Having just spent 2 weeks at Disneyworld, I can say with 100% certainty that the Frozen craze shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon! Instead of seeing little Cinderellas, Belles or Ariels, there were literally hundreds of little Princess Elsa's walking around, clutching Elsa dolls. A complete child's costume from Disney will set you back a cool £60 - that's it it's in stock and you can get a hold of one! However, as our lovely blogger Louise proved, with some decent sewing skills and a lot of effort and determination you can create your own.
Pretty much the only things that kept me going with this make were how much my little Poppet wanted to dress-up as Elsa and that its my first White Tree Fabrics blog team make.
I’m hoping the results speak from themselves!
This dress, I have to say, is not for a beginner.
Firstly, the choice of fabrics means that you can be dealing with things slipping and sliding all over the place. I’m not sure I made life particularly easy for myself as the contrast sequined fabric had a slight stretch to it. Pair that with some slidey chiffon and slinky satin, both in wovens and well, it takes a lot of precision in both cutting and sewing to get everything to line up.
The fabrics from White Tree were beautiful and I particularly enjoyed working with the satin. I deliberately chose fabrics that would make a cost effective dress.
There are a lot of pattern pieces – 12 in total. That’s a lot of tracing, pining and cutting.
The instructions are a bit on the sparse side.
Now this is generally something that I have come to expect from the Big Four patterns, so I can’t say I was surprised. I largely ignored them and did my own thing. For example, would it not be sensible to suggest that seams are sewn with a french seam on sheer fabrics? The pattern suggested using a ‘double seam’.
Errrrrr…Yep, I had to look it up too. It suggests, sewing one seam and then another close to it to create two seams, you then trim close to the second seam. I didn’t bother!! Had I engaged my brain before starting, I’d have worked my construction to that I could use french seams, but I didn’t, so in the end I used my overlocker and I’m largely happy with the results. This is after all a dressing up costume, not a couture piece of evening wear!
I was also somewhat puzzled by the lack of instruction to sew a rolled hem on both the chiffon and satin. Instead it suggested sewing a ‘narrow hem’. I checked their definition and nope, they didn’t mean rolled hem. So I ignored that and out came the rolled hem foot!!
I also mostly ignored the construction order, as well it wasn’t particularly time efficient.
I did however manage to impress myself by setting the sleeves in without a single gather or pucker (this was especially impressive as my seam allowances were all over the place – I’d messed up on the bodice and a touch of unpicking was needed).
And I feel I surpassed myself with my sewn button loop!
One thing I did discover when setting in the sleeves was that there were a lot of layers to match up – the sequin bodice, the bodice lining and the chiffon overlay. So I basted everything together and then pinned and basted the sleeve head in place.
Any helpful guidance from the instructions on this point? Not a sausage!
I used the fabrics suggested by the pattern and if I’m honest, whilst it makes a fabulous replica Elsa dress, it isn’t overly practical for an exuberant 4 year old. I mean, who in their right mind puts a zip in a dressing up costume?
I had intended replacing the zip with some velcro to make it a bit more child friendly and had amended the pattern slightly but realised once I’d cut it all out that my fabric just didn’t have enough strength or structure to cope with the velcro. If I were going to venture down this route again, it would need a separate placket and plenty of interfacing.
Alternatively, whilst this pattern is neither written for nor suggests using knits, I’d use knit fabric and just size down!
My little girl loves her dress. So all the time taken to make it is forgotten.