Who hasn’t fallen in love with Disney’s new movie, Frozen? My little girls have and I have to admit that I have too! About mid January my family decided that we were going to take a trip to Disneyland in… 2 weeks! The planner and DIYer in me was scrambling to get everything done that I wanted to in preparation for our Disney trip. My oldest daughter is a little older and so I didn’t think she would want to wear a princess dress into Disneyland like she had in years past. She surprised me though and said that she wanted to wear her Snow Princess Halloween Costume while we were at Disneyland. Now I know that they let kids wear in Disney costumes but I didn’t know if they would be down with any old costume comin’ through. I couldn’t let me daughter down though. She wanted to be Elsa. Okay, I know this isn’t quite a dress, more of an outfit but you get the picture. I had to put something together quickly so I did what I do best, a REFASHION! Of course I took some pictures to put together a DIY Elsa Dress / Outfit Tutorial.
I started with a blue shirt (you could do white too) and picked up my fabrics. I looked at a lot of pictures of Elsa and her dress to see what fabrics to use. Sometimes her dress looked blue, sometimes it looked like a dark turquoise. I chose to go with the dark turquoise color. I purchased all the fabric at JoAnn’s. The fabric for the cape was purchased a few years ago but they had some other alternatives there as well. As you can see from the picture up top, I started off by making a paper pattern piece for the sparkly fabric. I chose a curved top. The fabric had a chevron pattern to it so I made sure that the dip in the chevron matched the dip in my top.
I cut the sparkly fabric pattern piece large enough to account for seam allowances. Now you could do this one or two ways. You could have your sequin fabric wrap all the way around (I think I might have chosen this if I were to do it again) or you can do what I did and unpick the side seams of the shirt and sew the sparkly sequin fabric into the side seams. The rounded top parts in the chest area were just folded under and pinned in place. I sewed the sequin fabric to the shirt front seams but I stopped a little before the top, leaving just enough room to put my cape on.
Since my girls were going to wear their Elsa dresses / outfits in Disneyland, I didn’t want the cape to be so long that it got in the way. Instead I opted for a cape that went just past the bottom of their shirt. I took my fabric and made another paper template out of wrapping paper. I just freehanded a rounded shape for the bottom. I surged the edges of the fabric with a rolled hem. In the picture above with the pins in it you can see how I folded the cape under the sparkly fabric. I pinned it all the way around and I sewed it on. I used turquoise thread for the sequined front part and then switched to white thread when I did the back. If you did the sparkly sequin fabric all the way around, you wouldn’t have to switch. Sew carefully when you are sewing over the sequins. I found that if I just went slowly I was fine. Lastly you can make sure that the side seams are completely sewn up.
The skirt is a half circle skirt. I didn’t want it too full because Elsa’s dress wasn’t very full at the bottom. I felt like the half circle skirt was the best fit for it. I wanted the skirts to be long so I folded the fabric “hamburger” way instead of “hotdog” way. Does everyone know what I mean when I say that? That way it is wider and shorter instead of long and skinny. I used 2 yards of fabric and was able to get a skirt for my tall 7 year old and one for my little 4 year old. If I was making just one for my seven year old, I would still need to get 2 yards because you need that extra width. I used the By Hand Circle Skirt App to calculate the measurements for me. If you have never made a circle skirt before, Made has a really good tutorial and you can find it here.
The really neat thing about this Elsa outfit is that it is COMFORTABLE! The kids (my girls and all their cousins) wore them the entire day at Disneyland and never complained one bit. They are not itchy like most princess costumes are because they are made from a regular shirt and simple skirt. Another thing I love is that because they are separates, my girls will be able to wear the skirt again! Everything has been through the wash numerous times and they wash (I don’t dry the shirts in the dryer but I have dried the skirts) beautifully!
It was fun to have all of their cousins wearing matching dresses as well. The Elsa character at Disneyland called them her “Elsa Army”. They were so unique too! There were a few little girls in Elsa dresses (those things are expensive and hard to find right now!) but you better believe that no one else was wearing these Elsa dress Refashions!
Now doesn’t that Elsa dress look stylish and comfortable! You have to admit that you have sung the song “Let it Go” at least a few times while reading this tutorial. I know I have! A line from the song actually helped me decide to dive in and try to make these just days before our Disney trip “It’s time to see what I can do, to test the limits and break through”. I definitely tested my limits but I did it and I am so glad I did! Do you think you will try out this Elsa outfit tutorial?
Ps. Did you know I have a FABULOUS giveaway going on right now? It is for a Silhouette Portrait and it ends this Friday, Feb 28, 2014 so head over and enter to win one right now!!