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Saw Frozen 2…

I don’t think it should come as a surprise that yes I now have Plans.

The travel coat and boots, the water dress, the [spoiler], and maybe the pale pink ombre gown.

I was very lucky to have not been spoiled at all, not for the music, nothing but the early teasers. But there are some really big emotional moments and that’s usually the point at which I go from wanting to make something to actually making it.

I have shared how I made my Ice Dress and explained where I went for accuracy and where I went for interpretation.

Mostly I went for interpretation where there was a better “read” than trying to go accurate. The ice of the bodice moves in a way doesn’t really work with seequins glued or sewn. I think I figured out a few options but I went for the rhinestones to create the depth of light. But honestly they are absolutely enchanting to very young kids, and they are sewn down securely to let them interact with them.

They have a physical dimension as well as light bending dimension.

My ice gown is peak blend of historic and theatre so that it is very durable. My cape is a bit fragile but not as much as might be thought. I might give it an organza backing to give a bit more body and allow me to stitch the applied flakes down.

So this takes me back to my Plans. I think I have enough to make the [spoiler] right now from stash, which would be amazing. I need to check how much I put into my Bubble dress as that is also something I really want to finish.

But I am really looking at how to mimic magic. So a fair amount of illusion in the form of mesh and bridal tulle. I will have to make sure the tulle is able to be removed as it can snag so very easily.

The water dress blends into her skin in a way that might require both illusion net as well as sfx. which I can do. Luckily that is straight to skin and not on top of paint.

And the boots… oooh. Got some ideas on that. Texture is so important and they are matte- but glow. They are not the matte of when her powers are out of control, but they differ from the slick and AB affect of her fully controlled powers. I don’t think they were intended to show how really subtle her powers have developed but, the entire outfit really is a symphony of mimics of real world techniques that would require absolute mastery. Her shoulders have the clearest example of this in the silvery raised but flat flakes and the speckled “beads” all over. I would probably digitise the flakes and get them machine embroidered in silver thread in stain stitch and have a heavy fuse underneath. Then the beads as frosted thingies.. not rocailles as they have soft edges, but the ones cut from tubes.

The coat is heavy but is not quite like the Ice Gown skirt. So there is a bit of work to get the very fine flat surface with the weight needed. There will be flatlining and a careful choice of lining full stop. And I think I will be doing a tulle layer over fairy organza (soft and moldable) over stretch charmeuse. Shaping in the charmeuse with the outer layers eased over. SO a bit of care in the order of making so as to get that.

As a musical theatre nerd and long time nerd at that I am not very surprised how much Elsa means to people, but especially to kids. She is wrapped up in a very “princessy” shell but I do think the near obsession goes much deeper than that. Belting songs, they are all about fairly raw emotion and from places that we find difficult to talk about.

(BTW Anna gets a deeply emotional song that might spark some quite intense feelings, I cried as I have been to that place a few times for very different reasons and yet it is also practical and hopeful.)

So yes, I cried a fair bit and still do with a few more listens to the songs.

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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 #sequins the 0.5mm holes are much better than the commercially avail. Sizes but I need to be careful to avoid bending. Next to try is a new surface, then will try the micro drill bits 🙂

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A very good day

Today was actually quite magnificent really.

Found another big pink storage container- slowly getting a few as my bucket system is great for trims etc but most projects atm are BIG!

So after that I picked up two pairs of shoes from savemart as well as a sofa cover in faux suede, but the satinbacked stuff so is really  a peachskin. Frays like heck but sits so nicely. So that will be for Ahsoka

The shoes are for my elsa shoe makeover 🙂 Three pairs made into one perfect pair 🙂

I also decided to turn another three sets of shoes into two.

I also got Ahsoka’s montral cast. And they should cure overnight as opposed to a month for Shaak Ti 🙂 So if this works I may be able to help out some others by at least have an assemble your own kit.

But on top of this all…

Yesterday I managed the first walk I have been able to in over 6 months. I haven’t really spoken much about that as it really was just too hard to think about.

But today? I jogged. Not far, in short bursts. But I did it.

I hurt a bit. But most of that is muscular from not really moving much and some is still inflammation. The infusions are the best chance I have but they are still limited by my immune system just being so determined that it is right!


Photos of shoes and Ahsoka tomorrow as I am not really up to fighting WP media uploads right now!

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Bizarre jetpack issue resolved

Lj went down (502 error) and Jetpack’s “Publicize” went weird. Kept telling me to refresh connections. Seems to be okay now.

My PC also crashed the other day. I think it’s my UEFI setting- has legacy bios compatability mode for some boot types and given I get the classic BIOS screen and text type I think that’s what is being fired up when I crash. So I think I just need to make sure I have a standard boot after a crash rather than fast and to make sure everything is set to boot into UEFI.

Looking at online documentation, the year my PC was built, the OS installed and I think this is the issue.

I rarely crash now but I had the panel off the side of the case and was playing SWTOR. After a full day of it being on. And no screen saver. Might set sleep/hibernation mode on again I just mistrust it as that was what caused my netbook(s) to fry.

Just bought 2kg of Napisan! Yes!!!! Time to soak Elsa so she is ready for any more charity requests 🙂

Also need to get people to follow up on picking up stuff they have asked me to put aside. And then I can start figuring out how to get some pigment across the ocean. Contacted one courier company, a few more to go 🙂

Meanwhile time to go and work on Marie Antoinette.

Also, I finally worked out the pattern for the Freya cloak 🙂

Man, I had it right my first go, but then I doubted and tried all kinds of ways. Nope I was right the first time. Good news is I can perfectly work out how much leather I’ll need. And because I’d quite like to travel with this I can use double sided vinyl instead. It may wind up a little super shiny but hey. My stash of cheapie leather would have been great had I kept it all. Soaking the plastic coating off would have been okay. Darnit!

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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:


Elsa Papercraft

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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New cape!

I think the work to make a new one so as to keep my original one nice and safe has been worth it!

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This is one of the reasons I have been quiet on my blog- this has been just so much work!

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My poor blog!

I’ve been doing things, just posting through instagram as it’s an easy app. to use on my itty bitty phone, it can cross post (can’t be crossposted to, which is annoying) so there is a fair bit of backlog!

Before I do a few updates on the state of the current projects I need to get my Elsa cape redo done. So I’ll be spending the day pressing the appliques 🙂 Also the cape fabric which is what is not so fun!

I will be at the Farmer’s Santa Parade this weekend, I wanted to go to the MoTaT time travellers event on Sat but I am in that fragile zone that makes that a bit of a difficult choice.

I can’t really risk another short prednisone bump for general health reasons but I really need it. As I was told by my rheumy to double my Arava but didn’t prescribe it I need to bring my letter to the pharmacy to get my next dose early. LFN has a long half life so it should be okay if I go in tomorrow.

But because I am not controlling the disease as effectively atm I am more likely to trip some inflammation with activity that goes beyond a limit I can’t actually find without going past it 😉

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inspiration hit hard!

Over the last few days I have been quiet here as I have been a bit busy and tired in what feels like equal proportions! It’s been skewed more to tired, strangely enough. Though I have four events and two hospital daystays in the next month so yes still to being busy. All charity events btw. Tis the season!

My Elsa cape is ready to press- this time I get to avoid side seams! But it does mean being very very careful indeed with not stretching the fabric out as I press. Also it seems heat changes the blue tone and shifts it slightly to a more neutral than purple tint!

Did a display this weekend and got to see inspiration bloom in the eyes of a few people who had only really seen characters in film/tv/games and getting to be hands on with the materials was just the start of what could be a long interest.

Also spent the last two days wrapping my head around a costume that I should have seen before but this year has been very… well not much has panned out well and my goals have mostly shifted and so I’m playing catch up.

I found the maker of said costume and the final pieces of the puzzle fit so I sent a thank you email as I have not been this inspired in ages.I would say obsessed, but yeah it is really firing up some grey matter that really needed a bit of a prod! So my next year is definitely filled with projects and inspiration!

Trying to find a maker of a particular garment in a film can be a challenge. Unfortunately google is fast becoming a tool only to buy ready made gear or is flooded with pinterest links (usually not the main pin either but one of what may be hundreds of linked pins!) So it was a bit of effort. I know my own site is starting to fall again in hits from sites WP recognises so it means very soon I’ll be trying to do some rearranging of my site to make it even easier to navigate and find information. I mainly want to tweak the search php file to display full posts not previews- for some reason images don’t appear in previews which makes it less useful.

And finally I have been a bit busy trying to find quality of life options to be able to continue to use my computer and in doing so have been joining up with accessibility social networks and trying to get ideas on how to really make my site more accessible. I am not sure what the overlap is for my site, but it’s not like I’m the only person who is looking for costume information and having accessibility issues 🙂 So I may not be able to do much to the huge number of blog entries but I can try to make my thumbnails have alt text and use the footer for page lists/menus in case my menu is not easy to navigate with specialist browsers or devices.

I’ll be looking for specific requests for img alt text, and will get it checked by sites that offer to look for issues.

I do very much try to avoid having ads, or anything other than the information right there. I know some readers get stuck in certain kinds of layouts. Especially pop up ads or content off site in general.

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Wig frankensteining

I have three lace front wigs that were not entirely perfect. The first was just a size too small for my head, the other two were slightly too dark for Elsa.

Step One: A new wig cap.


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This is a strip of high quality powernet (the rest is set aside to redo my Pink Diamonds costume) with the lace top and strips from one of the wigs I cut apart. There are strips of the wig powernet in peach on the sides.

Step Two: Add the lace front to the nape of the neck.

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I added a strip of stable net and lace to the nape, to help support and reduce stress on the delicate net. This is to disguise the wig fully and the hair can be styled up or down.


This is the interior view of a strip from a lace front. It is curved and has the front lace clipped already.


It does blend well.

Step three: stitch lace fronts in

(no pics, as this was a process of frustration and photos that don’t illustrate this well enough!)

Step Four: add wefts


This is ongoing, and I’d also like to add a couple more lace strips back in to help stabilise the vertical stretch. Start from the bottom to avoid having to flip the wefts out of the way.

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