Laura Kane Designs

Personal portfolio of fashion and costume designer Laura Kane


Anna Coronation Dress Part 2

Posted by Laura on August 23, 2014 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Hi everyone!

Sorry for the delay in updating. This post will be about how I constructed the remainder of my petticoat for my Coronation Anna costume.

So in the last installment I mentioned I was going to discuss the embriodery for the petticoat. I have a machine that does a few simple basic decorative stitches. Anna's dress has a series of dots and teardrop shapes edging the scallops of her petticoat and another line of dots about 6 inches above the hem. You can see them clearly in this shot:

I tested out a few different stitches and decided I liked a combination of straight stitches and decorative circles for the upper line, and decorative circles around the scallops. I did not have a large enough motif built into my machine to do the large teardrop shape, so I chose to free motion embroider them. If you are unfamiliar with free motion embroidery you are missing out! 

Free motion embroidery can be done on any machine that enables you to drop the feed dogs on your machine (the feed dogs are what pulls the fabric through the machine). My favorite website detailing free motion embroidery is this one. I bought an extra foot for my machine to make free motion embroidering easier to manage. I've used free motion embroidery on several of my costumes in the past including my Shoomlah Snow White and George from Paradise Kiss

So I left off last time with a stencil of the scallops I intended to trace onto the fabric. Before I began tracing them I prepared the facing for the skirt. Now I know I wanted this petticoat to have as much body as possible so I used a heavy duty fusible interfacing on the piece of fabric being used for the facing. Since the petticoat also has that decorative stitch about 6-7 inches from the hem I decided to make my facing that wide so my decorative stitch will anchor it down. 

I laid out my now sewn together skirt across the big tables so I could get an idea of how long my facing would need to be.

 VERY LONG is the answer!

After I laid everything out on the table and got every thing straight and pretty, I measured how long of a piece I'd need to make a facing and then cut out enough panels of my extra muslin to match. I then interfaced the whole thing with a little extra at the top to eventually be folded over. 

Once I had the piece interfaced and laid out flush with the edge of my skirt, I used a pencil and my scallop stencil to trace the scallops onto the interfacing. I took care to ensure that my first and last scallops were half size so that when I go to stitch the sides together I end up with a whole scallop. That extra bit off to the left is the seam allowance. 

I ended up tracing all of the scallops down and then decided they were too shallow, and went and reshaped them all. If you are doing this make sure you like the shape of the scallops before you go and trace them all!

Once I had them traced and pinned I stitched my panel into a tube at the side seam and then stitched the scallops in one by one, making sure to pivot and stitch the shapes accurately. I made my inner points pretty deep and ended up stitching a litlte too deep on some of them and had to restitch them when it came time to turn the facing.

Once I had them all looking pretty I trimmed my seam allowences really close to the stitching and did my best to press them out as flat as possible. 

I also turned under and ironed my upper edge so that I could stitch it down with the decorative stitching when I turn the entire facing to the inside.

I do not have any photos of the process it took to turn them all inside out. It took a lot of ironing and pinning.

The next photos show what the scallops look like once I stitched down the facing with the decorative stitch and the scallops were edged in a decorative circle stitch. Both sets of stitches were done with my basic sewing machine.  Bear in mind this was also taken before I gave everything a crazy steamy ironing.

Once I had the decorative stitches on I moved to free motion embroidering the teardrop shapes. Now normally free motion embroidery is done with an embroidery hoop and stabilizer but my scallops were so thick from the interfacing and the tulle I decided I didn't need the hoop. 

Once the embroidery was done I was able to move onto the yoke of the petticoat. I sadly do not have and pictures at this point :( I took about an 18" wide panel of my 108" wide muslin and cut a matching length of crinoline to underline it. I folded the edges in towards each other and folded the entire piece in half. This would become my upper yoke. I stitched a casing into the folded edge that I could later string ribbon through. 

It then became time to gather the skirt to the yoke. I decided to use the zig zag cord method because it's more reliable. I still ended up with my yarn breaking because it was crappy yarn but I managed to wrangle everything to the size of the yoke. I stitched the yoke to the skirt. I left a slit open at the top of the center back seam of the petticoat so I could have a small opening to pull the petticoat over my hips. The yoke edges folded over the top edge of this seam and were stitched down close to the fold. 

Once I had ribbon drawn into the casing the petticoat was done!

Bonus video of the petticoat in action! I have no idea why it uploaded sideways. Sorry!

Coming up next: Anna's Coronation skirt!

Anna Coronation Dress Part 1

Posted by Laura on June 16, 2014 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Well it’s that time of year again when school is done for the summer, ITAA projects are finished and turned in, and I’m itching for a new project. I have really important graduate school tests to take over the summer, so my goal with my new project is to provide me something I can work on in my downtime at night after writing all day. My project would double as my Halloween costume, so it has to be fun. I decided on Anna’s Coronation gown from Frozen since I love the movie, my sister in law is convinced I am Anna, and my 2 year old niece will love it. The embroidery will keep me occupied for most of the summer so it’s perfect.

Since Frozen is so popular I thought I’d document my process in an almost tutorial like fashion in case other cosplayers are interested in how my costume is made.

I’m going to start from the inside out (sorta) I’m starting with her petticoat, then skirt, bodice, wig, and then finally her bloomers.

Today I am starting with the petticoat.

Anna’s dress has a very distinct motion in the movie, and behaves differently than most ballgowns would. Her petticoat is frequently seen when she kicks up her legs, jumps, and dances.

It appears to be a cream color, with a scalloped hem and decorative stitching. The petticoat helps to poof out her dress somewhat, but is easily collapsible, suggesting that there is no built in hoop, no visible layers of tulle, just a single layer with enough body to stand out.

Since the scene takes place in summer, it is likely the petticoat is made of a cotton-like fabric. Cotton would be period accurate, and also very breathable.

My goal with making this petticoat is to try and mimic the movement of the dress while maintaining the body the dress has while she’s standing still. In the screenshots there is no visible vertical seam lines. If the skirt was made with a single length of fabric I would be limited to 120” of fabric. I don’t think this will be wide enough so I’m going to add vertical seam lines. There is also no clear line where the facings of the scallops would be, implying the dress is lined up to the upper edge. I think a double layer of cotton would be too heavy, so I am opting for a faced scallop hem instead which will correspond with the horizontal line of decorative stitching shown in the above photos.

Lastly since the transition from her bodice to her skirt is fairly smooth, the fullness of the petticoat cannot interfere with the smoothness of this line. For this reason I will be making a yoke to stitch the petticoat onto which will then be tied at the waistline. If I wear a shaping corset underneath the bodice and over the petticoat, this will create the smooth line I am going for.

This is roughly the look I am going for. This is a crude rough sketch just to get an idea of the shape and pattern pieces. There will be a small slit at center back that will open for the drawstring. I haven’t decided how I am going to do the scallop embroidery yet but I will get to that in another post. For now I will just post about my progress so far.

I decided to flat line the cotton fabric with a thick nylon crinoline material to help give the fabric some body. I picked a crinoline in a color that is very similar to the outer fabric in the hopes that it will blend in well. The crinoline came in 54” wide bolts so I decided to make flat lining easier with little fabric waste I purchased 108” wide cotton muslin and cut it right down the middle.

I cut each of the large skirt sections in 36” long pieces. The rest of the length will be made up of the yoke section. If you are going to be doing this method always remember to check that the grain of your fabric is laying straight. I snipped and tore my fabric so I would end up with exact lengths, but check out how much my fabric was off grain straight off the bolt! With some stretching I got it pretty close to straight. Straightening the grain line of your fabric is important no matter what project you are working on!

Once I had the pieces laying straight I overlaid the crinoline on the top and pinned it all the way around the outside as flat as possible. At this point I serged them together along each side. If you don’t have a serger you can just straight stitch them together and do your seam finish when you go at attach the sides.

Once I had one panel serged together I threw some temporary gathering stitches to see how tight I could gather the material up. This allowed me to see how many panels I could theoretically stitch onto a yoke roughly 1.5x my waist. I ended up deciding to use five panels.

Once I had all five panels serged around the edges I stitched them together end to end until I had one long panel. Then I measured the length of my bottom edge to help figure out how long of a facing piece I’d have to cut. This also let me measure how big I wanted my scallops to be. I then created a pattern for the scallops that I will be transferring to the facing piece.

Next post will be about stitching the scallops and testing the embroidery!


Kahlan: Legend of the Seeker costume research

Posted by Laura on February 1, 2010 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (37)

Hi All,

I’m planning on making Kahlan Amnell’s costumes from the television series “Legend of the Seeker” later on this summer. I’ve been researching the costumes for about 6 months now, and I decided to document my findings for others to reference. I’ll be going through my research first, and after I finish my other sewing projects, I’ll be posting progress images on my own construction of the costume.


I’m going to break down all the parts of her outfit little by little, with hopes of getting every piece replicated as close as possible. I do this by looking at many hi-res reference images, watching behind the scenes footage, and of course, watching the actual episodes.

I like to draw out flat sketches of the garments so I can understand where all the seams are and design details. I will be posting them here. Please understand that drawing them takes time, so if you want to use my images, you can, but please give me credit for them.

If you feel that something I’ve included doesn’t seem right, or if I missed something, please speak up! I love feedback! This is just the ramblings of someone with lots of time on their hands!


Anywho, onto my first part of Kahlan’s costume, her corset.

Reference Image:


The corset is basically an underbust corset with bra cups and straps. The corset laces up in the back through grommets. She wears the corset underneath her white Confessor robe and her green traveling outfit, and as of 2x08, she wears it with a split skirt and short jacket.


My Sketch:


The Fabric

The body of the corset is made out of soft dark olive leather. The binding on the bottom edge (as it appears in 2x08) is the same fabric as the cups. The top edge of the corset, and the straps, are leather. The bra cups have a pleated fabric on them, it’s hard to say what it is, but it is a dark brown color.



Some construction notes:

The corset has decorative stitching that is applied before the boning channels are sewn in, which would mean the boning channels on the inside of the corset use boning tape and the boning is not just stitched in the seam allowances of the corset. The boning is applied along all the seamlines, including center front.

The metal swirls on the edge of the bra cups are made of one piece of curled metal layed over itself in different directions.



Detail Shots


My thoughts:

I've already purchased a leather hide for the corset, but I fear that I didn't get enough. I won't know for sure until after I draft it and complete the muslin mock up. If there isn't enough I'll have to purchase a whole new hide, probably two, since I want all the colors to match.

I plan on sculpting the center front decorations and the strap holders out of precious metal clay so they would be real metal. I was thinking of doing the same thing with the swirls along the bra cups, but I think I might be able to make those out of a thick gauge wire or finding them in a scrapbooking department or something.

I will likely underline the leather with denim for strength, and then line it in cotton. I want the corset to be comfortable and not too thick, since so much stuff is worn over it. Bridget Regan also manages to fight in it, so it mustn't be rock hard. She does bend a bit!

Another issue is the bottom panel. In the beginning of the series, whenever she wore the corset without a dress over it (Like in Revenant) she wore the skirt with it. I always assumed the bottom panel was part of the corset, since it seems to lift up with the corset when she bends, as seen in the detail shot above. However, now that she has a different outfit in season two, and she wears the corset on the outside again, the panel is no longer there. That makes me think that the leather panel is actually the waistband of the skirt.


So that's all for now. My next part will be about the skirt!

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