Tuesday 10 September 2013

Hobbit Outfit - Part One

I love Tolkien’s history and stories of Middle-earth, and since I saw the Lord of the Rings trilogy I’ve wanted a hobbit outfit. I made one try at it many years ago, but never finished – I was then too busy making pretty dresses and a coat with wide, hanging sleeves, inspired by Elvish and Rohirrim clothing. But I feel like a Hobbit at heart (and certainly look more like a Hobbit than an Elf...), much preferring a quiet life at home - sewing, baking, reading and spending time with my family - than going abroad seeking adventure and renown. A Hobbit hole would be the most lovely home imaginable.

For the past year or something I’ve been itching to make a Hobbit outfit, drawing many different designs, but have had too many other projects to work on to do this as well. But enough is enough – last week I finally began my outfit.

I’m basing it on the costumes in the "The Lord of the Rings" movies, as I loved them from the first glimpse. This is the design I’m going for this time (I have several others that I hope will some day be made up), based on materials I had at home. I’ve changed the colour of the binding, and I’m not quite sure what to make a shift of just yet, but other than that, this is pretty much what it will look like:

This is the first “mood board” of the fabrics I’ll be using, made the same day I did the drawing above. The checked fabric will be a skirt; the materials at the top are currently being made up into a bodice, with the blue herringbone as the main bodice, the green as the front panel, but with mustard coloured linen as binding instead of the green ribbon. I also made finger loop braids from cotton weaving yarn.

The braids are sewn on the front panel of the bodice in a lattice pattern – I love those. Here’s a close-up: 

I still have quite a lot to do on this outfit, but so far it's looking good enough. Yellows and oranges are not colours I generally like, or wear, but they are kind of Hobbit-y, so it'll have to do...

This costume is not copied from any one in the movies, for, beautiful as cosplays or movie reproductions often are, they loose their charm after seeing the same outfit in many different versions (I don’t know how many Arwen and Èowyn dresses I’ve seen, or how many Frodo/Sam/Merry/Pippin/Rosie Cotton-costumes for that matter. Now, not surprisingly, there seem to be a lot of Dwarf costumes showing up, and not so few cosplays of Thranduil.) I prefer seeing original Middle-earth costumes, influenced by the books and movies. I'm sure I can’t be the only one – there are a lot of nerds out there – so I talked to Sarah Jane about it. Her beautiful Hobbit outfit has been very inspiring, and not helping at all in my trying not to make an outfit for myself. We soon started a facebook group called “Taylors and Seamstresses of Middle Earth”. Anyone interested in making LotR costumes inspired by the cultures, but not copied straight of off movie costumes, are more than welcome to join the group. I dearly hope to see a Dwarf woman’s costume made up, beard and all…


  1. OH my! I've been wanting to make a female dwarf costume, (without beard because I'm just too vain). I can't wait...

  2. I have a friend who's making a dwarf outfit for her husband and seriously contemplating making one for herself. I'll tell her about your FB group!!

  3. This will be so much fun to follow! The Shire is definately one of the most amazing places ever and I love the Hobbits and the way they live :)

    Your costume will look gorgeous...and real!


  4. How fun there's an interest in Middle-earth costumes :)

    And thank you Sabine - I want even fantasy costumes to feel real and believable, as if they might have existed somewhere, sometime.


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