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Sidhe  -  Ohio, USA

The One Ring Dress

This dress design started and was inspired by an outfit I saw worn to the New Zealand premiere of ROTK.  An attractive young lady wore an unmodified gold evening gown and painted the One Ring script around her shoulders.  Being a "fiery" redhead, I loved the idea of costuming as The Ring itself, and wanted to elaborate on it, so I sketched a design that would create more of a continuous ring look.  I tabled the idea for several months, and then when I found out I would be attending DragonCon, I got out the project again.  It was 1 month till the con, so I enlisted my sewing mentor Christine to make the gown for me from my sketch.  Another friend, Connie, helped Christine do the embroidery work on the tube.

Original sketch Close up of ring writing

 The fabric:

The fabric is a slinky gold type that I believe is called liquid lame, or something similar.  The actual fabric is black, and then the gold is a layer on top of the black fabric, laid down in a diamond shape.  This can best be seen in the close up photo of the embroidery.  The challenge with sewing the gown, and doing the embroidery, is that the actual gold fabric will not be punctured.  So any time the needle would come down into the fabric, it would have to slip into one of the channels between the gold diamonds.  This caused much distress to poor Christine, and itís a hellish fabric to try to work with, really.

 Also, after wearing this gown to the convention Friday night and Saturday morning for the parade, I took it home and discovered that the underarms had been irrevocably damaged from my sweat!  The gold overlayer had worn down, and the black showed through, looking like a ďstain.Ē  Itís not horribly noticeable, but I intend to wear underarm shields whenever I wear the gown again.  Also, the gold fabric can get runs and pulls in it, like stockings.  Overall, this fabric is horrible.  Itís perfect for the look of the gown, but it does NOT wear well. 



The actual body of the gown was extremely simple to create.  Christine did a muslin of the shape, and we cut out the back to just the right shape to ensure that it would show my back, but also not show my bra straps.  The fabric is very slinky, so we ended up putting snaps on the inside of the gown on the shoulders, and matching snaps on my bra, to make sure that the bra did not show under the dress.  The sleeves we also made a muslin of, experimenting with where we wanted the tube to rest in the back.  When we were satisfied, the actual sleeves were made, and embroidered (digitally) with the Tengwar script.  The tube has two slits in it for my arms, and then is solid everywhere else.  The tube was stuffed with cotton batting.

Final Touches:

Christine made a matching One Ring bag (anyone who goes to cons knows that having a bag or pocket for your costumes is important) to match the gown.  We originally planned for the script on my back to be composed of henna, but unfortunately the design just didnít end up dark enough.  So we usedÖ.a red sharpie J  Sharpies actually work pretty well for body art!  I purchased a pair of gold sandals from Newport News, and purchased some gold ribbon, which I decorated with the One Ring text using a sharpie.  This ribbon was then wound into my hair by my talented hairdresser.  She then braided my hair into a loop, and put a wire into the braid so that the hair would stay in a looped style, mimicking the Ring shape.  The earrings were One Rings from 2 New Line bookmarks.  I took the Rings off the bookmarks, and used a dry paintbrush to paint the lowered script design red, wiping off the excess.  I then added the Rings to a pair of small gold hoop earrings I already owned.  As a final touch, I took an extra voice box I had from a Build-a-Bear workshop, and recorded my voice whispering the One Ring text.  We then put the voice box in the batting.  So if you squeeze the Ring, you can hear it as well.

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This page was last updated 11/21/09