Like every other little girl an Elsa dress from Frozen was a must have this year. And having [semi-]recently taken up sewing, I find costumes are a great way to practice sewing because they don’t have to be perfect.
This project was very much a make it up as you go plus art direction by a very opinionated three year old.
I made the dress in knit because I think it’s easier for them to dress and undress versus coming over and asking to be velcro’d or zipping into a costume. And in theory, the stretch of the knit means they can wear it longer? The sleeves and top are a very light weight knit with some sparkle to it that barely shows up even in person. The blue is something I had that is a much thicker knit (in hindsight I’d use a lighter weight knit).
I used a combination of the Bloom Dress and Contrast V-neck Sweater patterns from Patty Young’s Sewing ModKid Style book as a guide. The dress is a 4T, but I used the length of the size 10 (which turned out to be perfect with a 1/2” hem for length). The color blocking from the contrast v-neck sweater was used on the front and back pieces of the dress. My plan was to use the contrast v-neck as is for the front without the neckline banding and just hemming under 1/4”. This however made the neckline way too low, so I ended up moving up the bottom panel a few inches and leaving the angle of the neckline unchanged.
The first order of business was adding an ombre dye to the blue knit (per 3 year old art direction that said it needed to be darker at the bottom than the top)—next time I’d either skip this step or use a sheerer fabric for the skirt as you really don’t see in the end result.
The pattern was cut and assembled adding a layer of tulle for the cape between the color blocking sections on the back (the tulle was about 2Xs as wide as the dress and and inch longer than the back blue piece). The bottom corners were rounded and the top was gathered leaving about an inch from both sides. In hind sight I’d use a bit of a heavier sheer so it would hang and swoosh better (because all capes need to have a good swoosh).
The overskirt was made with an opalescent fabric that Miss E found at Jo-Ann’s and declared the perfect for an Elsa dress. I only purchased a yard which I sewed into a long tube and folded in half. I marked the waist based on a peplum top that I like where it hit and the eyeballed the v dip in the front. I ran a gathering stitch through the middle of the fabric along the fold and pinned to the waistline. I zig-zagged stitched along that line to create to two layers of the skirt. I wish I had gotten 1 1/4 yards or so for a little more room in the skirt.
For embellishments, there are snowflakes stenciled on both the cape and overskirt in a white pearl acrylic paint. Snowflake stencils were made with the cricut in various sizes.
The bodice snowflakes are from Etsy and the additional crystals are from jo-anns (all iron on).
And of course the attached cape wasn’t long enough (or the right color), so we used the no sew tutorial from Make It & Love It for a longer (and bluer) cape. I was informed Elsa’s cape is not white nor are her sleeves so despite all my reference material on Pinterest, I apparently was not on the ball for this project.
We finished just in time to get the DVD!
I’ve been keeping a Elsa Dress Board on Pinterest for inspiration and continuing to update it even after this dress was made.
Follow Kelly Gifford’s board Em wants an Elsa Dress on Pinterest.