I’ve been reminiscing about Disney movies since I found out in October (2012) that Walt Disney purchased the Star Wars franchise, making Princess Leia the newest Disney Princess. I loved Disney movies as a kid, and a couple of my favorite scenes involved sewing. As I thought about it, I realized there are actually quite a few Disney movies that have sewing scenes or themes in them. Two of my favorite sewing scenes come from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty and Disney’s Cinderella.
The Dress Making Scene from Sleeping Beauty
In this comic-relief scene, the three fairies (Flora, Fauna and Merryweather) send Briar Rose out to gather berries so they can make preparations for the princess’s 16th birthday. Without magic, Fauna attempts to make a cake while Flora works on a new dress, using Merryweather as the dress form.
I laugh through the whole scene. Flora begins by cutting a circular hole in the fabric for the feet to go through. Then, she drapes fabric over Merryweather until the frumpy dress is covered in bows and is a big mess. When Flora asks Fauna what she thinks of the dress, Fauna says, “Well, it’s not like in the book.” Flora says, “Yes, I’ve improved it.” It’s so funny because the dress doesn’t look like something anyone would ever wear — definitely not an improvement. Merryweather then exclaims, “It looks awful.” Flora’s witty response is, “That’s because it’s on you, dear.”
Prompted by Merryweather, the three fairies finally decide to use magic to make a cake and a dress for Briar Rose. The comedy continues as Merryweather and Flora bicker over whether the dress should be pink or blue!
The Dress Making Scene from Cinderella
In this scene, the mice decide to do something nice for Cinderella by making her a dress to wear to the ball. With the help of the birds, the mice follow a pattern in a book to transform Cinderella’s old-fashioned dress into a pretty pink and white dress. They hand sew everything, adding lace trim, bows, and even a blue pearl necklace.
Some of my favorite parts are when two blue birds measures the collar line and then use their fingers to tell the mice on the floor how much lace they need. I also like the part where one of the girl mice threads a needle by licking the end of the thread and then sticking he entire hand through the eye of the needle.
As a feminist, I’m not a fan of the line “Leave the sewin’ to the women, you go get the trimmin’,” but I guess it does accurately reflect the social norms of the time period.
Sewing Scenes in Other Disney Movies
A surprising amount of animated Disney movies have sewing scenes or themes in them, although they are not as involved as in Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. Take a look at what I could think of:
- Peter Pan: There is a short clip where Wendy sews Peter’s shadow to his shoe.
- Brave: Merida must mend the family tapestry to break the curse on her mother.
- The Incredibles: Edna designs superhero suits for all members of the star superhero family.
- The Princess and the Frog: Tiana’s mother has a job designing and sewing frilly dresses for Lottie, a Southern Belle.
- 101 Dalmations: The entire plot revolves around Cruella DeVille’s plan to make a coat out of puppy skins.
- Tangled: Rapunzel makes a dress for Pascal, her pet chameleon.
- Toy Story 2: Woody’s arm gets sewn back on by Geri the toy repairman.
- Hercules: This one is a little far-fetched, but the three fates do cut threads.
Image credit: JD Hancock Photos