An Elsa Shirt for Me!

Can you handle one more Frozen post!?! Good, because this one’s for the moms! DIY Frozen inspired t-shirts! This one is decorated with the floral motif from Elsa’s coronation gown. I made it for a recent mommy-daughter date when we went on to see Frozen On Ice. I have to take advantage of these years when my daughter is too young to be ashamed to match with me! :)

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This was kind of a last minute project that I wasn’t sure I’d have time to make, but luckily, it came together during the girls’ afternoon nap/rest time. I wore it to our trip to see Frozen on Ice, and I plan to wear it when we go trick-or-treating.

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Honestly, it turned out so nice, I’ll probably add it to my mommy-wardrobe of t-shirts and yoga pants. It’s subtly Frozen-themed, so I don’t think the vast majority of people will even notice. I’m not a LOOK AT ME kind of person when it comes to my clothes, so I like this quieter way to show my Frozen enthusiasm. :)

It’s a pretty simple how-to. Let’s get started!

Get yourself a t-shirt! I was thrilled to find this long-sleeved t-shirt on sale for $8 at Target. It looked very similar to the main color of Elsa’s coronation dress, so I thought it was the perfect find for my project. Wash and dry your t-shirt before you begin.

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Find the floral design you want to use. Mine was made from the exact same pattern I had for my daughter’s Elsa Coronation Dress. I could have enlarged the design to be scaled for an adult, and I think that would have looked good, but like I said, this was kind of a last minute project, so I couldn’t afford to be picky.

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Trace the floral design onto the paper-backing of some Wonder Under Fusible Web. Goodness, I love that stuff! I should just create a whole category of Wonder Under projects! Anyway… if this were letters or something, you’d want to trace them backwards, but since the design I used was perfectly symmetrical and contained no words, it didn’t make any difference and I just traced it as is.

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Next, follow the package directions on the Wonder Under and adhere it with an iron to the back of your fabric. I made a simplified version of Elsa’s design, so I only used two fabrics: burgundy and a grayish-green. Broadcloth or another thin cotton fabric works best.

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Once your fabric pieces have cooled, cut them out, and peel off the paper backing. You should be able to see a shiny layer of adhesive stuck to the back of your fabric. You’ve basically made some iron-on fabric stickers. I know, pretty cool, right?

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Next, iron the fabric pieces onto your shirt. Some pieces might need to be layered on top of other pieces.

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Thread your machine with thread to match your fabric pieces, and straight-stitch close to the edge of each piece. This will help them survive the wash without eventually fraying away.

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Once all your fabric pieces are sewn in place, give your shirt a quick once over with a warm iron, and you’re done! Now go and enjoy trick-or-treat or a trip to the grocery store with your subtle Frozen tribute. :)

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Candy Corn Sugar Cookies

Why do I love baking so much more in the fall? I’ve been making these Candy Corn Cookies every autumn for years and they are always such a hit with kids and grown-ups alike. What I love is that these cookies are adorable (and of course yummy) but don’t require any fancy decorating skills. But don’t worry, their simple design and chocolate-covered goodness are sure to impress your eyes and your taste buds.

Candy Corn Cookies

 

Start with your favorite cut-out sugar cookie recipe. Mine is from my Betty Crocker cookbook, but you can use any recipe you want, or even grab some pre-made refrigerated sugar cookie dough.

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Once you’ve mixed up your sugar cookie dough, grab some red and yellow food coloring, and add as much as you need to get a nice bright orange dough.

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One of these years, I’m going to think ahead and buy some orange food coloring gel that you get in the cake decorating aisle. It’s a much more intense food coloring, and since it’s a gel, it shouldn’t change the consistency of the cookie dough like the liquid food coloring does. If you’re dough is less stiff than you need it for rolling out, add a few extra handfuls of flour to the mix.

This is the part where I should be showing you how we neatly rolled out our cookie dough and cut it into pinteresty-looking candy corn shaped cookies using a candy corn shaped cookie cutter that I bought online (or you can just cut your cookie dough into triangles with a pizza wheel), but my not quite four-year-old fired me from my job and did this part almost entirely on her own. She actually told me to go take a nap on the couch! She did an awesome job, and I was all proud and somewhat sad to see what a big girl she is becoming. So I forgot to take pictures of the process itself, and just sat at the counter and admired what an amazing grown-up kid I have.

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Once your cookies are baked and have cooled, melt a bag of white chocolate chips and in another pot a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Dip the tip of each cookie in the white chocolate and the base of the triangle in the semi-sweet chocolate. Then set on parchment paper until the chocolate has hardened. We made five dozen cookies and I melted two bags each of the white chocolate and sem-sweet chocolate. But  how much you need will largely depend on how generous you are with the chocolate. :)

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Now all you have to enjoy is try and not eat them all at once!

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DIY Anna Costume Tutorial

If you have a child that wants to be Anna from Frozen for trick-or-treat this year, look no further! I’ve got a simple DIY costume idea for you, so that your little girl can look just like Princess Anna! My older daughter is going to be Elsa (tutorial for Elsa’s coronation dress here and here), but we can’t have Elsa without Anna, right?

This Anna costume is a great project for someone with beginner sewing skills. It’s really just a jumper with a separate (store bought) shirt underneath. I’m going to show you how to make your own jumper pattern, but if you have a store bought pattern you really like, you can use that instead. Just check out my suggestions for fabric choices and all the cute details to make an ordinary jumper pattern into an adorable Anna costume!

DIY Frozen Anna Dress

When my oldest daughter decided she wanted to be Elsa this year for trick or treat, I was totally on board! Every year, I have so much fun making my kids’ costumes. I’m not sure why costumes, of all the projects I could make, excite me so much. Maybe it’s because every child’s cute factor goes up about 85% once you put them in a costume. I’m pretty sure that’s a proven fact.

DIY Elsa and Anna Dresses

But another reason I was excited for my oldest to be Elsa, is because I love the idea of my girls having coordinating costumes, and Elsa just so happens to have a little sister, and we just so happen to have a little sister of our own running around in this house, so it seemed like the perfect idea!

Anna Dress DIY

While the Elsa dress was a lengthier project, this Anna dress came together so fast! And it’s adorable! The hand-embroidery I did on the bodice gives a simple jumper such a special feel. Can this be her Christmas dress too? It’s just so cute, I can’t get enough of it!

Embroidered Anna Dress

Ok, on to the tutorial!

To make the Anna dress, you’ll need to start by gathering your supplies. The amounts of fabric I used are based on making a dress that is a size 18 months, so if you are making a larger size dress, you’ll want more fabric than the amounts I recommend.

1.  1/3 yard of black fabric for the outside of the bodice (I used black stretch velvet, but I think almost any other fabric would work)

2. 1/3 yard lining fabric (I used some broadcloth I already had on hand)

3. 1/2 yard blue fabric for the skirt (I used a polyester satin)

4. Black thread

5. Blue thread (to match skirt)

6. Yellow thread

7. Embroidery floss in green, bright pink, yellow, and light purple

8. White turtleneck onesie (or blue if you can find one, but if not don’t worry, we’re going to take care of that!)

9. Bias Tape (optional- for finishing the hem)

10. White chalk

11. Package of pastel blue dye

Start by tracing around an existing jumper or sleeveless shirt that comfortable fits your child. Don’t go with anything that fits snugly. We want it just a little bit loose so it will go over a shirt easily. Trace about an inch (or a half inch if you perfer) away from the edge of your jumper to allow for a generous seam allowance. You don’t need to trace the entire jumper, just the front and back of the bodice.

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Once you’ve made your front and back bodice pattern pieces, take the front piece, and erase the center of the neckline. Draw a sweetheart neckline instead. Make sure the neckline you are going to create is low enough that the finished garment will be able to go over your child’s head without needing a zipper in the back.

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A little tip: I like drawing half my pattern, then folding my paper in half and tracing the second half. That way both sides of my pattern are perfectly symmetrical.

Now you can cut out the fabric for your bodice. The stretch velvet I used was very slippery to work with, so I traced around the pattern piece with chalk and then cut on my chalk line. (I know it looks like I’m cutting through two layers here, and I was. At first, I planned to line the bodice with the same stretch velvet as the outside of the bodice, but realized it would be too bulky. That stretch velvet likes to slide hence all the pins I used trying to hold everything in place.)

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Our first step is to sew the front and back exterior (black) pieces of fabric together. Lay right sides together, line up the side seams and sew each side seam from the bottom of the armpit, to the bottom of the bodice on each side.

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Now, we’re going to begin sewing the lining to the bodice.

Turn the black part of the bodice right side out. Lay the right sides of the lining up to the front and back of the black bodice. Sew around the neckline, and arm holes.

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Now you are going to want to sew the sides of the lining together. Tuck the exterior black fabric into the middle of your bodice, so that it is out of the way. Match the front and back sides of the lining together on each side. Sew from the bottom of the armhole to the bottom of the bodice on each side of the bodice.

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You may want to clip around the raw edge of your neckline and arm hole seams in a few places, to help them lay smooth when you turn them right side out.

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Now, turn your bodice right side out. It’s time to attach the straps of our jumper together!

Take the straps from the back of the bodice, and insert them into the straps of the front of the bodice. Turn the raw ends on the front strap pieces inside to hide the raw edges. Sew it all together with a straight or zigzag seam. I used white thread here so you can see how I did it a little better, but of course, you’ll want to use black thread.

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Next, we’re going to add the embroidered embellishments to the front of the bodice!

I’m sure there are several ways you could do this, but here’s what worked for me.

I found a picture online of the Anna dress and then roughly sketched what I saw of the bodice design, onto the front of my dress’s bodice, using the chalk. Kind of looks like reindeer antlers, doesn’t it? :)

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My design was far from perfect, but once you have everything done, it always looks so much better. In fact, I actually made the bodice of this dress twice: once for my daughter’s actual dress and then, a second time, when I realized that I had been in such a sewing-zone while I made the dress, that I had not taken enough pictures to document all the steps! You can see a side-by-side comparison of how the embroidery ends up looking when it’s all done.

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For the embroidery, I started with the green embroidery floss, since that’s the most used color in the design. Reaching inside the bodice, between the exterior and lining pieces, that way the lining will hide all my messy stray threads when I’ve finished the embroidery.

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On this example piece that I made, I am over-exaggerating my stitches, just so it’s easier to see what I did. On the dress I actually made for my daughter, I used much smaller stitches, and only half the strand of embroidery floss.

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Once you’ve finished the green part of the design, go back in with your pink, purple and yellow floss and add the little flowers and dots. Those tiny details really make the dress look so special!

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Next you can attach the gold braid. Anna’s dress in the movie has gold braid around the neckline, arm holes, and waistline, but I opted to just put it around the neckline. I switched the thread on my sewing machine to a yellowy-gold thread for this step, pinned the braid in place, and then sewed it in place using a wide zigzag stitch. You can’t even see the thread unless you get really close.

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Where the ends of the braid meet up, I just overlapped them a little and then sewed over them a back and forth a few times to keep the raw ends from fraying.

Now we’ll move on to the skirt of the dress.

For my size 18 month dress, I cut a piece of fabric about 16 inches by 40 inches, and used a french seam to sew the two 16 inch sides together. Now you should have a short and wide tube of fabric. The french seam will hide the fraying ends of the fabric, or you can use bias tape or a serger to prevent fraying.

Next, gather the top of the skirt. Then with right sides together, pin it to the top of the black part of the bodice. Just let the lining hang loose at this point, and don’t attach it to the skirt. We’ll do that later. Sew the skirt to the black part of the bodice.

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Now that you’ve attached the skirt, you can see how the lining can cover up the raw edges of the skirt, as well as our threads from gathering the skirt.

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Oh, and it will also cover up the back of our embroidery too!

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Fold under the raw edge of your lining, and pin it to the skirt, being sure to cover up your gathering stitches and the raw edge of the skirt and black bodice pieces. Then turn the dress right side out, and sew along the base of the black bodice (not on the outside of the skirt). This way your sewing will look nice and neat from the outside of the dress, and if you pinned everything correctly, it should catch the lining the whole way around as well, securing everything inside the bodice.

Here’s how it should look from the outside. (The black stretch velvet really hides the seam, but it’s there, right in the very bottom part of the black bodice.)

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And here’s what the inside should look like.

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Now all you need is to hem the dress! I used some bias tape I had on hand, and first sewed it to the raw edge of my hem. Then I folded it up, and hand-sewed the bias tape edge to the inside of the skirt. Here’s the finished inside of the dress!

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Now turn your dress right side out, press those seams with a warm iron, and you are all done!


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Except wait, you need a shirt too!

Maybe you got lucky and found a cute, plain pastel blue shirt that fits your child. Or maybe you just decided to use a white shirt. I think a white shirt would look fine, and I would have just gone that route, but I’ve been wanting to try dyeing something for a while now, and this project gave me the perfect opportunity.

Here’s the dye I purchased. I got mine at Joann’s, but I’ve sometime seen dye in the laundry detergent section of larger grocery stores.

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I won’t offer any instructions here, except to say, follow the diresctions on the back of the package. For my first experience dyeing fabric, I was quite pleased. The shirt dyed pretty evenly, and there were no hiccups in the process. I plan on washing it by itself for a few times before adding it to my regular wash load, but other than that, it was a pretty simple, no frills process.

Here’s how my finished shirt turned out, and an identical white shirt, so you can get an idea of the before and after.

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Congratulations! You’re all done! And isn’t it just the cutest thing!

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Of course, once you dress up your little Princess Anna in her new dress, the cuteness may just be too much to handle.

DIY Anna Dress Frozen

 

Embroidered Anna Dress

 

DIY Elsa and Anna Dresses

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