Friday, May 4, 2012

Legolas Greenleaf's Garb; Lord of the Rings, TFOTR, TTT, ROTK

Legolas Greenleaf’s garb, Lord of the Rings, TFOTR, TTT, ROTK

By Leaves of Lorian
High Quality Replica, Custom and Cosplay Costuming
"Not Idly do the Leaves of Lorian Fall...."

Question: What’s your favorite film?
Answer: Lord of the Rings.

Question: Who’s your favorite Character?
Answer: Legolas, Arwen and Pippin. In that order.

Question: Why?
Answer: Read the books.

I am a hard core LOTR fan. I have been ever since I read the books. (And I am proud of it!!) The films are fantastic and I love them…but the books are even more awesome. That being said, I have to say I love Legolas on screen. Orlando Bloom did an amazing job with the part.

So…what else was there to do but make a Legolas costume??

Legolas wears the same garb for most of the film(s), adding - and in a few cases - subtracting from the basic garb. I did tons of research before I did this costume, but after three years (wow, that seems like a long time!!) I’ve gotten even more resources and realized a few things I missed the first time around. So for you, I will add them in.
Most of it’s thanks to a life-size cardboard Legolas a friend gave me. (Apparently she was tired of being freaked out in the middle of the night) so all’s well that ends well!

No, he didn’t beat me up.
This is my Jurassic Park costume…with Life-size Legolas cuz that’s how I roll!! Aha ha!

Legolas has two basic parts to his garb.
He wears a silver-blue tunic that looks like a light woven material or maybe silk. It comes about to mid thigh and has long sleeves.
The sleeves are laced up the underside, and I would venture to guess the sides are laced also, however that might be terribly uncomfortable.

The sleeves end just above his wrist and are not loose but not extremely baggy when his arms are down. When he puts his arms up (like to shoot) the sleeves are tight. This is probably due to the lacing on the underside. The cuffs are wide, not tight.
There is silver embroidery (probably similar to the embroidery on his jerkin) over the collar and chest of his tunic.
 The collar stands up (about three inches I’d say, as does the collar of the jerkin) and the front it fastened together by two silver ‘leafy’ clasps, about three or four inches apart.

The overtunic or jerkin is of two-tone (possibly) suede or micro suede.
The colors are a dark almost olive green for the top and a lighter grass green for the bottom.
The jerkin is split on the sides to about three inches under his armpit. It laces up. The front it split from the bottom of the jerkin to the waist, and from the neckline about six inches down.
It has a collar that comes up over the collar of the tunic. It does not touch his neck at any point. In other words, it is a little shorter then the tunic collar.
The sleeves of the jerkin are leaf shaped and wrapped around each other. They are long and come to the elbow. The shoulder seem sits off his shoulder, similar to peasant shirt seems.
The ‘top’ of the jerkin seems to be sewn on. It is comes down in the front to the waist and is rounded. It covers most of his chest. In the back it’s cut straight across at the shoulders.
This top part disappears in some of the shots at Helm’s Deep when Legolas wears the Rohan armor.
I’d guess the costume depart took it off or made him a separate jerkin for that part.
It is possible that the top of the jerkin is separate from the rest, but seems unlikely, since that would be a bit of a cumbrance to Orlando.
The top is embroidered with silver thread around the chest, collar and sleeves. Typical male elvish design, it looks to mostly be made up of lines winding together.

Legolas wears leggings of a mossy green (they almost look velvet) They are obviously fitted, but not tights. They seem to be seemed on both sides.
His boots are green, and go to someone else for the boots, sorry! I bough mine.

                                         (original costume!! )

Legolas’s vambraces are a dark brown (we’re seen this leather before on the roharim) and petal shaped. They are inlayed with gold elvish designs. They wrap his arm and fasten with leather straps. Similar to how many leather pouches fasten with a leather loop around a metal peg or button.

In Lothlorian he removes his jerkin and wears his tunic alone. I haven’t studied the coronation scene in ROTK, but I would guess he wears it here as well.
He wears two capes for the films.

I will have a separate blog for his bows, quivers and arrows…

I will also have a separate blog for Legolas's capes...

Yae! My favorite part of the whole process (besides wearing!)

For the tunic, I was very blessed to find a silvery blue woven material just perfect for Legolas on the clearance rack…(SCORE!?) it’s some sort of décor fabric, I’m not sure what kind. It’s very light and pretty and I love it to death.

For the jerkin, I went with micro suede in two colors, also found in the décor fabric section of the store. They have a elvish feel to them, and look amazing.
They look authentic too. That’s always a plus..

My vambraces are Suede leather, about a 1/16 of an inc thick. They are black.

I will use my own leggings and I have already bought my boots.

Ok, we should probably use one…

Yeah, I’m not fond of patterns.
I used the Simplicity pattern 4924, which is already lord of the ring ish. It includes a ‘Legolas’ pattern, a ‘Theoden’ pattern and a ‘Elrond’ pattern
(They’re very much not exact as patterns based off films are wont to be)
I did NOT use the Legolas pattern. We had made it once before and it did not turn out very well.

The tunic…
For the tunic I used the Elrond pattern and shortened it considerably to my mid thigh. It got shorter after hemming, so I had to tack a strip onto the bottom. So, make the tunic a little long and don’t end up with an odd seem across your legs!!


Front                                                                                                 Back

I used Elrond pattern for the sleeves as well. I would suggest not using those sleeves, unless you widen them slightly to fit Orlando’s sleeves more exactly.

My tunic does not have collar, though it is split.

For the collar I would suggest using the one with the Elrond pattern and keeping the split, but adding leafy clasps.

The jerkin
The jerkin was obviously harder, given that it’s two pieces and the sleeves are more difficult.
For the jerkin I used the Theoden pattern (shortened!) since it was split in the front but not the back, as I wanted. It also has a seem on the sides, so it’s easy to hem that and put in lacing.

The collar of the Theoden pattern is done in two parts - I pasted them together and cut them as one.

For the ‘top’ of the jerkin, I cut out the front the same as the ‘bottom’ (as told above), only much shorter, since it only comes to my waist.
For the back, I cut it much shorter but used the same pattern.
I sewed the two parts together (one on top of the other) and went onto the sleeves.
Front                                                                                             back

Pretty sleeves!!
And also frustrating!!
My mom helped a lot with the sleeves. I seem to have fetish for costumes with really complicated sleeves… he he..
We ended up with two different halves of sleeves shaped kinda like leaves.
We overlapped them on top and seemed them together on the bottom.

They turned out nice, but took a while.
I believe we used the top of a dress sleeve and adapted it to our means, but I’m not sure which one anymore!

 My vambraces
Are my favorite part of the wholly favorite outfit!!
I do love vambraces…I always have.
I bought the suede and knew I wanted these things to fix me exactly…so I disregarded any pattern and did them myself.
I measured my arm from just above my wrist to my elbow, then around my wrist and around my forearm. I made sure to measure it while I flexed
(we have had incidences of people busting seems that way believe it or not!)
I took my measurements and traced them onto my suede with chalk. I cut it out and (tried it on!!!!) used it to cut the other vambrace.
I did add about an inch on the two long sides for seems.

I hand sewed the seems and put in my lacing. I ended up using twice as many grommets as I thought I would need due to the fact the vambraces really gapped open the first few times I wore them because I had made them so form fitting….
You could use the vambrace pattern for the Legolas costume, but I had more fun my way.
Although they do take more then one person to lace up….

And here is me…all done!! 

Namárië! Nai hiruvalyë Valimar.
Nai elyë hiruva.

Nai truanted ar varyuvantel i Valar tielyanna nu vilya!!



  1. Great job! Looks just like his! :)

    1. Thank you! :) Always a pleasure to hear I did well!

  2. That pattern set is no longer available. Any suggestions?


    This is a Throin/Fili/Balin take off costume set that came out this year. I have not worked with it personally, but it looks like the tunic is roughly the correct shape. You might have to modify it slightly.

    You might also try the longer tunic on this pattern (again, with modification)

    Or even something like this:

    If you're looking for something you wouldn't have to alter along the front you might look at something like this:

    I'm also willing to bet that within a year there will be a secondary Legolas/elf pattern coming out with the second Hobbit film.

    Basicly all you're looking for is the basic tunic shape. From there you have to find a sleeve pattern you can adapt.
    Good luck, and feel free to let me know if you have any more questions that I can help with!!

  4. It looks awesome, working on my own costume at the moment, really hoping everything will work out cause its my first costume ever :p

    Yours looks awesome, congratz !!

    1. Best of luck on the costume!! Hope to see pictures when it's done....Be careful, you may become addicted!! ;)

      And thank you! As Will Turner says, "A craftsman always like to know his work is appreciated." :)

  5. Thank you for putting together this blog! I am about to start making my own and I am gathering all the source material I can find. I just picked up all the fabric and ordered the wood for the bow. Biggest road block right now is I cannot find the right hardware for his belts. Your costume looks brilliant. Cheers.