Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Finished project: Simplicity 1233 - Elsa dress from Frozen

Do you want to build a snowman?

I did finish Eva's Elsa costume several days before Halloween. Unfortunately, I never did get "good" pictures of her in her dress. I did, however, get a few cellphone pictures of her trick-or-treating at my office on Halloween:

Eva as Elsa
I talked a bit about the construction of this dress in a previous post, back when the dress lacked a yoke, sleeves, and a zipper. Seeing Eva's reaction to the glitter organza of the cape, I opted to use it for the yoke and sleeves, as well. The neckline appears to gape a bit, I think, due to the stiffness of the organza and the fact that the dress is slightly too large on her (as intended so that she could use it as a play dress in the coming months). I'd considered using a chiffon for the sleeves and yoke for comfort, but with my OCD toddler daughter, I decided instead to sacrifice slightly stiff and less comfortable chiffon for a more Elsa-like look with the organza.

Pattern drafting notes

I found the pattern to be well-drafted in that everything lined up as expected, and I didn't encounter any weird fit issues.


  • Cape: Glitter/snowflake organza from HelenEnoxFabrics on Etsy
  • Bodice: Sequined fabric from JoAnn's.
  • Skirt underlayer: Costume satin from JoAnn's. I also lined the bodice with this same fabric.
  • Skirt overlayer: Iridescent organza from JoAnn's.

Pattern sizing and alterations

Height-wise, my daughter is on the cusp of size 2T/3 on the Big 4 size charts. I sewed a size 3 in this dress, knowing that it would be slightly big, but figuring that she'd be able to wear it to play dress-up for at least a few months after Halloween. Outside of the skirt/cape running very long, the dress fits true-to-size.

In the reviews of the equivalent McCall's pattern, I've seen people mentioning that there is a (fairly typical with the Big 4) large amount of excess ease. I did not find that to be the case with this pattern.

I also tapered the cape so that it didn't drag on the floor in front, but was left long in back, just like the "real" dress.

cape shot

Pattern instructions

I complain about the instructions for Big 4 patterns a lot, but these were actually quite good and suggest appropriate construction methods for the garment. For example, the instructions actually have you use French seams for Elsa's cape, which is intended to be made from a sheer fabric. I think that this is the first time that I've ever seen French seams mentioned in Big 4 pattern instructions, regardless of the recommended fabrics. The order of construction is logical, as well.

Another complaint that a lot of us have about Simplicity patterns is that the instructions jump around a lot when a pattern has more than one view. That's not the case with this pattern--the instructions for Elsa's dress and Anna's dress are kept completely separate.

Final thoughts

I enjoyed making this dress a lot more than I thought I would, and I'm ecstatic about how excited it's made Eva. She'd probably wear this dress every day if we let her. I was so impressed with the pattern and its results that I'll probably snap up the other Frozen patterns from Simplicity. I think that an "Anna" dress for dress-up might make a good Christmas present. ;)


  1. Oh Michelle she looks like a little doll!!! Very nicely done!

  2. Gorgeous costume and gorgeous bub.

  3. She looks so sweet! An Anna dress for Christmas does sound like a good idea:)

  4. So cute! Great costume and you obviously made her ecstatic!

  5. Awe! What a pretty little Elsa!!

  6. Beautiful!!! She looks like a very happy Elsa. :)