Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Adventures in: Cosplay! (Part 3) Tauriel of Mirkwood (The Hobbit)

Hello friends! I have not been entirely idle while I've been quiet :3

Cosplay adventures! Part 3? Where are Parts 1 and 2, you might be asking. I haven't posted about either one yet... namely lacking pictures. Part 1 was started around this time last year, when I was watching an anime series and a friend and I decided to cosplay from it. I hope to have good pictures of that one soon. Part 2 was in April, when I made a Game of Thrones whore-I-mean-handmaiden dress to wear to the comic expo.

This year, after watching the third Hobbit movie for the second time, I was suddenly consumed with the desire to cosplay as Tauriel. It took me over a year to figure out how I felt about her as a character. At first I wasn't sure, knowing that she was not part of the original canon. I had to let the movie adaptations go, since extending it into 3 movies to start with was making them much longer than the book ever was (I think I could read the book in the same amount of time as it would take to watch the movies back to back, actually), and characters like Legolas never appeared in the text... I never really liked Legolas in the LOTR movies, but I really liked him in these ones. (I can already hear the shocked cries of "never liked Legolas? What??" Ladies, I would like to point your attention towards Aragorn.)

It hit me rather suddenly as we watched the movie that Tauriel is really an awesome character. In this day and age of rallying cries of equality, having a female character included was quite a nice thing for Jackson to do. Having a female character included who was not sexualized in any way, who had a role that is so very very often given to males, and she is darned good at that role too (are you going to mess with a woman who carries two knives and a bow? You're braver than I if you do). At the same time, she is allowed to be feminine and vulnerable and she is not shamed for this in any way by other characters. I actually fell in love with her when I realized that she got to wear sensible shoes. The only heel on her boots is one suitable for riding.

So. Refreshing.

I walked out of the theatre processing all I'd learned, determined to create a cosplay. I'd started analyzing the costume mid-way through, and already had a rough idea of what I wanted to look for and what I would do construction-wise. I spent several hours on the weekend staring at pictures and screencaps and flipping through the second movie frame by frame. I even went to the fabric store to scout out their stock, though I didn't buy anything (mid-day Sunday just is not the time to shop for me). I went back Tuesday night to take advantage of the current sale and pick up the fabrics I'd chosen. I even got fabric for making pants, which I hadn't intended to do. I couldn't find raw silk, of course, the one time I really wanted it I couldn't get it, but I have lots of time before I need it. I don't even REALLY need it, there are plenty of visuals of the costume without the outer robe.

Well, I picked up all of those fabrics in February, and then sat on the costume for most of two months. I wanted to have a perfectly fitted bodice, so I used a Truly Victorian pattern and cut off at the waist. For some reason these pieces all have removable skirts, which from a practical point of view makes zero sense (you aren't going to stop in the middle of a battle if your skirt starts to fall off...), and used some decorative stitching on my machine to recreate the look of the piped seams on the original costume. I used the sleeve of a modern pattern that fits closely but had to remove a couple of inches out of the head to get it to fit into the armholes properly. The skirt is a couple of trapezoids sewn for a few inches at the top and hemmed. I safety pinned it to the jacket upon wearing it to make sure it didn't slip down beyond the edge of the jacket.

I definitely need to make some changes. I sewed some pre-eyeleted tape to the front as closures but it gaped and wrinkled pretty bad. The skirt pulls away from my waist and flares down, when it should at least give the appearance of closing all the way down the front. I think I need to line it and weight them hem as well, but it's hard to say for sure. I didn't make the pants I wanted to and it was so cold the day I wore it that I had to wear a full-length cloak on top of it most of the day. I'd also forgotten a proper undershirt and made-do with a cream camisole... It was a bit of a disaster.

But. My wig is beautiful, and I got a photo with Graham McTavish, who plays Dwalin in the Hobbit movies and Dougal McKenzie in Outlander, and he is just a wonderful person. I also picked up an autograph for my aunt, who requested that I give him a kiss. I didn't expect anything when I told him that I was supposed to deliver said kiss, but he was so very very kind to allow me to kiss his cheek. My aunt was over the moon when I told her about it :)

And of course, I need to get to work on the rest of the pieces, including the props! I have plans to wear this again in September, but I should start soon :) I don't want to have any last-minute pre-event sewing this year!

This is literally the only photo I have of the outfit. I want the costume to be more ready for photographs before I take some proper ones.

Myself and Graham McTavish

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