If you’re familiar with The Lord of the Rings trilogy, then perhaps you might've noticed the lime-green dress that Arwen Evenstar wore at Aragorn’s coronation during in the last installment: Return of the King.
Well, I fell in love with it; simply had to make one of my very own. After searching through many patterns, I decided to use Simplicity pattern 4940, view C. First, I made a mockup pattern out of muslin fabric. (For those of you who don’t already know, muslin is very cheap – about $2/yd at your local fabric store. Before even thinking about cutting on your good, expensive fabric, I highly suggest making a muslin mockup first!)
After much contemplation and observation of many reference pictures, I then ordered 9 yards of fabric #SVT30 from Fabric World USA. I am not going to say it was cheap, but it wasn’t outrageously priced either, and very accurate to the original gown's shade. Plus, I didn’t want to use thin, cheap costume fabric!
I made a (exceptionally fast) video log of my progress and uploaded it on youtube. The video includes a picture of the pattern I used, sleeve fabric and all trims. Click here to view it. There were a few kinks, naturally, but nothing I couldn’t work out. One of those kinks was finding out that View C of the pattern opened and closed via bows that tie at the shoulders. Arwen’s gown doesn’t do this, so I had to alter the pattern to leave out the tied closures and added a back zipper instead.
I’m very satisfied with how my particular Arwen Evenstar coronation gown turned out, so much that I feel it’s too pretty for me to wear. lol But I’ll have to get over this inferiority complex and just do it!
The most challenging part was her headdress! I was very nervous about it, because I’ve never worked with wire to make a crown before. My friends had kindly noted, however: “If you could make Edea Kramer’s head piece, then Arwen’s crown should be a cake walk!” They were kinda right. Shaping and cutting the metal was probably the hardest part, but I had fun painting and beading it.
I followed this tutorial for the crown (click here). When following that tutorial, please be warned that the patterns provided might not fit your head. (They were too large for mine.) To avoid screaming and crying aftter cutting up a bunch of metal, make a paper cutout pattern first to see how it fits your own head, then adjust.