26 November

Updated To-Do List

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It’s the end of November and I have just one month left in 2014 to Get Stuff Done.

I ended up taking a staycation last week and got three sewing projects knocked out and done, two of which were just finishing them for commission work, the third was my Arwen.  Last night I sculpted and baked the belt buckle, so the things left are fixing the collar, maybe removing the zipper and figuring out if I’m going to baseball stitch the seams or not.  The leather seams have a lot of bulk and it’s hard to keep the stitches nice and tight since they’re decorative and not functional.  I also have to decide if I want to take in the bodice or not.  I think I’ll pick up gloves at some point rather than making them, I don’t really have time to hand stitch a pair of gloves.

Things I Have to do this year:

1) Finish Brandon’s stupid uniform I volunteered to remake because I wasn’t 100% happy with the first one.

2) Eventually make Danielle’s Mara Jade jumpsuit.

3) Finish Arwen this year before the last Hobbit movie.  If I don’t, it will never be completely finished.

Next year:

Rocket Racoon, D&D cartoon characters and Purple Padme. Possible commissions on the horizon.

First con of 2015 MIGHT be Ichiban, we shall see.

 

25 November

Arwen Chase Dress

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Following various online sites for the “Chase Dress” from Lord of the Rings, I have mostly finished my grey leather Arwen costume.

arwen1

 

I have a new costume I can literally throw on at a moments notice (yay) with minimal extra stuff.

Site resources: http://www.costumersguide.com/chase.shtml

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.

http://leavesoflorian.blogspot.com/2013/02/arwens-chase-dress-lord-of-rings.html

This one is also full of embedded photos, but I didn’t always find it again when I googled the dress.

http://www.alleycatscratch.com/lotr/Elf/Arwen/Chase.htm

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.

 

15 October

Arwen Buckle Update #2

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Had to finagle the design some – my ‘leaves’ were too thin to properly 3D print, so I selected out the leaves and thickened them. I added more posts, and made them all the same height to help with printing.  I pulled out the back of the design a bit too, since the buckle frame was curved inside itself a little, cupping inward from the back. I brought it out to strengthen the frame.

We’ll see if it works this time.

 

belt buckle2

20 May

Fun with glow

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Chris_shallnotpass

I readily admit this turned out better than I expected.  Chris Burnside is one of our resident “Generic Jedi” at our Blue Ridge Base with Rebel Legion.  We had an informal/non-event photoshoot a couple days ago to get some character shots, and he half-jokingly posed for this “YOU SHALL NOT PASS” shot.  Half an hour ago, I asked him if he could think of any particular shots he wanted glammed up.  He said no, so I took it as a personal challenge.

 

8 May

Arwen belt buckle update 2

 

Here goes nothing…arwenprint

 

Tweak mesh: check

Reize mesh to 4 inches/101 mm: check

Added posts to help keep stable while printing: check

Subdivide for density: check

Make all triangles: check

Rotate so it builds flat: check

Exported in a printable format: check

 

6 May

“Make sure the polys are correctly facing…”

Posted by in 3D, Art, Design | No Comments

One of the costumes I have on my “to-do” list is the “Chase” dress worn by Arwen in the Lord of the Rings movies. A very helpful person has already gone through and done every bit of necessary research I could ever think of.

The belt buckle on the costume is huge and delicate, and I cannot currently cast metal objects.  It seems like a good candidate for a 3D printer item. I used a sketch someone else had made as a basis for modeling the belt buckle in Lightwave.

Starting with this:

ChaseBuckle_Niki

 

After about four hours, I’m here:

ArwenWIPThe bottom-most leaves are slightly asymmetrical, and I’m going to modify the top set of leaf/wings to also be a little asymmetrical as well. I want to capture the feel of something hand made once it’s printed, and not completely perfect. The only thing I want to look exactly symmetrical are the long upper and lower half-loops. The belt buckle will tie on the sides with ribbon.

At the moment, some of the leaves are overlapping on each other, and I’ll have to fix that before exporting as a printable object. I’m also going to tighten the raised ridges on the half loops to make them more distinct. I’m going to have to experiment with the leaf thickness to see if it’ll be strong enough once printed. I may also glue a wire to the back loops to reinforce them if they seem wobbly.

 

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