The Free Motion Quilting Project: Galadriel Lord of the Rings Costume Part 1

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Galadriel Lord of the Rings Costume Part 1

Yes, I've been working on a new costume for Halloween! Last year I was Princess Zelda, and this year I want to be someone a bit more recognizable so I picked Galadriel from Lord of The Rings.

galadriel costume | how to make galadriel costume
The easiest thing about this costume is going to be the gown, which has a convenient Simplicity pattern #1551 that is styled clearly to look like Galadriel's beautiful white dress. The thing is - after picking up this pattern I watched The Fellowship of the Ring again and realized her gown is hardly seen!

Most of Galadriel's dress is covered up by a floor length hooded cloak of net lace. I searched Simplicity's site again and found a corresponding pattern (#1582) that will work to create the cloak as well if I have time.

This weekend I knocked out a good chunk of her dress, but stopped at the point of sewing the side seams to check the fit. As you can see, it needed some work!

galadriel costume | galadriel lord of the rings
I cut this out at a size 14, which was the closest to my measured size according to the pattern measurements. Gone are the days when I can cut out a size 8 and be done with it! After piecing the princess seams and shoulder seams, I can definitely tell it needs to be brought in a bit. Here's a short video Josh helped me shoot last night to show this particular stage of the game:


galadriel costume | galadriel lord of the rings
So I just need to stitch all the princess seams again, and stitch the side seams, taking an extra 1/8 inch allowance to reduce the dress a half size so it will fit better.

I did find while working on this another use for Clover wonder clips. I've mostly used these for binding, but I found they can also work great in place of pins to gauge how much a seam needs to be adjusted!

The other thing I've definitely decided to change is the neck area. It took 2 hours to get the gauzy neck drape to fit just right and I ended up not liking it. All I have to do is rip the shoulder seams and pick out all the basting to remove it and the neckline will be smooth and simple once again.

So that's it for this update! I'm really excited about this costume and enjoying this experience of sewing with satin again after such a long time.

Let's go quilt (or sew!)

Leah Day

13 comments:

  1. Pattern sizes always run small, especially compared to commercial clothing sizes. I wear a size 6-8 in the store but a size 12-14 in patterns. Looking forward to seeing your dress completed!

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  2. Before you use any steam on your dress, test on a scrap. I made my daughter a prom dress out of satin and decided to let the cleaners give it a good press before the big day. They used steam and the dress went limp. I could never recoup the crispness.

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  3. This made me snicker a bit: "bit more recognizable". It is so relative and that statement made me realize it. I'd recognize any version of Zelda from any game and any year, but I have no clue who Galadriel is. The Hobbit guy and the old guy are about the only two I'd likely recognize from Lord of the Rings. For the longest time, I thought Loki was LoTR. Clearly neither comic books or LoTR are in my geekery. Fandom - she's a funny thing. ha!

    We used that same pattern a few years back for one my daughter's costumes. It changed so many times along they way that this is what it actually looked like when finished. http://theboredzombie.com/project/trick-or-treat-urban-witch-halloween-2013-costume

    I bet yours turns out a zillion times better and ends up looking like what it is supposed to look like!! :)

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  4. How fun!! I LOVE Galadriel.............so I'll be excited to see what you come up with. I've always envisioned her to have a White or Cream Velvet hooded cloak for winter. :-) Thanks for sharing your process.

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  5. Hi, Leah! I've been following your blog for several years now and LOVE all your FMQ tutorials. Now that you posted about making your own dress, and taking in the seams a mere 1/8 of an inch, I have a question, because I too, have started making my own shirts and need to adjust the pattern to fit better.... wouldn't the 1/8 seam intake actually be 1/4 inch total? I mean, you'd be taking 1/8 on both sides of the seam, yes?? So that would take up 1/4 inch of fabric total? So if you had 7 seams, it would actually be more like 1 3/4 inches that you took in all over the dress?? Just curious. I think of things like this. Thanks for listening and hope you can verify/clarify my math question. LOL
    -Jose

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    1. LOL! You're totally right Jose - it would be 1/4 inch reduce per seam so 1 3/4 inches total (no wonder it shrunk so quickly). It really is surprising how much a small change like that can make a big difference!

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  6. I agree that pattern sizes are totally different than ready made clothing. I also wear a size 6 or a small in store bought clothing, but in patterns it's a size 12. I've never seen any of the Lord of the Rings movies, and have no idea who that character is, but your dress looks great!

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    1. Just watch Return of the King if you'd like to see Galadriel. She's in the later half of the movie for just a small scene.

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  7. What an adventuresome undertaking. At first, before reading, I thought this was a wedding dress. Please post completed pictures. Anxious to see the finished product.

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    1. It actually looks very similar to my wedding dress! It's been a fun trip down memory road with slippery satin!

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  8. Leah, Have you seen this from the pattern designer's blog? http://www.andreaschewedesign.com/blog/new-pattern-1551-dramatic-fantasy-dresses-sewing-tips
    I enjoy reading her blog.
    I bet the 12 would have fit ok or even with smaller seam allowances. You are smaller than me and I would have probably cut a 14 for the shoulders and gone up for the hips. :-)
    Can't wait to see the final dress.

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    1. Thank you so much for passing this on Ginger! I love knowing the designer of the dress and just reading this blog post has given me more ideas for modifying the closure in the back. Now that I consider it, I really don't want a zipper!

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  9. Just lovely!!!! Cannot wait to see it finished on you! :)

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