Monday, May 5, 2014

Project Sewn Week One: Leading Ladies Challenge

Week 1 of Project Sewn has arrived! And I'm actually ready to post at the beginning of the week. Shocking, I know. ;) The first week challenge is the leading ladies challenge.
"The Leading Ladies Challenge---make a look inspired by a leading lady from the movies. (This doesn't mean it has to be an exact replica, although it can be, but only needs to be "inspired" by your feature film leading lady."

Finding a leading lady for inspiration took some thought. My first thought was a panicked "but... I don't movie!" I don't watch much for movies these days, and haven't seen anything in a theater for a couple of years or more. So I started going through the tried and true favorites, and came up with... Lord of the Rings. Hold on. How do you make an everyday summer outfit based on those dresses? Gorgeous, and I've used them for inspiration when making medieval styles, but not for daily outfits. But I'm up for a challenge, so I sifted through a bunch of photos of Arwen, Eowyn, Galadriel, and Tauriel from Desolation of Smaug. Eventually I settled on this photo of Eowyn.

It's not technically featured in the movies, since most of the scenes with it were cut, but it's still become an often used photo, and I decided it was something I could work with. And this is what I came up with. Definitely inspired by and not a replica!

Yeah, I totally wore my Chucks with this because we walked to the park. That is why in most of these I'm barefoot.

What's that, Mommy is trying to do something without me? Nope, don't think so.
Eowyn's dress was made of a silk jacquard gauze. No way am I getting anything like that, so the dress became a boho style knee length skirt. I used an embroidered cotton voile for the main skirt fabric, and used a different specialty cotton in the bottom, a la a lace inset. The skirt absolutely needed a lining, so it's lined about halfway down in muslin. It didn't come out quite the way I envisioned. The cotton lawn doesn't quite have the drape I was hoping for, maybe because of the stiffer muslin lining, but it's still so pretty and will definitely see a lot of use this summer.
Please excuse the hint of bra that decided to peek out.
I turned the bodice over the dress into a tank top - not exactly a stretch. The brown knit was leftover from another project, and I used a brown quilting cotton for the straps. I loved that I found this pattern that looks lace-like to go with the feel of the skirt and the lacy inset detail. It is self lined up top, and I considered making a built in bra, but I wasn't convinced that the fabric was sturdy enough to take it. I'll spare you an up close look at my top stitching, it's a skill I'm still perfecting! One of the straps ended up at a slightly wrong angle in the back, but I didn't feel like unpicking the serged seam since it looks fine.

This is the first outfit I've ever made totally without a pattern or tutorial, and while there are definitely things I'd do differently next time, I'm really pleased with how this outfit came together.


  1. Good job on modernizing the Eowyn outfit. Looks very nice on you, and a great summer outfit. :)

  2. Such a clever take on Eowyn's costume! I love that you did an inspired look, as opposed to a complete replica. This outfit will definitely get a lot of wear! At least it would if it was mine :)

    1. Thank you! This will probably get plenty of wear this summer :)

  3. Love this! I can't believe that you made it from scratch without a pattern. Definitely a more functional version of Eowyn's costume.

  4. Ooooh, love the skirt! We made a skirt too. Yours is adorable!

    1. Thank you! I saw your skirt as well. What a great idea!