Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dagger with a Shadow Warding

When I made Aviendha's costume a few months ago, I intended to make the dagger ter'angreal that wards against the Shadow that she likes so much. Last weekend I finally did so, along with rebeading her necklace with silver thread.

The dagger is described as:

Aviendha fondled something she had retrieved from her belt pouch, a small dagger with a rough hilt of deerhorn wrapped in gold wire. It was also a ter'angreal, though Elayne had not been able to puzzle out what it did before pregnancy forced a halt to such studies. She had not known her sister was carrying the thing. Aviendha's eyes were almost dreamy as she stared at it. "Why does that fascinate you so?" Elayne asked. This was not the first time she had seen the other woman absorbed in that knife. Aviendha gave a start and blinked at the dagger in her hands. The iron blade—it looked like iron, at least, and felt almost like iron—had never been sharpened so far as Elayne could tell and was little longer than her palm, though wide in proportion. Even the point was too blunt for stabbing.

Knife of Dreams, A Different Skill

Aviendha's outfit is now complete.

Christmas Eve is well advanced here, and when my son finishes work in half an hour, we shall be on our way to visit relatives.

I wish all here a safe and happy festive season, and all the best for the New Year.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Nynaeve Outfit 1

By Linda

The second character in my Wheel of Time doll series to be costumed is Nynaeve. (The first was Aviendha). Nynaeve and Egwene were the first two dolls I bought and in typical fashion their travels from the US were not smooth. In fact, they went in completely the wrong direction, ending up in a post office in Jamaica, despite the parcel being clearly addressed to Australia.

I’ve chosen to sew Nynaeve’s first high status outfit, kindly given to her by Lady Amalisa in Shienar:

Her dress was pale blue silk, embroidered in snowdrop blossoms around the neck and down the sleeves. Each blossom centered on a small pearl, and her belt was tooled in silver, with a silver buckle set with pearls. He had never seen her in anything like that. Even feastday clothes back home might not match it.

The Great Hunt, Dark Prophecy

Rand’s description is clear, but na├»ve. With silk, pearls, and silver tooling, this is a very expensive outfit, which no one in the Two Rivers would be able to afford back then, even if they had anywhere to wear it.

As I explained in the Aviendha’s post, the dolls are quarter scale, which means fabric thickness, decoration, etc, should ideally also be at quarter scale. The garments are sewn by hand with silk thread, whenever I could get some that matched, since they are small and the fabrics are often delicate.


First up was the creation of Nynaeve’s underwear. Such rich outer garments would be accompanied by equally luxurious underwear. Nynaeve’s shift is white habotai silk (see above left). It has French seams (fully enclosed seams), and neck and armholes bound in silk tape. The hem is trimmed in lace. Her petticoat (see above right) is white silk satin tied closed with silk ribbon instead of button and loop. It has lace around the hem matching that of her shift, with a row of chain stitch in white silk above the lace. Below left is Nynaeve in her shift, and the full ensemble below right.

Her ivory-coloured stockings are of a fine silk jersey. They have a seam up the back. Her shoes are purchased. I was able to find a pair that matched her outfit (see below). She got them off ebay like so many other young women.


As per Jordan’s description, Nynaeve’s dress is in pale blue silk with snowdrops embroidered around the neckline and down the sleeves. In the real world, snowdrops are pendant flowers yet Jordan specified that each flower centred on a pearl. This is not easy to reconcile. I attempted a full-scale version earlier on the year but could not get a design that made the description work, and sewed the flowers pressed open. This time I decided to let the flower hang from a sweetheart neckline from a wandering green stem to give a little bit of colour and value contrast.

I marked the outlines of the bodice and sleeve garment pieces on the blue silk, completed the embroidery and beading, then cut out the pieces and sewed them together. The pearls are from a broken vintage necklace. Then I constructed a bodice of pale blue silk chiffon as a lining and lined the sleeves and attached them.

Next was the skirt. It is 4 or 5 times Nynaeve’s waist measurement, and like the bodice, it is lined in chiffon. Both outer and liner have a French seam at the back and a rolled hem. The lining was placed inside the outer and the two were gathered at the waist as one and attached to the bodice. Finally buttons and buttonholed loop closures were sewn on a little distance from the opening edges. As was typical with these high status dresses, she cannot do it up herself, but would need someone to do it for her. Quite a contrast with Aiel clothing.

Nynaeve in her dress front and rear view are shown below.

Nynaeve’s belt is a pale blue ribbon (rather than leather which I couldn’t get thin enough) embroidered in silver thread in a design to match the dress, then another length of the ribbon sewn on the back. I made the buckle by buttonholing silver thread over an oval ring and buttonholed the cross bar, attaching pearl seed beads as I went (see photo below).


Nynaeve didn’t have a Yellow Ajah shawl in The Great Hunt, of course. But then her hair wasn’t this short, either. This is Nynaeve after the battles, in a dress that I hope she managed to keep, it being in Lan’s favourite colours of blue, white and green. Nynaeve’s shawl is yellow, but it too is embroidered in these same colours. I’ve sewn forget-me-not like flowers, although with a trailing habit, in silk threads in satin, split back and French knot stitches on yellow dupion (see photo above). The flame of Tar Valon is a white silk satin applique. The fringe is made by unravelling the dupion fabric and making tassels out of the weft threads by looping them into a foundation of squared Palestrina knot stich, which was also sewn using the dupion’s unravelled threads. The shawl is lined in thin yellow silk satin.

Nynaeve in her full outfit front and back.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Wheel of Time Charity Drive

Waygate Foundation, which is dedicated to bringing together authors and fans of science fiction and fantasy in global charitable efforts, is running a charity drive for a sneak peek at the Wheel of Time encyclopaedia.

Waygate Foundation: A Story Begins... 

Waygate Foundation is excited to announce our “A Story Begins” campaign benefiting Worldbuilders.

Every epic journey begins with a humble first step – this is ours!

“A Story Begins” is the official launch of the Waygate Foundation and the first chance for you to support the authors and charities that make the Sci-Fi and Fantasy literature community such an incredible group. Our goal is to raise $10,000 to kick off the launch of Waygate while supporting Patrick Rothfuss’ Worldbuilders charity. This campaign recognizes the breakthrough organizations founded to foster philanthropic giving while creating a new model to encourage partnership and generosity.

We are especially excited to announce that when this campaign reaches our goal, Waygate has received permission to share a sneak peek of the Wheel of Time Encyclopedia! The Encyclopedia is a new reference work which will be produced by Team Jordan, including editor Harriet McDougal and continuity editors Maria Simons and Alan Romanczuk. Though it is not expected to be released until at least 2014, it will include detailed entries on history, geography, weaponry, natural life such as plants, birds and animals, and character descriptions and backgrounds. Waygate is thrilled to have an opportunity to provide the first look at this addition to the Wheel of Time universe and plans to publish it on-line for all fans to enjoy when we reach the $10,000 goal. We can’t wait to hear what you think about it!

As a final piece to our kick-off campaign, we are introducing our charter sponsorship program. For a limited time, individuals and organizations can earn recognition as a charter sponsor of Waygate and be perpetually listed on our website. These sponsorships are available at Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels, for donations of $200, $500, $1000 and $2500. This program recognizes our early contributors who significantly advance our foundation toward its goals. Together our charter sponsors and individual donors will help Waygate take those first humble steps on our epic journey.

Waygate Foundation website: