Saturday, September 22, 2012

Aviendha Outfit 1

By Linda

Late in 2010, in the middle of my costume series, I had the idea of making authentic examples of the costumes for ¼ scale fashion dolls. I knew this would entail designing the patterns myself. Gradually I found and bought a few Tonner fashion dolls online that had the colouring as described in the books. Aviendha is one of my later acquisitions, but I chose to outfit her first, because Aiel wear simple clothing in plain styles (thus making developing the patterns easier) in cotton (algode) and wool, which are easy and cheap to obtain. Here is Aviendha dressed as an apprentice Wise One. (Note, however, that her hair is longer than it was in the books. I decided not to shorten it from the original length on the doll. Once it's off, it  can't be put back.)

Wise Ones wear a white algode blouse with laced closure, bulky brown or grey wool skirts and shawl, plus the standard Aiel hide boots. Underneath they wear a shift, and probably petticoats, especially when it is cold. Their hair is held back by a folded wool scarf around the forehead or temples. They gradually acquire jewellery – necklaces and bracelets, never rings – and wear much of it at once, something typical of nomadic and semi-nomadic peoples. For quarter scale clothing to sit well on the doll, ideally the fabrics should be a quarter the weight of “normal” clothing. Decoration and stitching also should be at quarter scale. I began with Aviendha’s white cotton shift and petticoat, made with as thin a cotton fabric as I could find that was still not transparent. I did two styles of shift, one cut low enough that it fits over the head without needing a button (below left), and one that does need a button (below right). Since the fabric is so fine, the seams are French seams and the armholes and neck are finished with bias binding rather than facings or over-locking (the latter would not be authentic anyway).

 In a time before elastic, the petticoat would be tied closed with tapes or buttoned, as here (photo below left is the fron view, below right is the closure at the back). It is a simple gathered, slightly flared band of fabric, with a waistband sewn over the gather.

Here is Aviendha in her under-clothing.

Aviendha’s brown wool skirt is also buttoned, but her shirt, in a slightly heavier weight cotton than her shift, is laced closed.


 Her shawl is made of a medium weight Italian wool suiting that I had in my fabric stash.

Her clothes are almost devoid of embroidery. There is a single row of double-sided cross stitch around her scarf (meaning the stitch is identical front and reverse and thus it doesn’t matter if the garment is folded different ways, see below) and a row of white chain stitch around the cuffs and neck of her blouse to reinforce the hem.

However, she is wearing her necklace of silver “snowflake” pattern that Egwene gave her. I made this from sterling silver beads buttonholed together by beading thread. In mark II I'll stich the beads with silver thread (and re-post here). Rand gave Aviendha an ivory bracelet carved with roses and thorns. I haven’t made this yet.

I made Aviendha’s knee-length boots in a moccasin style out of brown suede and laced them with brown hemp cord. Currently she wears white commercial nylon doll-sized stockings while I am knitting her thin wool stockings.

She wears a belt on which her pouch is threaded. The pouch is made of tan ultrasuede outer and lining. It is closed by wrapping the cotton cord around the button. Below left is the belt and closed pouch, and right shows the pouch open.

Aviendha's horn-handled dagger ter’angreal and a closeup of her necklace are below. The dagger that she took such a liking to was small and blunt and had gold wire wrapped around the deerhorn hilt. She kept it in her belt pouch.


Count Repugsive said...

That's great! Thanks for putting this up, I'm looking forward to seeing the other dolls as you outfit them.

Anonymous said...

That is just incredible artwork on your part. Extremely well done and I am very impressed at your ability to do such fine stitching on such a small scale.

Linda said...

Thanks very much! Glad you enjoyed it.