Kristi's Examples

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Kristi's Examples - Tennessee, USA

Eowyn Green Gown

I made the green gown by using the dress pattern of  Simplicity 9891and then using the view B sleeves from  Butterick 3552.  This was my first attempt at modifying patterns, and while the process was not flawless, it went pretty well.

I cut the pattern to make the front dip down (which it does, but not that much) and the same in the back. The sleeves I shortened, as in the pattern they go all the way to the floor. I had wanted to use stretch velvet, but my purse strings were already stretched to the limit, so when I got fabric samples from  Denver Fabrics and  Baer Fabrics, I ended up going with cotton velvet, but the color was right on. Also, the helpful person I had spoken to on the phone at Baer Fabrics was also a Tolkien fan, knew the dress I wanted to make, and generously sent 12 samples, at no charge.

Then next difficulty (as it seemed to be for everybody at the LotR costume yahoo site, a reference which I plundered with much abandon!) was the underskirt and sleeve lining fabric. I found just what I wanted, short of the actual fabric in the movies, at a drapery and upholstery store called  Associated Salvage, where I found the brocade fabric I used for the collar, also a great find.

I made the bodice, and the collar went it without issue (except that itís brocade upholstery fabric and I still need to put seam binding or something on it because it frays like crazy). I lined the top with some fun lime-green, soft knit fabric, then made the sleeves. Problem #1-somehow the lining was shorter at the shoulder than the velvet, and I could tell the armhole would be uncomfortably tight. But I had already sewn a seam down the outside seam so that the inside lining fabric didnít "billow" and I was unwilling to undo it. So I punted. I got more of the knit fabric and made a "cap" for the top 5 inches or so of the upper sleeve, trimmed the lining, and hand-sewed the knit fabric over the sleeve lining. Perfect.

From the beginning, I used the London Times picture as my guide- that whole front panel/tie/extra two yards of velvet was not going to happen, so I got creative again. For the skirt (the bottom of the Simplicity pattern) I made a whole one out of the underskirt fabric. Then I made another one out of velvet, including the side panels. So this was all fine and good, until I realized that I would have to line the velvet part. Ack. Off to Hancock Fabrics I went and lined the velvet skirt with a polyester gabardine. Then I attached the skirt to the top, and it got really heavy.  But it looked right! It looked like the picture! I was happy.

Now, what could make or break it - the belt. As fond as I am of Gimli and all Dwarvish companions, I could not face learning how to solder wire as many of you brave souls have. So, with trepidation, I went shopping. The final coup: a belt at Burlington Coat Factory, on sale for $6. I was going to take the disks off of the leather straps, but then decided that it would be far more Rohirric for them to stay on, so after a couple of aborted attempts, I sewed down every other disk on the dress, and knotted up one end of the straps and left the other unknotted so that I can adjust it while wearing it.

I started out going all over Nashville, doing research into fabrics, hoping to make …owynís green gown for under $100. This was futile. On the other hand, I love the way it has turned out, and I feel very glamorous in it.


Check out Kristi's Finduilas gown

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This page was last updated 11/21/09