Tennessee Renaissance Festival 2015

Blue and Burgundy FairyA couple weeks ago I got to visit the Tennessee Renaissance Festival, where I had been a cast member for three years before moving to Georgia. It was truly an amazing learning experience to hone improv acting and movement skills, so I was happy to return there to play and see old friends of years past. It was especially special this year because of my brush with death in the car accident. So it was important to spend time with the people that I love and were so supportive of me during recovery.
11251912_10202690522503005_5863705612425070491_nSure enough, when I arrived, some of the cast knew I was coming, but most didn’t. It made my heart burst with joy and my cheeks almost burst from blushing at all the double-takes, big hugs, squealing of my name, and people almost dropping character in surprise. I truly felt loved.
IMG_20150516_121723Now I couldn’t show up in regular clothes. But I also had no costume to wear either. *Cue fairy rescue!* The costume was borrowed from the faerie director at the festival, who is a good friend of mine and body twin. (Rumor on the street has it that her husband has banned me from wearing her clothes because we look too much alike from behind. 😛 )
11109707_10206666872333377_5817657433569075481_n10989171_10202690521502980_1618963901099406589_nPhotographs: Doug Wong, David Merritt, Kirk Hughes, and well…a selfie with my phone.

Shannan Costume – Wig and Winter Shoot

Part 9 of the Construction behind my Shannan, the Daughter of Allon costume.

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I knew I wanted a wig for my Shannan costume as my hair is very very fine, thin, and there’s not a lot of it. Shannan, on the other hand, has thick hair. In the book it’s written that Shannan wears her hair in a large braid. Well, I can guarantee you that when my hair gets put back in a braid it’s about the size of a rat’s tail. Seriously. So I decided to save myself the embarrassment and get an actual wig. Now since this was the first time I had ever worn a wig for a costume, I was going to need a little extra help.

Aria Durso was the go-to wig lady of Middle Tennessee at the time. Although her wig creations tend more towards the fantastical and theatrical, she has experience with more down-to-earth hairstyles as well. After searching through an untold amount of braid images online, I settled on a style of braid seen on the runway for Alexander Wang’s Spring/Summer 2010 collection. It wasn’t pulled starkly back (as I wanted bangs like in my drawings of Shannan), but still secure and believable to be running around the forest in. (*Note* Yes, I came up with this before the revealing of Katniss Everdeen’s infamous side-braid. Apparently I was just on the same wavelength of popular hairstyles!)
Alexander Wang 2010 side braidMan I wish I could get my hair to look that awesome every day….but I digress. Aria brought over two wigs for me to try on – one synthetic and one made of real human hair. Ironically the synthetic fit better! (I forgot to mention that in addition to having thin hair I also have a small head more akin to a child’s size than an adult. Don’t even get me started on trying to shop for hats…) So Aria went to town and I was graced with a beautiful wig that could not have been more perfect (Note: In 2015, 5 years after this wig was made, I’m STILL getting comments on how it looks like my real hair. 🙂 )

In January 2011, we actually had a real snowfall in Nashville! (we tend to only get a dusting every so often) So while everyone else was lobbing snowballs and building their snowmen (alright, so I did kind of build a snow Yoda…), I decided to grab my costume and head outdoors for a little fun photoshoot with my mom. Here you get the see the wig in action!
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Shannan Costume – Pouch and Wineskin

Part 8 of the Construction behind my Shannan, the Daughter of Allon costume.

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I had sketched out a number of designs for a pouch, but Mrs. Elrod happened to find a neat looking pouch at a yard sale. While I didn’t see it as very functional for Shannan, we were beginning to run out of time to find a suitable alternative (and as it turns out the pouch was perfect to hold Mom’s business cards and Allon bookmarks at conventions).
IMG_2156We detached the colourful bits and baubles, save a couple light berry coloured ones that matched my belt and a neat hair tuft from the middle (part of a turkey beard perhaps?). The front side of the pouch had a long messenger-bag like strap with no real way to close the pouch except for a small velcro patch on the front pocket. Mrs. Elrod cut off the long strap and instead made two smaller straps in the back like loop holes so the pouch could then just slide straight on to the belt.
IMG_2746 IMG_2745Mrs. Elrod suggested taking one of the light berry coloured beads, attaching it to the front, and wrapping a small leather strap around it to ‘close’ the pouch. The colour was fading off the bead, especially on one side so I grabbed a marker and went to town!
IMG_2743(I really look like I’ve got stained blueberry all over my fingers!) Now here is the final pouch…
IMG_3055The same process happened with the wineskin – found in a yard sale and then painted to match the rest of the costume. Sadly, the wineskin, while aged and distressed, was a modern plastic grey and red.
WineskinSo out came the shoe polish!
IMG_2710 IMG_2711IMG_2713 The leather part was fairly easy to buff to brown, but the plastic parts were a whole other story…I tried putting on a mask and painting the grey with mark like I did the beads on the pouch. But the plastic was slick and the marker ink wouldn’t stick worth anything.
IMG_2716I ran the marker dry trying to put coat after coat on but grey still shone through when it dried. Thankfully Mrs. Elrod came to my rescue with a brilliant idea. She took one one of the reject belts (for my main belt) and threaded it through like a strap. It ended up working great as it covered the grey as well as wrapping it around the red, blatantly plastic cap.
IMG_2734 IMG_2738Et voila!

Shannan – Belt and Quiver

Part 7 of the Construction behind my Shannan, the Daughter of Allon costume.

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Since Goodwill tends to have belts for around $1- $1.50, we grabbed a number of leather belts to try out.
IMG_2141The middle belt ended up being the winner. Rather than being the typical one, maybe two-toned belt, this one was multi-toned and multi-layered. It had a gorgeous rich dark red running the length of the belt next to the cognac brown. And being used, it already came pre-distressed! The belt was way too big for me but we had no leather-punching tools, so we decided to just play around with wrapped the belt around itself. It’s worked every time since!
IMG_3054(NOTE: I knew nothing of archery when I did this costume, so the quiver is…well…quite lacking. I corrected this ignorance when I did my Tomb Raider costume in 2013). The quiver, on the other hand, was the exact opposite from the belt in terms of difficulty. While the belt was easy as Easy Mac, the quiver was vastly more complicated. Like the bracers, I didn’t want to have the typical tube with arrows stuck in it. I turned again to the Rangers of Ithilien and found their quivers to be both functional, different looking. However, I had no idea how the craftsman at Weta created them, so I had to come up with my own method.
Weta Workshop Lord of the Ring QuiverAfter deciding upon exact measurements, my dad and I created a quiver template in Adobe Illustrator. I then traced the template onto paper Mrs. Elrod gave me to use for a pattern. I then cut out the middle diamond of the exterior of the quiver as the arrow bag would show through it.
IMG_2771Afterwards, I traced the template onto the pattern paper and labeled it accordingly.
IMG_2764 IMG_2769Mrs. Elrod constructed the quiver out of the same material as the bracers. Unfortunately the diamond hole in the middle was abandoned as the seams ended up needing to be wider to support the stitching in the leather. Straps were attached, but something got miscommunicated from design to construction so the quiver ended up not being functional.
IMG_3122IMG_3127I still kept the quiver in the final photoshoot as it wouldn’t make much sense to have a bow and arrows for props but no quiver.

Shannan Costume – Pants and Boots

Part 6 of the Construction behind my Shannan, the Daughter of Allon costume.

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Surprisingly there’s very little to say when it comes to the construction of the pants and boots. Both were Goodwill bought with no modifications (with the exception of taking in the size 6 pants as I wear a 0). The pants are thick suede by Ann Taylor with a silk lining that is RIDICULOUSLY freezing when the temperatures dips below my beloved 70 degrees. As far as the look I wanted for the pants, I took inspiration from Faramir in the Lord of  the Rings films. Truth be told, the Rangers of Ithilien were the primary inspiration for my Shannan costume. I really wanted to create a rustic, unique, but entirely believable costume so I took quite a few notes from Weta Workshop’s costuming department.
f_pantsAt first I opted for woolen hose or leggings (ala Legolas or Aragorn) until I put the jerkin on and realised that with its bulk the proportions looked off. So I went with the Ann Taylor pants.

The boots are suede slouch boots with no apparent brand name. They’re definitely a wee bit snug, but they have a very interesting fitted foot shape not usually characteristic of tall boots. I originally wanted to go with something more along the lines of what Faramir wore, but I’m beginning to think there’s a conspiracy out there against making those kind of boots for women. But as it turns out, the boots I found work best being similar fabric to the rest of the costume (and there’s no lacing on the rest of the costume, so that probably would’ve bothered me aesthetically).
IMG_2187Now, for the actual boot colour!
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Shannan Costume – The Sleeves and Bracers

Part 5 of the Construction behind my Shannan, the Daughter of Allon costume.

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The flowing sleeves were purely for aesthetic purposes and attached to the jerkin itself. The idea behind them was three-fold.

  • To be unique and add a little femininity
  • In keeping with the forest surroundings, they were to be cut to look like leaves
  • To be related in design to Wren’s, the Guardian Trio Leader of the Southern Forest (and one of Shannan’s protectors) costume

I found a beautiful sage green fabric at Hobby Lobby to use for the sleeves. I wanted to keep everything as natural looking as possible, but getting them cheaply was a whole other issue. So, as with the cowl, I compromised a purchased a poly-suede fabric. (I even went outside to test it against the trees by the porch. It matched! Although it’s hard to see in the photo below, it has shades of umber and slate grey in it.)
IMG_2176In the sketch, the sleeve was a full circle sleeve. Mrs. Elrod suggested we go for a half-sleeve instead, only attached to the front and back armpit of the jerkin. It would save a bit on fabric and keep from having more fabric that could potentially bunch up under the armpit. I agreed and we moved onto the next step. In the end we went with the pleat sleeve as the one of the right looked too courtly for Shannan’s costume.
IMG_2793I had no specific design in mind for the bracers when I first designed the costume. My knowledge of archery and leatherwork was nil. All I knew was that I didn’t want the tubed laced-down bracers that I’ve seen at renaissance faires. I wanted something more durable, more substantial, and a bit different looking. It was frustrating at first as all I seemed to be able to find were bulky designs made for muscle men and certainly not for a gal with a six inch wrist. To make matters worse, everything looked too clean, too modern. I finally turned to Deviantart as I knew there were some actual leatherworking artists under the costuming section. After a few hours of searching I came across a fantastic costumer leatherworker by the screenname of Sharpener (http://sharpener.deviantart.com/). I adapted a design from his various bracers. Mine was much more crude and simplistic, but it got the job done.

Mrs. Elrod drew up her own sketch to jot down sewing notes. We decided to go for an extended triangle front on top of the hand to protect the wrist as well as to cover the archer’s glove on the right hand. In addition, Mrs. Elrod added a triple stitch around the top panel. This tri-stitch is repeated through the whole costume.
IMG_2795The mock-up
IMG_2839 IMG_2844I then tried on the mock-up to make sure it fit properly. Thankfully, with the straps, it had enough room for the undershirt to fit in, but snug enough that it was form-fitting.
IMG_2818 IMG_2819 IMG_2822 IMG_2823Now here’s some amusing trivia on these bracers. Guess where the fabric came from! Yep, a pair of leather pants from Goodwill (and a suede skirt. Alas I didn’t get a picture of the skirt before it was diced).
IMG_2153The straps ended up being a little long, so we cut them in half. In addition, the straps themselves needed more weight to them as we were working with a soft, light leather and not a heavy duty one as most bracers are made with. Mrs. Elrod placed plastic boning in the middle of the top layer of layer and a bottom layer of poly-suede. The layering gave a thickening effect and it made it easier to hold the straps down lest they slip through the D-rings if I decided to start flailing (which is almost guaranteed. I tend to gesticulate wildly sometimes. 😛 ).
IMG_2828The next time I saw the bracers they were finished. I didn’t think to ask for a closeup of the bracers during my photoshoot, so here’s the closest shot (as well as the sleeves).
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Shannan Costume – The Jerkin

Part 4 of the Construction behind my Shannan, the Daughter of Allon costume.

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This was undoubtedly the most unique and hardest part of the whole costume. I searched high and low through my references to find something that would work against the stereotypical female doublet grain. I knew I wanted the bottom to be longer and the top more simplistic, but things were starting to look hopeless as I racked my brain trying to come up with something. My beginner skills at costume design were starting to show. During a google image search I happened across an illustration that became my design focal pointJerkin

Sadly I cannot find the the artist who did this piece so I can give proper credit (if you know who did this, please leave me a comment so I can credit them!). I’ll admit that I copied down the jerkin almost exactly, mainly because I was trying to figure out how the artist designed it in the first place.

Shannon_costume

I had an intention to change the shape once I figured out the final design, but the more I worked with it, the more I thought it fit Shannan’s design. In the end, I kept the shape of the illustration’s jerkin, but changed quite a few other things. The changes made were:

  • The lacing was replaced with D-rings and straps
  • The jerkin’s bottom were cut into side flaps only to protect the hips rather than a full skirt
  • Top was raised higher to protect the collarbones
  • Different colour and fabric
The jerkin proved to be a tough little piece to do as shown in both the illustration and my sketches. It’s all one piece (all the lines are seam lines) and goes over one’s body like a vest, pulled together by straps in the middle. In addition, I wanted the jerkin to be made out of leather, preferably a soft, supple leather. I looked at fake leather, upholstery leathers, even elk hide. But the prices were just astronomical for my meager budget. I was beginning to wonder if I would have to scrap the jerkin all together and go with something simple. But nay, I stuck to my guns. I wasn’t going to compromise the design and end up with something that looked like I just stitched it together for a romp at the local comic convention. I wanted this to be a screen-worthy costume. Mrs. Elrod came up with an interesting design for a more rustic looking jerkin with military-esque straps pulled across the body. I’ll admit it took a bit to talk me into it as it was such a departure from the designs I had drawn up. But it was between that or no jerkin at all and that just wouldn’t do. So I surrendered to Mrs. Elrod’s sewing expertise and away we went.
Shannan_final_costume2
At Goodwill, we stumbled upon a rich suede coat that featured stitched panels. It gave it a look as if hides had been stitched together. It was a very light beige/cream colour, so I had a mind to dye it. Upon closer inspection, we found the jacket was from Hening Furs. I went onto their website to discover that coats similar to it run about $1,500! In the end, we managed to procure the coat for a whopping $30! What a steal! But yes, it’s true. We planned to cut it up, dye and distress it all in the name of costuming. Here’s some closet-ups on the jacket we procured on our last Goodwill excursion. It’s a heavy little bugger (and way too big for me). So here it is folks, the $1,500 coat that we cut up in the name of costuming…
IMG_2123 IMG_2124 IMG_2128The pattern, on the other hand, turned out to be a headache. It was nigh impossible to find a pattern anywhere near my sketch. We scowered through every pattern book we could find as well as online. I even bought a dress at Forever 21 that I thought might work, but ended up not being the right cut (sadly, I couldn’t exchange it back for cash to put towards the costume). After a couple weeks of searching we returned to Goodwill and found a long dress that had some close seam lines. It wasn’t completely ideal, but it was the closest we could find.
IMG_2188Using me as a mannequin, Mrs. Elrod drew the lines on the bottom of the jerkin that we would use to cut out the final piece.
IMG_2730IMG_2733IMG_2732Mrs. Elrod then cut out the silken lining from inside the suede jacket and cut off the arms. When I returned the next day, we went to work on adjusting the coat to fit me. We also discovered that the coat pockets were cut shallow. We weren’t sure what to do with them, so put them on the Do-Later list and continued on with the adjustments.
IMG_2804Mrs. Elrod then penciled in where the middle trim would run for the straps to be attached to.
IMG_2808 IMG_2806We adjusted the front middle and back middle seams to overlap (as stated before, the jacket is entirely too big for me). The sides were also taken in lest the dreaded ‘tent’ form under my arms. The jacket was to fit snugly, but not form-fitting. In the beginning of the book, Shannan is still hiding in the woods and attempting to hide herself from prying eyes. This includes hiding her shape to a point to disguise her feminine nature. Now, this was a bit troublesome for me as I am 21 years old and Shannan is 15. As such some of my curves were going to be harder to hide than others.

We put the pink pattern over the coat (along with the costume pants and boots, which I’ll be discussing in another post).IMG_3078IMG_3080IMG_3079A few weeks later Mrs. Elrod had transformed the cut up Hening coat into the final jerkin, complete with trim, D-rings, straps, shoulder pads (yep,…shoulder pads. Apparently my shoulders are a littletoo feminine for a strong archer like Shannan! :P ), and a bum-flap. I hadn’t drawn one in the design, but when we actually looked at it on me, the pattern just didn’t feel right. I’m rather partial to the bum-flap now. It, plus the flaps on each side make the jerkin feel like it has a bit more of a nature-inspired leaf pattern.
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 And here is the final jerkin!
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Shannan Costume – The Undershirt

Part 3 of the Construction behind my Shannan, the Daughter of Allon costume.

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In the beginning, I had bucked Mom’s desire for a cowl in the design. I was pushing for more of a double funnel collar and leave the hood of a separate cloak. But as Mom rightly pointed out, “it’s in print,” so I relented, but not without sketching out a few more collared undershirts…
Shannan_undershirtAfter viewing the sketches, Mom asked for me to combine design #3 and #2 (a simple shirt with the detachable cowl). Sketch #9 was my last attempt to weasal in a double collar. I kept the shirt design simplistic, but with a tapered bottom rather than a straight cut (I find it stays tucked in. With my insanely long torso, shirts coming untucked is a frequent problem). However, the full sketch of the final costume was the death of the double collar as it needed to be a cowl (see previous post on the cowl) and thus I hammered the last nail in the coffin of the funnel collar.

Nary did I have a day to sketch a new undershirt before I struck gold in the local Goodwill store. Upon perusal of the racks, I came across a wonderfully rustic looking shirt that was not only my size but 100% linen!
IMG_2010 IMG_2015Can you believe the tag says it’s a XS from Gap?!

Shannan Costume – The Cowl

Since  I am a linear thinker, I’ll be going from top to bottom in describing the processes that went into building my Shannan costume. So first up is the cowl! The cowl began with no drawing, but an intense desire to not replicate the typical Robin Hood-esque medieval cowl. I went hunting through page after page of cowl and hood images. After wanting to throw up my hands from finding nothing but the stereotypical head stockings, I was saved by remembering the top of one my favourite costumes – Altair from Assassin’s Creed.
Altair Assassin's Creed Hood
I thought it was perfect with its pointed crest. For Shannon, it could signify her relationship with her other animal companion, the eagle, Kato. However, I did not want to copy Altair’s hood exactly. I emailed a few Altair cosplayers to inquire what they used for their pattern. But in the end, they all said theirs’ were custom built. I studied Altair’s overtunic as well as one cosplayer (RBF) from the Netherlands off of thedentedhelmet.com. I was given the suggestion of softening the appearance of the cowl to give it more of a feminine look (see above photo).

I teamed up with one of my childhood teachers (as sadly, I can’t sew to save my life. *gasp!* I know…sad, but true. I’ve tried for years, but alas, I’m known more for being the Grim Reaper of sewing machines than anything else. So I do what I do best (design, research, helping with side tasks, photoshoot planning, final modeling, and promotion) and leave the sewing and prop-making to those more experienced). For the construction of the pattern, we knew we were going to have construct our own. We started with McCall’s 7323 as a base. The bottom was measured a bit wider as to widen out the base of the cowl for the fabric to lay in softer folds in contrast to the sharper angles in Altair’s hood.McCalls Cape PatternAltair Hood MeasurementsMrs. Elrod took the earlier head measurements and measured out the pattern to cut and pin to an old bedsheet.
IMG_2661 IMG_2673(Mrs. Elrod’s gingerbread scissors. Cute, no?)
Gingerbread scissors
We then pinned said bedsheet to my head (to my head, not in! Pinhead, I am not).
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Stick me and we’ll see who has the last laugh…my face seems to say.

We cut a ‘beak’ in the form of a half-shield to go on top of the head. At first it was cut too long (it covered the back of the head from the hairline to the nape of the neck). So snip snip snip went the scissors and chopped the beak in half. Then the beak ended at the back top of the head.
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Now the problem with cowls, as I’ve been told by fellow costumers, is that they have a fondness for moving around. Rather than seeking a modern way to secure the cowl (such as velcro), we opted to create a sort of half-shirt/bib to attach the hood portion to. The top of the bib rounds out in a simple yoke.
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(Note that the final hood will lay differently as the fabric is of heavier stock.)

 

In one of our thrift store runs, Mrs. Elrod and I swung by Hobby Lobby to check out the fabrics. Although I wanted to stay away from modern fabrics as much as possible, we couldn’t find any fabric that would be both light and have give to drape into the folds we wanted. So we compromised with a dark brown poly-suede.
Brown suede hood
Hmm….feeling a little ‘dark-side-of-the-Force’ here….

After Mrs. Elrod cut and sewed the cowl together, I came over for a fitting. While the longer t-shirt style yoke was definitely the right idea for keeping the cowl from popping out of the jerkin, there was still the issues of how to keep the bottom from flopping around. So we opted to attach ribbons of the same fabric to the four corners and pull them through D-rings like a belt.
IMG_3052 IMG_3053About a week later, the cowl was finished. (We ended up chucking the Assassin’s Creed beak as it was proving to be too much hassle for the rest of the design we had done.) So here is the final cowl!
IMG_3041Stay tuned for the next part of the costume!

Shannan Costume – The Concept

As promised, here is the breakdown of the behind the scenes of my Shannan costume from the previous post.

In February of 2010, knowing my budding interest in costuming, my mother asked me to create a costume for one of the lead characters in her recently traditionally published novel, Allon, to accompany the books in publicity. For background on the character, Shannan is the female lead from Books 1-4. From birth, she is destined to bring back the return of the mysterious Guardians and help Prince Ellis take his rightful place as ruler of Allon. She is a strong, but caring girl, wise beyond her years (and needs to be to deal with a young, hot-headed Ellis!) and an expert hunter. Her grandfather, Sir Niles of Pollux, whisked her away upon her birth as she was marked for death by the Dark Way (why? Well, you’ll just have to read the book! :) ). As such Shannan lives in the secluded forest of Dorgirith away from prying eyes and invasive questions.

I was excited for the opportunity to try my hand at designing a fully-fleshed out costume and was quick to jump to my sketchbook. This particular costume is from the beginning of the book where her character is introduced. It a forester’s costume in basis, but with it being in the world of Allon, we tred to stay away from the cliched medieval look. The era of costume design for Allon is designed roughly around the renaissance period, but with a fantasy aspect as well as Allon is a fantasy world not unlike Middle Earth. Stealth and ease of movement in Shannan’s clothes would be essential. So I designed the costume to have nothing dangling off of it as not to deter movement as well as keep things in a utilitarian fashion. However, she and Sir Niles do operate out of a cave so her equipment (such as her bow) would be short range.

This was my first attempt at designing Shannan’s costume back in 2007. First I started out with sketches of various ideas I had. I liked the look of the gorget combined into the actual bodice rather than a separate piece. I also gave her wispy sleeves (as I did with other Guardian characters later on) to bring some femininity to her outfit and boots like her grandfather. The rest, I’ll admit, I generically designed.
Shannan2
After having designed the costumes for many of the other characters in the book, I began to realize that Shannan’s costume didn’t fit. For one, it was too medieval looking and personally, I didn’t think it looked different enough from every other female archer costume out there (sans moulded corsets and tight leather pants . No sexy Robin Hoodette here!). So rather than design something purely based on look (and my limited knowledge of archery/living like a woodswoman), I took a more method approach to get inside the costume.

I put my Weta cap on (quite literally. There’s a black Weta Workshop cap sitting in my closet. It’s my literal reality of a ‘thinking cap’. :) ) and tried to logistically think through each piece in Shannan’s costume. As such I ended up scrapping and changing just about everything!

Allon book character Shannan Costume Design

  • I changed the collar from a cowl to double funnel collar (to act as camoflauge in terms of the colour of the fabric as well as protection like a thick scarf)
  • I completely did away with the original bodice and went for a more moulded leather jerkin after a couple reference photos I came across on Google images. Shannan’s jerkin now resembles a shape similar to the one Wren, the Guardian of the forest (and Shannan’s protector in the beginning of the book), wears. The flaps at the front do not extend all the way around the back for ease of squatting (and hopefully easier movement through the back of the legs for running or jumping). However, the side flaps extend down to protect her hips and top of the breeches.
  • I kept the pleated sleeves for a few reasons.
    • 1. In a predominantly male (and secluded environment), Shannan has had to live off whatever she’s been given to wear. For the most part, it has been borrowed clothes or clothes to hide her lest she be discovered. But it’s not completely uncommon to have a woman in the woods, so she can get away very subtle hints of femininity.
    • 2. They are the same sleeves (though of lesser quality fabric) that are on Wren’s jerkin. I have no doubt that would dote on Shannan every so often to remind her that she is cared for and loved (as Shannan’s duty and future role in Allon is a heavy burden).
    • 3. If I can find the right pattern, they will move as leaves rustling in the wind so in movement, they add another level of diguise for Shannan.
  • The quiver, straps, and arrows are much the same. With being on a deadline, I had to get the costume design done first, props later. So again, I put down something relatively generic to be fully designed later.
  • I redesigned the belt from a simple leather belt to a more complex two-strapped belt similar to the ones the Guardians (but again, much more rudimentary).
  • I thought the typical laced bracers would be too generic, so I came up with a different pattern. It is designed with similar seam lines as Shannan’s jerkin (and no doubt made out of the same material – perhaps the same hide as the animal skinned to create the leather) And yes, I’ll admit they’re a variation on the bracers from The Chronicles of Riddick. *raises a guilty hand*
  • The pants and the boots are exactly the same as the original.

However, the design was still up for more revisions….

  • Mom wanted to keep the detachable cowl, so I changed the collar back to a full cowl (as in the original design) and did away with the funnel collar.
  • I changed the bracers to a more standard lace-up as I felt the buckle ones looked too bulky and “blocky” as one friend put it.
  • The boots didn’t pass inspection as I had given Shannan the same boots that the guardians do (but out of much more rustic materials). So I changed them to lace-up boots to match the bracers and front of the jerkin. For the toe of the boots, I referenced the design made for Faramir’s boots. However, I don’t think I’ll be able to find a cobbler on a budget anywhere…

Sadly, my design proved to be too complicated to actually make due to the leather jerkin. So I sketched out a new drawing  for something easier to sew, but still have a feeling of the original design.
Allon book series Shannon Final Costume SketchTomorrow will be a look at the construction of the Cowl.