When I saw Anna's high resolution art released for Frozen, I was instantly in love with the level of detail they put into her outfit and design! From the texture of the fabrics, to the stitches on the embroidery, it was like a living breathing garment instead of just a computer generated one. I knew I would have to make it, because it just looked all too exciting, and her jewel tones were to die for!
I knew it would be a really big and new challenge for me, especially all the appliqué and embroidering. Those were the two main skills that I knew I would have to really step up to the plate on for this outfit! I had never done embroidering before, and only done minimal appliqué and satin stitching jobs. First thing was first: learn how to do embroidery.
Which required a $400 Brother SE-400... yeah, that alone makes Anna one of my MOST expensive costumes, since I haven't used the machine since then, it hasn't exactly paid itself off in other endeavors! Mainly, the embroidery software is why. To even do embroidery on a Mac, requires pretty expensive software also. The most popular ones averaging around $300 each! *cry cry*
So I settled for a friend's laptop and SophieSew to render my embroidery files. And if any one of you have ever used SophieSew you know my pain... I first drew them out in Illustrator as a template, since there were NONE available at the time. I even posted it to my DeviantArt, and it's one of my most viewed Deviations, hahaha.
But I still had to retrace it in SS, and BOY OH BOY was that a nightmare. The software is free, and very very unreliable. It would freeze and crash often, corrupt its own files, fail to be able to reverse or undo certain things if you made a mistake. Just absolutely miserable experience using it. Luckily, it helped me to pass the time in Art History class, ahahaha. I don't even have those files anymore, they were saved to a flash drive, but the drive went corrupt, thus losing all of the tiles. Womp womp...
Started: December 2013
Completed: May 2014
Wig by: Wig is Fashion
Worn at: Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) 2014, AwesomeCon 2014, Cincinnati Comic Expo 2016,
IndyPopCon 2017, Lexington Comic and Toy Con (LexCon) 2018
Awards: 3rd in Movies and Television- C2E2 2014
Best Needlework- LexCon 2018
About This Costume
Anna was my first project that I did machine embroidery on. I had done plenty of satin stitching prior, but nothing that I would have considered decorative "embroidery". Mainly I had just used satin stitching as finishing, or just general detailing, like for a plaid skirt for Kurumu and Mizore.
Aside from that, I had plenty of appliqué to do on the skirt, cape, and hat, of which I was still pretty new to. All of the appliqué edges are finished with satin stitches, which was a TOTAL PAIN because I used No Sew Heat 'n' Bond. I thought "No Sew" was just a suggestion, like you don't have to... when really you actually shouldn't. The adhesive would constantly cause my needle to get gunked up and shred the thread, making work on the skirt and cape almost intolerable, but I suffered for the art of cosplay!
Between the appliqué and the zig zag designs on the edge of the cape parallel to it, I used approximately 13 spools of this berry-colored thread on Anna. It took a very very long time to do all that satin stitching. There's also some featured on the blouse, including the cuffs, the collar, and the entire front side of the button placket.
The boot embroidery was done in metallic thread on black organza and water soluble stabilizer. The stabilizer was dissolved and design cut out from the organza, and then glued onto the boot. The heels were also painted by me using fabric paints. They were originally knee-high boots with string wrapped around them, so I removed the thread and shortened the shaft, using a narrow roll hem setting on the serger to finish the top edges.
The wig was pretty straight forward, I sewed in a platinum blonde highlight for her "troll kiss", and then just braided it into two braids. The trickiest part is getting the hair to stay wrapped around the ponytail holders, so that it looks like it's just all her hair! The hat sits on the wig by being bobby-pinned in place. There's two strips of horsehair braid on either side of the hat lining for the pins to go through. Embroidery is also featured on the back of the hat as well, and the purple fur on it (and the cape collar) was harvested from a child's hat, since short pile purple fur was nearly impossible to find otherwise! The appliqué on the hat and cape were done in linen, and the hat also features one small band of purple flannel.
Whew... that's a lot, and there's STILL MORE! The bodice was made with velveteen, boned with spiral steel, and lined with canvas. The embroidery was much too large for the Brother SE-400 which can only do 4x4", so it had to be broken up into three parts. The jewel tones in the embroidery on the bodice is my favorite part of the whole costume!
For the skirt flower embroidery, it also had to be broken up slightly. The flowers on the peaks were done in two parts, while the small designs in the troughs were done in just one part. All the blue scallops on the skirt are flannel overtop of wool blend suiting, and the hem was narrow roll hemmed because it was too thick to finish any other way. There is pleating in the skirt to match Anna's, although it can be hard to see it in many photos, since I don't have a whole lot to share, even though I made it four years ago now! I swear, eventually I will get good photos of this...