How to sew a Queen Elsa of FROZEN dress

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I'm just going to cut to the chase. Are you ready to win BEST MOM AWARD? I've been humming or singing "Let it Go" and "Summer" ever since the FROZEN movie came out last fall. With the new DVD release, we are even more excited to watch it about 12095203857 times each day. Now, your daughter can watch the movie while WEARING the Elsa dress. 
Eliza was begging me to buy her the real Elsa dress at the Disney store, but, I told her she either had to earn her pennies doing chores or wait until I sewed her one of her own. You can guess which she chose! And the fact that she is thrilled about her new dress is an understatement. I mean, she asked me to take pictures of her modeling her new dress.
Usually, bribes of all types are used to get her to even stay still long enough for me to snap a pic. Oh no. This time she was singing "Let it Go" at the top of her lungs and I had a hard time getting a picture with her mouth not wide open. hah.
Ready to win Best Mom Award too? Get prepared for Halloween suuuper early. Yay for no procrastinating!

What you need: {all measurements for 4T; finished measurements of 32" from neck to hem and 24" chest. For larger sizes, add a 1/4 yd to each fabric measurement. Ruffle, interfacing and trim remains the same up to about a M or L girls size and then I would add 1/4 yard to be safe}

Fabric for dress: 3 yds {I used Moda Bella Solid in Aqua}
Fabric for sleeves and overskirt: 2 5/8 yds {I used organza, but really any fabric would work}
Fabric for lining/slip: 2 3/4 yds {I used extra from a previous project, but my favorite is a simple white flat sheet!}
Slip Ruffle: 1 3/8 yd of 54" netting
Interfacing: 1/2 yd of lightweight fusible
Trim for neckline, sleeves, and bodice: 2 1/8 yd {I used FOE in Silver}
Trim for overskirt: 4 1/2 yds {I used Shimmer Satin Ribbon in Millennium Silver}
Braid: 1 skein yellow/tan yarn and plastic veil comb 

Start with measuring your daughter. My daughter is about a 4T in height and very slender so a 4T size is quite roomy on her. I wanted the dress to fit her for a long time and for her to be able to wear other clothes under it too. {You can bet this will be her Halloween costume. It's definitely not the quickest sewing project!}

Then start making the pieces. You need a bodice, skirt, overskirt, ruffle slip, sleeves, and front and back facing.

For the bodice, I just used a long sleeve t-shirt for the shape and traced the back and front onto the same piece.

When I cut it, I cut all the back pieces first and then cut the pattern to the front and then cut the front pieces.

This is how I make sure all the shoulders and side seams match up. You will need to cut a bodice front on the fold and 2 bodice back out of the fabric and lining.

For the skirt, I wanted it to be extra pouffy, so I took her waist measurement and doubled it. You can just fold a dress of your daughter's in half and then trace the shape and continue the length until it's how long you want it. Make sure to add extra length for the hem. This skirt is made up of a front piece and two side pieces. The front piece should match the same point as the bodice so that it lays well when sewn together. An easy way to do this is to measure the pattern piece from the point to the side and then double that. That measurement should match the top of the front piece when on the fold. You will need to cut 2 side pieces out of the fabric, overskirt, and slip/lining, and 1 front piece out of the fabric, overskirt, and slip/lining.

For the sleeves. Measure the length of your daughter's arm, or use an existing long sleeve shirt. I added a little more to the fullness of the top so it would have a little gathered pouf at the top. If you haven't made sleeves {or any pattern for that matter} I would practice with a scrap piece so you cut it right. I've included all my drawings for you, but they may not be as helpful since they are measured for my daughter. You will only need to cut 2 sleeves out of the fabric.

For the facing. Take your bodice front and back and make a "collar" about 2 1/2" wide that goes all the way around the neckline of the dress.

Begin Construction.
I like to do all the same type of steps at the same time so I'll try and clump them together for you, hardest first;)

Skirt, slip, and overskirt.
You are going to repeat these steps with all three skirts:
Right sides together, sew the two sides together, leaving about a 4-6" unfinished for a zipper or other closure.
Sew the back to the front.{there are a total of three seams}
Hem the bottom. {do either a double under or serge and stitch}
Sew a basting stitch along the top of the skirt and gather.

For the overskirt, if you want it to split down the middle, cut the front piece down the center and then finish all the seams with serging or double under. Pin and sew ribbon or other trim all along the finished edges of the fronts and hem.

For the slip/lining, add the ruffle. To add the ruffle, sew all the netting at the short ends to make one round circle. Sew a basting stitch along the top and then pin to the lining so that the netting is just above the hem. Gather the netting until it matches up with the lining, pin and sew.

Right sides together, sew the front to the back at the shoulder and side seams. Repeat for lining bodice.

Add trim to cuffs while still flat. Right sides together, sew the sleeve together along the underseam, leaving the top open to attach to bodice. Add basting stitch to the top of sleeve and gather to have ruffles at top of sleeve.

Iron on interfacing to the front and back facings. Iron on interfacing and sew together at shoulder seams.

Attach the skirt to the bodice. Right sides together, pin overskirt and skirt to bodice, with the skirt on the outside of the overskirt. The layers should be skirt, overskirt, bodice. Pin, making sure gathering stitches fit and sew.

Sew trim on bodice. On the outside of the dress, pin trim to lower edge of bodice along seam and sew.

Attach lining/slip to dress. Pin lining to dress with wrong sides together, matching up armhole and neck edges. With right sides together, pin facing to the neck edge, matching at center and shoulder seams. Sew along the edge and clip curves. Turn facing over neck and iron flat. Add trim to neckline. This keeps the facing down.

Attach sleeves. With the sleeve right side out, hold costume wrong side out and match right side of the sleeve to the right side of the costume. Pin sleeve to armhole edge, matching underarm seams and sew.

Finish closure at back. Serge or finish all raw edges. Pin velcro to inside of left side and front of the right side. Sew.

Braid. Cut yarn into 36" lengths. Stack and tie tightly together with scrap of yarn. Pin and braid. Add ribbon and glue or sew on veil comb.

Phew. Pat yourself on the back, you made it through! I think that it turned out soo beautiful. You can use this same pattern to make any of the princess dresses, they all use the same basic construction, you just change up colors and overskirts.

Next month I'm bringing you something Anna themed, so stay tuned!
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