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Elsa cape dye recipe

I have started my new cape so I thought  I’d quickly set out the measurements of dye needed.


For a 2.5m long cape (2 1/2y+10″, 1m is 1y+4″):

Do this in two batches, do not be tempted to do it all in one go unless you have an industrial sized pot and oven!


5m of 150cm tulle/net (5y 20″ of 40″ wide fabric)

1 dye pack of iDye poly blue

2x Color enhancer (unless you have access to the colour enhancer sold separately (I wish I did!)



Stock pot



measuring jar (and two smaller identical containers)

bucket (2x if you want to save the dye)


Latex gloves


Additional: horsehair braid for hem will also tint to match.


Pre-wash the net to remove any shop dust or sizing that may be on the fabric. I often use a liquid dish soap for this. It creates a lot of foam but it really strips any oils off. Dry fabric.


Divide the length of fabric into two 2.5m (2 1/2+10″) lengths.

Dissolve the dye in a glass measuring jug use about 2 cups. Whisk the dye through to totally dissolve the now gummy pack.

Heat water in a very large stock pot. I am not sure what mine is but I fill it to 2/3 then top with boiling water to a level the dry tulle comfortably fits in. When wet it will collapse and so be able to stir evenly.

Once the water is simmering add half the dye. I had no markings on my jug so I first divided it equally between two glasses that had obvious markings to use as a guide.

Then tear the colour enhancer pack perfectly across and use every last drop.

Let water come to near boil.

Quickly use the tongs to transfer the tulle to the pot, short lengths at a time, push the newer fabric so that the earlier fabric moves along and creates a circular spin in the water, continue to add the fabric until all is in the pot. Using the fabric dry will not cool down the water and so will actually help get a very vibrant colour.

Boil and stir for 5m.

Transfer to bucket and take the fabric out of the bucket on a lawn. This saves the dye and also cools the fabric and dye down to stop the dyeing process.

If you do not have an outdoor area, then put a plug in to a stainless steel tub and rinse dyed tulle under cold water. This too will stop the dyeing process.

Repeat for the other side.


The fabric will be very dark. It will seem to dark. But tulle and some nets are made from totally clear monofilament. What this means that as it dries it will allow light through but also bounce white light back from the glossy surface. This will eventually turn the net royal blue.

This dark  tone in turn also makes the net even more translucent against your dress and the floor. It will then create very distinct lines of colour when pleated into crisp angles.

Note how the cape is quite dark while the snowflake designs are paler and very light reflective.



If you are nervous then it is possible to use half the dye pack for both lengths but still 2x colour enhancers. It will create a blue that is more what people expect her cape to be. In very close up details the cape fabric is indeed quite dark. The aforementioned physical properties of clear monofilament

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Elsa textures!

Also a good guide to how very flared her gown is! Official source too 🙂 You can download the free, official papercraft doll of Elsa here:



But this is why my gown really works so well. I zoomed the PDF to grab this little corner:


What you are seeing is a fabric with vertical chunky striations- light reflecting back to different degrees- AND an overlay of tulle! You can see it right in the middle.

If you are viewing this post on my site my background image is a close up of my fabric layers showing how micro-sequins sewn in vertical lines give the same effect as well as the tulle overlay which cuts the shin down towards the hem of the skirt! This is a bit like the effect seen here- when the light bounces back directlyy (like on the hips or outer folds of the skirt) you can’t see the tulle, but where the light doesn’t shine back directly the tulle is visible and the background appears darker.


This is a classic theatrical technique. It not only controls how sequins sparkle but protects them from scratching and being pulled out.

Also note how the paper skirt is a cone but the texture pattern clearly also shows folds in the hem. This is absolutely true to her film gown (just watched the transformation scene on blu-ray while making this post 🙂


So I love this gown for all those reasons. Clever patterning based on pre-modern shapes, use of layering textures to hide what they really are because that’s what you do for high end couture and theatrical costumes 🙂 Basically what we do in the real world to make magic 🙂

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elsa cape dye success!


by admin, January 30, 2015


Confession, the old colour looked way too deep in shadow so I removed the colour. But the fabric went a blotchy silver with a few blue patches. So to the shame pile it went.
I finally used a tiny tiny tiny amount of turquoise iDye poly on the dress (to brighten the hem mainly) and that went well so I topped up with enough blue to dye the cape and basically use the turquoise and green (released from the hem) to knock the purple out of the dye.
Voila! The wind also kicked up beautifully.
Just never ask me to iron crystalline tulle ever again. Ever.

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elsa, cape draped to show depth


by admin, January 30, 2015

Cat is just reacting to the  heat.
I am back in bed trying to play “stay ahead of the fatigue.”

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just one wash, hooray :)


by admin, January 20, 2015

Much much better 🙂

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elsa :)


by admin, January 5, 2015

Cape will be replaced, the shirt screen printed (sequins rat up the plait!!!!) And I am kicking myself I didn’t put horsehair braid along the top edge like I wanted. The colours are fairly true though 🙂 My dress is baby blue in one direction, turquoise in another and the cape is a very true turquoise. Definitely using my experience with the

I’ll also definitely need to put in an elastic stay at the waist- the bodice slips down due to several factors- none of which I want to alter too much.

But so many children just randomly made happy, or shy, or both!

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elsa too :)


by admin, January 5, 2015

Already wilting, so I have Plans 🙂 That hem swishes like the swishiest thing 🙂 I was going to redo it but I like the effect. It will need some pressing though.

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by amin, January 3, 2015

It looks too green on my phone so it should be about right on my comp :)

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by admin, January 2, 2015


Off centre but this was the first pass. Tomorrow is when I hope to sew like the wind 🙂

I’ve been distracting meself as I am worried about it all. So I’ll pin the zip in so tomorrow can be all machine and a little handsewing.

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elsa- the basic dress is nearly there :)


by admin, January 1, 2015

The dress as of a few hours ago after a ridiculous “tidy”. Wherein I actually start splashing latex and realising I can’t sew pretty stuff with magenta latex uncured around the place….P

Possible the most true to life ombre effect.

The cape print is slightly off and so too was the cutting- but it needed trimming to size anyway, just sad to lose that lovely leading edge (closest to my toes (hello little crooked toes- this is why I never did pointe! Check out the difference in toe sizes!)

And then I painted the new hem 🙂

Whoops! That’ll need waterblasting…


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