Last year I got my Elsa finale gown started, but it’s been a trial both sourcing specific fabrics I need let alone in the lengths needed. But luckily I have the base fabric and the sheer fabric for the super soft floating sleeves. And I finally decided on how to create the sparkling decorations- I have iridescent transparent vinyl I was testing for the sequins for the Ice gown. It will be washable and I have worked out the pattern to get working in inkscape to make the files for cutting it all. I think the smaller diamonds are 2.5cm long and 1cm wide, and I will not make them individually but in strips so I can zig zag stitch over the vinyl, not through it, and so the stitches wind up some waht decorative. If that doesn’t work then yes, hand stitching around those same point and hand knotting.
But the strips will be much lighter than the jewels I bought so the cape and skirt sections will float.
I have some opaque irridescent fabric backed vinyl too for the bodice and yes, over those I will sew glass rhinestones.
As for the sheer fabris I will need to buy iDye poly to gradient dye it all. The sleeves are easy as they are one layer and the shape is flat. The skirt is proving to be a bit more difficult.
The animation stretches that fabric in ways that are not replicable. So I need to decide how much flare to build in.
My test skirt pattern is pretty good and is mostly straight with an extension at the back. But I was thinking I might want to use the grain of the sequins to direct where to put darts and seams.
Today I took my bodice pattern and traced it to baking paper (I then scanned both to keep a record in case I lose or have to dispose of excess patterns) then to heavy paper to cut the points and hip shape, to scan that, and then finally I will be able to use inkscape or ruler and french curves to make them all even. And to work out where to put shaping seams in the final version as again, the animation does not match reality and I need to put seams in somewhere.
I used authentic Victorian skirt cutting for the Ice gown and it works so well. The straight front edge of each gore hangs vertically which makes the diagonal of the back edge flow into whatever folds you want. And as you top and tail the pieces you save a heck of a lot of fabric. The basic principles works from regency all the way to the 1900s. Teens too.
This is why I love historic patterns- they offer solutions we don’t have in our modern patterning kit. It’s frustrating though as we really have 100 years of modern patterning to separate us, so there is no living memory of these techniques. So a lot of modern historic patterns use modern systems too.
The Elsa finale gown is not built like that, it’s full modern. I get pageant and ice dance costume vibes, so I’m using a lot of modern fabrics and using that stretch.