Frozen’s Elsa-Inspired Dress

LET IT GOOOOOOOO
LET IT GOOOOOOOO
CAN’T HOLD IT BACK ANYMOOOORE!

Elsa Inspired Dress by you & mie

Every.  single.  day.  Yup, we’re still living in a Frozen obsessed world over here.  You know, we actually held out (and still do) when it comes to letting her watch “princess” movies.  Frozen is the first and really only that she’s seen, but she has dove head first into obsession and we’re just kinda going with it.  What’s the point of being a 3 year old if you can’t be an awesome ice power yielding queen.

Elsa Inspired Dress by you & mie

After my last blog post, I decided that I wanted Yuki to earn the dress since she’s so used to getting things all the time and she’s starting to think that things come so easily.  So I created a little sticker chart and told her that she needed to help out around the house to earn stickers and when she got 10 stickers she could have her dress.  She did things like putting away everyone’s laundry, hanging diapers for drying, setting the table and wiping it clean after dinner, etc.  She didn’t complain too much about doing the work and was super psyched to earn each sticker.

Earning her Elsa dress with chores // you & mie

And she was reeeeeally excited to finally get her dress!

Elsa Inspired Dress by you & mie

Ok, on to the dress . . . this is inspired by the dress Queen Elsa wears when she “lets it go” and embraces her ice powers.  It’s definitely not a replica of what she wears in the movie, but heavily inspired by it.  I had a few criteria when designing the dress in my mind.  I wanted it to be knit – comfy and easy to put on and take off.  I wanted it to be easy to clean.  And I wanted the materials to be inexpensive.

At preschool, there is a group of kids that is REALLY into “dress up” and almost every time I go to pick Yuki up, she’s got a raggedy piece of tulle tied around her neck or head or wherever and she’s walking around like she’s the queen of the world.  It made me realize that these kids don’t need some fancy expensive costume to make believe – they can pick up any simple prop and turn it into whatever they see in their fantastic imagination.  So my goal was to make it special, but keep it simple.

I went to my favorite cheap fabric store, Fabrix.  It carries “off-price surplus and closeout fabrics and trims” so it’s hit or miss what you’ll find in there, but sometimes you come across something perfect for a really low price.  I get a lot of my solid knits there when I find good colors.  Anyways, I walked in hoping to score some blue knit when I laid my eyes on this:

Frozen fractal fabric from Fabrix

And the words that immediately popped into my head were FROZEN.  FRACTALS.

Now, I have no clue what frozen fractals even look like, but if you’re familiar with the song, “Let it Go,” Elsa belts those words as she is constructing her beautiful ice castle at the climax of the song.  Here are the images from the movie that I think of when I see this fabric and what became the inspiration behind the dress.

Let it Go - ice castle scenes

I actually went back to the store to see if I could buy more yardage to give away to one of you, but it was already gone!!  😦

And that’s the actual Queen Elsa dress.  So with those images in my head, I went to design a simple and kid friendly dress.  Along with two yards of that frozen fractal knit, I got two yards of whatever sparkly tulle they had and a little bit of trim, all of it costing about $2.39 per yard.  Score!  For the sleeves and top of the bodice I used leftover burnout knit that I think probably also came from Fabrix, but I used in this shirt here.

Elsa Inspired Dress by you & mie

I started with the ever awesome Flashback Skinny Tee pattern by Made by Rae for the bodice.  I widened the neckline to more of a boatneck shape, but I think I went a little too wide and deep.  I brought the sides in a little, rather than slightly flaring out at the bottom, shortened the bodice and changed the shape of the bottom to a slightly curved V.  I cut the pattern along the colorblocked lines that you see and added seam allowance to attach the pieces.  The sleeves are unmodified.

Elsa Inspired Dress by you & mie

I was just going to make the dress purely knit and leave off any tulle so that I could throw the dress in the washer and dryer without working about it.  But I worried that it looked too plain and not special enough, so I gathered some of the tulle and attached it with the skirt.  I like the way it looks, but it does make cleaning the dress a bit harder.

Elsa Inspired Dress by you & mie

Watch out!  Ice power! 

With the rest of the tulle, I gathered it a bit and zig zag stitched it to a piece of sparkly elastic from Jo-Ann, to make the cape.  Elsa doesn’t even wear a crown for the second half of the movie, but Yuki wanted one, so I sewed some trim onto a piece of craft felt, and folded and sewed the bottom 1/2 inch to make a casing to slide a headband through.  Took me just a couple of minutes – yay!

She loves it.  She wants to wear it every minute of the day.  She’s started telling people her name is Elsa.  I’m happy that she is happy, but I really hope this phase doesn’t last forever because I can really only handle listening to “Let it Go” so many times.

Queen Elsa does her chores // you & mie

And the Queen does her chores.  She wore her well-earned dress to a Sing-Along Frozen showing at the Castro Theater over the weekend.  Her classmate wore a beautiful mom-made dress as well.  They got to walk across the stage in front of the entire theater with all the other kids in costumes.  She belted out the words to her favorite songs and stuffed her face with popcorn.  She said it was the best day ever 🙂

Queen Elsa and her baby sister // you & mie

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34 thoughts on “Frozen’s Elsa-Inspired Dress

  1. I like your special but simple attitude. Comfyness, ease of getting it on and off and washability are so important for little one’s clothes. And it looks so much nicer than the shop bought satin ones I see at my kids school. Most importantly of all she clearly loves it.

  2. I am so in love with your dress!! It is the best reproduction I have seen!!! Well done. I wish I had two for my girls!!! Great post!!!! Check my blog in the next week. I made some frozen paper dolls that your little one would love! 🙂

  3. Love how yours came out! I managed to find some inexpensive ice blue sparkly knit at Michael Levine for my own Frozen dress. I also want it to be comfy and easy to clean because I highly doubt it’s intended recipient will only wear it for “dress up”!

  4. lol.
    Trust me, it’s even “worse” when your 6 years-old daughter sings it (every single minute she’s awake) and her native language is not English (I already gave up correcting her, but it doesn’t work either).
    Love the dress (just perfect for playing and house chores), but I’m not showing it to my “Elsa”. I wouldn’t dare to sew her one 🙂

  5. So cute! I made an Elsa dress for my 3 year old too. I love that blue knit you used, it is perfect. I’ve just been washing Milla’s dress in the machine inside a delicates bag, tulle & spangles and all – it doesn’t seem to be faring too badly 🙂
    This is our first princess-movie obsession too – seeing how much my daughter has got in to it all & how strongly she identifies with the characters makes me glad we held out on the other ones, at least Elsa and Anna are a bit independent and feisty.

  6. Love it! And I can so relate. My Oldest granddaughter (4 yrs old) told me her Elsa dress was “perfect” and now she tells others that her Grandmother can make anything. No pressure!

  7. WOW! WHAT FUN for Yuki to dress up to P-R-E-T-E-N-D as “Queen Elsa” from FROZEN! What FUN for Mom to sew a long knit dress & sparkly tulle cape — lots of LOVE sewn into this! FAB photo shoot! Thanks for sharing. I’m amazed at this darling outfit for your little girl. Sarah in Minneapolis

  8. Oh you are one awesome mummy! I am in the midst of a Frozen obsession in my household of 3 girls under 7yrs. I’ve even bought them the cd to play in the car (amazing how peaceful this makes car rides!). But I haven’t thought of a dress. I think I have to plan one now! Thanks for the inspiration. Fabulous fabulous dress!

  9. You’re such a good mum, Cherie. It’s obvious how much Yuki loves her dress and how much love you put into the things you make for your kids. I haven’t even seen the movie but I’m totally inspired now to make a dress like this for Ame 🙂

  10. aw cherie, beautiful work. i love that you had her earn it too, that’s some good parenting too! she obviously loves it, and she looks so cute too! Em has fully adopted her Buttercup dress as an Elsa dress, like I think she forgot it was ever anything else. 😉

  11. There is nothing I can say in the power of this much cuteness. It’s adorable, she loves it, we all love it!! One great purpose of sewing.

  12. Amazing! The dress came out great! We are fulling immersed in Frozen over here as well. My 6 yr old daughter is obsessed and belts out Let It Go on the daily. Even my 4 yr old son loves it and wants to be Olaf for Halloween. Love that she had to earn the dress! I think I might attempt to make an Elsa dress for my daughter but make her earn it as well 😉

  13. Ack – so beautiful! I hear you – even I know all the words now to several songs on the soundtrack. Let it go, kids, soon, please…

  14. I love the fractal fabric. I have made three Elsa dresses, and I had a lot of fun making all of them. What I love is the sticker goals. We have something similar going on at our household: 3 more weeks of chores until an Anna doll.

  15. oh my goodness this is incredible!! We’ve got Frozen-fevah over here too!! *quickly hides computer so Clementine won’t see this dress and demand one of her own*

  16. I don’t comment much because I don’t make clothes and I have three sons, so I’ve never made a child’s dress, but I love this post. That first photo is just priceless, and when you showed the inspiration screenshots next to the fabric bolt I almost gasped. This is so fantastic.

    I do second the notion that their imaginations can create so much of the costume (not that this dress qualifies in that regard!). My middle son (4) has been the King of White (not totally sure the origin of the name but it’s not racist) for a year now, and his costume consists of the oversized Lego tee he got at Legofest last year, a wonder woman forehead headband (foreheadband?) that he got from Sonic, very specific colors of pajama shorts, this leather snappy arm cuff that he made in art class, and a bandaid on each knee (such a waste of bandaids). We kind of have to keep an eye on the headband, because it’s integral, but sometimes desperation causes him to say things like, “The King of White sometimes has sharpie marks on his arm,” or “The King of White sometimes wears a zoo shirt.”

  17. So so so cute! Emmy is just now coming into the princess phase of her childhood too (successfully avoided that so far!), so now I’m gathering all the sparkly turquoise fabrics. 🙂 I’m actually *really* excited to make it for her! Why the heck not, right!?

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