Following various online sites for the “Chase Dress” from Lord of the Rings, I have mostly finished my grey leather Arwen costume.
I have a new costume I can literally throw on at a moments notice (yay) with minimal extra stuff.
This site had I think the most helpful photos. The movie is over ten years old now??? and some of the other sites had links to images on other pages that no longer exist.
This one is also full of embedded photos, but I didn’t always find it again when I googled the dress.
This page was most helpful with pattern suggestions.
I started with seven goatskin hides. They’re the right color but I mistakenly thought they were suede, which is what I really needed. In the end though, I really like the goatskin finish, even though they’re white on the insides of the skins. The ebay price was very good too – I couldn’t find ‘dove grey’ suede leather, and when I could, it was outrageously priced or far too thick. So this ended up being a really good compromise between settling for microsuede fabric and going for using all leather. I used 4 full skins for the skirts, which overlap very nicely and are full. 1 skin went to the sleeve bottoms, which are huge, and the other skins were enough for the bodice and upper arms. I had to re-cut one upper sleeve because the embroidery didn’t work out the way I wanted. It’s still hard to tell exactly how the design was done on the sleeves, but I’m happy with the machine embroidery, and it didn’t give me an issue with the leather. The bodice is unlined, but I’m considering either lining it or finding another way to reinforce the leather so it won’t stretch over time. I think I already have to take it in a bit.
Yesterday I re-hemmed the goldish sleeve material and fray-checked it. I glued down the inside of the sleeve material and trimmed it up – which is blue microsuede cut from a thrift store shirt. I trimmed down my ears yesterday too, so they should sit better next time. I still don’t have my 3D printed belt buckle, so it looks like I’ll just be making it out of worbla or wire reinforced sculpey. The last bit is baseball stitching the seams, but I don’t like the way I’ve started them. The good news is, this leather has been surprisingly forgiving of oopsie needle punches. I’m not entirely sure why the bodice pulls so much on the side near the arm scythe, so I’ll have to see if that’s fixable.
I think I’m planning on removing the front zipper entirely and replacing it with hand sewn in hooks and eyes. I don’t like that the zipper is somewhat visible, and that there’s a line of top stitching that is visible at the front.
The collar is still kind of crazy and needs adjustment. I should have done a pattern test on the collar, but alas, I did not.
I will probably not be offering this as a possible commission. The leather is too hard to find.
If we ever go back to New Zealand, I’m totally bringing this along.