Elsa from Frozen – DIY

During Christmas break we saw the Disney movie “Frozen” with the girls, and since then the girls’ fascination with Elsa from Frozen and her magical icy powers has been rather dominant at our house.

Elsa Frozen

Now, shrovetide was this past weekend, and Ronja explicitly wanted to go as Elsa. Initially I thought she could do better than choosing a Disney princess at the age of 9, but oh, well. The girls should go as what they want – and I do understand the fascination to some extend.

Fabric: I spent a lot of time searching for the right fabric. I have seen that some of you guys from the US have found fabric that look exactly like what she is wearing in the film, but I couldn’t find that in Denmark, and it was too expensive (for a costume) on eBay. (I believe you are pretty lucky to have something like Joann’s over there – unfortunately they don’t ship internationally. Bugger.) I ended up finding a lot of great stuff at the Danish webshop Stofstedet. The best find was the stretchy “shattered glass” fabric, which I first thought I’d use for the corset-like bodice, but ended up using for the skirt instead. US readers can find the same fabric here.

Elsa Costume

Skirt: I have seen many versions of the dress on the internet with a wide skirt, but Ronja didn’t want that, as it doesn’t look like that in the movie. I only got 50 cm of the fabric, but for my slim daughter, I was able to cut it in half lengthwise, measure it on her, and sew down the sides with my serger to create a skirt. Because of the stretch, I didn’t have to add elastic at the waist, it was enough to shape the skirt to fit. I made it a little wider at the bottom, using the triangles of fabric that I cut off at the waist because that part of the skirt is slimmer (get it?). I cut a slit up to above the knee – the fabric doesn’t fray at all, so no finishing necessary. To make sure it wouldn’t tear at the end of the slit, I glued on a circle of the fabric, and added a beaded snowflake sticker that I found at a craft store.

Elsa Costume - detail

That finished the skirt.

Top: For the top, I bought a white leotard, some turquoise sequin fabric that you can find pretty much at any fabric store, small rhinestones and some glue, and sequin ribbons for details. I got soft white tulle for the cape, and found a snowflake shaped punch and some shiny foil to add snowflakes to the cape.

Elsa Costume - detail

I sewed the bodice to the leotard after shaping it on Ronja, but making sure it wasn’t attached at the bottom, so that the skirt could go over the leotard, and under the sequin bodice. Before sewing the bodice in place on the back, I tucked the tulle under at the top edge of the bodice with lots of pleats. After that was all in place, I hand-sewed sequin ribbon to the top and bottom of the bodice, and attached loose strings of sequin ribbon to the back. I glued rhinestones to the free part of the leotard, and glued the snowflakes to the tulle. I actually had a diamond-like button to add at the center of the bodice, but Ronja didn’t want it, since the real Elsa doesn’t have one.

Elsa Costume - detail

Elsa Costume - back

I think we came close enough to the ideal.  :)

Elsa Frozen

Ronja loved it all the way. Apparently, it was exactly the way she wanted it. She didn’t want to have her face painted initially (“Elsa only wears ordinary make up”), but we had a test drive, and I added a few rhinestones to the face design as well – aaaaand she changed her mind. You will have to imagine that thick braid – Ronja just doesn’t have that kind of hair. Who does? We made a french braid that went around her head and ended at one side. I actually made stud earrings for her as well – I had more of the beaded snowflakes, so I glued two of them to some studs – et voilà. The necklace is actually a “Hangaround”, made by a friend of mine. It has been decorating the curly willow branches through Christmas (and a bit longer than that), and now I just realized it had one more purpose. Finally silver shoes from H&M and that was it.

Ronja as Elsa from Frozen

And Frida? She was happy as a clam as well. Since last year, she has wanted to wear the Indian costume that I made for Ronja, so that was settled. I only had to make new headgear for the costume, since we couldn’t find the one I made last year.

Frida as an Indian

Oh yes, and Mads made her an arrow quiver, because she really wanted that. :)

Frida as an Indian

I so enjoy making costumes, but even more than that, it makes my day seeing the girls having fun with them. The fact that they follow the process closely, and love to wear them when they are finished is worth it all.

Sisters

 

14 comments

  1. Fuglemamma says:

    This was a wonderful tutorial. I got a lot of inspiration and help from it in creating my own take on Elsa for my little girl. Thank you very much!

  2. Adrienne says:

    Hi! great tutorial! Can you tell me what stitch you used to sew the sequin fabric to the leotard. I have some sequined mesh fabric that I will be sewing onto a leotard, too…did you hand stitch or machine sew with a stretch stitch? Thanks!

    • Astrid says:

      Hi Adrienne – thank you so much! ;) I used a medium zig zag stitch – remember that you need to maintain the stretch in both the sequin fabric and the leotard in order to make it easy to put on. Whatever stitch you choose, you will be able to cover it with sequin ribbon if you wish. Have fun!

  3. Adrienne says:

    Okay, I think I get it…I’m planning to pin the sequin fabric (which will be approximately as wide as the leotard will stretch) and then stretch the leotard as I sew. Is your sequin bodice just one piece all the way around or are there front and back pieces? Thanks again!

    • Astrid says:

      That sounds right – if you do the zig zag stitch, you only have to stretch a little bit as you sew, otherwise the seam will be bulky, I think. My bodice is in one piece, sewn together down the center of the back. ;)

  4. Bon Crowder @MathFour says:

    I have way to much to do, but love making costumes for my Kate – who currently is begging for Elsa. The way you did it looks reasonably priced, fairly easy and turned out fantastic. I’m totally going to do this. Thanks so much for sharing it!

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