Ronnie's Examples - Georgia, USA
Galadriel's Mirror Dress
Click on pictures for enlargements.
My daughter decided to dress as Galadriel for Halloween this year. I don't own a sewing machine, but I do enjoy making her Halloween costumes. My stitches aren't pretty, but they get the job done. I was a bit intimidated about making Galadriel's Mirror Dress, but I plunged ahead, and I think it turned out nicely:
I used a white polyester crushed velvet panne fabric ($5.99 / yard at Joann Etc), which was approximately 58 inches wide. I actually measured it at around 60 inches. This was perfect, because it was slightly wider than my daughter's arm span. My method for creating the "pattern" was to fold the fabric in half, inside out, and have my daughter lie down on top of the fabric on the floor, with her shoulders just at the level of the fold. She stretched her arms straight out to the sides, and I simply drew a basic triangular dress shape around her with colored chalk, making sure to leave a generous amount for seams, and making the sleeves get wider as they reached the edges of the fabric. (Think of making a snow angel, and you'll get an idea of what I did.) I then used one of her tee-shirts as a pattern to draw a curved neckline at the fold. I pinned the fabric along my chalk marks, and cut through both layers of fabric at once.
I simply hand-stitched the sides of the dress; the seams along the sleeves; and the neckline. I went back and did this a second time the following day, just to make sure the seams would hold. The beauty of the fabric I used is that hemming of the sleeves and bottom of the gown was not necessary. The fabric just curves gently at the cut edges, so it doesn't look raw. My daughter slipped the dress on over her head, and I got an idea of how much I needed to cut off the bottom, since we had purposely made it too long. The fabric is slightly stretchy, very soft, and drapes beautifully. The "crushed" effect makes it catch the light in much the same way as the intricate detailing on Cate Blanchett's dress from the film.
I found a trim for the center of the neckline to simulate Galadriel's brooch. It's got little white pearl beads on it, is the right shape, and cost only $3.75. I hand-stitched it to the dress. For a belt, I simply cut a long piece of leftover fabric, several inches wide, and allowed it to curve under naturally along the cut edges, forming a tubular belt that my daughter ties around her waist.
I will be adding more photos to her Galadriel page, and will try to get close-ups of the neckline and belt detail. For Galadriel's ewer, I found a silver-colored pitcher at Joann Etc for $8.99. The swirling, curvy raised pattern on it seemed appropriately elven. The pitcher will double as a Trick-or-Treat container. She wears pink ballet slippers ($14.99 at Payless) with the dress, to look as close to bare feet as possible. We found a costume jewelry ring at Claire's accessory store for $6.99, to represent Nenya.
I also found a plastic headband there (around $3.00) which had the right type of curvy shape to work as the circlet (crown). I wrapped sparkly gold and silver wired chenille pipe cleaners around it to get the effect of Galadriel's intricate headpiece.
My daughter does her hair in many small braids the night before she is to wear the dress, and when she takes the braids out, her hair looks crimped.
I thought this costume might encourage other novice seamstresses. I never thought I could make a gown. My previous projects have included simple drawstring bags and skirts, and embellishing existing clothing with trim, but never anything like this. It was a lot of fun, and I'm very pleased with the results.
See Ronnie's web site here: http://hometown.aol.com/jillconway/galadriel.html
This page was last updated 11/21/09