Thursday, 13 March 2014

Guest post: Making a child's Elsa from Frozen costume

Hello readers! Today I have the first part of a Frozen double bill.

Costuming is a hobby of all ages, but it is something that is more associated with younger children than adults. Since I don't have and little 'uns this is not something I've ever been able to cover on my blog which is a real shame as it is such a big part of costuming. 

However, when Liz, a friend of mine, decided to make a costume for her daughter based on Disney Princess Elsa, I simply had to ask her to write a quick post for me!

Here we go:


My daughter Izzy is obsessed with Elsa, but i refused to pay £40 for a costume, especially after I read the terrible reviews about how it fell apart when people got it home.  So I told her to save up, started giving her pocket money to help her understand how much things cost and started secretly making it. 

I haven't made anything like this before - I made a corset for GCSE art. Well I say I made it, my nan took over (I don't think she thought I was doing it properly, in my head I was making art from textiles, in her head it had to be wearable including a lining etc...). I also made my daughter a bridesmaid dress for my wedding with the help of my mother in law. We used a pattern for that. So that is basically my knowledge of making clothes, I don't really like patterns or drawing things before i do them (hey never end up the way I draw them and I find it hard to draw accurately what is in my head). 

I have made other items though, one year I think all my friends got scrunchies for Christmas because I'd learnt how to make them and was on a roll! When I was younger I made lots of cross stitch cards (i did a larger picture but on and off it took about 10 years) and quilting and patchwork cushions. Recently my Daughter has had me making barbie clothes which I found quite fiddly. 

I mostly hand sew as I don't own a sewing machine and lack of experience with them means I'm not sure what I'm doing.

Obviously making a fancy dress outfit is a bit different to anything I have previously done - someone else has designed it for a start. I started out by looking at images of what i wanted to make and then making a basic dress shape by tracing around one of Izzy's tops on a large piece of paper. I went to a local fabric shop and found materials I thought might do the job. I cut around my pattern and pinned it to the fabric, when I was happy I drew the pattern on the dress (washable pen!) then cut out the bits of material leaving extra fabric for the seams. Then it was a case of sewing the bits together which took a while - would have been much quicker with a machine. I have never done sleeves before in my life so was pretty impressed with how they turned out. 

Elsa pattern cutting
After I had the basic dress put together i washed it to get rid of the pen. Then added a layer of sequinned material over the body and some strips of sequins down the front to keep the sequinned material in place. I used velcro to fasten it at the back and added layers of sparkly fine organza behind and a few beads to the front. The sparkly bit in the middle at the front is actually from one of my dolls outfits from when i was little. The neckline was made to look a bit neater by folding ribbon over it and sewing it down.Lastly i added some silver ribbon to the top as it was looking a little low cut and the edge of the other fabric looked a bit of a mess. When she tried it on it kept falling off her shoulders so I added the bit of blue and silver ribbon at the back. 

I know Elsa doesn't wear a cape but unlike her my daughter does feel the cold and as she tends to want to wear them out and about i made her a little cape to go with it. I think it looks quite wintery anyway and she rather likes it.

Unknown  to me my mother had bought her a tiara so she added that to the look too ( I know Elsa discards hers but as Izzy is 5 I'll let her get away with it).


I hope you'll agree that Liz did and excellent job and you would never guess its he first full thing she's made by herself. Also, hand sewn. I am not really sure how she had the patients for that.

Anywho, it looks perfect to me!

I hope that's inspired a few of you that are debating making costumes for little ones. It may not be as hard as you think!

I'll be back with a Frozen inspired post of my own in a few days.


  1. This is fantastic! I want to learn to sew so badly!

    1. Liz really did a great job for her daughter. I think the thing with sewing is just finding time to get stuck in do it. Its not too hard to pick up once you get a chance to get into it. A lot of patterns are really helpful and give you lots of tips.

  2. Thanks :) I was rather pleased as I haven't really done anything like this before. I really should learn how to use a sewing machine though so it doesn't take me as long!

    Jennie is right - there are loads of simple things to try. My nan taught me to sew when I was little by getting me to quilt cushion panels and make scrunchies - both of which are actually pretty easy :)

  3. Wonderful dress. Especially for being hand made. Love it!


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