Lord of The Rings

Cosplayer: kangaruth

Variant: Blue and red dress

Status: Complete

Condition: Not Set

16th August 2015: What a difference a weekend makes! Made some good progress this weekend. The sleeves are done, except for the trim (and for understitching the lining but might not get done this week). That should be much simpler than the collar trim because it can lie flat.

I got into a bit of a tizz with the overdress because I couldn't decide how long it should be. I think I've got it sorted now. It's long enough to trip over but not as long as AlleyCatScratch reckoned it should be. I need to take a couple of inches off the front panel and it's ready to sew up. And I have made pockets (of course) so they need sewing in.
The overdress collar is nearly done, too - it's a layer of canvas covered in the paisley fabric. I was going to do it as bias binding, but I decided it's going to be too fiddly. I'll get some binding for the overdress edges then attach the collar, which I think will be sturdier anyway. I'm thinking I might want to sew in some popper fastenings to hold the overdress in the right place, and maybe to hold the sleeves up, too. I can see me doing that bit on the train on Friday!
The final step will be sewing in the sleeves to the underdress. And hemming everything. Bleh. I hate hemming.

14th August 2015: Argh I think it's fair to say it's unlikely I'll have this finished for next weekend. I still have the sleeves and the entire overdress to make.

I'm struggling with the sleeve lining. The fabric is very fine, and I didn't quite cut it true. Then I messed up with the off-centre seam at the top of the arms... Still I think I've almost fixed it.

Nil desperandum, though, I'm going to push through and see how I'm doing by Wednesday or Thursday.

18th April 2015: Collar done It took forever to sew down the trim on the collar - about a week! - but it's done and it looks pretty good, if I say so myself. I could spend a while longer perfecting it, but it's maybe not worth it.

The next bit to do is the velvet sleeves. I need to cut the top seamline - currently they're both identical and symmetrical, but I need to offset the seam so cut down the back of each sleeve. Then do the same with the lining. I think I messed up with the lining (turns out silk habotai is quite difficult to make lie properly flat) on one side so it might need a bit of rescuing. I need a big space to lie everything out and do all that, and that's currently an issue in my house! I need to sneak into the wardrobe dept at work sometime.

9th April 2015: About the collar Dying the trims had mixed results - the edging one took the dye really well but the main one less so. And I probably wanted it the other way around! I think they look pretty good, though.

I'm hand sewing them onto the collar which is taking forever. So far I've sewn on the edging and have sewn down the outer edge of the wide trim, I have to then figure out how to ease the upper edge to lie flat and that's not going to be simple, since it's actually quite rigid. I think there might be quite a bit of cutting and trimming involved. I hope it works!

29th March 2015: Collar and cuffs I put the collar pieces together today, interfacing fused in and facings sewn together. Next job is sewing on the trims, although I think I'm going to try overdying those with red dye first to add some more accuracy. I'm slightly worried it might ruin them - that or have no effect at all.

I've cut out the sleeves and the lining. Turns out I'd overestimated how much fabric I'd need and they're way too long. But that's better than the other way round. I'm going to make them a bit longer than is maybe completely accurate, because I like the way it looks.

I've lined the upper sleeves with some leftover underdress fabric as I think the velvet might be a bit too heavy to be supported by a single layer of fabric. I've sewn those up and basted them together but I'm going to get the lower sleeves done and sew the full sleeves before adding them to the dress, instead of the other way round like I was thinking.

So my plan for the next steps are
1) dye and sew trims to collar
2) sew sleeves and linings
3) sew trim to sleeves
4) attach sleeves and collar to underdress
5) make overdress mockup
6) make overdress.


21st March 2015: Changing my mind I've changed my mind about the trims I was going to use. I bought some nice, but not very screen accurate, paisley trim for the sleeves and was going to use a different fabric for the collar, without a trim. But I've changed my mind. I discovered there are hundreds of beautiful embroidered sari borders from India on Etsy which are very close to what I wanted and so trawled through them all but none of them were quite right. I eventually found a gold trim on ebay that I think is good. I'm pairing it with a thin braid as an edging as the original has a well defined edge. It's quite a bit more expensive that way than the original plan, but worth it, I think.

This leaves me almost stuck until it arrives. I have cut out the upper sleeves, so the next thing is to do the collar. After that I need to attach the trim before I make up the upper sleeves and sew them all on the underdress.

I still haven't touched my velvet fabric but I'm going to do the sleeves soon. I've been thinking about how to do the lining, since my lining fabric is a touch narrower than the velvet but I don't want to lose any width. I have extra of the lining so it should be doable. I want to finish the underdress and then make a mockup of the overdress to make sure the collars line up properly before I do anything with that fabric.

11th March 2015: Getting started In my head I'm much further along with this costume than I am in reality. The underdress fabric *finally* arrived yesterday (but the other item I had ordered along with it was missing. I am not pleased about that!) so I'm going to get it washed and dried this afternoon. I don't have a day off now until next week so I may not get started until then but hopefully once I get started I'll be on a roll.

6th March 2015: Fabric has shipped! It should be here tomorrow or Monday!


22nd February 2015: Waiting... I mocked up an underdress that I was pretty happy with and ordered some fabric for it - some navy viscose jersey. And a fortnight later it still hasn't arrived and appears to be lost in the post - that is until I got a garbled email yesterday from the seller which I think suggests it hasn't been posted out since they don't have enough in stock. Fair enough but they could have told me this at the time. Grr.

In the meantime, I could get on with the overdress and sleeves, but I'm a bit scared of cutting into my velvet and so I'm getting on with other projects.

10th February 2015: Pattern making I spent today making some patterns for this dress. I'm cobbling together the two dresses by combining a slip pattern (Butterick 6057) with the Simplicity elf costume (4940) with a bit of guidance from Alley Cat Scratch. Next step is to make a muslin - probably just of the waist up to check fit and get the neckline right.

30th January 2015: Aaaand it's not silk! My fabric arrived together and, despite the fact it's a bit polyester-tastic,I'm fairly happy with it. I'll be starting on the cutting and sewing soon!

23rd January 2015: Fabric purchased Bought 6m of navy blue velvet, and 3 of red velvet. I'm using Simplicity 4940 as a base, mostly because I already have it! I'll need to modify the sleeves but I might just keep the princess seams of the dress, although I know they aren't accurate. It's more flattering, for one thing.

I have some paisley chenille curtain fabric for the arms and neck, but I'm considering a lighter-weight fabric to make a second collar to make it more like the original two-layer dress.

Still need to purchase a lining fabric for the sleeves, too, before I'm ready to go.

16th January 2015: Research and the desire for silk The problem with researching costumes, is that I get caught up in a desire to make them 100% screen accurate. I was silk velvet, dammit, but on a polyester budget. And I know that the poly velvet will make a beautiful dress, so why am I obsessed with the idea of silk?

moomintroll avatar

moomintroll - 3rd March 2015
Post piccies of your progress, I'm too curious for my own good! :P