Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Evil Queen Gown, Snow White &the Seven Dwarves Musical, Non-Disney Version.

Leaves of Lorian Original design

By Leaves of Lorian

So here I am, cast as the evil queen in Snow White, a maker of awesome costumes….and nothing to wear…

Well it’s easy to fix at least.

I was cast in the musical Snow White as the Evil Queen and asked to provide my own garb (we ended up furnishing just about everyone else’s garb too!) and all my wonderful, beautiful gowns were just too…shall we say, nice and kind?
I mean, can you see the evil queen decked out in Pepto-Bismol pink? Or spring green? Or robin’s egg blue?
So this of course entails me making a new costume!! *cheering*

I drew up the designs with two things in mind - one, I’m not an evil queen, (I make a better supervillain!) and I need as much boost as I can from the garb - and two, they had so many people try out that they double cast the show (to sell more tickets). That means there are two snow whites, two evil queens, two prince Roberts, etc, and we perform opposite each other.
I know the other girl who was cast as the queen and we’re good friends, so I wanted to make a dress that she could wear as well. We’re about the same height and slim, so it’s only the ‘lumpy’ areas I have to worry about fitting.

So….I set down to design a costume that would go ‘boom - attention, evil queen’ as soon as I walked out on stage. This is what I came up with…

It’s a two-piece gown and shoulder cape. (I bought the Tiara) It’s dark because people link dark colors with evil.

The underdress is a dark midnight blue of sheer fabric. The body will be lined with a matching color of something that can’t be seen through. It has a scooped neck.
The sleeves are styled similarly to a roman tunic or Arwen’s dream gown from LOTR.

I’ve also seen a few older period films with sleeves done this way.
 They are tacked at the shoulder and just above the elbow, falling freely after that.

The overdress is navy or midnight blue, a shade or two lighter then the underdress. It’s basically a square cut gown, shaped only slightly at the waist. It has a puddle hem. The neckline is scooped and includes a cowl of extra material.

    The overdress is stepped into or pulled over the head and fastens at the shoulders with silver disk clasps. It hangs from theses clasps.

The cape is a long rectangle of sheer black fabric, wider then the shoulders and designed to drag and drape. It’s clasped on the shoulders. The clasps are sewn onto the overdress.

What’s a pattern?!
I used Simplify pattern 9891, dress A for the underdress. The pattern is a Lord of the Rings take off, based on Arwen’s gowns. (Chase gown, Farewell gown & Dream gown)
I dropped the ‘floof’ at the front of the gown and cut it a bit shorter then my ankles. Since it’s to be the underdress, I don’t want to trip on it!!
No other variations.

The overdress is based on Simplicity 2573, dress B, the overdress.

To the Fabric store, me hearty!!
For the sleeves I wanted a sheer midnight blue martial. I found one that was fairly light and flowed fairly well.

I ended up with a navy satin for the dress part of the underdress. I personally wanted to line the dress with it, but ended up just making the dress out of it. It worked just as well!

For the overdress I found a nice crepebacked satin in midnight blue. It feels very nice and I think it will hang well.

I got a sheer black material for the cape.

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to sew we go!!
My mom helped me a lot with this dress since it had to be done on a deadline.


We started with the underdress and cutting it out. We kept the length of the original pattern, without adding the extensions because I don’t want to be tripping over it.
From there we sewed up the dress which was very simple and surged the seems, then fiddled with the sleeves for a while.
The sleeves were… interesting to say the least! To make a long story short, be sure you never end up sewing them in upside down! 
We did get them in correctly after about three tries, and got them tacked in the right place. They’re a lot of fun, but were a lot harder to do then we had anticipated!! (oh well…more to go on next time!)
The hem ended up coming up to about mid calf on me, which was ok since it is the underdress and I really don’t want more then one layer of material around my feet anyway.

The finished underdress looks about what I wanted it to be, so I am pleased!

The overdress….
The pattern is a really nice dress in itself. I have a court dress made of it.
The bodice is supposed to be lined and have interfacing. We dropped the interfacing and cut the bodice a bit narrower to leave the sides more open and hopefully prevent the material from gapping as wide over my chest area.
The skirt is cut at two pieces with little additions on the bottom sides to widen it out. We cut it normally.
The skirt sewed up nice.

We took tucks in the front of the bodice to get it to form fit a bit more- worked really well. We then surged all the seems we could at that point and I hand sewed the shoulder seems down.

My original design calls for disk clasps at the shoulders. I couldn’t find any on short notice (and didn‘t have any on hand L), so I went with smaller clasps. I sewed them on the shoulders (they look sweet!!)

We hemmed it to be a little shorter in the front without much of a train (due to the fact this is a musical, and we evil queens have a solo song AND DANCE)
And the overdress is FIN!

The cape we surged all around the edges and tied it through the bottom half of the second set of clasps. (The top part of the second clasp is sewn on the overdress, about an inch and a half below the first clasp)

It attaches and falls perfectly. We had to hem it a bit, but I love it.

I bought nice evil queen shoes at Goodwill (Yahoo!!)

The costume needed a belt because I had to have a hand mirror, so I ended up using a braided cord I had left over from another project. Ta-Da!
(That’s my Arwen Battle Dress I’m wearing)

So this is how it turned out!! :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Legolas Greenleaf Capes, Lord of the Rings, TFOTR, TTT, ROTK

 By Leaves of Lorian

Ahhhh… capes…
Capes are epic. And Lord of the Rings capes are double epic because they are well designed and well worn. (besides, aren’t all things LOTR epic by definition?!)

Legolas wears two capes for the films.
I have a separate blog for his bows, quivers and arrow…
I also have a separate blog for his garb…enjoy!!

The Counsel cape --

Obviously the cape is worn in the counsel of Rivendell, and also worn when first entering Rivendell.
It’s basically two squares of material sewn on a rolled cowl.
It appears to be made of velvet, probably dyed by the costuming depart. It looks silvery gray/green/autumn.
The front and sides are made of two pieces of material overlapped in the front and sewn to the cowl. The back is open (he wears it with his quiver when entering Rivendell and you can see it’s open when he dismounts)
There don’t appear to be sleeves, rather the drape of the fabric allows his arms to move freely. The bottom is shaped on the sides.

He wears his silver/blue tunic.

And the Lothlorien cape --

The Lothlorien cape is both very simple and very complex.
It’s a woven fabric,  as seen below. The weave is what gives the cape texture on film. It appears green, stone, and brown ish at times on the films.
I would say it has green, gray brown and white woven into it.

The capes are full sheets of material, gathered in at the hood. The hood is long and pointed and drapes well down the back.

The hood seems to be shaped to frame the face when worn.

Now comes the hard part.
Legolas wears the same cape design as the rest of the fellowship. He also continues to wear his quiver and knives throughout the films
However, wearing a quiver over a cape results in a cape that is essentially stuck to your back.

Clearly, Legolas’s cape is not ‘stuck’ here. Also, if you recall the scenes in TTT when the three companions are crossing the planes of Rohan, Leoglas’s cape is flowing just as nicely as Aragorn’s or Gimli’s. Clearly, there’s more to his cape then first appears.

It’s actually very simple…the main body of the cape sits under his quiver, and the side you see above, (his left side) has little hole for the quiver strap to slip through. OR it’s a long flap of material sewed on with a little hole left for the strap.

If you look really closely, you can see the strap coming out of the quiver, disappearing into the cape, and coming out again under his armpit.

I have made both capes for my own Legolas garb...please feel free to contact me with any questions about those!!

Namárië! Nai hiruvalyë Valimar.
Nai elyë hiruva.

Nai truanted ar varyuvantel i Valar tielyanna nu vilya!!