August 3, 2013

The Hobbit: Lord Elrond Costume: Armor Vest

Looking closely at the stock photo of the Elrond armor, I figured that there had to be some kind of vest underneath the chest plates that serve as anchor for the plates. That vest has a standing collar and extends to the bodice ending in a v-shaped waist. So this is what I imagined it would be.

Preparing the armor vest of the Elrond costume.

The vest has a swirl design on the bodice, so I drew some lines and traced them on a stabilizer material that I could follow on the sewing machine. I didn’t want to have to deal with sewing on the large vest material, so I decided to make the swirls on a bodice shape and then attach that shape onto the vest afterwards.

Making the swirl design on the vest of the Elrond costume.

The swirls would be embroidery lace, also known as soutache, which I thought I could find in brown. Sadly, all I could find was gold, so I painted the lace brown.

Painting the gold lace with brown textile paint.

Then I sew-traced the soutache onto the bodice shape.

Sewing lace on the vest of Elrond's costume.

Then I removed the stabilizer and attached the shape to the vest, and there it is.

Removing stabilizer material.

Swirl design on Elrond costume vest.

Swirl design on Elrond costume vest.

The next step was to attach the collar. I made the swirls first, then the silver piping (soft silver colored vinyl that I’ve had in my stash for a long time).

Preparing the standing collar of the Elrond vest.

Preparing the edging/piping of the Elrond armor vest.

Yes, thank you for heavy duty sewing machines. And metal clips. I wouldn’t have been able to attach the collar and piping any other way.

Attaching the collar to the Elrond costume vest.

Attaching the piping to tje Elrond armor vest.

And here’s the finished vest. Note that there’s a lot of scrap stabilizer material on the floor. The vinyl material is not sewing-machine-friendly – it sticks to the machine’s base plate and pressure foot. Solution: put stabilizer material under and over the vinyl surface; then gently tear the stabilizer off the sewn pieces. It’s tedious but it’s the only way to sew through the vinyl without specialized equipment.

Completed armor vest of the Lord Elrond costume.

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