Sunday, July 20, 2014

Frozen: Constructing Elsa's Gown

So I finally have the base gown put together for my "deluxe" Elsa cosplay for Dragon Con!
Copying a strapless dress pattern from the 1980s for the basic shape onto muslin, I extended the lines for length and added a flared hemline. I also added a small train that comes to a subtle point. I flat-lined each piece in a rich turquoise satin, which will also peek through at the leg slit on the front of the skirt.

The fabric I found on Etsy is absolutely perfect, but the icy linear pattern done in silver threads goes the width of the fabric, not the length. It wasn't as wide as I am long, so I had to futz with the pattern a bit, making the bust-line area out of separate pieces.

This added the length I needed and the seams won't show once all the sequins and bodice decor goes on over it.

This dress form is my Uniquely You form, and after at least 3 fittings and re-fittings/stitching/shoving/zipping; she's still a bit full in some areas (mostly the chest and hips) compared to my own size and shape. I may need to shave some of her foam down, as many others with similar issues have done to their own Uniquely You forms. I'm 5' 10" with a 36" bust, 27" waist & 38" hips. This form is at a 37-28-40, even after fitting the outer fabric shell to my own body. The base foam figure is already their size "Small", and their X-Small base form is too short in the torso for me. For now, it's something I can pin stuff to until I can make those adjustments.

Once I get all the grommets set and boning inserted in the corseted undergarment, I can do a little more adjusting to the seams to get a final fit. Then I'll finish the hem, face the top edge, add some very light boning to the bodice seams to keep things smooth, and put a light blue zipper up the back. Then I'll start applying the sequin and crystal decoration.
I wanted my dress to be a bit fuller at the hem than what is portrayed in the animated film. The richness of this fabric is amazing and I just wanted more of its gorgeous, icy, folds swishing around me as I walk, and cascading behind with the sheer glimmering cape.


  1. Looks awesome! I love the dress just like this.

    1. Thank you!
      I wish I could just leave it just like this, but then it would be an unfinished dress ;-)
      This pattern turned out great though, and I'll be making many more dresses with it.

  2. The fabric looks amazing! I bet this costume is going to be oh so gorgeous when it's finished. I love the shape of the whole dress, too, it's so smooth and beautiful!

    1. Thanks! This really is a great dress pattern to work from. It's funny to think it came from a really basic 1980s strapless dress. It just has really nice seams + cut already, I merely added some length, but the combo kind of reminds me of a few of Mae West's "Edwardian inspired" gowns ;-)
      It's this Butterick pattern:

  3. That fabric is wonderful for Elsa, it really has a wonderful icy shimmer. The whole thing is looking so elegant, I can't wait to see the final result.

    1. Thank you! Yes, it's coming along nicely. I love it when I get to a point in a project, where it finally starts to look like what it's supposed to be.

  4. OH what fun! Your progress is looking so great! Can't wait to see the finished product!!

  5. The fabric looks absolutely perfect, and I love the flow in the skirt, I can't wait to see this finished!
    May I be so rude and ask if you mind sharing where you got it?


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