Monday, 26 January 2015

"I can ride and wield blade"

The bodice of Eowyn’s riding outfit is made of a green fabric and quilted with gold thread. The bodice has gold buttons down the centre front and smaller gold buttons from wrist to elbow on the sleeves.  The bodice quilting is invisible on the DVD version of the film, but a glimpse of it can be seen at the bottom edge of the following photo:
  A rare in-focus glimpse of this costume.
The cowl and lower edge of the bodice are trimmed with a floral tape. The cowl and sleeves appear to be brown velvet, and the sleeves have a gold floral pattern.  
I made my bodice out of green twill, thin wadding and lined with the leftovers from my 1879 gown. This fabric was ideal for the lining because it has a diamond pattern that I used as a guide for the quilting.
I based my pattern on Vogue 8323 (which is a knit pattern, but it worked). I adapted it to open at the centre front with an overlapped opening. The bodice closes with clips – I had no interest in sewing a dozen buttonholes through all those layers of fabric and wadding.

I sewed each layer of the bodice together separately before layering and quilting. To avoid having bulky seams on the wadding layer I cut the pieces out without seam allowances and zigzagged them together with the edges meeting.
 There was a lot of quilting and it took several days to do it all.
I need to thank my mother for letting me use her sewing machine for this project. My sewing machine was exhausted by the end of last year and is currently having a well deserved holiday at the sewing machine servicing place. This outfit has been entirely sewn on my mother’s Janome, which was the machine I learned to sew on.

My sleeves and cowl will be made from a stretch panne velvet; the sort of fabric I would usually cringe to use. However it looked just right for this costume, was available and affordable, and this particular one has been much easier to use than panne velvets I have used in the past. I added the gold decoration to the sleeves with fabric paint – the leaves are stamped and the flowers were painted freehand.
I want to report that I managed to put both sleeves in properly first time :-). 
I have been unable to find the floral trim for this outfit. I have searched every fabric shop I know of in Canberra, a few interstate, and etsy. I even went to The Other Side of Town (for non-Canberrans: that’ a half-hour drive away and is considered a day-trip, made once a year at most).
Have you seen this trim?
Here is the bodice in its current state:

The Lord of the Rings images belong to New Line Cinema.

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