Therese and Friend
My name is Therese. I would like to share my story and costume with other people. I am 14 years old. When I first decided to sew a costume from the Lord of the Rings I was thirteen. I had no experience in sewing except for six sewing classes that I had when I was ten.
I really like Lord of the Ring so when Halloween started coming up in conversations I decided that I wanted to be Arwen. I used my internet browser to look up Lord of the Rings costumes and as I look at the different links I found alleycatscratch.com. Curious I checked it out. I found all of the info I need so I dropped my plan on my Mom. She was encouraging but said that if I chose do this, I had to do it and I couldn't dump it all onto her shoulders. I agreed to do it as much by myself as possible and to fund it.
Three weeks before Halloween, we went to look for fabrics. After searching everywhere, I found a fabric that I was satisfied with for Arwen's Chase dress at Wal-Mart. It was about a dollar twenty-five per yard. I don't know what kind of fabric it was, but it was light, and it wasn't anywhere near suede. I bought the pattern for Simplicity 9891. I did buy some black suede for the counter fabric which I intended to use for the sash.
I looked at the directions and started to cry, it was all gibberish to me. I had less than three weeks to complete this dress, I could only sew after school, and I didn't even know what it meant to baste. I was in big trouble. So my Mom came in and explained to me what to do i.e. she translated the directions into English.
Those six sewing classes came in handy; I had a bunch of the basics under my belt. But still with all of my mom and big sisters help, I was crunched for time.
The night before Halloween I still hadn't figured out how the collar was supposed to attach to the dress. Then my awesome, wonderful amazing mom stepped in. She told me to take a shower and get some rest. While I was sleeping, she sewed until two in the morning. When I woke up all I had to do was hem the dress and I was all set. I felt like Cinderella.
I was not advanced enough to do any modifications on the dress so I just left the dress the way the pattern instructed. For Halloween, I substituted the Herringbone braid with a French braid. I got my ears at Party City (The Space Ear Tips sold by Woochie). I put on some black jazz shoes and went with my friends to have some fun.
Although I was exceedingly proud of my costume, I wanted to do better. So, I returned to Alleycatscratch.com and started looking for another costume I could make. I June, I started planning the details of my version of Arwen's bridge dress.
Although I had been planning for months I didn't actually start buying sewing supplies until September. I bought the pattern for Simplicity 9125. When I went to buy fabric, I went Wal-Mart first thing this time.
Right away, found what I needed. I found some beautiful off-white chiffon fabric for under two dollars per yard and a white fabric that felt thick but was light, also under two dollars per yard. In addition I bought a packet of little pearl beads and a packet of sequins. This time I went home and I was not going to make my mom do all of the hard stuff. It was half reading the directions and half just figuring it out by looking at the diagrams.
For the chiffon fabric I used fray check to prevent the fabric from unraveling. (That is very important!!! Chiffon frays soooo fast. If you ever work with it use something to stop the fabric from fraying or your stitching will just tear right out.) I finished the costume all by myself. :-D
I put sequins and beads on the front of the bodice using fabric glue. I put one bead on top of on sequin about an inch apart. For the headpiece I used craft wire and some chain to make something remotely similar to Arwen's head piece and glued pearls in certain spots. I hope to eventually provide a picture of the headpiece.
After Halloween, I set to work refining the details of my dress. It was entirely hand hemmed!!!! Yay! I didn't add the drape caller thing until after Halloween. I used the pattern from Simplicity 9891 to make the collar. I am glad that I added it.
I made a long shawl thingy instead of a cloak. Then I wore my costume to Trilogy Tuesday!!!! That's right I went to the thirteen hour Return of the King premiere. To make my hair wavy for the premiere, I got my sister to put it in French braid pigtails, wet, and slept with it like that over night. I borrowed some incredibly painful and pretty white dress shoes from my big sister.
So am finished my second costume. I am now modifying my version of the chase dress to make it more authentic and I am planning my next costume. That is the story of how I became incredibly obsessed with sewing.
I would like to thank everyone at alleycat for providing such useful information, and my mom and older sister for their support and help.
The first picture is of me in my bridge dress before the collar and shawl. The other two are of me in my bridge dress with my friend who caught the sewing fever from me and decided to make a chase dress as well.
This page was last updated 11/21/09