Friday, September 28, 2012

What I have been busy with...

 I've had to take a break from making the Faramir outfit because of this...

God is so good. Her middle name is Mercy, because God is merciful. Born 13.5 months after my c-section, by VBAC.
Healthy, 7 lb 10 oz. 20 inches long.
God is so incredibly good.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ideas for making Faramir's Quiver, Pants, Shirt, and Bow...


Quilted Shirt
Cotton or linen. Use batting of some natural sort in sleeves? high cut mandarin collar like neck, split and laced up at front. Make sure to make the roomy, gussety sleeves.

 Josh thinks the lacing all the way up under the arms may be overkill. I want to lace from the elbow to the wrist though...kind of like the buttons on a cotehardie. I like how it comes down and covers the back of his hand.

Buy beat up real leather belts at thrift stores, keep my eyes open :)

Simple, if I can learn to make a good fitting pants for active wear on Josh. Just need to use a decent all natural fiber, cotton or linen. (I don't think I'll make him suffer in wool pants).

Possibly make this out of black leather? Depending on the after-shooting coloring of the film, the vambrances can look anywhere from brown to grey to brown-black.

Also, I suspect the shade varied a little on the multiple makings of it.

pictures from here
and here
and here

 I think black vambrances look very Gondor-ish. Leather on Leather. Buckles from clue. I think I might try to use my brother's wood burning iron on the leather to tool it (I think thats what entropyhouse did  they look pretty awesome)
From the alleyscratch pictures of Boromir's it seems that the top diamond part is blacker, with quilted softer leather beneath. I think I would make the quilted part out of canvas or something, I'm not quite that good to quilt leather yet...
I'd scrounge buckles off belts or something.
This being a more armor like project, I feel Elijah's input or Josh's would be valuable here, I may end up on
I need to learn how to tool leather, but cheaply, and with already finished leather (the old motorcycle coats). My sister says she found a comparitively cheap seller of new leather on etsy, if it was just for the vambrances perhaps I could splurge on new leather.

necessary. Perhaps make the quiver straps from a couple belts and a cloth covered something? Or leather covered something? I don't want just a costume level, cardboard covered something. I want something that will survive all night in the woods, in the rain....
Here's a tutorial for one from a PVC pipe
few instructions for a cloth one
but I kinda want to make one Faramir might have owned....
From the pictures I've scrounged (alleyscratch and the gryphonsmith website mention earlier), its kind of hard to tell whats going on

It seems like some kind of weathered green leather with gold(?) trim on it, as a case, with an open hole on it, in which a cloth bag for the actual arrows is inserted.
Here are some general 'medieval looking' quivers pulled off the internet (their website is in the screen shot)

So it looks like a rectangle of leather, folded around some kind of cylindrical frame, with a belt attached.
Then there's this one, less bag like, more cylindrical

Right now I am leaning toward making something more along the lines of the rectangular leather bag like one, of some weathered brown leather, with perhaps some tree of Gondor faded on it. The shape looks more 'authentic' to me somehow, even though I know its not historical or anything. Faramir's quiver in the movie seems to me too open, just a holder for the canvas bag. I don't know, I'll get Josh's feedback on this, I am sure he has preferences about this sort of thing.


Must have. There's our engagement pictures with Josh in an Elven cloak, and his sneakers sticking out at the bottom somehow detract from the impression :)
I could make moccasin boots like my extremely talented sister, but I want something Josh can go through the woods in, something with tough soles. I saw a beautiful pair of knee high leather boots with buckles that a stylish girl was wearing. I wish they made those things for men, but cool, not cute....
All the LARP/SCA boots I've seen on the internet are either cartoonish or way out of my price range.
I want something with decent (preferably modern rubber) soles, sturdy base, and come up almost to the knee. I have a few options here
  1. Make boots from scratch. Its been done by SCA types before, and they have tutorials. Drawbacks, its probably expensive and requires a lot of practice.
  2. Buy them. Look through discount shoe stores, Thrift stores, etc. and pray for Ranger boots.
  3. Something between the two. Find decent men's leather boots, and possibly extend them somehow up higher to the knee with more leather, and put on decorative leather lacing....or really any buckled brown leather boots that were tall enough would work...
We'll see what I can find and learn to do...

These are so important. For just walking around, a decent fresh bit of oiled wood from the forest with some twine on it can shoot arrows through pizza boxes (as Elijah has shown), but something with beauty, and with true aim.... Perhaps I can start learning from Elijah now, and over time make something really bow worthy. Perhaps a good long bow (or recurve??) might be worth paying good money for. We'll see.
I DEFINITELY want to learn how to make arrows. If Robin Hood could do it at 13, if all those hunters in the middle ages made them at home, I think I can learn how to as well, with dowels from Lowes, and feathers (I'll never forget trying to carry home a dead bird because Elijah wanted to use the feathers for his arrows...) bought in bulk (Bekah got a bunch for Micah's Hussar outfit) and the arrowheads....we'll see. Elijah made his from tin cans. They're functional (to kill pizza boxes) but not beautiful. Maybe I can find someone who sells arroheads. Maybe I can make arrowheads one day...I always wanted to smelt metal :)
If I'll ever be any good at archery, I need to make my own arrows anyway, eventually...

But for now, we could just get a reasonably priced modern set, and try to paint them so they wouldn't be bright orange, etc.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Faramir Ranger Outfit Part 1

I've learned a lot about sewing through leather. And drafting a pattern on someone not myself :)

This post will be edited with pictures and a lot more instructions to come.

  • Overall nice fit
  • don't overdo it on the 'flare' it becomes skirt like, and don't overcompensate by cutting flare out of the front opening (keep the front opening straight seamed) and don't make it too long (I think a tiny bit shorter than Faramir's in the movie, so just below knee length, looks best. Unless this garment was made for a which case...)
  • mark the ties with a tape measure BEFORE sewing anything on...
  • line the neck so it stays on, or put a little tie or clasp in it...
  • don't make the tie covers too big, and best to make them out of the same material as the overtunic. Possibly respace them or put on 4....


  • -Don't wash cut canvas. You will lose 1/4 inch atleast all around. Wash/dye canvas BEFORE cutting it out. 
  • -Dye things longer than you think. It will always look MUCH darker when its wet. Also, wash right after in COLD water, not hot.-
  • Sewing leather isn't so bad, if its thin, coat-type leather. Use the good needle (cannot be emphasized enough. Often can't tell which is the good needle without testing it. Take good care of your good needle and only poke through leather one hole at a time, in the end much faster...) Maintain good tension so as much of your force is perpendicular to the leather as possible (trying to force it through 2 places may not in the long run save time) Butter helps :) A good needle helps. Thimbles help. Do hard work on a table and brace against the table. Running stitches wrinkle later, so do running stitches with a back stitch every now and again, and another set of running stitches between those.
  • Good idea 1,  lining the canvas with the tarp material really helped give it  more body than canvas. Ideally this part would be leather too...
  • Good idea 2, alter the  strip a little at the shoulder, to make thicker, so it emphasizes the shouler, because that looks cool...
  • Good idea 3, making the rings out of hangers worked SO WELL.

Overall nice pattern, with alterations.
  • Cut Back narrower, (possibly front a tad narrower??) so more room for side panels with the lacing
  • Cut the shoulders much wider at the top (atleast 2" wider than my first draft) so they stand out nicely, and make almost "cap sleeve" look with the almost straight cut inset.
  • I ended up narrowing the leather hauberk inset a little, esp at the top so its not quite as tapered. I realized the tapered look comes more from the gap (the inset is almost straight)  *put this alteration onto the pattern*
  • possibly shorten the entire thing by an inch or two, to be more like Faramir's in the movie.
  • possibly make the leather strips a tad thicker, because they look cool.
  • possibly make the bottom angle of the inset steeper V, to be more like Faramir's in the movie.
  • possibly paint the rings to look more brass like...

After experimenting with more economical cuts (using squares and rectangles, came to the conclusion Faramir's half circle cloak is still way cooler. And its not as un-historical as I thought at first, as some medieval examples show (not so stagey, even though its somewhat wasteful on the cutting...perhaps they did other things with the scraps...Also, I think I might piece it, but still do the half circle shape. SO 2 1/2 yards is not enough. I'm just going to splurge and get 4 yards next time I come across good olive green cloak fabric. The hood being a rectangle with enough room to come out at least 2" beyond the face worked well (wayyy better then the disastrous half circle hood--too much fabric to gather, and it still ended up being to tight on the top with too much fabric in other places. And Micah felt like it was a woman's hood.)  Also, the rectangular hood needs to be self lined, or perhaps just hemmed so the edge is soft, like in this picture

probably a square folded over to a rectangle, with a bit of extra room above the head so it doesn't pull down. I love how his hood drapes, and how it comes out at least 2" beyond his face.

 pictures from here