Arwen was created and debuted in the summer of 2018. This cosplay is a replica of her riding outfit worn in the first Lord of the Rings film.
Photos by Atelier Heidi and Mindfall Media
Source: The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
Debuted: A-kon 2018
Collaborators: Hadhafang (Sword) by United Cutlery
Wig sponsored by Arda Wigs
The dress is made entirely from silk and faux suede. While creating this costume, I studied a variety of references for the original costume worn in the film. Although genuine leather was used in the movie, I opted for faux suede to keep it a little lighter in the summer heat. The edges were left raw (as in the film) and heat-sealed to prevent fraying. On the silk pieces, I serged the edges with a rolled hem to create a subtle edge. The crinkle silk used in the sleeves was left raw and sealed with fray check. The raised texture along the inner collar was created with puff paint.
I started with Simplicity 4940, which is a generic knock-off Lord of the Rings pattern. I made a variety of alterations in the shape and closures to mimic Arwen’s riding outfit, creating a muslin mockup and adjusting from there.
The decorative sleeve design was one of the more interesting details of the costume. In the original outfit, this design was added to the suede with leather paint. Instead of painstakingly drawing the design by hand, I designed it digitally and cut it out on a Silhouette vinyl cutter. From there, I was able to transfer it to the suede fabric with an iron. This pattern is available in my store.
The ornate buckle was the most time-consuming part for me, because I sculpted it out of Monster Clay and then cast the sculpt in resin. Monster Clay is a wax- and oil-based clay that does not harden, so it needs to be replicated in another material to be used in a costume. I sculpted the buckle over the course of several days (check out my stream archives below for more info) and then created a silicone mold. I dusted the interior of the mold with aluminum powder, then poured some Smooth-On Onyx Fast resin into the mold. This creates a lightweight, plastic copy that is coated in a fine aluminum finish straight out of the mold. I polished it for a little more shine. The template for this buckle design is also available in my store.
Arwen Stream Archives
Below you can find my stream archives, documenting the majority of the work on this costume: