Dec 20, 2015

Elsa Coronation Costume Analysis

My sister has been begging me to make her Elsa's coronation dress from Frozen pretty much since it first came out, so for her birthday I told her I would make it for her.

This post is going to be the analysis about the costume. I've been doing some research, looking for tutorials and while lot's of people have made this costume there aren't any tutorials or walkthrough's for replica's (there are several non-replica tutorials for little kids, but none for more accurate and complete costumes), so I'm going to do my best to document everything.

Due to budget restrictions, I'm not able to make the cape for her (yet at least) so I will be focusing on the actual dress and some of the accessories.

I'm planning on starting with Simplicity pattern 1210, which I bought a while back. While it has the right shape in the bodice and skirt, it's going to need to be fitted. I can tell that much just from the pictures and from my experience with Simplicity patterns.

The "dress" is made up of 3 pieces - the skirt, the bodice, and the black undershirt. Each of which are separate pieces. In addition, I'll probably need to add a petticoat.

The Bodice - The bodice is made up of 4 panels. Due to this being animated and not real, they failed to add any sort of closure to this costume. I'm undecided on weather I should make the back pannel into 2 pieces and split up the design on the back, or if doing a side zipper would be best.

The bodice will need to be fully boned. It has gold bias tape around the top and bottom edges, and decorative designs on the front and back. Because I don't have an embroidery maching (and I really don't want to hand embroider all this) I'm planning on cutting out the pattern peices from another material and top stitching it on the bodice.

Under Shirt - The black undershirt is fairly simple, with long sleeves pointed at the ends going over the top of the hands (I've been trying to figure out what this is called for forever, so if anyone knows please let me know!). It has a stand up collar, which will probably require a little bit of light boning. Then there's a design around the neckline which I will probably end up embroidering.

I'm still undecided, but I'm thinking about making the shirt sewn to the skirt, making it one piece. That way the shirt won't ride up while wearing it.

Skirt - The skirt is a basic floor length paneled skirt, but there's more embroidery around the entire bottom of the skirt. I'm unsure of how I want to tackle this, but I will probably end up painting that pattern on.

Fabrics - I'm undecided on what fabrics will be best for this costume. One thing I always disliked about this costume was that it was a coronation gown, in the middle of summer, and yet because of the fabric it looks like a winter dress (and not a very fancy one). I've seen people make this dress from satin and I think it looks gorgeous! But I'm going to leave the decision up to my sister. For the black shirt, I

I'll be starting this costume after the new year, so that's all for now!


  1. Yayyyy! I've been waiting to hear you say you would make a costume from that movie. Just an opinion, and I don't know if you want to go this route, but I can't help but feel that the undershirt is made from velvet, or stretch velvet for fitting ease. It would be really cool and add dimension with the satin over the top.

    Just an opinion, but in the bodice picture it appears that there is one shaping seam down the side front, and then an angled seam down the back. If you start the angled seam a little further back and angle it in a little more, you could cut the new side (underarm) piece into two pieces and have a seam going straight down side starting at the armpit and have an even more obscure zipper closure, instead of cutting it down the back or trying to sew the zipper into a curved seam. Actually I'm rather impressed that Disney even bothered to put seams in at all.

    1. Oooh, yes I love the idea of velvet for the undershirt!

      Interesting idea, I'll have to play with it when I do the mock up. I didn't realize until I wrote up this post just how much detail they DID put into the costume. XD