During Christmas break we saw the Disney movie “Frozen” with the girls, and since then the girls’ fascination with Elsa 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

 


Yesterday and today, we have celebrated Fastelavn (Shrovetide) across Denmark. I have mentioned this in here several times before, but in brief it’s a yearly occasion when primarily children dress up in costumes, and get together to “tilt at the cat in the barrel”, or basically they take turns to hit a suspended barrel filled with sweets and other goodies with clubs. And no, there’s not an actual cat in there.

Indian

I made the children’s costumes myself, and I wanted to show you – I think they turned out pretty good. Ronja was an American Indian (still not quite sure what to call this, to be politically correct), and Frida was a vampire princess – their own choices.

I made Ronja’s costume very much inspired by this tutorial. The fabric is faux suede, and besides this I used ribbon, feathers, and wooden beads for decoration. Mads made her a bow and arrow, which we embellished with feathers and a bead, tied on with a strip of faux suede. I made her a necklace with leather cord, to which I attached a small medallion, made with a small round Hama bead design, a piece of the feather trim I got for Frida’s dress, and two pieces of faux suede sewn together and used as backing. I glued it all together with a glue gun. I used strips of faux suede to tie in Ronja’s hair, and made an arm decoration and covers for her boots to make them look right. The face paint was pretty straight forward, but I did sponge gold coloured face paint onto her face, to give her a bit of a golden skin-feel. I don’t think I ever got around to telling you about my face painting craze, really – it escalated last year, and I love creating these small short-lived designs. Also, I am lucky enough to have girls that want me to paint them. Mads gave me a gift card for a face painting course for Christmas, which I am looking so much forward to using!

VampirePrincess

For Frida’s costume I decided to make a black tulle skirt. It was created from one of the many tutorials on how to do no-sew tulle skirts – I looked at this one. I didn’t have enough silk ribbon to add that to the skirt as well the way it has been done in the tutorial – otherwise I would have. Actually, my mom did most of the skirt, since I was running short on time, and she was visiting, but we both enjoyed the cooperation. For the corset, I found a pattern in one of my sewing magazines, SYmagasin 11/2011. It was for a dress, but I only used the top, and my mom and I worked together to create a pattern for the fabric that goes over the top of the tulle skirt. It doesn-t show so well in the pictures, but it has points in a shape that’s similar to the edge of a Batman-cape, and this part I attached to the corset. I added a feather trim that I found in STOF 2000 to the straps – the fabric is from there as well – and the ties are plain black silk ribbon. For embellishments I created a necklace from black silk ribbon with red rhinestones and tied it in a bow on the back of her neck. Frida’s pig tails are sprayed with a ton of hairspray and tied with black tulle and silk ribbon. I used the main fabric to create her diadem and glued on white rhinestones, added cardboard on the back side to give it hold, and Mads helped me spray paint a hairband black to glue it on to.

Frida’s face paint was a result of her wanting to be scary, but not too scary, and we agreed on the spiderweb combined with black and white flowers. I think she was worried that her friends wouldn’t want to play with her if she was too scary, but that seemed to work out alright.  :)

The girls both enjoyed Fastelavn this year, and Frida even won a prize for best costume among the 4 to 6 year olds. She didn’t quite get what was going on until afterwards, but the prize was a gift card for the cinema, so I think we will get a nice outing out of it. I must say, I was a proud mother, because I did spend quite some time creating that costume – as well as Ronja’s, by the way. You can see more pictures in my Flickr if you’re interested.


This weekend, it was time for Frida’s End Of Season Dance. The little ones don’t have to wear anything special, but most of the girls wear a nice dress, and Frida and I decided together that it would be a good day to get out the bridesmaid dress once again.

The end of season dance is quite an event. Loads of children, parents, grand parents, and costumes all over the place. The air is tense with expectations, and there may just be more cameras present, than there is children. I’m personally not quite sure what I think about it – I love the dancing, music, energy, and joy, but I’m not crazy about some of the things that come with it. 9 year-olds that know more about how to look cool, and put on the right make up than I do. Or is it their mothers? And young women with so much make up on, such glossy hair, and such a fixed smile, you have to ask yourself if that’s the right way to show your joy for dancing.

However, this particular dancing school does amazing work with the little ones – their teacher has just the right balance between authority and warmth, and she never ever seems to run out of energy with the children. She is actually also the one that taught Mads and myself to dance our first dance at our wedding. She’s good! And whether I like the game or not, the children love dancing, and Frida was a joy to watch. (As usually, I’m biased…)

End of season dance 2012

End of season dance 2012

End of season dance 2012

End of season dance 2012

End of season dance 2012

Strawberry Shortcake Dance

This last shot is from their Strawberry Shortcake-dance (Jordbær Marie for de danske læsere) – Frida is the little one in the front.


Late this afternoon, I arrived home after a weekend of bloggers meetup and birthday celebration of our host – a welcome getaway with the wonderful group of women, that I am getting to know and treasure a little more for every time we get together. The meetups always leave me with some degree of sleep deprivation, yet a ton of creative energy and inspiration.

This particular weekend, I tried something awesome.

Focus

This is me, attempting to make a glass bead in Anne‘s lovely glass studio. She makes beautiful glass jewellery, and I loved getting the chance to try. I wear purple safety glasses, that block the bright yellow flare to help me see what I am doing, and to protect my eyes. I just tried to make the one bead, but I would definitely want to try this again some time.

The flame from the torch is really, really, really hot, so I wanted to keep my focus – I think this shows in the picture.

Making a glass bead

I chose a rose colour, but I think it changed a bit. Can’t wait to see what colour is is, when it has spend its time in the kiln (special oven).

Colours

I can see why this can turn into an obsession – finding the perfect colours and making them work together, seems to me rather like collecting fabric.

Anne in her glass studio

This is Anne working her magic – she describes it as her zen. Again, I see parallels to sewing…

Warming up the glass

It looks so easy when Anne is handling the torch, glass, and mandrel – it is NOT. :)

Anne working


Happy rider

This past weekend, Ronja participated in her very first horse show. She started riding almost 2 years ago when she was 5 years old, and let me just say, she was less elegant then than she is now.

She has loved riding from the very first time, and she never complains about going to her riding lessons in the evening after school, even when she’s tired. Mads and I haven’t got that much horse experience between the two of us, and riding was something Ronja chose for herself and continues to enjoy, every single week. It was a good decision!

Yesterday, Ronja was happy, proud, and excited all mixed together, and we so enjoyed seeing her at the horse show.

Warming up

Ronja and Borte during the show

Ronja at the award ceremony

Frida had a hard time coping with the fact that you don’t get a rosette, if you’re not part of the competition. That’s how she ended up looking the way she does below. Ronja on the other hand, earned a shared 2nd place, and was  at least 2 feet taller for the rest of the day.

Ronja with her rosette and Frida