Elsa WIP

After seeing Frozen I knew I had to use my creativity and make an Elsa Snow Queen costume. I don't mind taking my time for this one, because I want the right materials and colours. It will take a lot of time but I am sure it will pay off.

Estimated finishing date: August 2015.

Please find the Twan Lentjes Creations Elsa Facebook album here.


12 April 2015:

The LM Paris sequins came in. They are very beautiful and reflect such nice rainbow colours. I have worked on a small sample to see what the result would be. I have just started with the tambour technique and I am quite happy with the progress. Usually you use sheer fabrics so you see what you are doing as you have the sequins (or beads) under the frame. With opaque fabrics you can only feel what you are doing. I ended up with a few double sequins, but it wasn't as bad as I would think. It is hard to get the sparkle on a picture with the chiffon layer on top. I used a metallic thread, however for the final version I will use a silk thread.
I ordered some Heat 'n Bond Ultra to test for the cape as gluing the snowflakes did not give a nice result. It worked well, the sparkle of the crystal organza remains, however it's too stiff. I will try the Lite version and see if that is strong enough. It will be beaded after fusing the 2 fabrics, so it has to withstand the stretch in the slate frame.
The last picture is an updated 'Mood board/Material board' of all the materials I will use, except for the chiffon top layer and the size of some beads is wrong. For the cape I will use a slightly darker blue tone than originally planned.

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6 April 2015:

I have done a bit more test beading for the sleeve design. I will make the final design slightly larger and of course with the right colours of crystals.
The sequins are on their way and some more samples for the lining fabric. Also I got some very close matching solid chiffon to what I originally wanted. Unfortunately they didn't have enough at the time, but I hope I will get this around July (I don't think I will get everything beaded and bought before then anyway.).

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26 March 2015:

I received the ordered beads. The Sky Blue Opal beads were not a good matching colour unfortunately. The White Opal AB beads are not as transparent at the actual Preciosa version I have in 4mm. However they might work.
Finding the right colour of sequin to replace the hologram fabric layer. I'm am going to tambour bead the white layer with stripes of 4mm cup sequins. I got 6 different ones in total, 6mm. They are from a company in France. I think I'll go for the middle one from these. It's hard to tell but in real life they sort of blend in with the rest so you just see the shimmering.

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8 March 2015:

Small test I did for the design on the sleeves. I ran out of these beads (just bought for colour test). I know it's a lot of work (however if you got the tambour technique down it's way faster), however I really don't like the look of rhinestones for the shirt (and cape).

These are Crystal, Crystal AB and Crystal Matte. This is not on the right fabric. I will test that later.
I ordered some 3mm White Opal AB and Sky Blue Opal. Not sure it the blue will work with this. And I am not sure if I want to use the matte, or if I can find them matte AB would be nice perhaps.

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16 January 2015:

Elsa is on hold for a bit due to issues with the fabric. The order I made with Mood Fabrics turned out to be the wrong colour. Apparently the swatch I received was not correct.
Also the silver foil fabric is out of stock and I am not finding good replacement fabric. To be continued.

28 November 2014:

It has been an while since I really worked on 'Elsa'. Aladdin keeps my busy, however I did buy some of the fabrics, so hopefully early 2015 it will be finished. I bought a less sheer fabric for the top. A very nice silk georgette with a hint of spandex for some stretch to make a good fit. It is sheer, but it is not a sheer as a chiffon and has a slight luminescence to it. I found this fabric at Mood Fabrics in October and I really thought is was perfect in colour and feel. I have also got the net for the sequins and finally the top layer chiffon I wanted really bad, is on it's way. They didn't have it in stock when I was at Mood, however it was on sale today, so I ordered it straight away.
I have also been looking a fabrics for my less luxe version of the costumes and I ordered sequins. This version will have hand sewn round sequins on the bodice in the same colours as the deluxe version.

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3 August 2014:

I finished the concept snowflakes design for the cape. After moving house I will start working out the final shape of the cape with the dress dummy and muslin fabric. After that I will rework the artwork and finish the seam line design too, as I will make a "frosted" seam line.
For most of the design I took placement of the snowflakes from movie stills, however I finished it up with my own touch and looking at the artwork.

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30 July 2014:

Some good news, all the fabrics I really wanted are actually back in stock/soon in stock. Especially the Sky Chiffon was my favorite for main colour of the dress as it matches perfect with the sequins.
I have also made up my mind, after looking at the artwork and movie stills again, that I will go with SS16 (right) as a size for the bodice rhinestones. I thought about going from smaller to bigger, however from what I can see it is all one size.

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26 July 2014:

I finally have time to continue with my Elsa project after making some costumes for and performing in Cabaret. Updates will follow soon.

6 June 2014:

I received some new fabrics. The crystal organza is very soft and has a very nice texture. Together with the original organza, I think it will have a nice contrast and a very nice effect for the cape. It is a pale blue colour, not as blue as in the movie. I also received a tulle which I will use to glue the sequins on.
This company can dye silks for you in any colour you like. Since it costs a little bit more and you have to order a minimum of 10m to do so, I ordered the standard colours first. The blue is way too blue, so I will ask them to dye it closer to the colour I want. For the shirt I will try to dye it myself with China colour from Dylon.

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31 May 2014:

I finally made my choices! I put the samples on this blue folder as the lining is close to this colour and the white is a little see through. It gives a better idea of the final result.

Dress: Iridescent silk top layer, poly hologram under layer and silk lining.
Bodice: Canvas support under the lining and net layer with sequins on top.
Shirt: Silk organza/chiffon
Cape: Crystal organza in 2 colours.
Finishing: Crystal beads, rhinestones and glitter!

Since some are nearly sold out and not reorderable I will have a look for similar fabric found in the UK.

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30 May 2014:

Finally the samples came in. There were unfortunately not many hits, but I really like the fabric in the middle for the undershirt. It has a nice blue-ish, slightly purple tone when folded together which matches well with the main sequins colour. To make the costume cohesive I want to use the same crystal beads from the cape on the shirt for the snow effect. I would use the smallest size 3mm and 4mm for the collar.

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24 May 2014:

Snowflake test, not glued down yet. The fabric I used is a crystal organza. I added a layer of Mod Podge with glitter to seal the fabric. I will add glitter to the glue to stick it to the net to make it even more sparkly. You can't see the sparkle very well in a picture.
Depending on the eventual net for the cape I might go for white or a blue tone for the snowflakes. For now it's white for sure! I took a picture with some crystals as well to see what it would look like. I want to use 3 colours in total. The net I used is a little greenish, I am waiting for samples to come in.

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12 May 2014:

I finally made a few decisions on my fabric choices for Elsa! I am going for a more blue pallet as in all merchandise and art work it is closer to blue than turquoise. And the art team describes her colours as blue and it is all ice.
Still waiting for a few fabric samples, however if they are not right, I am almost there!

The main dress will be made out of 3 layers of fabric. A silk georgette top layer with an ombre dye, a polyester hologram layer under that for sparkle effect and a trophy blue/regal silk dupion for the lining.
The bodice will have canvas supporting on the inside and a net layer on the outside with hand cut sequins and rhinestones glued on.

The undershirt will be made with silk georgette or chiffon. However georgette has a more organic feel and is less shiny. This depending on the samples to come as there was a nice looking mesh cotton which is close to what she wears in the movie, though it needs to have the right feel. Also the sleeves will be ombre dyed.
For now I will use small crystal beads for the snow pattern.

Finally the cape will be made with a net mesh. For the snowflakes I will seal crystal organza with a layer of glue on the back before cutting to prevent from fraying. I will also add glitter for an extra sparkle. Then I will glue them onto the cape and finish it with crystal beads mainly in the top part of the cape where you see more snow. I want to use magnetic fasteners to attach the cape to the dress, as this seems to be easier to attach and remove it if you happen to be on your own. Some testing would need to happen first to see if it holds the weight of the cape.

In the meantime I will continue cutting sequins with the smaller puncher!

6 May 2014:

I have decided to use a smaller corner puncher. I thought the sequins turned out to round. While waiting for it I have cut all sequins in half and the film in rectangles. Preparation!
Some more fabric samples are on the way as well for the shirt, skirt and cape.

The crystals came in today. I ordered some glitter to test the main snow effect with crystals sewn on for some extra sparkling.
I will order them in the size of the crystal colour, 3mm. Depending on the cape's fabric colour I might use all 4 different colours.

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27 April 2014:

The corner puncher came in! It is so much work, as I will cut each sequin to size and then I will cut each corner separately. I guess about 1500-3000 sequins will go on the dress. God I must be insane! But I will love it when it is all done! It does take a lot of time per sequin so whenever I can I will punch a few.
I also found crystals for the cape. I want to make the snowflakes with glitter and then sew crystal beads on it. I will go with crystal and 3 shades of blue. Furthermore baguettes stones for the bodice and of course loads of rhinestones.

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Pictures from Preciosa

20 April 2014:

I did two length tests on the sequins. One was about 2.5cm and the second was 1.5cm after I tried to measure it from the pictures. The 1.5cm version looks much better. I used an even smaller size every here and there, as seen on the original costume. I cut them with scissors which doesn't give a nice finish, so I have to think about what I want to do. It also it a lot of work to cut them all by hand.

I glued the sequins onto a stretch net which I will only stitch to the dress at the top for extra flexibility. In total I think I will use 6 colours and not the transparent sequins as it will show the net too much. I tried to make one special sequin with horizontal stripes as you see these in the costume as well (although the stripes are just floating). I don't know if I will use them in the end.

I also had a look for the fabrics I want for the undershirt, the lining and the cape. I found a nice net for the shirt, however I think a nice sheer silk would be much nicer. The silk dupion for the lining was more blue/purple in stores. I have ordered another set of samples online as well. It is not easy to find the right ones, but I will get there!

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4 April 2014:

About 3500 sequins and the Frozen Art Book came in. I ordered 9 different colours of which 2 I probably will not use. The main colour is going to be Satin Boy Blue with a mixture of different blues, green, silver and a transparent sequins.

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10 March 2014:

Sequins samples to match colours of fabric samples

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