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Essay - Mississippi, USA

Faramir, Captain of Gondor and Ranger of Ithilien

I made this costume for the midnight showing of Return of the King and it took quite awhile to construct.

For the shirt, I found an excellent pattern in McCall's 4080. The fabric is a basic microfiber with enough thickness to support the lacing at the neck. The lacing is leather cord. For the sleeves, I used a regular pencil to sketch the diamond pattern onto the fabric before quilting. (The pencil washes out and/or disappears under the stitching.) Each diamond is approximately one square inch. Since the sleeves were a little thick, and a little too stiff, I followed the pattern and split them into two pieces at the elbow and added an unquilted band of fabric to reconnect them. Also, to make that connecting band not appear irregular, I added a similar band at the wrist. That was it for the sleeves because though I had planned to have them laced all the way up the inner arm, I ran out of time for that feature. As it was, the sleeves took me about 25 hours. Twenty of it for the quilting...just something to keep in mind before you attempt. =)

The jerkin is also a microfiber, but a lighter weight variety. For the pattern I used a New Look (Wal-Mart) pattern (#6163) for a jacket meant to fit over a dress, although I had to remove the darts and adjust for the slits in the sides and back. I made the ties myself by merely folding strips of extra fabric and finishing the edges.

The breastplate is made of upholstery vinyl and the silver tree was done with a stencil and silver spray paint. I created the pattern for the breastplate using a standard body block technique, and to be honest, a little bit of guess-work. For the ties on the side I made some vinyl tabs that I looped through d-rings, and I then attached those to the vinyl. (And just a warning - Be sure your machine has had a check-up lately before you start using vinyl and upholstery thread or else you will wind up with lots and lots of time spent unjamming your machine.) The gambeson sleeves are a costume velveteen and quilted with a V-pattern like the original.

The cloak is made from a pale green upholstery fabric with some leftover vinyl giving the clasp the finishing touch. I opted for the all metal clasp instead of a tie because the fabric was simply too heavy. (This guy is 6'2 - that's a lot of cloak fabric....) The pattern for this was ACS's own circular cloak pattern.

The trousers were his own, so I won't take credit for them.

All totaled, this costume cost $68 in materials to make but required about 50 hours of work.

tunic Quilting detail on the tunic

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This page was last updated 11/21/09