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Hayley - Texas, USA

Arwen's Blood Red Gown

I made a copy of the Blood Red dress from LOTR. I have attached some pictures. I made this out of a navy blue stretch velvet, a calico for the shirt, and a red velvet for the sleeves. I purchased almost all of these materials in factory outlets in Dallas at very reasonable prices. The trim is a gold brocade band.

A good tip that I learned from this is that before you try to sew the trim onto the shirt you should sew some darts into it-- the size of which will depend on the cut of the shirt pattern you are using. This will let the trim take on a curved shape rather than lay flat and wrinkle. I sewed it onto the shirt all the way around at the top, but on the bottom it is basted on to the front and back and left loose around the sleeves. This again is to ensure a flat attachment and to prevent restriction of movement. Though you can see the trim popping up in the pictures, since the garment is on a dress form, when it is worn by a person this problem is eliminated.

I used a bias strip of the shirt fabric to form the straps for the dress. It is a good idea to sew a piece of twill tape or ribbon inside these straps so the weight of the dress will not stretch them out of shape. I did not hem the bottom of the dress-- I serged the edge while stretching it, giving it a 'lettuce leaf' effect. If you don't have a serger you can to the same thing by setting a sewing machine to the zig-zag setting. I wore this dress to Scarborough Faire and it was well received!


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This page was last updated 11/21/09