I should apologize now for my horrible grammar but I just took a major Bio exam and my brain is kinda out of it. Alas I promised to produced this weekend so let’s begin!
I decided back in early November when I first saw the trailer for Frozen that I was going to have to make Elsa’s ice dress. I feel in love with the design and character immediately and sold my soul to make this dress for Ohayocon 2014. It is my biggest project to date and though stressful at times I did really enjoy making it. I estimate I spent about 300 hour total hours on the dress and still want to add more detail work to the costume.
I bought most of my fabric from joann fabrics because I had a bunch of coupons. I bought my sleeve material from spandexworld but I had a friend in New York buy it in person because you must buy over $20 worth of fabric and the shipping was very expensive
8 yds of BLUE RADIANCE organza casa collection
3 yds of BLUE RADIANCE satin casa collection
3 yds of BLUE RADIANCE lining casa collection
1 yd light aqua glissenette
For the dress I used this pattern as a base:
I heavily altered the pattern to add the train and fit my awkward body shape though. The train was drafted by me so there is no pattern you can buy sadly
To get the silver lines on my dress I bought lumiere metallic paint in silver and turquoise and painted the organza myself. I needed 2 jars of each color.
Here is the different colors of Sequins I bought for my top. I bought circles and out them into rectangles I recommend the hologram spa blue as your primary color. It was the closest to the actual color. I bought about 1500 sequins :
20mm Metallic Paillette cool water blue
20mm Paillette Hologram Turquoise
20mm Paillette Hologram Glacier
20mm Paillette Hologram Spa Blue
20mm Metallic Paillette turquoise
20mm Metallic Paillette blue bell
20mm Metallic Paillette aqua
The glitter to make the snowflakes was bought from artglitter.com. This was very very pricey but well worth the cost for the quality. This company specializes in ultra fine cut glitter hence the extra costs. I bought a pound of “Ultrafine glitter in Misty”. There are so many choices it is insane. If I could redo this I would have gotten a few colors and mix them to make a gradient effect. I did buy their fabric glue and it worked well unfortunately I spilled half of the bottle and needed to buy “fabric mod podge” it worked just as well so I would recommend that over artglitter’s glue.
Like I explained above I bought a pattern for the main dress but heavily altered it to fit my body and add the extra train in the back. Here is an example of the shape I made to add the train. My train was only 14 inches in the back. Anything longer and it would have been too hard for me personally to walk.
To make Elsa’s top I used a base pattern Mccall’s M6460. I used dress B as my base and again heavily altered the design.
First I made a mock up of the top out of some muslin and tried it on. I marked a line where I wanted it to lay on my shoulders and cut one half of the top. I seamed ripped the shirt apart and used the side I cut as a base for my new pattern. I made the new pattern out of muslin to make sure the top fit properly. After I was happy with the design I cut out the good fabric and assembled it. I used a zigzag stitched on all the seams since the fabric was a 2- way stretch. I just hemmed the top with a zigzag stitch too. I am going to cover that hem in glitter anyways, so I was not too concerned about making it look extremely appealing. For the hands I took some extra blue fabric and zigzag stitched that to create my finger loops. Since the fabric was stretchy it worked perfectly. After that I sent my zigzag stitched to the smallest width and hemmed the hand since it would get quite a bit of wear and tear. To finish the top I sewed a simple elastic band to the bottom of my top to ensure it would not ride up. I used 1 inch thick elastic. This what I happen to have in my notions drawer but I am sure something half of the size would do the job nicely. I measured where the bottom of the top hit my stomach and subtracted 1.5 inches from that measurement. After that I just gather the bottom and sewed it to the top.
Moving on to the biggest part of the costume, the train/cape. *cue death march*. Ok, it was not that horrible to make but it does require a lot of room which I did not have due to holiday decorations. The pattern is 100% drafted by me so make sure to give me credit if you use this style. I apologize in advance for my crappy diagrams made via paint in 5 seconds. I am pretty a five year could have done better but I hope they get the idea across. I would recommend anywhere from 6-8 yards of a 58 inch wide fabric. I personally used exactly 8 yards of fabric to make mine. I would not suggest making the train any longer than 100 inches because it will be hard to walk around in and quite heavy with all of the snowflakes. I am also kinda tall (5’8″ft) so if you smaller than 5’5″ft I would suggest 80-90 inches long.
Before you dive into the costume I would take time to sketch up the measurements and maybe even make a mockup if you have the resources. In the movie Elsa’s train is pleated just like her coronation gown cape. There are two main pleats on each side which I did add to the train. To figure out how much fabric I need for the top I measured myself with the dress on to see where I wanted the train to be. Mine was 20 inches in total but I added almost 12 extra inches for the pleats and seam allowance. The first pleats in the back were 3.5 inches (7 inches total) and the side pleats were 2.5 inches( 5 inches total). I would suggest playing around with these to see how your fabric falls. After I figured out the top I moved onto the actual train, I divided each side into 4 sections. The largest section is illustrated for you below. To get the 87.5 inches for the other side of the pattern I used a very weird math process which I will try my best to explain. I decided how long I wanted my cape to be (100 inches) then I decided how short I want it to be in the front (50 inches). I subtracted the two numbers (100-50=50) and divide that by 4 (50/4=12.5). I took that measurement (12.5) and subtracted that each time from the four sections to find the opposite sides. My personal measurements were (100, 87.5), (87.5, 75), (75, 62.5) and (62.5, 50). Each width was different due to trying to hide the seams in the pleat. To create the curves at the bottom, I just free-handed the design so it ran nicely into each section.
To make my cape appear seamless, I made sure to cut the largest section on the fold so I did not have a seam in the middle. After this I had all my sections and sewed them together then rolled hemmed them on my serger. To attach the train to the dress I sewed some heavy and medium weight snaps along the inside of the dress and on the back of the train. Basically I just fold over the train into the dress and snap into place. It holds up quite well and I have not had any issues wearing it at all.
Thanks for reading! I hope this was helpful and actually made sense. If you have any questions feel free to ask and I will try my best to answer. I hope to publish part 2 tomorrow which will be all about glitter and snowflakes!