Okay, okay, I admit that my family has a major Frozen fetish. We sing it at clean-up time, my boys play Olaf all the time, and my daughter is determined to be Elsa. Oh, and I got the movie’s piano music in the mail today…thanks, Mom! Anywho…my daughter’s school had a Daddy-Daughter ball around Valentine’s, and all she wanted was an Elsa Dress. Too expensive to buy, so we picked out some fun (blue, of course) material and went to work!
When judging how much fabric you need, please pay close attention to the size of dress YOU are making. Wonder Woman is super tiny, but at the same time I always buy more than I need, just in case.
3-4 yards fabric for main dress
2-3 yards fabric for sleeves/cape/accents
2 elastics for the hand pieces
Lay out your main dress fabric, double sided – with the good sides facing in towards each other. Carefully cut it according to measurements. I did her neckline/shoulders, then down to her waist, then I cut at an angle out from their for the skirt. Make sure it’s double sided – dresses have a front AND a back 🙂
To keep track of the ‘center’ of my measuring, I put little Xs (on the INSIDE of the fabric, of course) to stay on track. For example, I put an X where I measured down from her neck to her waist, then I could measure halfway out from that X to how wide her waist was.
Elsa has a slit on her right leg, so be sure to add one. I just measured up to Wonder Woman’s knee, and cut out a tall triangle. I then stitched the edge nice so it wouldn’t fray.
Keeping the dress inside-out, so the hem will go on the inside and keep the outside pretty, sew along the sides of the dress. As you can see below, I forgot to leave a gap for her arm holes…so had to unstitch some. So here’s a reminder: she needs arm holes!
Be sure to follow close measurements of her shoulders and neckline, then sew the tops of her shoulders. Again, make sure you have the dress inside out so these ugly-yet-secure edges are on the inside of the dress. Cut off bulgy extra fabric to avoid bunching, but avoid cutting the stitches loose.
I then hemmed the neckline over (inside out, remember). In hindsight, I wish I had just cross-stitched it evenly instead of hemming it over. It would have looked better. Do as I say, not as I do, right?
Now it gets tricky, since you’re working on the OUTSIDE of the fabric…errors will show more, so be careful!
Elsa has the sparkly strip across her abdomen, that goes to a point below her waist. So now use your accent fabric. Cut a piece that will go across the abdomen, fit below the arm pits, and ends on the sides down at her waistline. Then angle the bottom down to a point in the middle. Be sure to give room on the SIDES of the bodice, to allow for sewing it near the back, where it will be hidden by the cape. I cross-stitched around the edges of this fabric piece to avoid fraying before sewing it on.
Very carefully sew the top of the accent piece to your bodice. Remember, this stitch is on the outside so errors will show up easily. Once your done with the top, do the sides along the back of the bodice. Careful not to sew the back of the dress to the front – just the accent piece to the back piece of the dress! I left the bottom triangle unsewn to the dress, but you can sew it if you’d like.
Next is the cape along the back. On Elsa, it starts in the back along the same line as the accent in the front….right below the arm pit level. So I cut a strip starting there, then angling down wider than the dress and also extending longer. Elsa’s cape goes really long, so choose your length. I didn’t want Wonder Woman tripping at her dance, so kept it mostly short.
Don’t forget to cross-stitch the edges of the cape piece to avoid fraying!
Sew it along the edges at the bodice area, then have it open up starting at the waist. So basically, it connects to the dress the same spot as the accent in the front, then is open and loose below that.
Cut the sleeves according to her measurements (allow for movement in the shoulders, don’t make it too tight), then sew them into their sleeve tubes. Elsa’s sleeves point at her hand up to her fingers, so leave a triangle like that on the hands. Flip the dress inside out (so ugly hem edges are on the inside) and sew the sleeves into the arm holes.
We then added simple hair elastics (by hand stitch really quick) so she could attach it to her hands, keeping it in place.
And here’s the final product, shown in many ‘Elsa’ poses! Wonder Woman calls them ‘Let it Go’ poses 🙂
She had so much fun at her dance, and LOVED showing off her dress. Everyone thought she was too cute, and knew exactly who she was: Elsa! She’s hoping to keep this dress in good enough condition for Halloween, but with her wearing it every chance she gets, I don’t know how well that’ll work. We’ll see!
Now guys, I’m not a seamstress. I took some sewing lessons when I was 12, and made pj pants or a simple tshirt. Nothing extravagant. This is simply a dress I put together on a whim, no pattern, and no classy or professional touches. It’s simple, but it’s beautiful and made my daughter’s whole month. So please ignore the ‘rough’ instructions and random measuring technique. This is just how it worked for me, and I’m happy to share with others!
If you liked this, be sure to check out this Anna Dress in 2 Hours or Less!
…or this Olaf Outfit in less than 2 hours!
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