Amy - Virginia, USA
Arwen's Chase Outfit
This is one of my first creations. I saw some beautiful dove grey gabardine fabric at the thrift store. It was a two-yard chunk for .99! So I bought it, not knowing what I wanted to do with it. After the fabric sat on my bedroom floor for two weeks, inspiration finally struck. It was a great color and weight for Arwen's chase outfit! But the last thing I needed was yet another dress. So, I decided to do my best in converting it into a lined coat. It worked great, but I must say that at that time I was not ready to tackle something so complicated. It took what seemed an eternity and lots of frustration, but when it was done it was definitely worth it.
There are 8 kinds of fabric in the coat and I used 4 colors of thread, plus Sculpey Clay for the buckle and 8 hooks and eyes. There is also 1 snap on the buckle and lightweight interfacing in the bodice. The body of the coat is lined with a heavy black polyester, and at the collar and the sleeve petals, a grey cotton knit. The white sleeve is made from a bleached gabardine on the outside and they are lined with a light weight flannel. The loops for the scarf in the front are made from black cotton sewn into a long strip and cut into the right lengths. The scarves are made from navy chiffon georgette.
I made my own pattern for this. Word to the wise: Do not attempt something like a complex lined coat when you are a beginner. ESPECIALLY if you are going to make the pattern. There will be many tears. I went onto Alleycat and spent a lot of time looking over rolled collar ideas and eventually made the bodice pattern. Once I had finished making the entire bodice, I was feeling better. The sleeves and the skirt part were not nearly as bad, though at times I still had to keep myself from burning the whole thing. The sleeves are a simple pattern, I just made a tight upper sleeve and attached a flared bell sleeve to it at the elbow. Then, I made a U-shaped piece for the petal and sewed it right on top of the place where the upper and lower sleeve meet. All of the pieces are lines, so there are a total of 6 pieces of fabric in each sleeve.
The bodice is princess-seamed with loops for the scarves sewn into the front. It has hook and eyes going all the way down the front. The skirt was fairly painless, just 4 panels of fabric sewn together at the side but left open in the front and back. Beneath that is a broomstick skirt that I bought at the thrift store. I cut off the waist band and cut it down the front so that it was a large rectangle. Then I gathered it at the top and sewed it in between the bodice and skirt.
I cut the chiffon into long strips and hemmed them, making several long scarves. I sewed two of them together to make the front sash and the other two I sewed in the back to pull in the extra fullness.
Then came the part that I was already experienced at, sculpting! I broke out my Super flex Sculpey Clay and started working. Super flex is a gem of a clay that I found and have now been spoiled by. It is just like working with a normal polymer clay except that when you bake it, it remains bendable. So it will keep its shape, but it can take a beating and still be all right.
The scar I put on my face with a bright red lipstick and gone over very lightly with a black ink pen for depth.
The ears are made from the same Sculpey that the buckle is made from. It took a while to shape them right and them shape them to fit my ear, but it turned out a great success in the end and I can stick them on with a bit of sticky tack.
My hair was brushed thoroughly and the sides were then pulled back and braided.
DONE!!!!!! The coat looks great and I can throw it on over my normal street clothes on a cold day for that elven flare, or do my hair, ears and scar for the complete costume!
Also check out Amy's other outfits
This page was last updated 11/21/09