How To Make A Cinderella Pink Dress Running Costume

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

At Walt Disney World Half Marathon (

The Cinderella pink dress might be my favorite running costume I’ve put together.

After crafting a Cinderella ball gown for the 2012 Disney Princess Half Marathon and Cinderella in rags running costume for the 2013 Walt Disney World Marathon, I was excited to dig into the deep cuts for a new take on a Cinderella running costume for the 2014 Walt Disney World Half Marathon.

The pretty in pink “dress for Cinderelly,” as the mice sing, sounded perfect to me. I’ve always loved the dress the mice made with love, crafted from Cinderella’s mother’s gown. It’s a dress fit for a princess.

Cinderella running costume

Pretty in Pink!

How To Make The Cinderella Pink Dress

Registration opens Tuesday, July 15 at noon EST for the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. If you want to put together your own Cinderella pink dress for the race, here’s my step-by-step “How To” turn this basic skirt and tank…

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

Basic tank and skirt (

into this Cinderella pink dress!

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

Gather all the pieces for the costume. I have zero background in sewing, so the sewing tools I used were:

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running1. Needle and thread

2. Hand-sewing machine

3. Safety pins

The costume items I used are:

1. Skirt

2. Tank

3. Petticoat

4. Ribbon (pink and white)

5. Old T-shirt

6. Headband

7. Hair rats

8. Blue beads

9. Shorts

10. Running shoes

I bought most of the pieces or used items I already had, except for the skirt. The ladies at Sparkle Athletic sent me their Pink Sparkle Running Skirt to build the costume around (I have freelanced for them in the past). Yay #TeamSparkle!

How to Make A Cinderella Pink Dress For Running

Pink Sparkle Running Skirt from Sparkle Athletic. (

The Skirt

Here’s what I used to embellish the skirt:

1. Ribbons: Cinderella’s dress has ribbon embellishment and bows. I already owned a bit of pink ribbon. (I keep a box of ribbons that come from gifts and whatnot.) So I headed to a trimming shop to pick out more ribbon that matched, bringing the skirt with me so I’d be sure to buy enough. The folks at the store helped me figure out exactly how much I needed to trim the skirt, reserving extra for bows and the shirt.

First, I hand-tied three bows: two for the skirt and one for the top.

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

Ribbons for Cinderelly (

2. Hand-sewer: I bought a Singer Stitch Sew Quick hand sewing machine for $13 online. I read a lot of really horrible reviews about it, but a few good reviews that pointed out most of the horrible reviews likely hadn’t read the instructions/threaded the machine properly. So I decided to give it a try. For $13, I figured it was a good Disney running costume investment since I have zero space for a real sewing machine in my New York City apartment, wouldn’t use one for anything other than running costumes, and have never used an actual sewing machine in my life. After making two costumes with the Stitch Sew Quick, it did what I needed. I used it to sew the ribbon onto the skirt for this one. Sometimes it had a hard time getting through the material and I had to restart a stitch, but it was much faster than hand sewing. I did it during one TV show.

3. Safety pins: I merely safety pinned the bows onto the skirt once I had it trimmed. I save my safety pins from race bibs for all my costuming needs. The less sewing I have to do, the better.

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

The skirt with ribbon and bows (

4. Petticoat: Cinderella’s dress has a white petticoat underneath. Sure, you could do without it, but it really gave the skirt its bounce. I bought mine online for $7.

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

My petticoat (

Here’s the finished skirt with petticoat underneath!

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

Skirt and petticoat (

The Shirt

Here’s how I made the top of the dress:

1. Tank: I headed to T.J. Maxx to find an inexpensive pink tech tank, bringing the skirt with me to match the color. I managed to find two options in just the right shade, but chose this one from New Balance because it had a built in bra and was $15. T.J. Maxx is the best for finding inexpensive, but quality base pieces.

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

New Balance tank (

2. White Collar: The Cinderella pink dress has white poofy shoulders. I replicated those with a cut-up white T-shirt that I hand sewed around the tank’s straps. Yup, it was an old race shirt.

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

T-shirt sewn around the straps (

I made the straps poofy by inserting my Disney running costume secret weapon: hair rats. These are long blonde, brown or black sponges that help make all those fantastic 1940’s style up-dos, like this one of movie star Kathryn Grayson circa 1943.

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

How do you get hair like this? A hair rat.

My mom was a hair-stylist, so I have an arsenal of rats that she gave me. But you can order them online or even use a bun chignon sold at stores like H&M or Sally’s, and just cut it open to make a long rat instead of a doughnut shaped one. I love using rats because they are super light and add volume without having to spend money on a stiffer material than the old T-shirts I have lying around.

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

Hair rats double as shoulder pads. (

3. Ribbons: Taking the ribbons I had, I made a triangle attached to a long ribbon belt to make the detailing on Cinderella’s dress. I simply hand stitched with needle and thread the smaller ribbon onto the larger one, folding it to make the triangle.

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

Ribbon triangle for the body (

Then I safety-pinned the ribbon onto the shirt, but left the belt loose. The ribbon doesn’t have any stretch in it, so if I fastened it waist-tight, I wouldn’t be able to get the shirt on. So I left the ribbon loose until race morning, at which point, I safety pinned it into place in the back. Thanks again, safety-pins!

I pinned the last bow into place. Shirt finished!

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

The finished shirt (

The Accessories

No Disney running costume is complete without accessories. They are what make the look.

1. Hair bow: How did I get that white bow to stay perfectly on my head throughout a very sweaty and very humid half marathon? I took a headband I already had and wrapped it in white ribbon. Then I tied a bow around the top of it. Easy peasy.

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

A ribbon wrapped headband (

2. Hair: Cinderella rocks some serious 1940s bangs. The movie was made in 1948-1949 and came out in early 1950, after all. I’ve handled her hair differently for each costume. For the blue ball gown, I ignored her bangs altogether in favor of a blue sweat-wicking head band since I was racing for a PR. Yup, nailed it!

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

No bangs (

For Cinderella in rags, I built a “wall of hair” in front of her kerchief.

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

Cinderella in Rags and Jacques the Mouse (Marathon Foto)

But for this look, I really wanted to style those bangs. So I turned, once again, to my trusty hair rats. After all, this is what they were designed for. I have long hair, with no bangs. So I parted a triangular section going forward from the crown of my head.

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

Hair! (

Then I rolled it around the rat, using hair pins to fasten the ends of the rat into my hair.

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

Rolled hair (

The finished bangs look like so.

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

Cinderella bangs! (

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

Bangs from above (

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

1950 Cinderella (

Cinderella wears her hair down. I’d done that for the Walt Disney World Marathon and it was hot. So this time I tried a hair net to give it that “down” look, but actually hold it together. It worked just so-so. By the end of the race, all the hair in the net was a giant knot.

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

Hairnet (

3. Necklace: “These beads – they give it just the right touch. Don’t you think so, Drizella?” Cinderella’s stepmother was right. The blue beads are the key to the Cinderella pink dress. They’re what separate this from a Princess Aurora costume and what helped most people along the course identify it as Cinderella.

Rather than spend money on a pre-made necklace, I bought a pack of blue plastic beads at the trimming sotre for $3, then strung them onto a ribbon that I could simply tie around my neck.

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

Beads on ribbon (

4. Shoes: I finished the look with white bows on my sneakers. I got Sparkle Athletic Princess Crown Shwings at the expo, but I forgot to lace them into my shoes the night before and didn’t have time on race morning. So I stuck with the bows.

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

Ready to run (

5. Shorts: So that I wasn’t flashing Walt Disney World, I put a pair of pink shorts under my skirt. My Oakley Burn shorts were the perfect shade.

And that’s it! The final look was pretty in pink and might be my best running costume yet.

Disney World Half Marathon

Done! (Photo:

How to make a Cinderella pink dress for running

Running through Cinderella Castle (Marathon Foto)


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Karla Bruning


Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.

20 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. 1

    I am so glad you did a tutorial for this outfit! It is definitely top 3 favorite runDisney costumes I’ve seen (probably even #1)! I am not crafty at all but for an outfit this adorable, I may still try for my next Princess race!

  2. 3

    Definitely one my favorite costumes I’ve seen for runDisney! And I love how you did your hair – super impressive. :)
    Mer @ ScootaDoot recently posted..Run DMZzzzzzzzzMy Profile

  3. MJ #

    That is so much simpler than what I tried to do LOL. But I was wondering about the hair so thanx for sharing this :) My hair is really long so I may have to make something else with it… maybe a bun? Not sure yet. But thanx for this post, I’ll let you know how the race goes :)
    MJ recently posted..Monsoon Dress MakeoverMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      I love what you did, MJ! Sorry I didn’t get this post up sooner. For your hair, a bun would work or even a low pony tail. I have yet to find a great way to wear it down while running.

  4. 7

    This is an amazing costume! You’re so creative! I’m always so impressed with the ideas that people come up with for Disney races. I’m doing my first RunDisney event this year – the Tower of Terror 10 miler and I’m very excited to see the costumes in person.
    Mary Ellen @ Health.Balance.Happiness. recently posted..Kale & Carrot SoupMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      One of my favorite things about Disney races is seeing all the creative costumes and different ways runners interpret characters. I didn’t wear a costume to my first Disney race and really wished I had once I got there. Hope you enjoy your first one!

  5. Erika Whitney #

    All of your Cinderella running costumes have such great details that really make them stand out!

  6. Pam #

    Your costume was simply adorable with so much detail. My favorite running costume that I made was for Tweedle Mom and Tweedle daughter that we wore for the Dumbo Double Dare race last year!
    Pam recently posted..Fitness SnapshotsMy Profile

  7. 13

    It never ceases to amaze me you ability to put together these costumes! Can I hire you to make my next one? :)

  8. MJ #

    Hi Karla! I ran the 10K in the Cinderella dress :) Just wanted to share the link with you. I didn’t do the hair thing as it was 6.30am and I have extremely long hair to get to try and behave so bandanas are more practical. But other than that I think it looks very cute. It was very comfortable as well, the skirt was so light I hardly felt it :) Thank you so much for this inspiration! And even better news, it was my 1st 10K but I did it in 1:02!!! I am ecstatic. This is the link: Thanx again and hugs from London! MJ
    MJ recently posted..Running – Race for Life 10KMy Profile

  9. 17

    Karla, I LOVE your costume! I was wondering where you got the petticoat skirt? I’m attempting the same one for this upcoming Disney Princess Half Marathon. My friend and I are dressing up as the evil step sisters the day before for the 10k. We’re excited and can’t wait for the Glass Slipper Challenge!!

    • Karla Bruning

      Thanks! I got it from a random online store, I don’t even remember which one. I just searched Google Shopping for white petticoat and got the cheapest one I could find. Have fun at Princess Half! My sister and I did evil stepsisters at Princess 5K last year. So much fun!
      Karla Bruning recently posted..Star Wars Half Marathon 2016 By The NumbersMy Profile

  10. Carolyn #

    Very very cute!
    Question: didn’t the petticoat add chafability? And weight? I’m running my first marathon next year (at WDW of course!) and am considering ideas. Also, I’d think the headband would be uncomfortable and not wick away sweat well… could you advise?

    • Karla Bruning

      Thanks! The petticoat didn’t really add too much weight. It was super light, made of tulle, & I barely noticed it. Chafing? Could have, but between my shorts underneath, the satin edge on the tulle, and copious amounts of BodyGlide (I don’t make a move without it!) I was totally fine. No chafing! Without shorts or glide, chafing would most likely be a problem. As for the headband, the key is using one that is comfortable. There’s no way I’d want to run a race with a headband that’s too tight or pinchy. I have a very small head, so headband tightness is less of a problem for me than headbands that won’t stay on. And no, it didn’t wick sweat at all. That wasn’t the point of this particular headband–merely decorative only! If I’d been racing, I might have opted for a sweat-wicking band like the one I wore at Disney Princess Half back in 2012, when I was out to run a PR (and I did!): Have fun choosing a costume and good luck with training!
      Karla Bruning recently posted..2017 Walt Disney World Marathon By The NumbersMy Profile


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