic and resin cast a blue gem.

I started out by making a paper pattern to the size I wanted the crown to be.

Once I had the paper pattern, I made a copy of that pattern in Adobe Illustrator and used it to cut the crown out of gold mirror backed acrylic using a laser cutter.  The acrylic is flat, so I used a heat gun to heat the acrylic enough so that I could bend it, and then shaped the crown to fit my head.  Once that was done, I cast a light blue gem using clear resin and blue resin dye, then attached it onto the crown using E6000 glue and a gold setting.


The setting is so thin you can hardly see it, but it gave the gem a place to sit and overall made the final piece look nicer and more finished.

I know not everyone has the option to work with a laser cutter, so this might not be an option for you  If that’s the case, don’t worry!  You can make PB’s crown in a number of different ways, including foam, Worbla, or even resin casting!  You just have to find something that will work for you!

If making it isn’t for you, you can also buy this crown in my Etsy Shop!

The Dress:

The dress was made using an existing pattern and altering it to fit the style and shape of Princess Bubblegum’s dress.

I started with this pattern from McCall’s:


The patterns for B and C were already in the right basic shape and only needed some minor adjustments to look just like PB’s dress!  They are technically a top and skirt rather than a dress, but the look the part when you wear them!

If you’d like an in-depth explanation on how to alter patterns, check out my Basic Pattern Altering Tutorial!  If you’d like a quick and to the point explanation, keep reading!


First, according to the information on the back of the pattern and the instructions inside, find the size that will fit you best and the pieces you’ll need to make your finished costume.  The, cut all those pattern pieces out.


Once you have your pattern pieces cut out, start piecing them together to see how the finished garments will look.

Some pieces I was able to just stick together to make the alterations I needed.  For example: The front of PB’s top is a solid piece, whereas the pattern was made up of several pieces.  Because of the way the pattern was made, I was able to simple pin the front pieces together to get the piece I needed.


Other pieces, like the sleeve band, had to be completely reworked.  I used the original pattern for the sleeve band for the size, but completely redrew it into the shape I needed for the costume.


To make the scalloped edge, I measured out equal points on the pattern and used a curved ruler to help make the curves perfect.


When making new pattern pieces, I also make sure to label the new piece with any information I might need later, such as what kind of fabric to cut, how many to cut, where the seam allowances are, and what piece of the pattern it is.


I used the same process for making the collar pattern.  For PB’s dress, I needed to add a peter pan style piece to the collar that was already there.  To make it, I used the collar piece already included for length, used a ruler to measure the size of the piece, and then used the curved ruler again to make a nice curve at the front.  Or course, I also labeled this piece with all the necessary information.


With a project like this, you can pin pieces of your pattern together as you go to check what they will look like in your final version.  Below you can see I’ve pinned the top pieces and the collar together and put them on my dress form to get a feel for the shape of the garments.  This way you can see if there are things you need to change before you cut into your fabric.


I also made some changes to the pattern just by drawing right onto my fabric!

I wanted the skirt to be a bit fuller, so I simply placed the pattern piece onto the fabric, pinned it down, and measured the amount I wanted to add to the sides, and drew the new skirt pieces onto the fabric using a pastel pencil.  Below you can see how much I added.


When it was time to start sewing, I was still able to follow the directions that came with the pattern pretty closely.  The only exceptions were the sleeve band an collar.  For the sleeve band, the original pattern was meant to but cut on the fold, but with my alterations, I wasn’t able to do that.  I had to cut the entire piece out twice from my fabric and interfacing instead.  Then, I sewed around the scalloped edge following my seam allowance (right sides together), trimmed the seam allowance, and turned them right side out before attaching to the sleeve.


To finish the top it off, I added a rolled hem to the bottom.  This covers the unfinished edge of your fabric quickly and easily!  To do a rolled hem, set your sewing machine to a straight stitch, sew the seam allowance, fold your fabric over to the seam allowance, press with an iron, then fold the fabric over again to hide the raw edge, and sew that in place. I got a bit lazy and didn’t bother to press my edge before sewing, but I made sure it stayed in place with lots of pins!


The skirt didn’t require any major pattern altering at all, so sewing it was just like sewing with the pattern’s directions.  The only difference was that I chose to add a lying to my skirt whereas the pattern didn’t call for one.

To add the lining, I simply cut the skirt pieces out of both my outer fabric and a matching lining fabric, and stitched them together at the waist before adding the waistband.

To finish off the costume, I added invisible zippers to the skirt and the top…


added some cute purple buttons to the top…


and finally finished off the bottom of the skirt with a rolled hem on the outer layer and the lining.


The final product is below!


The Shoes:

I bought a pair of pink high heels to go with my Princess Bubblegum, but unfortunately they were a slightly different pink than the dress and the different pinks just clashed majorly in my opinion, so I decided to paint them!

When painting shoes, you need to be careful and pick the right primers and paints or your paint job will end up just cracking and peeling off.  For high heels with a smooth surface, I’ve found that using Plastidip as a primer and using acrylic paints works really well! if you want to paint them a specific color!


I have used this method on a couple of pairs of heels and the result has been satisfactory both times!  The plastidip is a  good primer, and since both the Plastidip and the paint is flexible, the paint stays on without cracking really nicely!  For my shade of pink, I used Liquitex Basics in both white and a dark pink.  I used the white as a base coat and layered the pink on top of that after it was dry.  I ended up using a few coats of white and a few coats of pink to get the right color.



The pink paint on its own was much too transparent, so the white was needed as a base coat to make the pink show up.

I also coated my shoes with a gloss clear coat to protect it once all the paint was dry.

Peppermint Butler:

Peppermint Butler 6

Peppermint Butler is made of a solid wood base, painted with spray and acrylic paints, and his outfit was made using fabric.  His arms and legs are also stuffed with batting and have wires imbedded in them so that they can be posed.  He makes the perfect prop for Princess Bubblegum!

If making props isn’t your thing, Peppermint Butler is also available in my Etsy Shop!

Body Paint and Wig:

For the body paint, I used Mehron Paradise in Light Pink.  I used an applicator sponge to apply it, a setting powder from Mehron and Ben Nye’s Final Seal to seal it, and used eyeshadows in shades of pink to contour.  I cannot recommend Mehron Paradise enough!  If you seal it well its stays on, even through constant moving around and touching things! Peppermint Butler didn’t get one spot of pink makeup on his suit the entire shoot!

My wig in the photo below is a Luthien from Arda Wigs in Princess Pink, which I cut, styled, and dyed using Rit Dyemore in Super Pink.

Princess Bubblegum 4 b W

Overall, Princess Bubblegum was a quick project that only took me a few days to complete!  The dress is a very good project to try even if you don’t have much experience with sewing, so have fun crafting and as always, let me know if you have questions in the comments!


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