Sunday, 7 June 2015

"Through Rohan over fen and field where the long grass grows"

I've finished my Eowyn costume. It only took a month and a half longer than I wanted it to. (I actually finished it back in March, but wasn’t able to take photos until now.)

This is the original:
I had a couple of significant difficulties when making this that took some time to solve. They are why my quick 'holiday project' ended up taking so long.

The Trim
The trim and the collar caused the main delays. I never did find the right trim. So instead, I painted my own. (“Paint it instead” seems to be a recurring theme around here.) I got mum to draw out the design on a transparency (‘cos she’s much neater than me) then I lit it from below through a glass table to trace it onto the fabric. I actually had to use a clear plastic container on top of the table, because the glass was so textured that it was hard to distinguish the pattern from the shadowy background.

This is the template I used:
This is my painting setup:
I am very happy with the result. It wasn’t too painful to do, nor did it get much messier as I went along as I had been afraid it would. While doing handwork on my costumes I like to watch or listen to something. For this costume my 'topically appropriate' listening was The Tolkien Professor podcasts
The trim in place.
The Collar
After trying many ways of draping the collar, and having none of them work, I gave up. I searched for a pattern to adjust but I couldn't find one. I nearly despaired of finding a way to make this collar work and I had to stop working on the costume because I didn't know what to do. Then, weeks later, a new method occurred to me and it worked! I started with a long rectangle and cut the back neckline shape cut into it at the centre. Then I folded it around to the front. To get the shoulder shape there is a shoulder seam that forms two pleats that curve the collar over the top of the arm. 

It looks like this on the inside and outside:
I fiddled with the fronts until they had the three-pleat look of the original.
The Belt
The belt wasn't so much a delay-making problem but is something I want to fix - when I work out what to do with it. At present it doesn't really have a doing-up mechanism.

My belt is made from burgundy fabric, brocade trim, wool, painted beads and earring parts. I couldn’t find anything the right shape for the belt loops but the earring parts I found had flowers very like the design associated with Eowyn, as seen on her necklace, so I thought they’d do.

What I didn’t realise was that I would actually need three as there are two loops on the belt and also a third loop on the woollen cord hanging from the belt. I couldn’t find a third loop of the same kind, so I’m making do.
The Buttons
The buttons I got at the closing down sale of our local patchwork shop which made this feature more economical than it would have been otherwise. They are purely decorative as the outfit actually closes with snaps - but it probably won’t for much longer since they keep popping apart while I’m trying to do them all up and they aren’t technologically appropriate for Rohan. I’m just not sure what I can replace them with.
Yesterday Mum and I went to a nearby hill to do a photoshoot. My Dad had given me a replica of Eowyn’s sword for my birthday to go with this costume, so I had fun with that.

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

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