FROZEN-Inspired Princess Anna Dress Up Apron

Inspired by Disney's FROZEN, a Princess Anna dress up apron tutorial

Thank you for looking at our popular FROZEN inspired Princess Anna Dress Up Costume, now featured by Parents Magazine!

UPDATE

I will make these in the toddler / young child size if you would like to buy them. Please email me at sarah @ ruffles and rain boots [dot] com if you are interested.

Now, on to the original post!

I am new to this parenting thing, so tell me: is there a way to tune out when your child sings Frozen’s, “Do You Wanna Build A Snowman?” 7,137 times a day?

“Is there any way to do that?” By the way, you can sing that to the snowman tune and it totally works because my brain has been taken over by Disney. My daughter and I have had whole conversations using songs from Frozen as the melodies… Scary, right? Even scarier is that we are roping my husband into them now.

We are all dreaming in Disney these days, but our daughter is getting to dress up like her favorite Disney princesses, Elsa and Anna! I knew I could quickly make something she would love and not grow out of in 6 months.

I made both of them for about $20 each and a few hours of snipping, sewing and stitching. You can make them, too, even if you have to borrow someone’s sewing machine. Yes, it’s that easy!

Apron? Yes. Why? Because little kids grow 2 inches every 24 hours. Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but because our daughter is only 2.5 years old, she is growing out of clothes about every 6-8 months and I didn’t want to make a dress up dress that I’d just have to repeat.

If you’re interested in the Princess / Queen Elsa dress up apron tutorial I created, please click the link!

Disney-Frozen-inspired-Princess-Elsa-dress-up-apron

After quite a few inquiries, I am adding this note to all of my dress up apron costume designs:  if you want to use this design and make these aprons to sell, please contact me for a license to do so.

Just a quick note: the Elsa dress took less time than the Anna dress because the detail work was less labor-intensive.  Follow along with this easy tutorial, however, to give your little one a new addition to their dress up box: a Princess Anna dress up apron that they will be able to use for years! I’m a beginner with sewing, so when I say “easy,” think “anyone who can push the sewing machine’s foot pedal down” kind of easy. Let’s get started.

Don’t have time to read through this right now? Pin the image below so you can find it later!

Supplies List

Pin this to make the FROZEN inspired Princess Anna dress up apron!

A quick trip to the craft store, and you’ll be set to start. As I mentioned, this dress took a little bit longer than the Princess Elsa dress, but that’s because of the bodice piece’s design. If you want to use glitter glue and draw on the detail (the thought occurred to me after I finished this), it would be a shorter project.

For reference: my daughter is 2.5 years old and is wearing 2T and 3T clothes. The apron hangs down past her knees and we tie it up at the neck to bring it up on her chest. The tulle skirt grazes the floor. The measurement I’ve given for the skirt piece (blue satin), is long enough to be just shy of her ankles and is wide enough to loop around to form a skirt, but not too wide to hinder the tie. You can do a quick measurement of your child’s waist and height from their waist to make sure it’s the best fit.

Supplies (should run you about $20 total if purchased at JoAnn’s):

  1. 1 child’s sized apron $2.19 (I bought a 3 pack at $6.59 with a 40% off coupon)
  2. 10 yards shiny tulle in cobalt ($1.99/yd)**
  3. 1/2 yard blue satin ($7.99/yd but on sale for $4.99, so $2.50)
  4. 1/4 or 1/3 yard black crush velvet ($5.99, so $2) — NOTE: You can use either, see “bodice” section below to decide how you’d like to do it. I had just enough to cut the pattern on the fold, so it must have been 1/3 yard.
  5. 1 yard 7/8 inch gold metallic braid ribbon ($3.79/yd but used a 40% coupon, so $2.27)
  6. 1/2 yard 7/16 inch gold metallic braid ribbon ($3.79/yd, so $1.90)
  7. craft felt (I had this on hand, but I think each sheet is about $0.30, so $0.60 for the green and a color for the flowers)

**I got the wrong tulle but had a 60% off coupon which I applied to it because I had already gotten it cut. You can get the same cobalt blue tulle in non-shiny on sale for $0.99 a yard (the same stuff I used for the Princess Elsa dress which is plenty shiny), making the cost of the tulle $10. Also, you could definitely get away with using less tulle. You could gather all of it, instead of just the top layers like I did, and it would be just as puffy.

I had someone add a comment on my previous blogging platform that they went to JoAnn’s and even the person helping them couldn’t find this “special” tulle. Ya’ll – this isn’t the special glitter tulle; this isn’t the $5.00 a yard tulle. Here are the links (not affiliate links) on JoAnn’s website so that you can take them into the store with you.

For the Anna apron, the link for the “shiny” tulle on JoAnn’s website is http://www.joann.com/shiny-nylon-tulle-54in/prd7199.html or you can search on JoAnn’s website for tulle to see all options. It is normally priced at $1.99 per yard without a coupon or sale. With a 50% off coupon this is $0.99 per yard, but they often run a “3 yards for $4″sale as well.

You could also use the “matte” tulle because I think it is quite shiny! The link for the “matte” tulle on JoAnn’s website is http://www.joann.com/matte-tulle/zprd_10449056a.html#q=matte+nylon+tulle+fabric&start=1 and is priced at $1.49 per yard without a coupon or sale. This also goes on sale A LOT in the store.

Cut the Fabric

I have provided this free printable for the bodice pattern that I made (sized for a 12″ x 19″ child’s apron). If your apron is a different size, you can whip up your own pattern like I did: lay some paper out on the floor and trace around the apron. It was a highly scientific and oh-so-exact kind of process, let me tell ya.

Note: the pattern should take up the entire length of an 8.5 inch by 11 inch paper. Enlarge your image on your printer if your settings aren’t producing this, but the pattern should be edge to edge (left edge is the fold, right edge should have the side point of the bodice). DO NOT PRINT AND CUT – you need to make sure that the pattern extends from the left to the right of the entire page. If yours doesn’t, adjust on your copier / printer or trace your apron.
cut both pieces for the bodice
Cut the larger bodice pattern from the blue satin first (iron it first). Then cut the inside portion of the pattern out and use it to cut the velvet. *See Note below. As the pattern instructs, be sure to add the half inch at the bottom of both pieces. Pin the pieces together (satin facing up, velvet facing up – I top stitched this entire project; no turning ‘cuz I’m lazy).

Note: If you purchased (or have on hand) velvet that isn’t long enough to cut on the fold, cut out two pieces of the bodice and stitch them down the center (you will want to add a small seam allowance along the straight side of the bodice template). The felt applique will hide the majority of this center seam and you can save a bit of money by getting 1/4 yard instead of 1/3.

Cut the skirt piece (iron if you want; you can’t see it). I used a rectangle, sized at 25 inches wide by 16 inches long for my daughter. This piece covers the white canvas when the tulle is attached so no white shows through, extends about 6 inches on either side of the apron ties, and also extends a nice, non-scratchy layer past the bottom of the apron.

Cut the tulle. I wanted the dress to be long but not drag-the-floor-long like the Elsa dress I made. I measured from her waist to just above her ankles and I needed 18″ strips of tulle.

I then carefully cut two (folded over) pieces of tulle for the top layers that I would be gathering into pleats. They measured ~about~ 50 inches long. Skip to the “Pleat the Tulle” section under the “Sew the Skirt” heading to see how to do it and then cut based on the size of your skirt piece. We’re going to call these, “special layers.” Even though all tulle is special…

how to quickly cut tulle evenlyFor the rest (and by far the majority of the tulle), I used the cardboard method. If you’re unfamiliar with the cardboard method of cutting even pieces of tulle, check out this video on YouTube here. I used binder clips to secure the tulle instead of rubber bands.

Using a piece of cardboard cut to 18″ one way and 23″ inches the other (the width of my skirt piece after I double-hemmed it), I first cut the width (23″) and then cut the length (18″). I was able to get three 18″ pieces from the full width of the tulle, so I had a lot of sheets to work with. The length of the tulle will depend on the height of your child.

Sew the Bodice

I sewed up the bodice in pieces because I had never worked with velvet before and wanted to be overly careful. I sewed up the sides first, using a 1/2 inch seam, and then sewed along the edge of the velvet (the sweetheart neckline and straps), using about 1/8 inch seam allowance. This is going to be covered by the smaller ribbon, so I didn’t care that it wasn’t pretty.

pin and sew the bodice pieces together
I pinned the bodice pieces together at the bottom (to avoid shifting) and then attached the ribbon to the bodice. I started with cutting pieces of ribbon for each of the ‘arms’ and then cut each piece for the sweetheart neckline, making sure to cut the overlapping piece of ribbon to line up with the first part I cut on the neckline.

attach ribbon trim to bodice

Now, for those of you who know about sewing, I probably did this all-kinds-of-wrong, but it worked. After making sure the ends wouldn’t fray, I stitched two rows of straight stitch on either side of the ribbon to secure it.

After securing the ribbons at the top of the bodice, I did the same thing for the bottom. First, I stitched the blue satin and velvet together and then attached the ribbons, one side at a time. I cut each side of the “V,” making sure to use enough ribbon to overlap the edge and fold it under.

attach ribbon trim to the bottom of the bodice

Okay, so this next part is totally optional and if I had to do it over again, being a lazy crafter, I’d probably just use green fabric paint. I came up with a simple-enough free template for Princess Anna’s dress and traced it (with chalk) onto a piece of green felt. I found that when working with very small pieces of felt, it’s best just to shade the felt with chalk around the stencil instead of trying to trace it. And, it’s much faster.

easy-Princess-Anna-Dress-Tutorial-DIY

 

I cut it out and glued it with Aleene’s Tacky Glue and let it sit for about 30 minutes while I worked on the next steps. I glued it first because I thought that the felt would move around a lot on the velvet.

Princess-Anna-tutorial-easy-glue

After the glue was dry, I stitched it “lazy crafter style,” which means that I just stitched straight down the middle of the thing. For those of you with embroidery or applique skills (or machines), embroider your little crafty hearts out. And just know that I am green with envy.

 

Bodice-detail-for-easy-Princess-Anna-Dress-Tutorial

 

Sew the Skirt

I had never worked with satin before and didn’t know it frayed like the dickens, so after I hemmed the skirt piece, I doubled it over and hemmed again. Lesson learned!

I only did the double-hem-thing on three sides because the edge at the waist was going to be covered by mountains of tulle and the stitching was going to be reinforced.

Preparing-skirt-for-Princess-Anna-Dress-Up-Apron

After I hemmed the skirt, I placed the majority of the tulle onto the skirt piece. Making sure I lined it up as best I could, I secured it with pins.

Pleat The Tulle

The top “special layers” were next and those I used to add visual appeal to the skirt front.

Pleat-explanation-for-Princess-Anna-Dress-Up-Apron
Make pleats in tulle facing towards the center

Using both of the layers together, I made a pleat 2 inches wide every two inches, starting from the center and working my way to the edges. At right is a picture of the pleats.

Once you’ve pinned your oh-so-many-layers-of-tulle, sew those to the satin piece so that they are really on there. I used a straight stitch and a dashed-zig-zag stitch to catch as many little sections of the tulle as I could. See the picture below.

The photo on the left of the picture below is before I sewed the skirt piece to the apron. You can see that I made sure the tulle wasn’t going anywhere! And yes, I’m guilty of excessive back-stitching when designing items for my daughter – kids are rough on stuff and I knew this would see a lot of play.

The photo at the right in the picture below is indicating the skirt piece (and therefore the tulle) should extend onto the apron strings so that when you tie it, it gives the appearance of a skirt. Mine extended just shy of 6 inches on either side, so Elise has quite a bit of growing room.

Secure-tulle-to-skirt-piece-and-then-to-apron-for-Princess-Anna-dress

Stitch the skirt piece to the apron, using whatever you feel is best to make sure it never comes off. Ever.

You could pause here to grab a glass of wine. Just sayin’ you could – we don’t judge here at Ruffles and Rain Boots. And let’s face it: if you’re making your kid a dress up outfit, you deserve a glass of wine.

Sip slowly. Add some chocolate.

Assemble and Finish

I wanted the tulle’s stitching covered by the bodice, and measured my daughter to find out where the waist would be (hers was 7 and 1/8″ from the top edge of the apron). I then lined up the center of the apron with the center of the bodice (the point) and first pinned the points where the ribbon trim at the bottom of the bodice met the apron.

Once the bodice is centered and the bottom points pinned, wrap the edges of the bodice piece around the edges of the apron; just pull it around the edge of the apron and pin it. My daughter doesn’t like scratchy fabrics near her neck, so I folded down the top of the bodice (maybe a 1/2 inch) and used the already-finished apron as the top.

You could extend it all the way to the top of the apron if you are using a softer fabric or if you don’t believe your child will be bothered by it.

I left the bottom of the bodice (and the bottom point of the “V”) free because I thought it would help to allow freer movement. If you know something about sewing and know that this is WRONG, please let me know. :) Also, you could pretty-it-up by adding some bias tape over the tulle sewn onto the apron’s ties, but again, I’m a lazy crafter so I left it as-is.

The longest part of sewing the bodice was switching between the different colors of threads (black for velvet, yellow for gold ribbon, and white for blue satin – the light blue I had was not a match).

The last little bit for this sucker is the flower detail on the bottom of the dress [template included in the template detail for the bodice here]. No need to glue it, just pin and sew them on. Again, I stitched straight through the center of the felt to secure the stem and outlined the flower.

tutorial-part-for-flower-detail-on-Princess-Anna-dress

You’re done! Put on the Frozen 2 Disc Deluxe Edition Soundtrack or the Frozen movie, grab your wine, and sing and dance right along with Anna and the kiddos (partner links).  We’d be honored if you would share this with your friends and followers by using the share buttons below or linking up to your site. To follow along with all our fun, connect with us on social media or subscribe to our newsletter.

Ruffles-and-Rain-Boots-Princess-Anna-dress-up-apron-tutorial

If you’d like to see some of our other FROZEN inspired fun, check out these:

Previous

This free pattern is now available to be added to your Craftsy Patterns: Ruffles and Rain Boots Frozen-Inspired Princess Anna Pattern.

Thank you for respecting the copyright that Ruffles and Rain Boots has on this project. If you have questions, please contact me.

Our Princess Anna Costume has been featured at so many great spots around the web. Parents (yep, the magazine) featured our little Anna costume!

We are elated and excited that Smart Schoolhouse featured our design! This tutorial has been featured by The Foley Family! This tutorial was also featured by Clairejustine OXOX! We are thankful to have been featured by A Pinch of Joy, as well! As shocked as we are, this cutie was featured by Carrie This Home! Color me surprised, but Jaime chose it, too, at Huckleberry Love! We are lucky enough that Kate with The Organized Dream also featured us (with the Wake Up Wednesday crew of 29 blogs)! Fun Family Crafts added this to their amazing collection of featured crafts! Clare, the “super” behind The Super Mommy Club also chose to feature this! Never would have guessed, but it was also featured by all of the lovely ladies at The Wednesday RoundupCrafty Moms Share also highlighted this fun little dress up apron! We are happy that Thank You Honey chose this as a feature as well! If you’re looking for a comprehensive list of 20 DIY Princess Anna costumes, head over to Anara Toys’ Ultimate List of DIY Princess Anna Costumes!

This post contains partner links for the FROZEN soundtrack and movie. See our full partner release.

Share your thoughts:

  1. Patty says

    Thank you so much for this idea and directions. I teach prek and wanted to have some more dress up for my children. I needed something easy to put on and off since I have 14 children in my class. I made 2 of each but changed it a little. I put elastic instead of a tie for both the neck and waist. This proved pretty easy and the children could put them on and off by themselves. I also ran out of purchased aprons so I made my own from some leftover fabric. This also worked quite well. Thanks again for this idea. The children loved their Elsa and Anna outfits!

    • says

      Patty, I’m so happy you were able to build on this idea. And using the elastic instead of a tie? What a smart addition! Thank you for sharing that with us. If you want to share pictures, I’d love to see them.

      May I say that you sound like a teacher who goes above and beyond, and for that I just want to say, thank you. Those kids are very lucky to have you.

    • says

      Thank you for the kind words, Cajun. She does loves her dress up outfits and because they’re so easy to make, I’ll make for her anytime she asks. I love that we’re getting to build a stock of them but will be glad when we get to do something other than Frozen – there’s just so much of a soundtrack this mama can take. :)

      Thanks for commenting and for coming through from SITS today!

  2. says

    What a great idea to make as an apron!! I still need to purchase a sewing machine – this might be a project idea when I finally get there! Frozen is a huge love in my house….my daughter knew every word to every song even before we purchased the movie. Bless her :)

    Happy SITS day!!!
    Mesina invites you to read A little complicated My Profile

    • says

      Isn’t that the way it is, Mesina? The only reason we actually let her watch FROZEN was because all of the kids at the gym were singing it and she memorized, “Let It Go.” :)

      You should find a sewing machine and get started – I can’t believe how much we’re able to create (even though we don’t know what we’re doing, exactly)! haha

      Thank you for stopping by!

  3. Leona says

    I love this. You are so creative. I have a question: Why do you need the purchased apron? It seems like it would work without it – just add ribbons for tying on. I’m just curious.

    • says

      Leona – Great question and one that was asked but didn’t make the transfer from my old blogging platform.

      The main reasons I chose the apron were because it was easy, sturdy and seemed to make the apron look better. When I build one with the fabric using the satin, it doesn’t handle the weight of the tulle very well and the whole look of what I am aiming for is “off” – the top seems to be dragged down. The heavy duty canvas seems to do a much better job at keeping a solid structure.

      Additionally, just using the fabric as the backing will allow for more wear-and-tear. The heavy canvas of the apron allows for rubbing against buttons, zippers, princess purses (maybe in my house only?) and there is no wear on the costume.

      As for suggestions for alternatives, one could use a drop cloth or duck cloth (maybe even a home decor fabric) and build the back, adding ties at the waist and neck to help with keeping the structure and the durability. Thanks for bringing this up – I need to update all the comments still from the old blogging platform!

  4. says

    I’m sure you already know how awesome these are! My daughter’s birthday theme is Frozen so I’ve been looking into different costume ideas. Thanks for joining us at The Mommy Needs a Time Out Thursday Link Up!

    • says

      Thanks for the kind words, Samantha. There are so many great party ideas on Pinterest – you could even check out our FROZEN board for some ideas.

      Good luck with the party and I hope you post about it!

  5. says

    Yay! What a great post to link up to the #Blirthdaybash! I should actually make an adult sized one for me LOL!

    I still can’t find those kids aprons… if I ordered them online it would defeat the purpose of making this. You’re genius though Sarah. Pure genius.

    Thanks so much for sharing this at my Blirthday Bash and for doing the conga and some karaoke with me!

    Wishing you a lovely weekend.
    xoxo

  6. Pennye Ferguson says

    Enjoyed reading your tutorial on making the Anna dress. Would love to know how to make the caplet that goes with it!

    • says

      Pennye, I know there are a few tutorials out there that use fleece (very cost effective). I found a pretty easy one (made for $10) and put it on my Pinterest FROZEN board for you. There’s one out there that I can’t find right now that is just the caplet portion, and I think it would be perfect for dress up if a Velcro closure was used. I’ll keep searching and put everything on my board. You can find my Disney FROZEN board here: http://ow.ly/BbeDI

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