Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Details on Queen Elsa's Coronation Dress

In the film Frozen there is a lot of detailed Scandanavian, and in particular Norwegian, artwork known as rosemaling. This is most evident on Elsa's Coronation dress.

I considered a few options for decorating this dress, especially appliqué, or sewing on ribbon strips. However ironing appliqué on velvet would damage the pile, and sewing ribbon on a stretch fabric would be difficult and affect the drape of the dress. Initially, drawing the designs on the dress didn't seem the best idea. I looked at clips from the film again, and decided it was at least worth a try. I drew out the design on paper and drew it freehand on the velvet with fabric markers.

It really isn't perfect, but I think it worked much better than the other options and suited the fabric.

The dress is based on Butterick pattern 5980 View D (View B length) which I altered to add sleeves with v-shaped hems and narrowed the dress hem width. I chose this pattern because the seam lines reflected those of the dress in the film. All the inside seams are French seams, with the yoke sewn on the outside and covered with ribbon. 

The top part of the cape is based on the cape pattern from Oliver&S Little Things to Sew, dramatically shortened. The longer pleated part is based on my daughter's height. Her back width was tripled to allow enough fabric for the pleats.

I used organza ribbon for the orange accents on the dress, but used janemeans purple stitched ribbon for the inside  hem of the cape and used janemeans plum wired ribbon for the upper part. The decorations at the neckline on the black velvet were cut out from teal  wired janemeans ribbon.

There's not much more to add except that it's a total success and worth all the work .... you can almost guess the line of the song from the poses in these pictures. The dress induces bouts of random singing 'Let it go' with very demonstrative 'I'm free' while throwing off the cape! 
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  1. do you find yourself singing songs from the movie as you go about your day?;)

    The dress and cape are fabulous!

    1. Ha!! Can you see me singing "I'm freeeee"! I catch myself humming more often than I should admit to ;-)
      Thanks Cindy, they worked out better than I imagined they would.