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ouchies but progressing

I’ve started to tidy and compiled my past website builds as some of them were really fun πŸ™‚ And as they were all hand coded in an era of tiny data storage and bandwidth they are remarkably suited to the hand held era.

I am though experiencing a lot of inflammation in my hands which is not surprising but it means I need to take breaks and meds that feel like overkill. It’s just my hands, it’s a small area of the body. But they are used for everything I do so it is worth resting more than less.

I forgot that I also have my turquise sequin fabrics for more Elsa costumes- I think I’d like to keep one as an homage to Queen Maude.

But the second dress and extra length I think could be the basic of the travel coat- layers of net over the top gradient dyed. So suddenly it’s starting to feel like an actual plan and one that won’t dip into my funds.

I do still have the super long cape I really should pass on, it’s just a matter of photographing it properly.

I am also struggling a little financially, with a number of costs coming up and some new weekly costs that I haven’t planned for.

So I am very glad that I have enough stash to keep me going, even if I still have to slow down on using it all in one go given my hands.

But that financial restriction might just mean I stay close to home for at least the first half of the year which actually helps a lot in making the decision to make All The Elsa Stuff.

The Mantua: it’s cut, the stays are cut and have boning already. The skirt seams are all done. And it’s a single layer (aside from body) so it’s really light.

This Queen Maude (of Norway…) gown. I would love to know what colour it is originally, but she had a golden sequin gown and a pale blue gown

The Mando might take a while. I’m not sure I want to have two sets of armour but I also don’t want to convert my Shae Vizla over. I worked very hard on that.

For the rest I have the opalescent sequined fabric, the turqouise, the silk chiffon with 2mm sequins… so a fair bit to play with πŸ™‚

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Elsa cape dye recipe

I have started my new cape so I thought Β 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 Β 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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It had been a while since I have had a chance to work with Make-A-Wish New Zealand so I was so happy to have had the chance recently πŸ™‚ And the first chance I have had to make snowflakes and share my sparkly icy jewels πŸ™‚
But it was also a chance to speak with a lovely lovely little girl, to listen to her and what she loves, so I am also inspired. I am now working on my Spring version of the gown, just got my materials today πŸ™‚ So yes, a fair amount of CAD in my near future for applique and 3D effects πŸ™‚
(Also I am restocking my jewels so I can share more πŸ™‚

SoΒ yes, today was spent getting 10m of Heat n Bond, 3m of pink sparkly tulle (that still needs to be dyed darker) 3m of sparkly green tulle (ditto.) This is on top of the yardage of tulle for the base, and the dye for it all.

Lucky there was a sale, but it’s still a big investment, just assume an average price of $10m. And you can see why it takes a while to collect materials let alone work with them πŸ™‚ And why my gowns are irreplaceable. πŸ™‚

Now I am back to working in Sketchup.

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New Elsa fabric :)

Grabbed some photos (ELissa tiara on the top there) without flash and with flash. Without is much closer to the real colour than with:

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I mean I’d prefer it like it is with the flash… but hey, interference green pigment? I have and here it is tested on the top of the sequins (on the right):



As the sequins are matte this is more likely to work than had I got shiny sequins as I doubt I’d find exactly what I want in terms of colour. Also the low sheen is subtle, it makes the fabric look like 1930s real metal lame.

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Elsa on the stand :)

I haven’t snarfled photos from A. or N. yet so dress on the stand is the best πŸ˜‰

The full gown:

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The front half of the gown:

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Fabric used, with flash and without. Lovely stretch (crosswise) charmeuse from Moreland and some fairy organza that was yellow/iridescent but went nude/iridescent after a wash in cold water dye that was supposed to be navy blue. But was very purple.

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Inside of bodice showing hand sewing of dress shell to the interior corset.

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Close up of the lacing on the right side. I turned the shell back and folded it under, and tacked it as close to the eyelets as possible. Not ideal for a gown that is exposed at the back but fine under the cape πŸ˜‰



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Elsa actual progress sort of!

So my corset mock up is ugly. I said it was anyway, so here it is! Institutional mint and badly drawn lines everywhere! But look, a cape! And from just barely over 4m of fabric!

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She has boobs! Yes they are OTT but you can see the places I am taking in and will also balance those puppies out πŸ˜‰ This is also for an over bust which means it does look ridiculous! This is my base pattern to fit me and work with my idiosyncratic shape. There was a lot of experimentation in the 19thC for corsets so mine is a blend of genuinely conceivable pieces. I do only have four panels but may wind up cutting through the bust and angling to CF hem.

So, now the Elsa cape:

Super sturdy but fine tulle (photos show how transparent it is.) I cut the pattern over my Elissa underskirt to make sure I got the train as long as possible and forgot to account for it going over a pair of legs and a skirt.

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1) I started by pinning the tulle to the form, selvage for the side/front seam and to see how long the gore would be on the diagonal, ending at the point which winds up side back of the train.


2) so this created a gore that I could top and tail (yay for reversible fabrics!) And so I smoothed it out by folding the fabric along the line and then cutting the first gore.Β sm_DSC_2586

3) I then laid that over the other side and cut and trimmed to match (if this was not reversible this would not work and I’d have two of the same sides)


4) So this creates the sides. I had measured to make sure there was enough length left that the back could be cut. This meant at least as long as the diagonal line plus any extra.


5) Success! Enough with a little left over. So I then pinned the remaining fabric to the back (cB on the fold and pinned at the hem as far to the selvage as possible) and pinned to best shape with the already cut pieces:


6) I laid the fabric on the fold and then used the same folding on the diagonal to smooth the line as before, matching the length to the side gore:


7) this left a narrow gore on either side. So rather than waste it I added it to the fonts and then reshaped all seams (smaller at the top tapering as wide as possible to the bottom).

I’m pretty sure there are five panels I just am not sure if I got them exactly where they are in the film (you see one straight to diagonal seam in the last scene on the fjord at least and the way it folds suggests seams) but i’m not too worried if not. This tulle is $14/m and I still have to dye it πŸ˜‰ So I wanted best bang for buck!



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