Thursday, December 22, 2011

The REAL Queen of Narnia - WIP

I know I haven't posted much about this project yet because I didn't have much to show until now. I'm working on the White Witch's battle outfit from the first Chronicles of Narnia movie. Here's what I have so far, and info under the cut:

Now, to start, I've gotten a great deal of info from where they've been able to get a few tidbits from someone who worked on it as well as exhibit pics. I started off with a grey linen underdress. I felt linen had a nice weight and is washable. I decided to make the skirt the same basic pattern as the chain skirt would be, which is 5 rectangular panels (the one in front largest) and triangular gores. When I started draping, I realized if I put the start of the skirt panels as low on the hips as she has it, I look reeeeally short... Tilda Swinton is 5'10" and I'm only 5'. So I made some proportion changes, and I'm wearing my 2.5" heeled boots under this. It remains unhemmed since I am looking for some good platform boots to give me as much height as possible.

Next I made this kind of corsetted suspender belt for mounting the chainmail on based on how the real one was mounted. I made it with the original linen and lined with twill, and with the hopes that I can distribute the weight between my shoulders and my waist. I learned with the Padme, all the weight was resting on my shoulders and left me in pain by the end of the day, so I'm hoping to avoid that with this.

The chainmail. I have to order in bulk for this, so I am using for my supplies. I knitted a couple samples of 4-in-1 chain (only the second time I'd ever made chainmail) to guess a general size, and I ended up going with bright aluminum in 19 gauge 3/16" size. I've used about 8 bags (8000 rings) so far for this. I got my info for making chainmail from Butted Mail: A Mailmaker's Guide. Simple, but informative page. All that I really need to know for this project is the basic stitch, increasing and decreasing. I also figured out how to do the stitch but add loose rings, thereby knitting two rows at a time. One interesting thing to note about the White Witch's mail... in the mailmakers guide it says mail should hang horizontally. On the exhibit pictures, I observed that the mail at the top of the skirt, the part I finished, hangs horizontally, but the mail for the rest of the skirt hangs vertically. Horizontal mail tends to collapse and conform to the shape, and vertical doesn't, which is the reason for that. The part I've done was mostly straight until I got to the top 1.5-2" of it, and it wasn't collapsing to conform enough, so I started taking in a series of decreases where it was sagging. Take a decrease, knit a double row, take another decrease. I also knit the top up to a point where the leather cuirass will curve upward instead of covering the whole thing in chain and waste my supplies.

Weight of mail + belt at moment = 1 pound, 1 1/8 oz.


  1. looks good so far. u look so pretty. :)

  2. If you can't find good platforms there, you can't find them.

  3. Awesome, thanks! I already see a couple on there I'm considering :)

  4. ver, do u know how to fiber etch at all? i'm trying to learn but i can't find teh products anywhere. any suggestions? :)

  5. I played with it once before. You can get it at :) I like to use an applicator with a tip, I found you kind of have to 'scratch' in the solution with the bottle tip to really get it into the fibers to do the burn out.