From the Archives is a series where I show my earlier works - the good and the bad. The idea is to eventually use this as a portfolio, and it also gives me a chance to re=look at what I've previously made. Some of these projects are awesome and some are laughable. Some may have terrible photography from the early 2000s - sorry about that!
Today for TBT we're going way back to one of costumes I made in 2005. Holy cats, that's over 10 years ago. This was in the heyday of Lord of the Rings and one of the many costumes I recreated from those movies.
The green faux suede base of this dress was actually the very first dress I ever made following Simplicity pattern 9891 back in 2003. Here it is in all it's glory. In fact, this is the only remaining photo I have of this dress. Bask in the terrible lighting and horrible 2003 cropping and editing. I thought about editing the photo a bit to make it nicer for this site, but why fight authenticity? This was what it was. I was thrilled with it - it fit me perfectly and turned out pretty phenomenally for the first item I had ever sewn in my life.
A beauty, isn't she? After I made it, everyone said it looked like a Lord of the Rings dress (which is great because that was the whole point). But I knew it wasn't a real LOTR dress - so I decided to alter it the best I could to make it into Eowyn's green dress from The Two Towers.
I slit open the front panel and lined it in an golden olive poly brocade (it looks a bit too yellow in these photos). I lined the sleeves and fitted them from shoulder to elbow to get the right shape. I also added a collared yoke and trimmed around it with the best cheap approximate I could find for the embroidered bullion trim that they used in the movie. I finished it off with a belt that I had made from medallions.
The back closes with a zipper and a hook and eye on the yoke.
It's funny looking back at these. On the one hand, I see all the mistakes and shortcuts that I took and I cringe. If I made this now, I would have put in an invisible zipper and reworked the yoke. I'd also find some better trim. The seams are also not accurate to the film, nor is the fabric.
But on the other hand, I was only a year and a half into sewing at this point. I still had no idea what I was doing and was learning as I went. I was broke and clueless and I loved how it turned out. I still love this dress. It was also good enough to be recognizable as an Eowyn costume. Would I still wear this (assuming it still fit me)? Absolutely.
I'm Sarah, a textile, history and sewing enthusiast. I talk about contemporary and historical fashion, sewing, patterns, tutorials, home decor, and anything else you can make with a needle and thread. I love books and am happy to talk your ear off about historical clothing.
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