(ooops, sorry we're under major reconstruction here, pics coming, please ignore references for now)
Making Hobbit skirts (separate page)
Making a Women's Hobbit outfit
Sleeves, from looking at Rosie dancing, appear to be set-in. Sleeve lengths vary from rolled up above the elbow, puffy cap sleeves, elastic at the elbow and flouncy drapery "cuffs", and standard length short sleeve with an elastic ruffle. Choose a style that flatters your arms! However, other hobbits look to have the standard raglan sleeves.
Check a pattern here: http://www.reddawn.net/costume/chemise.htm. Just don't make the casing right on the edge... move it in an a couple of inches. Shorten the sleeves.
Blouse length: it's under two skirts so no one can tell! I prefer mine
about knee length.
Sleeve and neck gathered with drawstring in casings normally leaving a ruffle about 1-2 inches at the neck (some, not all) and 2-4 inches at the sleeve (almost all). Fabric: Use small plaids and checks, some stripes, heavy texture weaves, cottons, linens and wools.
The over skirt, or main skirt, is usually about 3 inches shorter. Fancier outfits have double skirts, two very different colors but muted. Some have multiple rows of tucks, like a ruffle, a few inches above the hem. I believe someone else saw ribbon on the skirts.
The skirts should be simple straight, gathered skirts (no gores!) that
attach to a waistband. Skirt colors varied widely, sometimes solid,
sometimes plaid, sometimes small gingham checked.
On top of the skirts a woman usually wore an apron. The apron is either a straight apron gathered to a narrow waistband, or in the case of some larger women, an apron with a bib front worn instead of a bodice. Many have wide straight gathered aprons, muted colors but patterned. Some just tie a waist, some smocks type w/ a bit of a flared ruffle on the straps. Aprons are about 3 inches shorter than skirts. Some aprons are worn with one or both corners tucked up to the waistband for a drapey/pocket effect.
Over the blouse women wore a bodice. Bodices can be fancy with neckline cutouts, false front-lacing, trim along the edges, or using fancy fabrics as front panel insets; or simple plain bodices of a solid color. One bodice shown was of green corduroy that buttoned down the front! Most bodices lace up the back. Many in the movie appear to be stock sizes which might not have fit all the actors the same: some show the laced edges actually meeting (it is historically common that most bodices have about a 2" gap), while many had large gaps in the back. The appearance of the gap is minimized by having a placket underneath that hid the bodice from view beneath the lacing. Use brass grommets and criss-cross lacing.
The bodice neckline was often square cut, fitting just below the gathered neckline of the blouse (whether the neckline be high or low, that's where your bodice should fit).
The shoulder straps angled off from the bodice neck. Usually they angled so much that they hit at the shoulder point, and often widened at the shoulder line so that they were off the point! Not surprisingly, many women in the movie had straps falling off their shoulders, or slightly sagging. The shoulder straps may connect at the top of the back piece of the bodice, some (like the striped bodice) meet at the shoulder line, and some are literally a shoulder piece added squarely to the back, but less noticeably to the front (seams can be seen on both ends!). So basically this means that thing you need to do to put shoulder straps on, has been done in the movie! Just remember to angle them to the outside a little, and flare them over the shoulder point.
The bodice only comes to the waist, it does not go below the skirt or flare over the hips; it ends on the square, no point.
Cut of the bodice: The bodices are made in shaped pieces, NOT darts. There is a front piece that runs just center to the bust edge, a side piece that runs from the front, to the true side (under the arm), and a back piece. The bodices are stiffened possibly with a buckram-like interface that was so stiff it kept its shape on the hanger. Apparently very little boning was used, and would have been similar to the covered poly boning, or possibly rigilene (brand) at the seams.
Most bodices are edge finished with bias tape. Those with fancy front
panel insets tend to have flat braid (or "gimp"), rick-rack or piping around
the panels and around any cutouts.
The final layer seems to be an optional triangular shawl that most commonly tucked into the blouse neckline like an 18th century kerchief, or sometimes tied in front. Some women wore a mob-cap type of hat, especially when working in the fields, but many went bare headed.
Jacket: One hobbit is shown wearing a very different outfit of a
button-front coat with long sleeves. There is no evidence of the boned
bodice beneath it, or at least the coat is straight sided and is not as
tightly shaped as the bodices. It also has a high, round neckline. It has a
criss-cross pattern and is edged in brown and then white strips. Wide
(3"-4") brown cuffs. 5 buttons.
Green Corduroy (Mrs Proudfoot): I saw a couple of times one women with a green corduroy bodice that buttoned down the front. Maybe it was false buttons, but there seems to be an overlap. The neckline was edged in strips of corduroy cut on the bias. The side panels were also bias cut. This would make sense with some of the other bodies that had striped sides also being bias cut.
If you wish to add pointed ears and larger hairier feet than you may be naturally endowed with, please see the page on prosthetics.
Shots from Canes 2002
Shots from ComicCon 2003
A fan was dressed as a hobbit in one of the original costumes by the Weta team. It's Leah, the "Sam" from One Ring Circus
Wearing a hobbit at Comic Con 2003
That was me up there in the WETA/New Line panel. I'm preparing a fan-level report right now with pictures, but before I forget let me describe in detail what I wore for y'all. Now keep in mind I am no seamstress so I will do the best I can at describing.
So. In general, in terms of the clothes, all fabrics were woven. Very tightly stitched together. My outfit was cotton or other natural fabrics only. The shirt was a light apricot-colored gauzy cotton. It was practically transparent. The sleeves were gathered at mid-upper arm with some kind of stretchy stitching. The neckline was simple and round and very gathered, so it depended on a gathering string and the bodice for shape and needed tucking in.
The bodice was dark green, red, orange, and gold plain woven material. Very nice and with raised striping, I had never seen anything like it before. The trim was scrolled cream colored polyester (or silk?) bric-a-brac. The keyhole was also trimmed with this and did not tie at the top, it was a built-in hole. It was stiffed by the fabric thickness itself and laced up the back. It had no boning per se but the edges were heavily reinforced with something, all along the bottom, neckline, and armholes.
The bottom half was three layers. The first two layers were rough woven cotton skirts, first coffee colored and then caramel colored. When you looked at the skirts the warp and wefts were two different colors and very nubby and rustic looking. The top skirt was a little shorter than the bottom one which ended two inches above the top of my foot. Over those was a simple orange apron, with a very wide tie at the top. The ends were long and wrapped around me once before tying in a bow at the back waist. My triangular neck scarf was also orange and was made of that gauzy cotton material again.
The wig felt like real hair, it was very high on top and had some stuffing in it. It was very curly and back-heavy, it had a false gather and the blue and yellow bows were sewn in place to look as if they were tied in the hair. Basically it just had curls boinging out everywhere which the guys in back arranged before I went on stage to put in front of the ears and create little bangs.
I wore Elijah Wood's ears, Billy Boyd's feet, and Sean Astin's foot wigs. Whoa nelly!
The Ears were molded latex, very firm, not foam. They were airbrushed and pink at the edges and slightly transparent so the light looked natural on them. They go over the entire ear. The Feet were squishy foamy latex that felt like foam shoe pads. The hair on the toes was long and had been attached by pushing the individual hairs inside each toe. The rest of the foot hair was a hand-knotted piece done with real human hair on wig lace. The hair was long, sparse, and dark, and I asked them how they got the curl and they said they had done that with hot curling irons.
My feet were attached with silicone adhesive and smoothed at the ankles with a latexy type substance and long strips of latex laid over some fabric kinda like band-aids. A three-stage sponging process was used, three different colors of thinned makeup was placed on the foot and all the way up my leg. Then the hairpieces were attached to the false feet with regular old spirit gum. To finish the blending, my feet were painted with many different brush-spattered colors of super-thin flesh colored makeup.
I'm in the process of getting my photographs together now and I'm submitting them all to TORN as part of my backstage report, I will drop you guys the link if and when they decide to handle that for me.
5 hobbit lasses. These aren't really large but they do show you some fabric variations.
ROTK Wellington photos thanks to Green Leaf, Sytske, Tyellas and ToRN's Wellington gallery
Much thanks go to Leah & her friend, Emma & Ian for the use of their pics and insider hobbit knowledge .Thanks to all the Weta folks for the hobbit demonstration as well.
Extra pictures thanks to Tyellas and Sytske.
Section editors: Judy and Cat
Check out Lav's study pages here:
This page was last updated 04/22/08