Costume | Disney | Elsa | Frozen | My Blog | Sewing

Elsa’s Frozen Fever Dress-Part 1

September 8, 2016



A few months ago, I planned on going to Phoenix Comicon 2016. I ended up not going because I wanted to take care of my ill family member, but when I was planning on going I decided to make and wear Elsa’s dress from Frozen Fever…

Elsa Frozen Fever

I recently just finished the main dress, so I thought I’d talk about how I made it and what it looks like done!

I decided to make the dress out of green poly satin and decorate the bodice with sequins. Since the satin has a very shinny side, I used the wrong side of the fabric for the parts of the dress not covered in sequins and the shinny side for the parts covered in sequins. The shirt, which I have yet to be made, will be made out of stretch mesh and the cape, which also has yet to be made, will be made out of polyester chiffon. I plan on using glitter to decorate the cape.

The pattern I used to make the dress is Simplicity’s 1094, which is Simplicity’s official Frozen Fever pattern for adults…

1094

When I decided to make this costume, I decided to split the costume into three parts, a dress, a shirt, and a cape. The pattern is not designed for for the dress, shirt, and cape to be separate pieces, but instead are attached to each other to make it one piece. I thought about using the pattern as is without any modifications, but I wanted to make the costume extra special and similar to the Elsa costume in Simplicity’s S0746/1215…frozen adult patternIn this pattern, the cape, bodice, skirt, and shirt are separate pieces. I did use some of the instructions from S0746/1215 to make other parts of my Frozen Fever costume, but I’ll talk about that in more detail later.

The reason why I wanted the dress, shirt, and cape to be separate pieces is because I wanted to add a shirring panel in the back of the dress. Pattern 1094 has a zipper in the back and would work great if I made the pattern without modifications, but a shirring panel would cause fitting problems for the cape and shirt. So, to avoid fitting problems, it’s best I separate the dress, shirt, and cape from one another.

If anyone has never heard of shirring, shirring is a panel of fabric with strips of elastic that run parallel from each other. They can be used in many ways in clothing, but my favorite is in the back of dresses.

In my last post, I mentioned that I lost some weight. Although many of my clothes no longer fit me, I do have a few that do. One of my favorite dresses that still fit me has a shirring panel in the back. It super comfortable because it stretches when I move, but it still keeps the bodice of the dress fit close to my body so it didn’t look baggy when I lost weight. When I decided to make Elsa’s Frozen Fever dress, I wanted to be able to wear it even though I lost weight. Since I was so inspired by the shirring on my dress, I decided to add it to the back of the Elsa dress.

Before I set about making the dress, I wanted to make sure I knew how to make a shirring panel without making it look bad. Although I have my favorite dress with shirring in it, the shirring in the back is made with elastic thread. I’ve tried making a shirring panel with elastic thread, but it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to. While looking through other dresses that I own that have shirring in the back, I found a few dresses with shirring panels that did not use elastic thread. Instead, it was made by creating channels into a piece of fabric and pulling strips of thin elastic through the channels. Here is an example of one of my dresses with this kind of elastic shirring…

shirring pannel (4)

I don’t know why, but when I began working on my dress, I couldn’t find tutorials on how to make this kind of shirring. Since then I’ve found one on So Sew Easy that is nearly exactly the way I made the shirring for my dress. If you’re interested in making shirring in this way, I highly suggest checking it out! The only difference between their tutorial and the way I made my shirring panel is that I drew lines with a water soluble marker so when I sewed the channels, all I had to do was follow the lines.

Before I cut the fabric for the shirring panel, I made the bodice. I cut out the fabric for the bodice and the lining for the bodice, but after I sewed the seams and fitted the fabric, I cut some of the back of the bodice fabric off to accommodate for the shirring. Also, I did not use interfacing on the bodice. I thought about it, but since I was covering the bodice by sewing sequins, I thought I could get away without interfacing. (I was right)

I do not have photos of the bodice, but I do progress photos I took of how I created the shirring panel for the dress…

 

Once I finished, the panel looked like this…

elsa frozen fever shirring progress (2)

Although it should be ready to be sewn into my dress, I wanted to do something I saw in some of my dresses. In addition to a shirring panel, the dress would have loops so it can be laced up. The lacing isn’t supposed to be very tight, but tight enough to keep the bodice in place. Since the Elsa dress is strapless, I wanted to have the ability to lace up the back as well.

elsa frozen fever shirring progress (3)

The loops are made out of strips of scrap satin I sewed together, cut apart, and sewed onto each end of the strip of fabric.

After I did that, I sewed the skirt together. I used French seams on the skirt, but I did not sew the seam between the front panel and the wearer’s right side seam panel. I did this so there could be a slit in the skirt like Elsa’s dress has. Even though I did not sew the seam, I finished the front and side panels of the skirt by using a rolled hem so when I sewed the skirt seam the fabric would not fray.

After finishing the skirt, I sewed the shirring panel into the bodice…

elsa frozen fever shirring progress (1)

I also need to mention that I created another skirt panel to accommodate the fullness of the shirring panel. I didn’t modify the skirt panel patterns that came with the pattern. I just added a rectangular piece of fabric longer than the length of the skirt back panel and sewed it to the skirt back panel. After I sewed the shirring panel into the back of the dress, I sewed the skirt onto the bodice until I reached the shirring panel. I wasn’t sure how the new skirt panel would fit with the shirring panel, so I wanted to put it on my dress form and pin the rest of the skirt to the shirring panel before I sewed it.

After I pinned and sewed the skirt to the shirring panel, the back of the dress looked like this…

elsa frozen fever bodice 2

And the front of the dress looked like this…

elsa frozen fever bodice 1

There is a lot more about this costume to talk about, but I’m going to stop and save it for another post.

Thank you for reading!