Thursday, October 29, 2015

Frozen Halloween: A Dress Fit For a Queen

The fun of costume creating took up my entire month of October (okay, and about half of September too). And the hardest costume I did was my own. As I explained in my previous post, my son had decided our Halloween costumes and he chose Elsa from Frozen for me. I was honored to be dubbed the queen in his life but there was no way in heck I was going to wear a very sheer ice queen costume in what usually proves to be a miserable and cold Halloween in our neck of the woods. And thank goodness for that line of thinking because they are forecasting a very windy and rainy Halloween here. So naturally, I opted for the coronation dress and the luxuriously warm looking cape!

My costume began with a very simple find, a thrifted turtleneck that I found for just one dollar!

I placed it on my dress form with the turtle neck folded over and drew a V in chalk where I believed the slit on the neck should sit. I stitched along this line, clipped, and turned the turtle neck the wrong way, which would now be the right way.

I moved on to stitching applique details on by hand while watching television in the evenings over the course of a week. In the meantime, I was spending my sewing machine time working on the bodice. 

I took apart a thrifted dress that had a bodice that was the exact shape I wanted. Have no fear, it was a dress that was badly damaged and had been stripped of re-usable parts. It also helps that I got it for less than a dollar! I unpicked all the seams, labeling my pieces as I went, and then laid it out to trace a pattern on freezer paper. I extended certain areas to create the point in the front of Elsa's dress.

I took some muslin fabric and created a quick sample of the bodice that I had created. As I suspected, this first attempt turned out much shorter than the look I was hoping to achieve.

I took all my pattern pieces and extended them as I thought might be necessary and repeated the process of cutting and constructing out of muslin. This time it turned out just as I had hoped it would.

I created the skirt from scratch just using my waist measurements while attempting to follow the seams of the bodice. It turned out nearly perfect using the muslin.

It was now time to be brave and cut into my fabric. Once again, I was stuck using the horrendous costume satin. This time I attempted to ease some issues by lining all of it with interfacing (thank goodness I had found an entire bolt at the thrift store earlier in the summer for $1.50). It definitely helped but the fabric still snagged like crazy. I will never again purchase that stuff. I started with the skirt since that was the easiest bit of all.

I then began working on the bodice. I tested after finishing the outer bit before adding the lining. Luckily it all was going together nicely.

I appliqued the bodice then added the lining. I did the front and the back and added a pretty gold trim that I had found at Joann's. It was one of those affordable spools that had 3 yards for $2.50.

I then hemmed and began appliqueing the skirt. I will note, while I did not use a pattern to create the dress, I did use Simplicity 1210 for the applique pattern. But I did change the colors to better match the film version. At this point I had also finally finished the applique on the turtleneck.

I also used the Simplicity pattern for the overlay on the cape but I did not use it for the cape itself. I wanted a fuller, longer cape that also more accurately matched the film. So once the overlay was put together I draped the cape to create the look I was hoping for. 

Once the cape was sewn up, I sat down and began sketching an applique design for the bottom of the cape to match the cape in the movie. 

This bit was actually cut out of the leftover felt from my daughter's cape, which is wonderful because all of our costumes seem to have coordinating colors! 

The cape is very heavy thanks to it's length and was pulling on my neck a lot. So I installed snaps on the cape and the shoulders of my turtleneck so that the weight would be better distributed. It helps a lot! I also installed snaps in the bodice to keep it held up to the turtleneck when holding my baby girl. 

I think the costume turned out pretty well. Not too shabby for it only being my second garment constructed for myself. It was a wonderful challenge and I learned so much in the process. 

Of course, I had to have the iconic Elsa hair, so I also dabbled in some wig styling this week. That was a new experience and while it is not exactly as I had hoped I think it is still very obvious as to whose hair it is supposed to be. I just have to add the crown!

Off to put the finishing touches on the Kristoff costume! Until next time . . . happy sewing and have a safe and happy Halloween!

1 comment:

  1. Looks GREAT! We need to see pictures of all of you in your costumes.