Tuesday 15 July 2014

The Elvish Maiden

Eleven years ago I made a dress to wear to the premiere of the final part of the LoTR saga, The Return of the King. I took my inspiration from the Elvish styles in the movies, but both the dress and the embroidery was my own design.

The dress is made from a semi stiff and rather heavy fabric with a woven in pattern. The sleeves are lined with linen. The neckline and sleeves of the mock under dress are made from raw silk.

It is a lovely dress, but sadly I never got any pictures of myself wearing it, and now I can’t fit into it anymore, as I have a rather more Hobbity shape than I had when I was twenty. I’ve been thinking for some time that my sister E might be able to wear it, being of a similar height to me, though a bit more slender than I was when I wore the dress. As she was staying with us for little over a week, and the dress fit her well enough, we took the opportunity to have a photo shoot.

She was wearing a piece of hair jewellery I made myself for the premiere of The Two Towers, twelve years ago, obviously based on Arwen’s beautiful one from Fellowship of the Ring. It was more striking against my darker hair (which back then reached passed my tail bone), but looked pretty against E’s fair hair as well. 

Her hair looked a bit like that of Legolas, so we thought that if he’d had a little sister, this might be what she’d had looked like. Or it could just be any young Elvish maiden.

While taking the pictures we discussed elves and wondered how quickly they grow up. How fast do they mature, intellectually and physically? When are they considered being of age?  I like to know such things - even when it is a make believe people in a story….


  1. It is beauitful! I love the drape especially. Did you pattern it yourself?

  2. What a beautiful dress and your sister wears it with such elvish elegance :)


  3. A lovely dress and it suits your sister perfektly!

  4. Thank you! Yes, I made the pattern myself.

  5. How does the dress open ? With a zip at the back ?

    I like it very much, a very beautiful shape, but most of all I like the discrete embroidery.

    Thank you for showing it !

  6. Gorgeous! I remember this dress! I have a picture of myself in it from that day we came to your house!

  7. What a beautiful dress! Your work is incredible. Your sister does look so elegant, like a royal elfin princess. I am happy you got some pictures of this dress and I am pretty sure your 'hobbit shape' is divinely feminine!

  8. Thank you all :D

    Hélène: Yes, it has an invisible zip at the back.

    Margo: Yes, that was fun!You tried on the Belle dress as well, didn't you?

  9. Talking of philosophy and elves you might just be interested in an essay Tolkien wrote called 'Laws and Customs of the Eldar'. It's got a lot stuff about the day to day life of the elves in Lord of the Rings.

  10. Katy: Thank you *so* much for that! I'd never heard of it, but it's just what I like! I always was more interested in customs and daily life than the great actions of kings and rulers, be it history or fantasy ;)

  11. I think about that stuff too. I think that while they might grow up physically relative to us (and then just stay in the vigor of life for a long, long, time, e.g. Arwen) Inside, they grow up by how much pain and hardship they are exposed too. Hence, it wasn't creepy for Aragorn (out in the wilds, fighting evil, and leading men, watching his friends die, etc) at 60 (70??) to marry Arwen at 500? (1000? Its been a while since I read it), because she had just been hanging out in Rivendell and Loth Lorien, with friends that don't die like humans do. And thus, it was when he was dying (Appendix) that she said "know I understand..." (about people, being weak and sinning), because she finally understood sorrow etc.
    Um, so yeah. That's why it was not creepy for that age gap. Unlike, say in Star Wars Prequels, when Padme practically babysits Anakin when he's 10 and then marries him 9 years later (even though its only supposed to be a 5? 6? yr age gap)

    And the dress is lovely! btw how did you make the beautiful hair jewelry? If I put anything chain like in my hair, its tangled up in the links...

  12. Hannah: Thanks! I made the hair jewelry from chains, rings, and drops from the craft store. It's made to walk serenely and look nice in - if you were to do anything more vigorous it would likely tangle.


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