Disneys Frozen: Elsa Dress

Okay, okay, I admit that my family has a major Frozen fetish. We sing it at clean-up time, my boys play Olaf all the time, and my daughter is determined to be Elsa. Oh, and I got the movie’s piano music in the mail today…thanks, Mom! Anywho…my daughter’s school had a Daddy-Daughter ball around Valentine’s, and all she wanted was an Elsa Dress. Too expensive to buy, so we picked out some fun (blue, of course) material and went to work!
Disney's Frozen Inspired Elsa Dress / Busy Mom's Helper
When judging how much fabric you need, please pay close attention to the size of dress YOU are making. Wonder Woman is super tiny, but at the same time I always buy more than I need, just in case.
Supplies Needed
3-4 yards fabric for main dress
2-3 yards fabric for sleeves/cape/accents
Thread
Pins
Sewing Machine
2 elastics for the hand pieces
Directions
Lay out your main dress fabric, double sided – with the good sides facing in towards each other. Carefully cut it according to measurements. I did her neckline/shoulders, then down to her waist, then I cut at an angle out from their for the skirt. Make sure it’s double sided – dresses have a front AND a back :)
To keep track of the ‘center’ of my measuring, I put little Xs (on the INSIDE of the fabric, of course) to stay on track. For example, I put an X where I measured down from her neck to her waist, then I could measure halfway out from that X to how wide her waist was.
Elsa has a slit on her right leg, so be sure to add one. I just measured up to Wonder Woman’s knee, and cut out a tall triangle. I then stitched the edge nice so it wouldn’t fray.
Keeping the dress inside-out, so the hem will go on the inside and keep the outside pretty, sew along the sides of the dress. As you can see below, I forgot to leave a gap for her arm holes…so had to unstitch some. So here’s a reminder: she needs arm holes!
Be sure to follow close measurements of her shoulders and neckline, then sew the tops of her shoulders. Again, make sure you have the dress inside out so these ugly-yet-secure edges are on the inside of the dress. Cut off bulgy extra fabric to avoid bunching, but avoid cutting the stitches loose.
I then hemmed the neckline over (inside out, remember). In hindsight, I wish I had just cross-stitched it evenly instead of hemming it over. It would have looked better. Do as I say, not as I do, right?
Now it gets tricky, since you’re working on the OUTSIDE of the fabric…errors will show more, so be careful!
Elsa has the sparkly strip across her abdomen, that goes to a point below her waist. So now use your accent fabric. Cut a piece that will go across the abdomen, fit below the arm pits, and ends on the sides down at her waistline. Then angle the bottom down to a point in the middle. Be sure to give room on the SIDES of the bodice, to allow for sewing it near the back, where it will be hidden by the cape. I cross-stitched around the edges of this fabric piece to avoid fraying before sewing it on.
Very carefully sew the top of the accent piece to your bodice. Remember, this stitch is on the outside so errors will show up easily. Once your done with the top, do the sides along the back of the bodice. Careful not to sew the back of the dress to the front – just the accent piece to the back piece of the dress! I left the bottom triangle unsewn to the dress, but you can sew it if you’d like.
Next is the cape along the back. On Elsa, it starts in the back along the same line as the accent in the front….right below the arm pit level. So I cut a strip starting there, then angling down wider than the dress and also extending longer. Elsa’s cape goes really long, so choose your length. I didn’t want Wonder Woman tripping at her dance, so kept it mostly short.
Don’t forget to cross-stitch the edges of the cape piece to avoid fraying!
Sew it along the edges at the bodice area, then have it open up starting at the waist. So basically, it connects to the dress the same spot as the accent in the front, then is open and loose below that.
Cut the sleeves according to her measurements (allow for movement in the shoulders, don’t make it too tight), then sew them into their sleeve tubes. Elsa’s sleeves point at her hand up to her fingers, so leave a triangle like that on the hands. Flip the dress inside out (so ugly hem edges are on the inside) and sew the sleeves into the arm holes.
We then added simple hair elastics (by hand stitch really quick) so she could attach it to her hands, keeping it in place.
And here’s the final product, shown in many ‘Elsa’ poses! Wonder Woman calls them ‘Let it Go’ poses :)
She had so much fun at her dance, and LOVED showing off her dress. Everyone thought she was too cute, and knew exactly who she was: Elsa! She’s hoping to keep this dress in good enough condition for Halloween, but with her wearing it every chance she gets, I don’t know how well that’ll work. We’ll see!
Now guys, I’m not a seamstress. I took some sewing lessons when I was 12, and made pj pants or a simple tshirt. Nothing extravagant. This is simply a dress I put together on a whim, no pattern, and no classy or professional touches. It’s simple, but it’s beautiful and made my daughter’s whole month. So please ignore the ‘rough’ instructions and random measuring technique. This is just how it worked for me, and I’m happy to share with others!
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Danielle is the crazy momma of 4 behind Busy Mom's Helper, where she shares all her adventues. Married to her best friend & fellow nerd. Totally addicted to Dr. Pepper and chocolate. Staying home with the kiddos keeps her busy, but she loves squeezing in time to create through the ups & downs of life . Now, if she could just figure out how to eat a candy bar without having to share, life would be even more fabulous! Be sure to join the fun at BusyMomsHelper.com

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Comments

    • says

      Awww, thanks so much! She LOVES it…the only way I keep her from wearing it constantly is warning her that it will eventually wear out. So she limits herself LOL That’s great your mom was able to teach you :D

  1. says

    This is adorable! I made my elsa costume by hand, no pattern also……and I play Elsa at the daddy daughter balls here. Too much fun! So glad she had a great time!

    ~L

    • says

      Ya, I loved how this movie had a lot more focus on other types of love instead of just romantic, like in Brave and Mulan. Love a good heroine movie without the main point being romance :D (although I do love a good romance, we well)!

  2. says

    Hi there I own a pahe named Elsa the snow queen of arandelle I would like to share this onmy page btw love dress im still starting with the cqpe trying to make it really elsa like and im just a kid I don’t know how to sew but sewing lessons at school will come in handy

    • says

      What a fun page! You’re welcome to share the photo of the dress and a link to my page for the directions (thank you so much for asking!) :D That’s really exciting that you’re working on the dress….I bet it’ll turn out beautifully! I learned a good amount of my sewing skills back in school, as well. Have a great week, hun!

  3. Jen says

    This is very cute! What kind of material did you use for the main dress? My girl wants to be Elsa for Halloween and I want to get my fabric WELL before the Halloween rush, when it will be picked over or completely gone. Thanks!

    • says

      Great job planning ahead, Jen! So bare with me…I’m definitely NOT an expert at sewing or fabrics. For the main dress, the fabric I used was a silky, stretchy kind. Basically, you don’t want something stiff because it just won’t look/move right. Not exactly silk…but think soft. Sorry that’s not super specific, but hopefully helps you find something perfect for your girl’s dress!

  4. Nicole says

    Hello Danielle,

    Thank you so much for sharing your inspiration, your process and the wonderful step-by-step pictures. For mother’s day I sewed my 3 y.o. a dress and for fun I sewed myself one as well! We wore our matching Elsa dresses out to the market and to the park. Everyone asked and my daughter proudly exclaimed “My mommy made this for me”. I had so much fun wearing my dress as well. Again thank you, thank you for facilitating a wonderfully made memory that my daughter and I will share for a lifetime.

    • says

      Oh Nicole that’s FABULOUS!!! You totally made my day hearing that…what a wonderful memory for your and your sweet 3 year old! I’d LOVE to see photos, if you feel like sharing :)

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