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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I think we came close enough to the ideal.
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.
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.
Oh yes, and Mads made her an arrow quiver, because she really wanted that.
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.