Eowyn's Shieldmaiden Dress


At last, my dress.  I think I spent longer on this than any of my other costumes (well, I did make my 1830 corset in between the vest/corset and chemise), but I truly enjoyed working on it and think it was worth it in the end!


A full length view of the above picture, and a side view.  I wanted to take pictures on a windy day to show the fullness of the skirt and sleeves, but the day I took pictures was probably the first day since I started making the dress that wasn't windy.  The sleeves have a little over 1 1/2 yards of fabric each and the skirt has 6 yards of fabric.


A close up of the back lacing.  This is why you need a dresser.  When I tied the corset, I had an even 1" gap down the center back.  As mentioned on the Making of the Corset page, I left a small gap since corsets tend to stretch.  After a wear or two, this should lace closed.


A detail of the shoulder trim and the neckline.  I used the trim and the cut of the shoulder on the vest to simulate a sleeve cap.


The first layer, the chemise. It's made of paisley silk jacquard and lined with cotton voile.  The pattern is mostly my own.  The bodice is loosely based on the same pattern I used for my Refugee underdress.  The sleeves and skirt are hemmed with a rolled hem, all done by hand.  Good thing I liked doing it (I learned to do it for this dress) since I spent 3-4 hours a day for almost a week hemming :)


The second layer, the vest.  The vest is made of cotton velvet and zips up the back.  It's lined with cotton sateen.  I used Simplicity 9888.  The cords hanging from my elbows will eventually be used to lace the sleeves and pull the bottoms into place.

Here are the directions for lacing the sleeves that I posted on both the Jedi Council Forums and the LOTR Yahoogroup:
The sleeve cords are quite easy. Except they need to be wrapped each time. Ugh. And I need help to do it. Anyway, here's how they work. The sleeve seam is sewed to about the wrist. There's a handsewn eyelet in the sleeve seam just above the elbow. The cord is put through that eyelet. So, part is hanging inside the sleeve, the other part is outside the sleeve. So, take the half that's outside and wrap up three times, very tightly. You want it to feel like you're cutting off the circulation. Then, wrap it three times down, again, very tightly. The next part is a little tricky to describe. It was done by accident during the lacing. You want to slide the cord you just laced your arm with under the cord right next to the eyelet. While doing this, you want to form a loop with the cord and pull it through, so it goes both under the cord and through the loop. Ugh, sorry I can't explain that better. But what it does, is anchors the cord so it doesn't go anywhere. Then you take the cord that's hanging under the sleeve, pull it up, and tie it to the cord you wrapped your arm with. Don't worry about the cutting off circulation part. Within five minutes the cords had loosened and I couldn't feel them. I wore the dress for over an hour, just to make sure everything was right, and kept full feeling in my fingers. Though, I did have red marks on my arm when I took the dress off...

 Shieldmaiden Home

Time to go home!