Mom sews incredible Disney costumes for 3-year-old daughter to wear at Disney World

ByRachel Schwartz WPVI logo
Sunday, November 9, 2014
Jennifer Rouch uses everything from bed sheets to old prom dresses to make incredible Disney-themed costumes.
creativeContent-Jennifer Rouch/Instagram

A little girl has been turning heads at Walt Disney World in Florida the past few months, due to her incredible costumes based on the Disney princesses' gown and uniforms of park employees. Three-year-old Lane's intricate ensembles come courtesy of her mom, Jennifer Rouch.

Lane's mom and dad began taking her to the park in part because of Jennifer's life-long love for Disney, but also to help bring their shy daughter out of her shell.

"She doesn't have any cousins or anything close to her age so we wanted to take her someplace where she could play and have fun with other kids," Jennifer told ABC.

The park is a short drive from their Orlando-area home and the family goes one to two times each week.

"It's amazing; as many, many times as she's gone, every single time she gets just as excited," Jennifer said.

It wasn't long after the family began frequenting the park that Jennifer began making Lane costumes.

"At first she was a little frightened of the characters and we felt like if she was dressed up she kind of connected with them a little better," Jennifer said. "I think she honestly thinks they're all just her best friends and it's home to her."

At first, the costumes caught the attention of just a few people, but as the costumes became more elaborate, more people noticed. People also tend to recognize Lane and her family because they visit so often.

The family has also gotten to know a few of the cast members and park employees will sometimes ask Lane to stop by certain attractions so they can see her newest ensemble.

Many of the Disney princesses have even come to know Lane by name and will make a point of saying hello during parades -- a fact that might make more than a few little girls and boys jealous.

"Disney World just seems so big and so larger than life and to think that a princess remembers my daughter meant so much," Jennifer said. "Every single time we go it just seems like they do something more magical."

Jennifer has no formal training, but has been sewing since she was 18. She has worked for a few local theater companies and has been commissioned to make wedding and prom dresses and outfits for cosplayers.

The majority of Lane's outfits are made with recycled materials like fabric remnants or items Jennifer finds at thrift stores and garage sales. It pushes Jennifer to be creative in how she approaches Lane's outfits and keeps costs down.

"I find prom dresses, wedding dresses, shower curtains, bedsheets, and I use them for my materials," she said.

Lane's Cinderella dress once was a shower curtain and her Jane Porter dress was made from a table cloth.

Jennifer told ABC that the dresses made from vintage Disney-print fabrics have been conversation starters on more than one occasion.

"I found a really great pair of vintage 1970s "Bambi" curtains that I made her a dress out of and I remember this lady in the park coming up to me and she was so excited and she, 'Oh my god, I had those as a little girl!'"

Jennifer makes most of the dresses in just a few hours, but as a stay-at-home mom, she only works on them while Lane is napping or has gone to sleep for the night.

When it comes to a favorite costume, it may come as no surprise that Lane loves being a princess. The bigger the dress, the better.

"She wears a hoop skirt under those dresses and she tends to like the ones like Cinderella or Tiana," Jennifer said. "Any one where she can sway like a bell, she tends to be pretty fond of those."

Jennifer's favorite outfit, however, is the yellow and white dress worn by employees of the Main Street Confectionery.

"I actually remember those costumes from when I was a little girl and going into the candy shop and it's one of the shops that Lane always loves to visit," Jennifer said. "All of the cast members just went bananas. I don't think children normally want to dress up like them, usually they want to be Cinderella, so they were pretty excited about that and it was kind of dream fulfillment for me."

Jennifer and her husband Chad post photos of Lane's adventures and outfits on the "My Disney Daze" Tumblr page and on Instagram.