Thursday, 9 January 2014

Side project: Tauriel - part 1

Considering I too was going to the premiere of The Desolation of Smaug, I needed a costume of my own. With all the rumours that had been going around about there potentially being a romance thing going on between a certain redheaded elf and Kíli, I obviously couldn't resist the temptation of making my first Middle Earth elf costume, so as a side project, I'd made a simplified Tauriel costume.

I started with the green jacket thing, which I made out of dark olive green linen:

Here's the pattern I made for the sleeves, which are the work of demons, I tell you! I first made a normal sleeve, and then marked up the lines where the new seams would go. Then I proceeded to cut the new seam lines and pinned it together so that I could adjust the seams to make the sleeves fitted. Once that was done stitched it together with big stitches and cut away the surplus fabric. Unraveling the seam, I then had a pattern for the sleeves and could start cutting the linen pieces.

I sewed them together to make sure they had the right fit and went on to make the bodice part of the jacket.

 I simply used a pattern I had from an old jacket design for the torso, and pinned the sleeves onto it when I  had sewn it together (this is the first time in ages that I've sewn sleeves on this way; I usually sew them on before I sew the side seams and the seams on the sleeves).
This is how it looked after I had attached the sleeves. They fell kind of awkwardly whilst on the mannequin, but it looked good when I put it on, so I continued. Cutting the waistline, I measured up the linen for the four "skirt flaps" on the jacket. It was a little trickier than I thought it be, because, I had limited amount of fabric and had to cut the flaps seperatly instead of making the skirt out of one or two pieces, and so it took some adjusting to get them all in the right length and width when attaching them to the bodice.

I got it right in the end though and moved on to the next step, which probably should have been the neckline and collar, but I was still a bit uncertain about how I wanted to do that, so instead I jumped on the next bit item, which was the leather bodice.

Because I didn't have any leather in the right colour, and thus would have to dye it anyway, I went with the light grey split leather I still have a ton of. It's suede, but it's thick and I needed the firmness of it to make it work.

I treated it as a basic corset construction with several panels, and it needed a bit of adjusting before I got the cut right, but in the end it turned out alright.

I made the straps and attached the extra bits on the front and it was done. All that remained was the colour. Now, since I didn't plan on using this costume a lot, I cheated and decided to just spray paint the fuck out of in, so (almost) one can of fur brown spray paint later, this was the result, and I figured it was close enough. After all, this was a side project to Kíli and I didn't want to spend too much time on it.

In between sewing and spray painting, I managed to fit in some time for a hair test. I can't stand wearing wigs, and If I can avoid it, I will. In this case it was pretty easy, as I have a very similar hair colour to the one Tauriel has, and it's now grown long enough to reach just underneath my shoulder blades. Yes, Tauriel has hair down to her knees (which is a practical nightmare if your job is to engage in combat, but I guess elves have magical hair that doesn't get caught on things or slap you in the face :p), but I figured I wouldn't want screen accurate length if I was to sit in a cinema most of the time whilst wearing this costume, anyway, so I just went with what I already had.

Doing the hair test made me thank the powers that be that I've been doing strength classes all year, 'cause the amount of strain this hairdo puts on your arms is insane! Turned out alright, though I found out that the side braids were in fact twisted and not braided, which I did for the premiere night.

I'll show you how it all turned out in part two! :)

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