Saturday, May 25, 2013

Egwene Outfit 1

By Linda

In The Great Hunt, the four girls left the White Tower with Liandrin to “save Rand”. Three of the girls - Egwene, Elayne and Nynaeve – wore their best silk dresses divided for riding, trying to counter their youth with the status of their clothes. The fourth, Min, was dressed as a boy servant. I have created the outfits they wore in quarter scale for four Tonner dolls and over the next few costume posts I’ll be showing them.

The Wheel of Time riding dresses are different to real world riding dresses. They are able to be worn riding astride, but are not culottes or trousers. In A Memory of Light, Friendly Fire, Min distinguishes between a riding dress and wide culottes as not the same thing:

Min couldn't tell if those were skirts that had been divided for riding, or if it was a pair of trousers with very enveloping legs.

They are not a two piece ensemble of skirt and bodice either, Elayne was able to alter dresses into a riding dress with “a little needlework” while in a boat. And the wearer can presumably go to the toilet while wearing a riding dress without much ado.

Since they are skirts, they must be open at the crotch, with the inside seams reaching about mid-thigh, or slightly lower. Think of it as a cross between a short skirt and loose culottes. I found by experiment that the skirts needed to be bulky to sit right and to cover the hips adequately while in the saddle and climbing into it. Skirt fabric width of about five times the waist circumference gave the best results. If wished, the opening on each upper thigh can be closed with buttons.

First up is Egwene. She left the Tower in a gold-embroidered green silk dress divided for riding:

Each had chosen her best dress that had a skirt divided for riding, and cloaks of fine wool rich with embroidery…
Now Egwene shifted her cloak and smoothed her own gold-embroidered, green silk dress

The Great Hunt, Flight From the White Tower

The fabric would be a strong or dark colour to hide travel dirt. Jordan did not describe the embroidery motif, but in her visit to Tel’aran’rhiod in Tear Egwene dreamed of herself in a dress with birds embroidered across the bosom :

It was the rolling hills again, as always at first, flowers and butterflies under spring sunshine, soft breezes and birds singing. She wore green silk, this time, with golden birds embroidered over her breasts, and green velvet slippers.

The Dragon Reborn, A Storm in Tear

so that is the motif I sewed. Egwene’s dress is lined with olive green China silk (see photos below).

Under the dress she wears a short white silk shift that reaches the base of her bottom (photo below right), and a natural white linen divided petticoat trimmed with linen lace (photo below left). Linen is hard-wearing and practical for travelling. Her wool jersey stockings are also practical, as are her black lace-up ankle boots. The linen petticoat is not as bulky as her divided skirts; it has a fabric width of 2.5 times her waist and has a button and loop closure.

Here is the front and back view of Egwene in her full outfit.

Her wool cloak was described as “heavily embroidered” and is a dark colour so it doesn’t show dirt. I designed it to mirror what Egwene saw each time she arrived in Tel’aran’rhiod in the early books: dreaming herself among spring flowers and butterflies before going on elsewhere. It is made of grey wool with butterflies fluttering above narcissus, hyacinths, grape hyacinths and irises embroidered in yellow, purple, blue and green wool yarns, and is closed with a gold cloak brooch.

Front and back view of the cloak.

Egwene in her cloak front and back.

And finally, Egwene sitting on my work table waiting for her second stocking and Egwene with a 'headache'. Rather amazingly, Frank posed her like that himself, without having read the books. Can't imagine how that happened. ;) From the headache picture you can get some idea of how the skirts would look seated on a horse.

1 comment:

Chandra Brooks said...

I've always wondered what it could really look like so thank you for this. If I could sew, I'd be wearing this as my horse has 2 wheels and skirts get trashed cycling the streets of London.