Jayne & Paul's Example

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Jayne & Paul

Boromir Returns!

Worn August 2002 at the Australian Costumers Guild Ball. We’re both Aussies from Melbourne. Although he’s living in Germany at the moment.

I drafted my own patterns but there are commercial patterns that could be adapted easily.


Jerkin - Leather, machine embroidered ribbon. Metal clasps.

Wrist braces Heavy leather, cut and hand stitched. Burnished buckle.

Machine quilted suede.

Chain Mail Hand linked sprung metal rings, worn on crudely constructed shoulder straps.

Tabard – Wine colored dupioni silk and cotton velvet (collar). Metallic gold lace. Plastic toggles. Hand beaded and embroidered sleeve and collar.

Pants Wine/ black /cream rough woven cotton/silk blend drawstring pants.

Under top Wine heavy cotton interlock (sometimes know as rugby knit) undershirt pattern traced from one of Paul’s t-shirts.

Boots Hand stitched leather. Leather inner sole

Cloak (not pictured) Hand dyed blanket fabric. Metallic leaf clasp.


I am a costume designer and have been making costumes for about 25 years. When Paul asked me to make him a Boromir costume, immediately after seeing Lord of the Rings, for a costume event we attend each year, I said I would be willing to do the sewing & decorating, but he would have to work out the chain mail himself.

Paul is a costuming novice and was at first reluctant to take on this challenge. I am the designer and he is the mathematician and the two should not cross paths is his belief, or was.

I contacted a few people through the Aust. Costumer Guild to get advice and materials for the chain mail. And once on the path he became a mail enthusiast. I now sport a belt and several great pieces of jewellery. Who says mathematicians cannot be creative? Bah! 

He also took on the tasks of the wristbands and boots, once I drafted patterns and provided sketches.  These proved a little tricky. Armed with a leathercraft book and some tools. We tried several attempts to tool the patterns onto the wristbands, with little success. In the end Paul tried using a soldering iron, which proved quite adequate at burning a pattern on to the leather. Very smelly though, a well-ventilated area is essential.

Under the wristbands were a quilted suede layer. Sewing leather is tricky at the best of times, but quilting suede is enough to send a person crazy. It does not stand up to close inspection.

The jerkin/overcoat was easier as I have made a couple of leather garments before and have learnt from my trumatic experiences. A Teflon or roller foot for your machine is extremely helpful. Most good domestic machines can sew light to medium leather but not thick seams or heavy leather. And you can’t use pins to secure your pieces while sewing, staples are much better, don’t forget to remove them all later.

The ribbon trim was embroidered with gold machine embroidery thread. It is best to wind the thread onto the bobbin and take it very slowly as this type of thread is delicate and does not stand up well to the needle or speed. You will need to adjust the tension of the bobbin to get the pattern looking right.

The other textile type things were easily constructed with a sewing machine.

Draw string pants, Undershirt, Tabbard.

The tabard was the most complicated thing as there was considerable hand  beading and embroidery. I had two attempts at the velvet collar as I had never used the Indian Shisha gold coiled embroidery thread it was hard not to stretch it out of shape.

All up an amazing effort, unfortunately due to my part in the costume it had to be judged at Master level for the costume parade.

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This page was last updated 11/21/09