Monday, January 6, 2014

A Kingdom of Ice-olation...

Since my girls have first seen Frozen, they've gotten dolls, watched countless video clips of the songs on YouTube, sang along to the soundtrack on a repeat loop, acted out the entire movie, and yes gone back to see in in the theater again.  The girls are a little obsessed - they want TO BE Princess Anna and Queen Elsa.
If you haven't seen it - and even if you are not typically a Disney fan - I implore you to go ahead and watch this video of Queen Elsa singing "Let it Go."  It's a gorgeous song sung by Idina Menzel and the visuals are just AMAZING!  Go ahead, I'll wait.


Wow, right?  I still have visions of some kind of a Frozen quilt bopping around in my head, but I knew that I needed to get the sewing machine going sooner when I started getting written messages left around the house:

 "Elsa's Kingdom" at the entrance to her room

For those of you who don't speak Kindergartener, the ball reads (left to right) 
"From Frozen / This ball is for me and my sister / Name: Elsa and Anna"

Since they saw the movie, older sis was all about Queen Elsa and little sis wanted to be Princess Anna, which is actually pretty spot on to both of their personalities.  So I decided to tackle costumes for both of them.  Considering how much detail is on Anna's dress, I wanted to be easy on myself and create Elsa's Snow Gown first.

I didn't have any patterns that really looked similar, so I made a franken-pattern with the skirt from the Scientific Seamstress's Simply Sweet Dress and the top from her Portrait Peasant Top.  It's hard to tell from the pictures, but the aqua fabric for the skirt glitters and shimmers and the lavender fabric has little iridescent spots all over it.  I sewed the top and bottom together and had a perfect "under" dress.

The real beast of the project was creating the corset-ish overlay (I realize that I am butchering seamstress/costume language but I'm not a garment sewer and can't speak the lingo!  Sorry!)  It has a sweetheart neckline, a v-shaped waistline, and the sequins/beading looks more square/rectangular.

It took a couple tries with muslin to create the right shaped pattern piece that would lie over the peasant top's arm seams correctly while still creating the perfect arches and points in front.  Add in the fact that the fabric I chose could only be ironed for 5 seconds (through a pressing cloth) before starting to melt, was thin like tissue paper behind the sequins and hard to get through my machine without dragging and puckering, and I was kicking myself for thinking this dress would be easy.

Thankfully once it started to work, it worked beautifully!  I hand stitched the sweetheart neckline onto the peasant top so that it wouldn't move around too much while she was playing in it.  Because a velcro closure would have easily ripped the delicate fabric, I sewed on hook and eyes instead.  Right now the costume fits her on the very tightest row of eyes, so she's got room to grow and be Elsa for a good long while!

The cape/train stretches from armpit to armpit on Elsa's gown.  I took an entire length of silver beaded sheer fabric and (after finishing off the raw edges with a zigzag stitch) gathered one end until it measured the same width on the underdress and sewed it on.

When the top is fastened in place, it completely covers over the raw gathered edge of the train and keeps it from weighing down the neckline too much.

Glitter is all over every surface and I don't know if I'll ever manage to get the dress off of her...and it's completely worth it!  I even managed to get her out in a typical New England snowstorm to get a few truly Frozen photos - she was well rewarded with hot chocolate afterwards.

Over the next week, I'll be going back and forth working on little sis's Anna costume as well as my Riley Blake challenge, so stay tuned!

Linking up:


  1. Gorgeous princess dress, I'm sure your daughter loved it.

  2. Frozen is for sure full of quilty inspiration. I love the Elsa costume. Looks pretty on your daughter.

  3. How precious. The dress turned out adorable. I can't wait to see the second dress.

  4. What an amazing Mom you are! My limit is buying the soundtrack so they can sing it over and over (I might be singing right along with them LOL)

  5. You may not have the seamstress lingo,but you have the talent to make clothing. Your daughter's face is so precious and she looks beautiful in her Elsa dress!

  6. You are one fantastic Mom and your daughters will remember these perfect outfits long into their adulthood. You are *awesome*!

  7. What a labor of love. It is obvious she is thrilled, and your photographs will keep this memory alive.

  8. Wow, beautiful! My girls loved it too, as did I! We've now seen it twice as well!

  9. You are an awesome mom. You have provided your daughter with an enchanted childhood, what a lucky girl.