Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Elsa's Snow Queen Dress - Frozen

A few months ago, my niece E asked me to make her Elsa's gown from Frozen for Halloween.  I agreed, because I wanted to give the dress a shot, and so I started looking for fabric.  I also was asked to make an Anna costume for my younger niece, K.  By the end of September, I was making two more Elsas and another Anna for some of my friends' kids!

I used the Simplicity pattern 1233 as a basis, but I made several modifications of my own.  I also had to make a larger size for my biggest Elsa, because the pattern I had only went up to an 8, and she was a 10.

For the bodice, I used the Turquoise Confetti Dot, the skirt was Turquoise Tissue Lame (only use this if you're a masochist!), and the yoke and sleeves were a light blue organza (all from JoAnn's).  For the cape, I originally purchased two yards of fabric off of eBay, but when I got an additional two orders, that fabric was sold out, so I ended up getting a different fabric.  They both are organza with silver snowflakes, and are super hard to work with, due to all of the glue holding the snowflakes on ...

I used the Simplicity pattern as a guide, but made a lot of adjustments.  First, I made the neckline a bit more heart-shaped, and the bottom of the bodice deeper.  I also cut a lot out of the skirt, as it was VERY full.  The cape needed no adjustment.

I cut out the bodice and attached the lining, which was just a turquoise lining fabric.  The bodice fabric was difficult to work with due to the glue (which is just annoying - make sure you clean off your needle frequently to prevent pulling, puckering, and thread breaking).  I then put the yoke together and serged the seams.  I then simply laid the bodice on top of the yoke and sewed it on.

See, originally, I was going to attach the cape using velcro.  I actually got as far as the first dress to do this (I was making them assembly-line style), but it turned out to not be as great as I thought it would be.  The idea was to make it detachable so that I could leave the back of the cape in one piece, and the girls wouldn't have to contort to get into it.

That didn't work so well, so I did end up ripping the yoke and sleeves out of the other two and then inserting the cape, prior to reattaching the yoke and sleeves.  I'll go into that a bit more later.

The skirt was a NIGHTMARE.  I used the tissue lame as a lining because I'd purchased the fabric before cutting the fullness down.  It shredded if you so much as looked at it.  Even when serged with a roll, it just shredded apart.  It also puckered and pulled like crazy, even with the thinnest needle I could find.  I ended up using a lot of seam stop glue.

I sewed the skirt to the bodice in the same way that I did the yoke.

I ended up with the following (see photo).  To neaten it all up, I then turned the yoke and top of the skirt over and sewed it to the bodice.  It's not the best technique, but it worked.

I inserted a zipper and then added trim, which I didn't get the name of, but purchased at JoAnn's.  I first turned the serged top of the yoke under and sewed it down, then hand-stitched the trim to it.  It was really easy to do the trim - it was very forgiving to the needle, and it went pretty quickly.

The very last thing to do was to attach the cape to the back.  I didn't want to go the velcro route again, so I attached two hooks and eyes, which are pretty hard to see.  I have one on each side of the zipper, and so the cape just hooks onto the back there and has a nice flow.

And here's the finished product!  This is the dress I made for my friend's daughter, and was the largest dress.  The bottom photo is the two larger dresses.  I'll have to get my niece's (the smallest, and with a different cape fabric) back after Halloween and attach the cape properly.  To get in and out of the dress is a bit of a trick, but I don't think anyone's had a problem yet.

Stay tuned - the next entry will be the Anna costume construction!  ETA:  You can view Anna's dress construction here.