Arwen Costume From Lord of the Rings
Appearances: Cosplay.com Photoshoot: Irvine, Baycon 2003, San Diego Comic-Con 2003
Awards: Best in Show for the One Ring Circus Group, Baycon 2003
Best in Show for the One Ring Circus, San Diego Comic-Con 2003
I’ve also made Strider Aragorn Costume, and Arwen and Aragorn costumes from Return of the King.
I’ve always been a fan of LOTR (and elves in general) since I was little. When the movies came out, it just further cemented that love with the gorgeous costume design and cinematography. I particularly enjoyed TTT, and when that came out, there were pictures of some costumes NOT used in the film (not yet anyway…?) One was this lovely blue beaded gown, which just happened to be my favorite color of blue. A few weeks later my friends Kel and Judy asked me if I was at all interested in doing Arwen and Aragorn for Baycon with their group called the “One Ring Circus“. Boy, was I! (especially after hearing about the skit idea which was a cross between Lord of the Rings, and the Moulin Rouge song, “the Pitch”).
I figured that doing Arwen’s blue “Requiem of Elves” dress would be a good challenge, but also would require limited tailoring skills, since I was still learning in that area. I wanted to try to get the dress as well done as possible without going over my head! So for this I was able to focus on making a simple pattern fit just how I wanted, and embellishing it (which I knew I could do well.)
The dress is actually two separate dresses. One is a jumper with sleeves (the underdress), and the top dress is a jumper without sleeves. For the overdress (the sleeveless part) I added a train to the bottom. The overdress is a super soft stretch velvet of some kind, while the underdress is a type of silk. The top part of the sleeves has an overlay of silver beads that I hand beaded in a floral pattern that matches the one in the movie. (I found a transcription of this pattern on alleycatscratch.com, which is a great resource for LOTR fans!)
Both dresses have intricate silver lace trim. I made the trim by taking three layers of lace and sewing them together, and then adding bugle beads along the edges, and hand sewing in bugle beads and opaly sequins inside the lace.
Right now the dress is about 90% finished as some of the silver trim still needs to be beaded.
The bottom silver part of the sleeves are a basic U-shaped cut, overlapped to make that nice petal look. The fabric itself was bought that way (with the silver leaves painted on it!).