Monday, October 13, 2014

Fabric Search for Elsa's Coronation Dress

If it's Elsa, it must be Frozen! We were late to the Frozen party in this house, and finally bought the film during the summer holidays. It was watched on the few wet afternoons we had this summer, my 7yo daughter & 9yo son loved it, but the rest of us could be found openly watching & enjoying it too!


The most popular costume from the film is Elsa's shimmery blue Ice Queen/Snow Queen dress, but my daughter has her heart set on the coronation dress. There are excellent and detailed pictures on this blog -Arendellekingdom

Some research on the film and that dress has thrown up some interesting links. One of the most fascinating is from an illustrator on the film, Brittney Lee, who blogged about her design process. She also provided information on the interesting ’rosemaling' designs in the dress fabrics and throughout the film.

There is also an excellent interview with the costume designer, Jean Gillmore, from Frozen on the Tyranny of Style blog.

It was very interesting to discover that many of the illustrations of the costumes are based on the properties of fabrics from which the dresses in Scandanavian countries would have be sewn. For example the weight of a fabric would affect its drape and movement. This is reflected in the animation in the film.



With all this inside knowledge, I searched for fabric online which would be suitable for a child's costume, and accurately reflect the costumes in the film.

The Coronation dress in the film seemed like a wool fabric, but that would be the most impractical fabric for a child's costume. Then I considered velvet, which would drape and move in a similar manner to wool.Many velvet dress fabrics available online are polyester and stretch velvets or velours, which would probably be most suitable. but I was looking for a fabric with more weight, so was drawn to using cotton velvet, which is expensive to buy in Ireland.



It took me ages to find the kind of fabric I wanted, either it was too stretchy, too expensive, wrong colour.....

After a very thorough search, I eventually found the specific colours for the coronation dress in a cotton mix velvet fabric from Fjøelner in Denmark. It turned out to be the perfect weight and was delivered extremely quickly.


This is where I'm at....


I already had black velvet and a suitable pattern Butterick 5980 (ViewD with longer skirt and long sleeves), so the dress and the Cape have been sewn up. Now I just need to figure out how to add the floral/scrolling designs to the velvet on the dress!



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  1. Pretty! I hear you on the difficulty of finding suitable fabrics. I left all of the costuming to my mom (including choosing fabrics!) and she had a hard time finding fabric in the stores that coordinated. I can't wait to see how you choose to do the floral accents.

  2. Wow, what a great work. I bet your girl is so happy with the outfit once it is done...

  3. that is so cute- I have made the shimmery blue version for a friends daughter but this is definitely has that different edge- could you appliqué the floral accents on?