Well, I never thought I would be in a position to say this but I am actually writing a post by popular demand.
When I set out to create my costume for the 2013 Wine & Dine Half Marathon, I really just wanted to create something that I would love. By October/November, I was already following news about Disney’s upcoming animated film Frozen quite closely. It quickly occurred to me that this would be a unique opportunity to create a costume that probably really hadn’t been done yet. Now, I’ve seen people do some really new, creative takes on some of Disney’s most popular characters so this is not a knock on the “oldies but goodies” by any means. What really catches my attention when I browse the interwebs (I giggle a little anytime someone says that), are costumes that are unusual or reference some rather obscure Disney things. Need a few examples? Check out Cinderella in rags from Run, Karla, Run! and the ever-so-adorable Flight Attendant for Minnie’s Fly Girls Charter Airline from Fiddle Dee Me.
As I started to read up on what to expect from the two Frozen female protagonists, and as soon as I saw Anna, I just knew that would make a great race costume. Her main costume in the film is fairly simple and I felt I would have a good chance at being able to recreate it.
sort of really deserve some extra credit points due to the fact that in October when I was dreaming this whole scheme up, there were very few good images of Anna released. Actually, the image above was one of my primary reference images – thanks Google Image Search! I took a bit of a leap of faith that I would a) love Frozen and b) love Anna as a character. Well, it wasn’t a huge leap since I have tremendous confidence in the work that Disney produces but you get the point.
Let me begin by saying thank you to everyone who had been part of the tremendous outpouring of admiration for the work I did on this costume. Between Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and this blog, I have received so many kind compliment. I never expected so much attention and really helps to justify the time and effort that went into this costume. I have also been overwhelmed by the number of people asking for more information about how I made this costume. Ask and ye shall receive! Here is my little “how to” guide to this costume. Construction was time consuming and required a little artistic flair but was not very complicated really. As we creep up on Walt Disney World Marathon weekend and many people are in the heat of planning for the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February, I hope you find this guide helpful! I will only ask for one thing in exchange (keep scrolling to the bottom for more on that…)
Becoming Anna: How I Created My Frozen-Inspired Running Costume
What you’ll need:
- A royal blue skirt from Sparkle Athletic
- A basic black cotton tank top (I purchased mine for under $10 at Target)
- 2 small bottles of sparkly light blue fabric paint (the brush on kind)
- “Puffy” fabric paints in gold, pink, green and purple (I bought the glow in the dark variety when it was available in the colors I needed since this was a night race. This attribute is definitely optional and, to be honest, I’m not sure how much I really glowed anyway.)
- Gold ribbon (I used a wire edged ribbon that looked really close to the reference image but see what your local craft store has)
- A small paint brush
- Hot glue gun
- Something to pour the blue paint on and test the puff paint before applying to fabric (I used a simple throw away paper plate for this)
- Reference images – you’ll want decently close up images of the pattern at the bottom of her skirt and on the bodice of her dress)
The project breaks down to 2 parts. Creating the skirt and creating the top. The top requires more artistry but the skirt requires a lot more time. One thing not to under-estimate is drying time! I had just enough time to get the project done but you’ll want to start with plenty of time to spare since you’ll have to probably work on painting the skirt just a little bit at a time…I’ll explain why.
Purchasing the base skirt was quick and painless thanks to Sparkle Athletic. Once I mentally committed to the idea of this costume, I placed my order (with always-free shipping) and the skirt arrived extremely quickly!
The skirt fit well and then it was time to start the painting process. Although the Sparkle Athletic skirt is fabulous, I soon found out that the material is almost a sort of very tight mesh that definitely lets the paint bleed through. While this was not an issue, it did mean that news paper, magazine, or another disposable painting backdrop is a must. Although the paint dried the skirt to the paper (which then needed to basically be torn off), it seemed best to leave the skirt to dry on the paper. When I tried to remove the skirt from the paper while wet, it did not allow the little bit of puff paint to remain visible (it bleeds through to invisibility otherwise).
For the top, I knew getting the beautiful embroidered pattern on Anna’s bodice right was key. Using my reference image as my guide, I started to create the design freehand. Now, I’m sure this could have really gone awry but it turned out relatively well (slightly lopsided was my only complaint).
It’s probably a bit difficult to tell but I made tiny marks with a light blue fabric pen at the top and bottom of the tank top. These were my reference marks for when the time came to cut the top. I actually slipped the tank on to be sure I was making these reference marks in the right spots. I did not worry too much about cutting neatly or precisely since I knew I would be covering the edge with the ribbon trim. I focused mostly on keeping things symmetrical and in the right shape.
Finally, I added the ribbon trim using the most unsophisticated means of attachment: a hot glue gun. While this was pretty simple, it really gave the top a finished look.
The Final Look
All in all, I think I came pretty darn close. I layered the light blue sports bra underneath to simulate Anna’s light blue shirt. The weather for Wine & Dine was much too hot for anything more but a long sleeved or even short sleeved shirt could easily be layered underneath instead.
More questions? Feel free to ask me in the comments. I promise to answer each and every one.
Now, can I ask something of each of you?
Please consider donating to an amazing cause on my behalf. On May 4, 2014, I will run the Pittsburgh Half Marathon in support of Steel City Greyhounds. This Pittsburgh-based Greyhound rescue group does an amazing job giving these beautiful creatures who have spent their lives racing for human entertainment a second chance at a new existence in a loving home. This is a cause near and dear to my heart as my family has adopted “retired racers” since I was in high school. These amazing animals have been among the most loving, gentle pets we have ever owned and I am quite certain that my life would not be same without them. Charles and I plan to adopt one day when we have the time that a dog deserves so I look for ever opportunity I can to support these dogs at a time when it is not possible to own them myself.
I have just a modest goal set by the organization but I would really love to exceed this amount. Won’t you please consider making a donation? This is the very first time I have ever led a charitable fundraiser mostly because I truly hate having to ask others for money. I know everyone’s budgets are tight coming out of the holidays and it can be tough to make a contribution. This, however, is a cause I feel strongly enough about to really take a stand and ask you to open your hearts to this particular fundraiser. While I have received a ton of support via social media, I have not received many donations. Please help me turn that around as we enter the new year – no donation is too small! I thank you all for your consideration and generosity in advance. Click here to learn more and make a donation.
Have you ever made a race costume? What was your inspiration?