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.
I’m now sure that I can finish Padme’s Purple Senate gown.
Now I just have to find out what kind of dye to use.
Photo by Ripptowne Photography
This is Liz Welsh, a member of Rebel Legion in our Blue Ridge Base of the North and South Carolinas division. I was base commander when her award came through and I was honored to present it to her in a special ceremony/gathering.
Congrats, Liz, and thanks for being a valued member of Rebel Legion!
Trying out a new set of markers by “Chalk This Way” – the standard set of 10 markers with a mix of neon and regular colors: http://www.amazon.com/Premium-LIQUID-CHALK-Markers-Book/dp/B00CD33ML6/ref=pd_bxgy_ac_img_y
Pros: My favorite thing about these is that they can cover fully if you take your time with them. Expos, crayolas and every other dry-erase marker that I’ve tried leaves streaks when trying to fill in any solid. The saturation level is great – the colors are super bright and solid and don’t fade like Crayola’s are very notorious for. The lack of streaks put these at the top of my favorite marker of all time list. We’ll see how many uses I get out of them. They’re pricey, but they currently seem to be worth it, so for now I’m not putting price down as a ‘con’.
Cons: My least favorite thing is that once they dry, you are more or less stuck with the color. I was going to go back over the curly vines with black, but once the liquid chalk dried, it was like dragging a pencil eraser over the surface. Since that is a sensation I very much dislike, I stopped here. Next time I’ll have to do one item and outline at a time and just get it done before it dries. There is a reasonable about of time between drawing and drying, so I should be alright next time. It’ll be harder to do backgrounds and use the same markers for a foreground object, however. It takes about 2 minutes of shaking/tapping per pen to get them started the first time, but at least that lets me know that the pens were never used previously, even for testing.
Next test will involve more of a combination of expo’s and these new markers. I used some green expo here just because I wanted variation in color and a comparison.
‘Chalk This Way’ markers seem to do slightly better if put down horizontally rather than vertically. You have to tap the tip of the pen every so often to keep the ink flowing if using on a wall mounted surface. On the bright side, while marketed as chalkboard markers, they work great for white boards, which is why I didn’t know they actually existed until a few weeks ago.
I’ll be trying out mixing the white and black markers (while wet) to see if I can get any kind of consistent grey as well.
As much as I like having a GIANT WHITE BOARD to work on, I may have to suck it up and get another of my own. It just has too much previous writing on it, and it shows through.
I threw this together for my friend Danielle in about 30 minutes. I think she’ll be pleased. Still, I wish I could get people to give me original files instead of just the facebook upload photos. The bottom-most layer isn’t really good enough for facial details, but I think it works overall. I ended up just leaving the bushes behind her green just to leave a counter-color opposite all the reds.
Once again, going for kind of a ‘book cover’ sort of feel.
Danielle is Sorsha here, from Willow.
My best friend has been bugging me to make her a ‘badass’ photoshop ever since she saw the Jedi confronting the Balrog. So I spent five minutes on this and posted it to her facebook wall.
I’ll make her something nicer soon, but she and her husband (right) will get a kick out of it anyway.
My second take on this ‘stalking pose’ from the Star Wars informal photoshoot day on May 17th. I had played with it once, tweaked it, and then ultimately slapped myself on a free existing downloadable background.
I jacked up the lightsaber glow effects, fixed a few lighting issues and probably added an extra filter or two. Overall, I’m happy with it. I really wish the original photo hadn’t come out blurry, but I think it works alright for the ‘book cover’ type effect that I’m going for here.
I love wearing my Mara.
Original photo by Brandon Hurley
We had an informal Star Wars photoshoot this weekend with members of our local Rebel Legion group and one of the Carolina Garrison. Technically, I was in my Garrison version of Mara, since I have the purple lightsaber here that I picked up from SaberForge last year, as a gift from my husband for an anniversary present. This is the second lightsaber I’ve gotten as a present, and I got him one last year too for the Corran Horn Jedi Robes I’m making him. Eventually, I’ll make him a CorSec flight suit/uniform as well.
I made my original Mara cat/jump suit based off Twi’lek Pam’s information and instructions here: Mara Jade suit
I’m wearing a brand new suit made of 4-way stretch material. I broke down and bought the good quality vinyl/spandex for from Spandex World, after ordering some samples. I ordered from the ‘fake leather’ line, which is a 4-way stretch fabric that sewed surprisingly well. The suit is also extremely comfortable – I fully expected to sweat it in, but I didn’t. I’m not saying it’s breathable, but I could wear this thing all day with no problems. I haven’t added the piping yet – my serger worked fine on the fabric, but the regular machine that I was borrowing did not. I had finished up some details before crashing at her house before the shoot, and was unable to add the front or back piping using her machine. My first suit was a lighter, ‘dancer’ type material, and looked good in photos, but it did not hold up. The original material was so stretchy that I kept getting various lines of bunching when I stitched it together. This new fabric is much hardier and easier to sew.
We collected out at the Fayetteville Botanical Gardens and had permission to take photos an hour before the regular crowds started showing up. I got a few photos that I was more or less happy with, and so did everyone else, so I’m calling the event was a success.
I’ll be adding Mara Jumpsuits to my list of things I’ll do on commission, now that I’ve done a few and have figured out the little tricks to it.