shieldmaiden slowness

So you know my not-so-inner geek was super-excited about the Sewcialist sewalong theme for this month, right?
Shieldmaiden Hwaet

 But my progress has been a little bit slower than battle-ready this month. Partially due to the Robson, partially due to needing to finish up some sewing for others, partially due to starting back up at work, and partially due to a few other life things that have sucked up the bulk of my weekends. But since it’s almost 2/3 of the way through the month, I’d like to show that I am, in fact, working on it.

My first thought when I hear “shieldmaiden” is inevitably Eowyn. But I’ve already made costumes inspired by her garb in the movies. Twice. But I still can’t resist Middle-earth, so my plan is to make this.


I mean, kick-butt red-headed Elf? Yes, please! I know she wasn’t in the books or anything, but I do like the way she’s turning out so far. This is a pretty complicated costume with lots of components, so I was never planning on fully finishing this month. I am hoping that I can get the bulk of one of the main pieces done, though–in this case, the green coat thing that she wears all the time in the movie.


(My final costume will probably end up being closer to this, though I like that green bodice hoodie thing that she wears, too. I did buy a curtain at the thrift store with a similar color/texture just in case, but I can always use it to make pillows or something if I don’t use it.)

So here’s my progress so far:
Tauriel jacket- fabricI dyed some bedsheets. The left is before, and the right is after. This is not the final color. I’m trying to do this as much on a budget as I can, since I’m stashbusting anyway and probably have a few more costumes to make this year. I didn’t count this in my yardage totals, but I already had the bedsheets–my parents were getting rid of them anyway, so my mom gave them to me awhile back for muslins or whatever. Yay, free costume fabric! This was after one round in the washer with a bottle of RIT dye, and it’s definitely darker than it started, as you can see. But I’m pretty sure there must be some polyester in the fabric, because it didn’t get nearly as dark as I’d hoped.(Incidentally, that more textured green fabric is the curtain I found at the thrift store for the hoodie bodice, if I make it.)

My new plan is to try the iDye Poly out, mixed with a fairly dark regular iDye. This needs to be done on the stovetop, so since I’m a little limited in my size of pots on hand that I’ll never, ever use to cook food in again, I’m going to cut out and sew the bulk of the costume together first in order to cut down on the amount of fabric that I need to stuff in there. (I say the bulk, because that will enable me to match threads better for stitching that will show on the outside, like hemming. Also, since I need to shape that collar, I don’t want to melt my interfacing in boiling water, right?)

I’ve also traced out my Frankenpattern, using all costume patterns that I already had on hand!
Tauriel jacket- patterns
And yes, I’m totally counting both of these as patterns used for Stash Diet purposes. So there.

I’ve made the dress on the right before, though I had to modify it by adding a central panel because this was about the time that I realized my chest got bigger since I’d started college and Big 4 size 12 wasn’t going to work anymore. (I realized this after I had already cut and sewn the bulk of it together and I couldn’t zip it up.) If you want to see the finished product, it’s the second dress down in my pre-blog costume roundup post. I’ve never used the pattern on the left, I just liked the look of the coat in particular, and thought maybe I could adapt it for real life wear. Which I never have. But I’m basically doing that, modified for things like hem shaping, and mashing it up with the collar from the grey dress with the obi belt, because it’s the perfect shape.

I’m hoping the collar works out ok, since the largest size on the collar was a size 12, my coat starts at size 14, and I’m not entirely sure how the shoulder seams will line up with the modifications I made. So my plan is to cut extra-large seam allowances and tweak as needed as I go. I’m not muslining a costume made of bedsheets. No one has time for that!

I have to kill some time at my parents’ after the garden center job tomorrow, since I’m meeting up with a couple of good friends to go to a book signing and driving home is pointless for the amount of time I’d need to stay. My mom said I can use their pool table–or, as she dubs it, the quilt pinning table–to cut the fabric out. Which is great, since bedsheets are a little wide for my little IKEA cutting table. So at least I will make some progress before the end of the month. I hope.


2 thoughts on “shieldmaiden slowness

  1. Faaaaaaaaaith!! 🙂

    It's really not too hard in a washing machine, as long as you keep an eye on it to roll back the timer so the dye doesn't drain out too quickly. But this will be my first attempt at stovetop, so I'll definitely write about that later.

    Also, at some point, I will probably need to consult you for hair ideas. I suspect I may need a wig for this one, and you've done more research into sources than I have. 🙂


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