Rapunzel Holiday 2021 Doll

My birthday is at the end of November. As a kid, that often meant getting christmas decorations as birthday gifts and I absolutely hated it. As an adult – well, I still have a “No Christmas before my birthday!” rule, though I’m not as strict about it as I used to be. In 2021, my friends gifted me the 2021 Disney Rapunzel Holiday doll, and although it’s a christmas item, I’m really happy they did, because I think it’s a beautiful doll and of course Rapunzel is my favourite Disney Princess.

It didn’t take long from me getting it until I decided to cosplay it, but it did take me a long time to find the fabrics for it. I had to change the colours a bit, because I was unable to completely match the colours, but in the end, I think it worked out ok, and I’ll describe how I made the dress. It’s actually quite simple, especially when you have access to a vinyl cutter. I might make the files available later on.

The dress consists of a petticoat, a skirt and a top part. 

The petticoat was a part of the same wedding dress I bought 2nd hand and used for my Giselle cosplay. 

The skirt is a fairly simple full circle skirt made with 7 panels – 6 (stretch) velvet and 1 metallic brokade. I didn’t take progress photos of making it, since it’s fairly simple, although I did dye the brocade, which I’ll come back to later.

The top part I used my all-time favourite princess seam pattern, which I’ve used for countless projects. It’s this Swedish historical pattern. It’s not the best pattern when it comes to explanation, but it just works so well for my body, so I often come back to it – I used it in my original Rapunzel cosplay as well for the corset.

I took the top half and the tight sleeve pattern from this and just modified it to work with a zipper and to have a contrast front panel with lace details.

I used bridal satin for the top. A light pinkish purple for the contrast front panel and for the sleeves and a purple for the rest of the bodice. Of course I had my two helpful assistants to make sure it wasn’t too easy to cut the fabrics.

I attached the ribbon and laces to the front panel before stitching it together with the rest of the bodice.

Next I worked on the outer sleeve. This one has kind of a weird shape with a fold in the middle. What I did was take the sleeve paper pattern, tape it together at the seam by the armpit and then cut it where I wanted the opening to be. I then measured out where the fold should be, and cut here as well. Then I spread it out to accomodate the desired fold and added paper inbetween. The resulting sleeve shape can be seen in the photo here. The sleeve consists of this metallic shiny fabric on the outside and a soft lining pattern inside. It’s some kind of peach skin fabric that I happened to have in my closet. I cut the two sleeves and their linings and stitched the lining and sleeve pieces together with fronts against each other. I then flipped them inside out, so the seam ended up being between the layers. Then I ironed down the fold before stitching it onto the bodice at the same time as the inner sleeve.

Once the sleeves were done, I decided to continue with the skirt before adding fur and lace trim. I wasn’t entirely happy with my brocade fabric, feeling it was a bit too bright and contrasty with the dark purple velvet of the rest of the skirt. I ended up using Rit DyeMore royal purple to darken it a little bit. It was a total experiment, since I didn’t know how the metallic threads would take the dye, but I’m happy with the end result, which is seen in the next section.

The dye didn’t change the brocade that much, but enough that I felt it worked better with the rest of the colours.

I added the lace trim around the bottom hem of the bodice and also the fur collar. I made the pattern for the collar by simply draping paper onto it.

The last missing details were mostly the gold and glittery red decorations on the skirt and sleeves. I took a lot of detail shots of the doll and used these to paint the details in Illustrator. Once I had all the files, I used a vinyl cutter to cut them out. The gold details took up almost 30 x 400 cm of gold vinyl, while the red ones were around 1 meter. I did the gold in sections of 30 x 100 cm. In the photo here you see an example of a section and below shows amount of files I had for this project – the most elaborate vinyl cut I’ve ever done.

Below is a little collage showing the vinyl cutter with software, weeding in process (removing the vinyl that isn’t needed) and then the final gold pieces. It’s a long process that requires a lot of patience to weed all the vinyl.

Finally, I got to the part where I could add the vinyl pieces onto the fabric. I had to use a towel on the floor as my surface to iron on the vinyl, because I didn’t have any other surfaces that were big enough.

Of course, as always assisted by my cats.

I also added little rhinestones. I used the gluebacked kind for which I have a tool, but the glue didn’t work very well on the vinyl, so I ended up using super glue.

I hand-stitched the fur trim on all along the lower edge while the skirt was on a dress form.

For the headpiece, I decided to use a regular flower crown, because I wasn’t able to style my hair to look like the dolls hair, anyways, and I didn’t want to use a wig.

And thus the dress was done!