Thursday, 15 November 2012

Vána: Original Design

I have been a huge Lord of the Rings fan since I first saw the movies in early high school.  As I never got to see them in theaters I always thought that my chance to make a LOTR costume for a movie premier was long gone.  You can imagine my great surprise and excitement upon learning that the Hobbit would be made into a set of three films.  I decided that I would have to make an elven coastume for myself to wear to the film.  Unfortunately there are no female characters in the book to name the gown after so I then decided to name my gown after a Valier.  This way the gown would be somehow related to not only the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings but also to all the other works Tolkien wrote about Middle Earth.  I chose the Valier Vána because she represents the spring and that is my favourite season.


It took me a while to decide what design I wanted to do for Vána.  I knew that I wanted a simple gold under gown and a green over gown.  The under gown always stayed the same design, a plain long sleeved gown with arm ties for the forearm.  The over gown underwent many design changes and phases.  At first I wanted to have bell shaped sleeves on the over gown.  Then I decided that I wanted sleeves that opened from the elbow down, leaving a bunch of fabric to hang loose at the elbow.  I also experimented a lot with the neckline.  I first decided to have it match the under gown's neckline, then changed it to a low scoop neckline.  I finally settled on the triangular neckline.  I always wanted to have the rectangular cut outs in the skirt of the gown, though I was undecided for a while if I wanted to edge them or not.

Concept art


Under Gown: I chose to follow a pattern (for once) for the under gown.  I used Butterick B4827 with the thought that I would add ties to the lower arms.  I bought a pale gold, textured material (the texture was random crinkling here and there).  I am not quite sure what material it is as I didn't see a name to it when I bought it.  It had a nice drape and sheen to it; not too stiff and not too shiny.  I followed the pattern directions, altering it as I went for fit.  I am rather pleased with the turnout of the gown.  I used a gold coloured cord for the lacing in the back.  I added wrist ties out of the same gold cord to give a little bit more detail to the gown as it is a very simple pattern.  I really love this gown, I hope to get in a photo shoot soon, maybe when it snows for the first time.

Arm Ties
Finished back

Over Gown: For the over gown I loosely followed the same tunic pattern I used for Nausicaa that can be found here.  The fabric I chose was a dark green crushed velvet.  I would have preferred to use a jacquard or a stretch velvet but I didn't have the budget for that.  I made the gown slightly bigger than I would have made it normally as it was supposed to go over another gown that already had some substance to it.  The long hanging sleeves are lined and sewn onto the upper sleeves.  The side insets were cut so that the gap on the side of the gown would start from my knee.  I added a train to the back to match the train of the under gown.

This was my first time sewing a trim around sharp corners.  I found a really cool trim with a textured flower pattern that I thought would match to character really well.  I am really quite pleased with how the trim turned out.  I took my time sewing it so that I would look smooth and clean.  I didn't buy enough of the trim to add to the neckline unfortunately.  Maybe my next trip to Fabricville will include getting more of that trim!

Boots: The boots are the same ones that I used for my Nausicaa cosplay.

Cloak: The cloak was made out of an old curtain that I purchased at Value Village with the hope of being able to use the fabric for a project. It has a nice weave to it and a nice woody colour to it.  I have no idea what it is made out of but it is quite sturdy and easy to work with.  You can check out how I easily transformed the curtain into a cloak by checking my tutorial.

Belt: I found a really cool leaf maille belt at value village which I had to get for this costume.  It helps to give the gowns a little bit more form around the waist as they are both a little loose.

I really love how this costume turned out.  It is perfect for the winter which we have a lot of in Canada.  I can't wait to wear this to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in December!  I entered this costume into the Ottawa Pop Expo 2013 masquerade.  I didn't win anything but it was still fun to go on stage and show my work!

Completed Costume

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