eowyn's shieldmaiden dress
I have always loved this dress, even though it was only shown for about 3 seconds in the Return of the King. This was my first recreation dress and I did extensive research for it. The biggest help was (of course) Alley Cat Scratch. Apart from their research page I also went through the Scrapbook to see what other people had made. Here is a list of the pages that helped me the most:
Alley Cat Scratch
Katherine’s corset instructions
After all my researching and sketches I finally got to work. I was so happy because this dress is made almost completely from fabric found on the clearance rack at JoAnns. So it was very inexpensive and (I think) it turned out great.
Chemise: Simplicity 9103
Vest: Simplicity 9888 view C
Corset: Katherine’s corset instructions
Skirt: Simplicity 9966 view C
The sections are divided up by parts of the costume.
For the base of the chemise I used Simplicity pattern 9103 and lengthened it by about 4 inches. The fabric is this amazing crinkle white thin fabric that I found for $2 a yard in JoAnns clearance bin. All it said on the fabric to describe it was “silkies”. I had originally bought the fabric for the muslin, but once I got it home I loved it so much that I went back and bought the rest of the role for the sleeves. It was probably about 5-6 yards total.
To put together the chemise I simply followed the instructions to put the dress together. I altered the neckline so it opens in the front like Eowyn’s does. The chemise is self-lined to just below the bust. The chemise comes down to my ankles and I didn’t hem it but used a zigzag stitch around the edge.
The sleeves were a complete accident. I know the real ones are thought to be 2 pieces but mine are just one piece. I started out with Simplicity 9966 for the top of the sleeve, only thinner that what the pattern is. Then I just flared the sleeve out until it was the length I wanted. There is a seam on the underside, which is open from just below the elbow to the end. To get the sleeve to open on top when wearing it, you have to twist it around your arm. It’s kind of hard to describe, but you really can’t tell the difference. The sleeve is also zigzag stitched around the sides and bottom edge. The sleeves are held in place by an elastic band that I can slip on and off, and the white lacing which crosses over the arm and hangs down.
For the vest I used Simplicity 9888 view c with an altered neckline so it went deeper and to a V. The fabric was this brown stuff I also got off JoAnn’s clearance rack for about $3 a yard. I added a back zipper opening with a separating zipper. This was not necessary and a huge waste of time. It doesn’t look good either. It might look better with an invisible zipper, but I wanted mine to be separating, and it just doesn’t look good. I may take mine out. Maybe not, I don’t know. Bottom is hemmed normally. The sleeve caps were my own pattern, I just drew a football shape on some paper and went from there. The trim is all from JoAnns, there are two different kinds of trim for the neckline and the sleeve caps.
The skirt is white cotton gauze from JoAnns, the only fabric that I bought that was not on the clearance rack. It is tea dyed for about 20 minutes with chamomile tea to better match the chemise fabric. The pattern was simplicity 9966 view c. it worked ok for this material, since it has a crinkle to it, but the pattern has a seam down the front which I don’t really like. But you can’t see it anyway so it doesn’t matter.
I also have a brown camp skirt out of the same pattern in a brown suiting, but I never finished it since I like the outfit better with the white skirt. I may get around to finishing it when I have time.
The corset is the same material as the vest, only quilted. I found the pattern online. This is a really great site that works wonderfully. I had no problems with the corset after following these directions. It even shows you how to make one to fit you personally, to your measurements. Katherine’s corset instructions The top and bottom of the corset have bias tape folded over. I really should have done that to the sides too, but I didn’t. There is boning in the front, sides, and back of the corset. There is two types of trim on the corset, both from JoAnns. There are 9 pairs of 3/16” grommets on the back which is then laced up with leather string, both which I purchased at Michaels. The trim is from JoAnns, I think it's a little too yellow, but it's close enough.
Here are some pictures of me at the Ren Faire this past summer.