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Frozen – Queen Elsa Ice Dress Tutorial – Make from a T-Shirt

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Frozen – Queen Elsa Ice Dress Tutorial – Make from a T-Shirt

DIY Queen Elsa DressQueen Elsa Ice Dress Tutorial- Make if from a long sleeve T-Shirt

Here is a list of supplies you will need….

T-Shirt with long sleeves that is slightly big for your child (to allow it to fit over clothing, or for longer than a few months)  I bought my shirt at Justice – My 2.5yr old is wearing a size 7 that I took in a bit… (it was the smallest they had) and I loved the silver embellished detail at the top (made the project easier)

 

Fabric for the bodice – a slight stretch fabric works great here, it will be sewn right onto the T-shirt, so having a bit of stretch is best.

Skirt Fabric – 1 yard should be sufficient, of 60″ wide fabric. If you are making a larger dress (size 8 or bigger) I would get 1.5 yards. Suitable fabrics would be taffeta, silk, linings, suiting fabric, etc.

Cape Fabric – 1 yard of 60 inch wide fabric you can get away with 1 yard of 45 inch fabric but it would not make the cape as full.  Suitable fabrics would be Chiffon, light lace, bridal chiffon, etc. I would not recommend tulle (its too light and you may not like the way it hangs)

 

This is a sewing project suitable for those that have some sewing knowledge. It is not a project for someone who has never used a sewing machine or attempted to make anything before.

 

I am going to show you how I did it. I did not have a pattern, other than a look at the official Disney Frozen Queen Elsa Ice Dress.

DIY Queen Elsa DressThis is the Official Disney Frozen Queen Elsa Dress that is now sold out at Disney.com!

Retail Price – $149.95USD

The total cost for the dress that I made was $12!

 

The notions needed for the dress are as follows:

  • Matching thread
  • 3/4 inch velcro in white (strip about 28 inches long)
  • 1.5 yard clear 1/4 inch elastic
  • Lace (to accentuate V in dress) with some stretch would be best

 

Creating this dress was easy. All the sewing is done right on the T-Shirt – No zippers, buttons, or anything difficult for your little princess to get this gown on and off.

You can click on any of the pictures for a larger image if you need it bigger to understand what the step is.

Want to Make a Princess Anna Dress Too? Free Pattern and Tutorial Click Here 

 

 

 Step 1 – Attach Bodice to the shirt.

Cut desired shape for Bodice, and pin right side out on the shirt (we are only doing the FRONT side – after the front is done you will do the same for the back)  Once you have carefully pinned it on, ZigZag stitch it right on the shirt. Be careful not to bunch the shirt, the zigzag stitch will allow it to stretch (do NOT straight stitch this will get ripped over time!) I did not zigzag across the bottom I left it open. So the fabric is only sewn to the top, and both sides of the T-shirt.

Elsa Ice Dress Frozen

  Step 2 – Plan location of skirt

Mark out your skirt location on the shirt. To obtain the deep V look I put the shirt on my daughter and marked her belly button as the bottom of the V, and then went up 4 inches on the shirt to the side seam to create the ‘V Shape’.

Queen Elsa Costume Tutorial

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3:  Cut the Skirt – and attach to the shirt.

The skirt should be made with a FULL width of the fabric (preferably 60 inch wide) if you have gone with a narrower fabric (45 inch) you may wish to sew a few pieces to make it wider (which will make the skirt fuller)  Measure your daughter to decide the length, if you want to have it drape in the back like a train you can cut it shorter in the front and longer in the back. To make the V shape, and figure out how to cut it you will fold the width of your fabric in half (the center will be your V) and at the halfway point of that will be the hip (side marker) once you have this marked you will CUT the V shape into the skirt.  Then you will sew the raw edge (right sides together)  If your fabric is one that will frey easy you have two choices to finish the raw edge before you sew it to the shirt. 1. Serge it (turning under will add unnecessary bulk as we will cover this with the ribbon in another step) 2. Turn it under, or add freycheck to the edge.

Queen Elsa Dress DIY

 

Next you are going to cut a piece of clear elastic that is 1/4 inch that is 1 inch shorter than the V shape on the shirt. To decide this place the elastic on the shirt in the shape of the V, and imagine it going around the back… take 1 inch off that measurement and cut.

Then pin the elastic to the RIGHT side of the skirt TOP, Start the elastic in the V, at the point, and take care to mark with either  a special color pin or sewing pen, the point of the V, and the location of the hip, as once the elastic is on, finding these spots will be hard if you have not marked them.  Continue pinning your elastic taking care to get even stretch, all the way around the top of the skirt. (yes you will be doing the elastic on the RIGHT side of the skirt.

 

Step 4: Attach Skirt to the Shirt

Queen Elsa Dress Tutorial DIY

 

 Pin pin pin… its important to pin well, so that you make sure the skirt is attached where you want it. Sew with a zigzag stitch to allow stretch.  Once you have the skirt attached to the shirt, hem the skirt to the desired length.

 

Step 5: Add Ribbon, Lace to cover the Stitching.

Queen Elsa Dress - DIY Tutorial

 I sewed my ribbon onto my lace, BEFORE I placed it on the dress, so I was sewing thru the dress only one more time. I also used a straight stitch, which in hindsight was not a very good idea. To keep the stretchy nature of this project I would recommend a stretch lace, and use a zigzag stitch to put it on, as this looks great, but the straight stitch eliminated the ability to stretch it on, and it made it harder for my 2.5 year old to get it on and off by herself.

Ok so place the ribbon over the sewing location of the skirt (seam at the back center) and pin well, and sew one more time. This photo shows how it should look when you are sewing it in your machine.

Step 6: Deciding how to attach the cape

I was not sure the best route for this, ultimately I settled on velcro, since I wanted the cape to drag to the floor, and my kids are kids, I knew the cape would be removed, pulled off, and possibly stepped on. Velcro was the best choice for me. I laid out my velcro, putting the ‘soft’ side on the shirt, sewing it from the front underarm around the back to the other side.  I did not not photo this step, but I hope its self explanatory. Message me if you have questions or need help.

 

Step 7: Make Queen Elsa’s Cape

The cape can be as fancy or as simple as you choose to do it. I am guessing you have a bit of sewing knowledge and some idea of your own for this… I will explain what I did, but it is by no means the only way!

I made my cape by measuring my daughter from the neck (where the shirt sits) to the floor, and used that as my length measurement, then I used the entire 60 inch width of fabric. I sewed an edge on that matched the bodice on the shirt, on both sides, then the bottom. For the top I had to gather it in, as my velcro hook piece that I was going to attach was only 18 inches, and I had 60 inches in width of fabric.

Usually I like to use elastic to gather, but this was too much of a gather for the elastic trick to work… so I used 1/8 inch ribbon. Sewing the CapePinned a tail of it at the edge, and ran a zigzag stitch over it, being careful NOT to actually sew the ribbon to the cape… (my ribbon matched the fabric too closely and would not show up in pictures!!) Once the whole length of the top of the cape was zigzag stitched I pulled the ribbon to be  18 inches, and tack stitched it on both ends. Now my cape was only 18 inches wide at the top (the same as my velcro) and the cape moved freely on the zigzag casing we just made. I lined up my cape to what I was happy with for gather, and pinned it to my final edge piece, sewed the edge piece to the top, creating 4 sides that had a casing on the cape.

 

Queen Elsa Ice Dress Back Picture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly I sewed the hook side of the velcro to the cape top, and it was DONE. I attached the cape to the dress, and it was ready for my little Elsa to try on!

Here is a picture of the back of it, so you can get an idea of how the trim was done, and where  I placed the velcro pieces on the back.

 

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial – its my first one! I had so much fun making these dresses (yes I made 2! One for each of my girls). I loved the idea of the shirt dress because it is easy, and fun. No zippers, buttons, etc.

Now you are ready to take your Elsa – Ice Princess to Disneyland, or Disney World, and have fun with all the admiring fans who will love your work!

Our family has been to Disneyland 3 times, and Disney World once, we discovered how to save 50-90% off Expedia’s best prices, Click here and see how you can too.

Have you seen the New Let It Go Sing a Long Song? Click Here

Want to Meet Anna and Elsa at Disneyland or Disney World? Click Here to see where to find them at the parks

I am so excited to hear your comments, and would love it if you would share pictures of what you create with this Queen Elsa Ice Dress Tutorial as your starting point!

 

Amanda Evans

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Here is a great Side by side :)

Elsa Ice Dress Tutorial

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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21 comments

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  1. Brassy Apple

    darling dress!!!! love a refashion too!

    1. Amanda Evans

      Thanks for popping by! I love your idea for the gloves… my girls are going to have so much fun!! :)

      Amanda

  2. Natalie

    This is so cute!! Thanks for sharing a great tutorial – such a GREAT idea to start with a pre-made T-shirt!

    1. Amanda Evans

      Hi Natalie – I am so glad you liked it.. the T-shirt definitely makes it easier for the girls to get it on and off. :)

      Amanda

  3. Jada

    Hey that’s brilliant! Very nice DIY. You got it exactly. Thanks for sharing your idea.

    1. Amanda Evans

      Hi Jada – Thanks for your comment. I had fun making this… I would love to see pictures if you decide to give it a go :)

      Amanda

  4. Connie

    Love it!!! I am starting today for a 3 year old that loves Elsa!!! E- bay has them from 150.00 to 1000.00… Ridiculous!!! Thank you!

    1. Amanda Evans

      Hi Connie – When you have it done I would love to see a picture of your work with your little princess :) I know the Disney version is very pricey… and sold out! So I needed to do something for my girls, and I had a lot of fun making them this!

  5. Bethany Spurrier

    Fantastic idea!

    1. Amanda Evans

      Thanks Bethany – If you decide to make one, I would love to see pics :) I had so much fun making these for my girls. :)

      1. Bethany

        Bought the fabric and hope to have it finished for a princess party on 4/4. Found a snowflake button I am super excited to embellish the front with. Using a leotard as base. Will send along pics when done

        1. Amanda Evans

          Bethany – That is awesome!! It is so fun searching for the fabrics to do this project… I can’t wait to see your pics. :)

          Thanks,

          Amanda

          1. Bethany

            Thanks, I sent you a message about how it went and pics on Facebook. Feel free to repost if you want to.

            Hi Amanda,
            My mom and I finished making the Elsa dress based on your instructions late last night. Overall it went pretty well. It took about 12 hours, but I am very pleased with the results. I have attached a couple of pictures. I wanted to let you know a few things I did differently, in case anyone has any similar questions. Please feel free to use any of this including the pictures in your blog. I didnt like the look of the satin against the Tshirt material, so I decided to sew it onto a leotard. I knew we were going to have some issues with this, but because my daughter is so small (about size 3T) we found it best to hand sew it. I took her measurements and then sketched the bodice on a brown paper bag, cut it out and made a quick muslin version because I was concerned about attaching the non-stretchy satin onto the very stretch nylon. We pinned it to the leotard using a small wastebasket as a dress form. It was actually the perfect circumference for her torso and the end result fit like a glove. Once we realized the muslin would lay ok, we hand sewed onto the leotard because we were afraid the machine might pucker the satin. Attaching the skirt gave us fits. First of all, we only made it 1.5 times her waist measurement because I wanted a sleeker Elsa look. We came down about 2.5-3″ from her belly button instead of going up. If we had gone up the edges would have hit her armpits. We had a little trouble figuring out how to gather it with the elastic–neither of us had used elastic to gather before but once we figured it out we agreed it was easier than our past gathering methods (basting, casing) The way it read it seemed we needed to cut a piece of elastic the entire width of the ungathered dress, but I know that cant be what you meant. We cut 3 pieces, one for the back and one for each side of the V a little shorter than the width of her waist, and this worked out great. It took us several hours to figure this out though. I decided I DID want to use tulle for the cape and my only advice here (I wish I had done it differently) is to attach the cape to the soft side of the velcro and put the hooks side on the dress. That way you dont have to worry about snags. I finished with some really pretty dangly lace, ribbons, and sequins trim, and I am very happy with the result. Some pics are attached.

            Elsa Dress from Tutorial

          2. Amanda Evans

            You did a FABULOUS job!! I love it!! and I love the crown!! :) Thank you for sharing your tips, and how you did things differently :)

            Amanda

  6. Sue Romack Oyler

    Thank you for creating this tutorial. I took some of your ideas and some of my own and created an Elsa dress and separate cape for my 5 year old granddaughter. She loved it! The hard part was she lives 1000 miles away and I had to call her mom several times with measurement requests. Thanks again. It turned out great!

    1. Amanda Evans

      Hey Sue

      That is awesome!! I am so glad. :) Its fun making this project for sure!

      Would love to see pics if you have some?

      Amanda

  7. Allison Mintz

    This is a great tutorial!! I am not very creative, but I am going to try and follow along. If it turns out I will send you a picture. Keep your fingers crossed that I don’t mess it up too badly.

    1. Amanda Evans

      Hey Allison :)

      Thanks for your feedback! I really appreciate it… I can’t wait to see pictures :) I am sure you will do a wonderful job.

      Amanda
      p.s. My fingers are crossed for you :)

  8. Pamela

    I have four daughters and have done a lot of sewing………..first holy communion dresses to many prom dresses, but I lost you on placing the ribbon on the cape. I am making this for my granddaughter and was so pleased with the idea. If you could help clarify the cape, I would appreciate it. Thanks!

    1. Amanda Evans

      Hey Pamela

      Fantastic – would love to see picture of your finished project. :)

      Ok the ribbon is used a gathering device…

      What I mean by that is pin the ribbon to the top of your cape about 1/2 inch down from the fabric edge, then make your machine zig zag stitch as wide as it will go, and sew over the ribbon, but be careful not to catch the ribbon in your zig zag.

      The zig zag holds the ribbon onto the fabric, and once you have finished zig zagging it on to the fabric, you will not slide the fabric into a gather along the ribbon.

      Once you have gathered the top of the cape to the size of your velcro you will pin the gather together and then finish the top edge of the cape to match the other 3 sides (if you do it exactly as I did it)

      Then you will sew the velcro on the top, and attach it to the dress, and you are good to go. :) I also added a new photo to the tutorial… maybe that will help?

      And I even made you a video :) Sometimes its just easier to show what you mean rather than try to write it down :)
      Here is the link to the video – http://youtu.be/zDCw8tS4UnI

      Thanks fore reading my blog post and reaching out to me. :)

      Amanda

  9. Moushumi Dutta

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I'm not very crafty, but my daughter has been begging for an Elsa dress.. but purchasing it is a bit to pricey right now, so I'll just give it a try :)

  10. Porsche Ray

    Where did you buy the stretch top w/ the sequins on it?

  11. Danielle Eaton Hart

    Thank you so much for making an affordable and child-friendly alternative to a "needed" Halloween costume.

  12. Angela Harrison

    Thank you for this tutorial – it was a great help. :)

  13. Chloe Herriage

    This was extremely helpful for a halloween costume! It was affordable and easy, the perfect description for anything. Thank you!!!!!

  14. Alina Grechana-Karaman

    Thank you for this tutorial! I've made a dress for my little one based on your post! Made some changes, but the basic idea was from you! Here is my interpretation with link to your post http://alinagk.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/diy-elsa-dress-from-frozen-easy/

  15. Diane Walser

    You tutorial saved my bacon!! We needed an Elsa dress for a "meet Elsa and Anna" party and the only dresses I could even find were in the $150 range! I still spent $50 because my daughter appears to have expensive taste in material, but it was so easy to make and turned out adorable!! Here's a picture: http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y199/ladydi89/elsaDress_zps9ca2f7ec.jpg I bought all my fabrics at Joann. It was kind of funny, they had a whole kiosk full of blue and white materials. They even had patterns for Elsa and Anna dresses but they weren't as cute as this.

  16. Tanya

    This is fantastic! One question though (so far anyway) – did you sew the elastic to the skirt, and THEN sew the skirt to the T-shirt, or did you just pin and sew all at once?

    1. Amanda Evans

      Hey Tanya,

      I sewed the elastic first, and used the stretch in the elastic to gather the skirt up a bit.. then I was able to pin it directly on to the t-shirt, and sew :) Send pics when you are done… would love to see your creation :)

  17. Jessica Bennett Mailman

    Hi, love this dress. I am interested in your method for gathering, how exactly do you do it with the ribbon? I'm not sure I understand quite right. Do you do a zigzag stitch that is wider than the ribbon so you only sew on either side of it, not on it? and then the ribbon moves freely? I gather stuff all the time and have tried various methods, but I've never heard of that way. It sounds great! If you can send any details I'd appreciate it.

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