“Let it go, let it go…” Let it go and make a jaw-dropping ice queen dress from thrifted items and puff paint! Okay, so I hope it will be jaw-dropping! This is the first time I’m going to blog about a project AS I am working on it. This feels very vulnerable! The perfectionist in me wants to work my magic and share the success afterwards. But, like Elsa (With whom I identify in a lot of ways…Perhaps more on that in a future post.) I am going to let all of that go and just share the process with you in real time!
Let’s build this costume from the base layer to the surface! First, I found this pretty, boho shirt for $2.99 at Goodwill. I love the soft, crinkle-cotton material and the delicate embroidery. These are the kinds of costume pieces that I love to find; the ones that already have interesting texture and embellishments!
I pinned the notched neckline closed and plan to replace the safety pins with hook-and-eye closures.
This juniors formal dress practically jumped out of the Goodwill rack, a year or so ago, and screamed at me: “I have Elsa potential! You HAVE to buy me!” I mean, who am I to refuse? It was practically an act of charity. This dress is destined for royal greatness. Look at that perfect, icy turquoise color, the iridescent overlay material, and the beading!
The dress also has a great silhouette. It’s not quite as slim-fitting in the skirt as the actual Elsa dress, but it’s close enough for my purposes. Of course, even the perfect thrifted find can still have its quirks. There’s a large, black, ink blot on the back of the skirt. However, I think this will be hidden when I hem the dress. I hope I can hem it. Chopping off extra material is anathema to me! I want to make pieces that can be altered to fit a variety of sizes. (If I’m going to spend all this time making something, I want it to have the potential to grow with my children!)
Time for the first fitting! I helped Emma to put the dress on inside out, which she thought was very odd. Then, she realized she was swimming in it. “Mom! This dress is TOO BIG!!!”
Yes, child. I am aware. I like to do fittings with the garment inside out so that the pins don’t need to be transferred from the outside to the inside of the garment at a later time. They’re already right where they need to be when it’s time to sew.
First, I pinned the straps shorter. Then, it worked perfectly to pin the dress closer to Emma’s body by taking in the entire side back princess seam panels. This is also when I noticed that the dress had already been sewn closed, in the back, by its previous owner. Luckily, it still has a side zipper. Now that the dress was tighter, I tested to make sure that Emma could still get in and out of it before I proceeded further!
We put the dress back on, only right-side-out, this time! I also had Emma do some range of motion tests. (This is the theatrical costumer coming out in me!)
I made this pretty snowflake cape for Eliza, a couple of years ago! (These Frozen costumes that I’m making for the kids have been a couple of years in the making.) So, don’t be too impressed if it seems like I’m flying through producing some of these pieces. It has literally taken me years of intermittent progress to get to this point! The cape is made from sheer, glitter fabric with snowflakes traced on in glitter puff paint. I found snowflake printouts on Pinterest and lay the paper under the sheer fabric. I made sure to put a clear, dry-cleaning bag between the paper and the fabric. Once the paint dried, I was able to peel the painted fabric off of the plastic bag. It was super fun and satisfying!
As this cape was made to fit toddler Eliza, it is a little short on Emma. However, I will add some ribbon binding and snaps to the top of this cape and use it for now. Emma plans on wearing this costume to a Frozen theme night at our church’s AWANA program on Wednesday night. (Yes, that is tomorrow night!) The kids always run around and play games, so maybe it’s for the best that this cape won’t trail along the ground! So, that’s it for now! Time for me to stitch the pinned alteration points and to attach the cape. I hope to also make a glittery bodice piece, as well.