Disney Frozen Movie Preview & Queen Elsa Costume Tutorial

A recent  invitation from The Moms to preview the movie Frozen (Disney’s newest animated film) was highly anticipated by both Lucia and Adrian. Thanks to The Moms, my kids have had incredibly memorable movie experiences (I mean, Adrian’s first movie involved meeting Pit Bull!).  I imaged that we would be in for another treat with a special movie day, and Q & A with the lovely Idina Menzel.

Disney Frozen Movie Elsa CostumeImage via Disney

Frozen tells the story of two sibling princesses in the Scandinavian province of Arendelle – little Anna and her older sister Elsa.  After an early childhood incident, Elsa struggles with being ordered to suppress her emotions to conceal her ice evoking powers.  Anna eventually embarks on a journey to find Elsa and help reverse Arendelle’s eternal winter.  The story unfolds in the most visually stunning way, with spectacular animation and memorable tunes.  Brava to Disney for stepping away from the typical princess love story trajectory – as the true love among sisters ultimately saves the day.

The kiddos enjoyed the movie and I believe that all attendees were smitten with Idina Menzel’s powerful presence. Lucia asked Idina “what super power she would want?”, to which she responded: “a super power to make sick kids better!”.  The Q & A culminated with an acapella singing of  Let it Go per the request of a young attendee.  It was beyond amazing!

Lucia naturally donned full princess attire to the movie premiere and left with a new found princess obsession (and adoration for Idina Menzel).  I thought that a bit of secret sewing for an upcoming secret vacation (and 6th bday!) was in order and decided to recreate Queen Elsa’s costume.

Here’s a simple tutorial:

I purchased all of the material at Jo-ann Fabric and highly recommend princess-dress-making shortly after Halloween (costume material is marked down substantially).  I began with a white leotard and cut off the bottom.  I made a skirt out of poly-satin and attached it to the cut-up leotard (for a good visual on how to do this visit my friends at Hungie Gungie).  I then intended to use a pressing cloth and seam-a-steam to set a fancy-smancy sequined bodice in place. That didn’t work, so I had to manually lift up the sequences piece by piece to sew the bodice into place.  I only stitched around the top of the sequence material as the weight of the material hangs flat very nicely.  I cut small holes in a  vertical lines through both back sides of the sequined material (that wraps around the back) to create a ribbon corset to tie into place.  I then hemmed and gathered sheer snowflake material to create a cape that I secured above the bodice underneath the arms.  I secured a few jewels to the leotard with a stone setter and added a sparkley button to complete the look.

Disney Frozen Handmade Queen Elsa CostumeDisney Frozen Queen Elsa Costume TutorialDisney Frozen Queen Elsa Handmade

I can’t wait to surprise Lucia with a bit of homemade love – possibly when we enter Walt Disney World!

UPDATE: View more dress photos in my Walt Disney World post.

Thank you to The Moms for providing tickets to the Frozen Movie premiere event. All opinions and Queen Elsa costume tutorial are my own.


One Hour Sewing – Fall Kids Clothes Week

I squeezed in one hour yesterday afternoon to sew something for my kiddos and participate in the fall edition of  kids clothes week.  I had high hopes of challenging myself this time around (I didn’t), but like every time I turn on my machine, I’m inspired to create more.  I will hopefully soon cut into some patterns and fabric that are sitting around.  Even when my machine collects dust, the ideas are always there.

Although, I’ll call this my lazy mama creation, it does remind me that something can be created in just one hour.  Lucia’s dress was made the same way that I made these dresses last spring (I’ve since fixed the hem!).   Adrian’s shirt was made by cutting out a triangle,  using seam-a-seam, and sewing a wide zig zag stitch along the border.  Good ol’ Mod Podge was used to create the headband and mask.  The awesome fabric is from Spoonflower.simple sewing matching childrens clothes black triangle fabric

Check out some amazing talent at kidsclothesweek.com and #kidsclothesweek on instagram – you won’t see any lazy mama creations over there!


Pumpkin Carving With Pumpkin Masters

So many things about the month of October are incredibly exciting with young children at home.  Halloween holds the promise of treats, dressing up, and fun family time spent together.  Our family trips to the farm are always highly anticipated.  We recently drove to Long Island to celebrate all things fall and of course score some amazing pumpkins.  The kids applied some sort of bizarre system to their pumpkin selection process, and we spent a LONG TIME decided which ones would come home with us.

Pumpkin picking

Our pumpkin carving was taken to a whole new level this year thanks to Pumpkin Masters!  I’ve frequently seen these inexpensive kits are our local grocery, drug and craft stores, but always stuck to an old-school knife.   We were sent a variety of Pumpkin Masters carving kits and strobe lights to test out, and they proved superior to our previous knife carving/candle lighting techniques (and much safer too!).  The kids were so eager to get involved and luckily Pumpkin Masters has a designated kit for kids.

We all liked using the scoopers to scoop out the pumpkin guts!

pumpkin carving with family

Decorating with Pumpkin Masters was fun and straightforward.  I used one of their patterns to trace a spider design onto a pumpkin, traced it with their tracing tool and applied the design with their surface carving tool.  We also marked circular and floral designs on pumpkins and punched them out with their designated tools.

Pumpkin Masters Pumpkin Carving Kit

Check out my video below for a simple mini pumpkin tutorial:


We’ve had so much fun making the most of our family time spent together this month!

BWAA-HA-HA and Happy Halloween!

When using Pumpkin Masters carving kits, enter the annual Pumpkin Masters Carving Contest by sharing an image via Pinterest or Instagram including the hashtag #PumpkinMasters2013.  You can also share your pumpkin creations via Facebook, or email an image to social@pumpkinmasters.com to enter to win one of six prizes, including $5,000 for the best pumpkin!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


Upcycled Underoos

Who remembers underoos?

upcycled underoos girls dress marino bambinos sewing

I proudly rocked them in the early 8o’s, and now Lucia P is too.

upcycled dress

I made this dress out of completely recycled materials.

sewing girls dress

The black knit skirt was made from a bathrobe that I wore while preggie with both kiddos.  The apron and ruffle sleeves were made from a skirt that I bought while living in Hawaii.  The over-sized pom-pom trim is from my mom’s vintage sewing box and the tank is straight out of the 80’s.  It is definitely stitched with memories.

upcycled girls dress

Lucia says “it’s awesome”, and insisted on styling it with my wonderbolt glasses.

underoos to girls dress

I wonder how much longer she will love my homemade creations for?

sewing girls dress (2)

It passed the twirl test. Phew.  I’m glad that I took the time to add a ruffle trim.

girls underoos dress

Love is walking hand in hand.

Love is Walking Hand In Hand Dress

And having this little peanut beside me.


Mama Dress to Girls Dress – Kids Clothes Week {Summer}

I once loved this dress by Hazel Clothing, but my improper laundering stretched it into an official potato sack.  So I chopped it up to recycle into a dress for my best girl.  I played around with the fabric (a lot) and ended up creating a large pocket, which I sewed onto a black camisole.  I gathered the bottom portion of the dress to create a skirt and attached it to the cropped camisole.  I also added a few hanging ribbons for fun.  The dress stretched the camisole a bit too much, which I fixed by cutting the straps to create tie straps.   It was quick and easy, and I’m a sucker for beautiful pre-existing hemlines!

Repurposing women's dress to girl's dress sewing kids clothes week

The Little Lady was instantly pleased with her new dress.

girls dress kids clothes week sewing

And her flying little brother too.

kids clothes week sewing girls summer dress

Lucia kept it on for our usual evening outdoor antics (yes, her brother is wearing his sister’s unicorn crocs).  Their latest includes something they coined chalk smashing: drawing pictures, scribbling all over them, sweeping the colors together and rolling around in their new creation.

painting with chalk kids clothes week

I’m pretty sure that this dress passed the LP test.

kids clothes week simple girls sewing dress

Big thanks to kids clothing week for helping me dust off the old machine once again.


White Spray Paint – Old to New – DIY

My husband and I share a love for many things: old school rap music, good coffee, our kids waking up in exceptional moods, and white spray paint!  Bob has been making the old new again with cans of spray paint since his teen years.  He even rebuilt a curbside Barbie jeep a few years ago and tricked it out in bright spray-painted colors.

My home is filled with a lot of bright white as my husband and I are both drawn to large white objects (with mixtures of pops of bright colors).  We have enjoyed restoring many old wooden frames, gaudy mirrors and other household objects with white spray paint.  I’ve been hanging on to a ballerina statuette that my Abuelita gave me the last time that I spent time with her in Colombia before she passed away.  Dancing was a huge part of my early years, and I’ll never forget the glimmer in her eyes when she gifted it to me.  I knew it would be a meaningful addition to my daughter’s shelf – but I wanted it to blend in without adding clutter.  A few coats of white spray paint achieved the look I was hoping for.  White spray paint was also used to transform this old frame into a pretty white one:

The process is simple and instantly gratifying:

  • If there are any cracks (sometimes old wood frames have them) fill them in with wood filler and a putty knife.  Make sure to fully dry.
  • Some wood projects require a bit of sanding with sand paper (and wiping off after sanding).  I did not need to sand the projects in this post.  
  • Spray two coats of spray primer (allow to dry.).
  • Spray a few coats of color paint (allow to dry). 
  • A gloss enamel spray can also be added at the end (not used in the projects in this post). 
Voila new things!!