We gave up fighting our daughter over the whole Disney Princess thing and instead embraced the princesses that we felt have the most admirable traits1 — Belle from Beauty and the Beast and Rapunzel from Tangled. I actually quite liked Tangled (the song Mother Knows Best is totally Kander & Ebb for kids) and Pen saw it twice in the theater.
It was only a matter of time before I made Penelope her own princess dress and, as I predicted when I recently lamented the quality of official princess dresses from Disney, would incorporate brocade – actually leftover brocade from my holiday dress. The dress was loosely based on Simplicity 4764. I also read this amazing analysis of her dress for a little guidance.
While it's a still a little big to allow for growth, Pen was quite pleased with the results. I was most pleased with the sleeves.
1 Disney really makes it clear that Belle LOVES TO READ in Beauty in the Beast. So much so that Pen plays with her Belle figurine and says repeated "I love to read, I love to read!."