Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Tale of Lady Amber of Mossflower Woods

K's Halloween costumes follow a distinct pattern. Last year she was Sarah Jane Smith with a pull along K-9. The year before she was tough Ginny Weasley. One year she was Tiger Lily. Then there was Princess Leia, Jesse the Cowgirl, Sally, and of course Hermione. Do we sense a cute but tough trend? Yup, that's my girl.

This year for Halloween, K was Lady Amber, a character that appears in the Redwall Series of books by Brian Jacques.. Basically the books are about cute, little animals, that sing, play, occasionally eat under the table, with all four paws,... and fight continuously. There are 20 books in the series so far, with more in the works. K has read about 12 1/2 in the last 6 months and LOVES them! K says they are better than Harry Potter,... today. Tomorrow, she may change her mind.

K designed her costume in early October, even working out the tail attached to the belt.

The coolest thing about her costume is that it was almost exclusively made with stuff we found in the basement or yard. I crocheted the shawl from yarn I found in my stash. Just kinda made it up as I went along. (It's really very nice and warm, and I've been wearing it ever since.)

The tunic is made from a pattern based on a medieval garment found on a female body in a bog in Denmark. (Cool!) Since it was made of wool, it didn't decay too much, and it could be pieced back together. You can read about it here and here. I used this gown pattern

But left out the front gores, because K just didn't like them.

I chose this pattern because it was very easy, no curved seams, except the keyhole neckline, and because it was extremely economical when it can to fabric usage. (Makes sense really.) I was lucky enough to find 4 yards of brown cotton flannel on sale at Walmart as a remnant for 2$,... yes total, and it was just enough. Love it! The dress is so comfy, K is using it as a night gown and wants another one. In green, of course.

K designed and constructed her bag and made her sling shot from leather strips and brown peach suede we found in the basement.

Mr. Man helped her make her bow out of a crepe myrtle branch and twine. It works very well, maybe too well. I bought her 4 dowel rods for about $3.50 and and helped her collect duck feathers at the pond for her arrows. And I made her a quiver from an old shipping tube, peach suede and green fabric paint. K did the painting.

The tail was made from a heavy wire skeleton and covered with the only scrap of long fun fur left in the city. I searched everywhere and they just don't sell it anymore, except online for 20 bucks a yard. Yikes! The piece I finally found was perfect and happened to be right in my basement of all places. Just enough for a tail and one ear. I loaned K my wide leather belt and tied the top to a harness around her shoulder and we had a tail.

The only change we made was her hat. We found one picture of Lady Amber on the Redwall Wiki and decided to make the hat shown in the picture.

The hat was made from some red peach suede I found, you guessed it, in the basement, the cat's feather and a piece of jewelry to hold a feather (I'm sure it has a name ?) we found on the ground somewhere years ago.

I love the ear and you can't even tell it is pieced together from an impossibly tiny scrap of fur.

All toll, Lady Amber cost about $4.50 plus scrounged supplies. Not bad, not bad at all.

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