Female Bilbo Baggins Costume

Yrien

Well-Known Member
I found a lovely piece of fan art that inspired me to create a Bilbo Baggins costume, which I wore at Ottawa ComicCon last weekend. I had some last-minute problems that I hope I can improve on before the next time I wear it (possibly Toronto FanExpo in September), but overall I'm really pleased with the way it came out, especially since I'm still very much new to costuming, and I did a lot of completely new (to me) stuff with this costume.

Inspiration.jpg
Inspiration from http://lanimalu.blogspot.co.uk/

I had originally intended to make all the clothing for the costume (except for the blouse, which I found at the thrift store), but chronic shoulder pain and getting really sick a few weeks before the con meant I wasn't going to have time with my meagre sewing skills to make everything. I was lucky enough to find a jacket and skirt at the thrift store that worked really well, so all I had to sew was the underskirt and vest. I used an eyelet trim for the hem of the underskirt, and added an elastic waist (not period, but comfortable and easy!).

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The vest was a huge learning experience for me. I'm not an experienced sewer, and I don't really know how to read or modify patterns. A friend helped me make and modify a mock-up, which I then sewed out of a dark green suiting fabric. It was my first time ever using a number of techniques, including interfacing, lining, and buttonholes (which actually ended up not working - at 11:30 the night before the con! - so I sewed on Velcro as a last-minute fix until I can figure out how to use my buttonhole foot properly). It turned out a little big, but that's better than too small! I will have to fix that before the next time I wear it.

Vest.jpg

This was also my first time cutting and styling a wig. I started with a Vegas from Arda, so my first step was to cut off the ponytail (which I had hoped to use for the foot hair so it would match, though that idea didn't end up working - I may try it again when I have more than 12 hours before the con starts!). I then trimmed and curled it, using heat from a straightening iron and foam rollers.

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I also made Sting, from foam floor mats and Worbla. It wasn't my first time working with foam (I used it to make my Star-Lord helmet), but it was my first time shaping it with a Dremel, and my first time working with Worbla. It was actually much easier than I thought it would be, and I enjoyed it a lot! I'm really pleased with how it came out, though I do wish I had spent more time smoothing the Worbla (using spackle) before Gessoing and painting, since I can see every little imperfection now, lol. I scribed the design on the blade with a pencil before I painted it, and when I have more time I'd like to darken the lines a bit to make them more obvious. The handle didn't turn out as well as I would have liked, since the paint bled under the tape a bit (and the pattern isn't really anywhere close to screen-accurate but I was running out of time!) so I might sand it down and redo it later. It actually photographs really well, though, so I'm pretty happy with that.

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Lastly, I also made hair pads for my feet out of crepe hair glued to a base of cut-up nylons (coated in latex to make it more sturdy). I sewed them to a pair of skin-coloured dance shoes, and they worked fairly well though I find they're a little too "furry". I may try remaking them (or just thinning them out a bit) before wearing the costume again.

I wore this costume on Friday at ComicCon, and had a lot of fun! My husband went as a casual version of Dwalin, since he would have been too warm in Dwalin's full kit (and it turned out to be a good decision, since it ended up being 30C/86F that day!). I made his shirt, suspenders, and hairpiece (the beard is his!), he bought the pants and made the knuckledusters (foam, air-dry clay, worbla, and leather from an old coat), and I drew the tattoos on his head the morning of the con - which took over an hour! Here are a few of the professional photos we had taken (photos and editing by Richard Dufault of Open Shutter Photography).

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In the future, I would like to get a backpack (though the shoulder bag I used for the con actually looks pretty good with this costume!), fix the hair for the feet, resize the vest, and get a better jacket. This one worked for now, but ideally I'd like one closer in style to the inspiration picture. I may also make a new skirt (though I do like the way this one looks) so that I can have pockets in it. And fix the paint job on Sting!

For Dwalin, if he decides to wear it again, we need to repair the knuckledusters (several of the pieces fell off over the course of the day when the glue didn't hold well enough), make a new hairpiece (this one was a little too short and didn't come far enough forward over his ears), make/find better boots, and find a better way to do the tattoos - I don't want to spend an hour drawing it on with an eyeliner pencil every time! We might also try to insert pockets into the pants, since he hated not having any at the con.
 

Yrien

Well-Known Member
You and your husband look amazing together.
Thanks! I'm really pleased with how the costumes turned out (especially since technically we finished them the morning of the con!), and the pictures make them look really good. :)
 

jessamygriffin

Active Member
I really like Sting, am jealous because I'm new at Worbla and it seems half the time either there's not enough time for all the gesso it needs or I lose patience, and it looks rough!

I do love foot wigs, good job on those!

I like Dwalin in half-gear, I did appreciate that end-of-barrel-ride scene with everyone in their long johns and your hubby looks perfect! Plus bracers - awesome always.
 

Yrien

Well-Known Member
Sting definitely took a while! I had started it really early - I think I gave myself just over a month to do the Worbla. I didn't work on it every day, but waiting for stuff to dry was the worst part. On weekends, if I started early enough, I could do two coats of the spackle, but I would usually do one in the evening after work and let it dry overnight. I should have done another layer of it, because I still had some parts that weren't as smooth as they could have been, but I didn't realize that until I started with the gesso (and then the spray paint showed every single spot, whoops) and didn't want to go back and do another layer. The gesso dried pretty quickly, so that was nice. It was a learning experience for sure - now I know what to expect the next time! It turned out pretty smooth in the end - my friend who is a Master-level costumer was impressed, which was really gratifying. :)

Thanks! I think I need to thin them out a bit - they are really fuzzy - but they turned out pretty good for being a total last-minute thing, lol.

He would have died of heat in Dwalin's full kit (he runs warm all the time already!), so we went with that version instead. Mostly he just wanted to make the knuckledusters. ;) We cheated so hard on the bracers - they're actually sewn directly to the waistband of his pants, lol. We ran out of time to do them properly, and don't have leatherworking tools to make them properly anyways. Maybe before the next con, but we already have a really difficult costume that he wants to do, so it'll depend on how much time that takes!
 
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