Frozen – Queen Elsa Ice Dress Tutorial – Make from a 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.
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.
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’.
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.
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
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.
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. Pinned 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. Click here for a VIDEO tutorial of how to do this gathering technique – Video is sometimes easier to follow.
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!
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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!
Here is a great Side by side