Welcome to an exciting new addition to our Front Page Blogger lineup: Fandom Flair! In this blog, I want to demonstrate and feature different ways to incorporate fandom love into your life. For me, displaying my many fandoms makes me happy. From a subtle necklace to an all-out cosplay uniform, there are so many ways to show off what you are passionate about!
I do want to stress that everything I make is for my own, personal enjoyment. This is not something I make for others, or sell for profit. If you'd like to buy licensed Wheel of Time merchandise, please check out Ta'veren Tees.
Naturally, for this first edition, I want to feature one of my many Wheel of Time crafts. It was hard to pick just one! I decided on showing off my Aes Sedai dress tutorial. Besides my shawl, it’s the item I get the most use out of.
Step 1: Pick a pattern
This is actually pretty tricky. There are so many different styles of dresses that fit into the Randland theme/descriptions. Typically, we think of anything “Renaissance-y” as being fantasy, so you’re safe if you go in that direction. I went that route, choosing Simplicity Pattern 1773, Option C.
You can also be a bit more adventurous. For example, you can be a Tinker Aes Sedai and go with something like this:
Or a Cairhienen sister with something like this:
Even a Domani:
The options are endless. You can combine any nationality, with any color, with any pattern, and have it be an Aes Sedai dress.
Step 2: Acquire materials
Patterns can be difficult because they usually require a lot of fabric. For my pattern, I needed 6 yards. This can get pricey if you’re going with fancy fabrics. For that reason, I went to the cheaper side and selected crushed velvet, which is much cheaper--and less hot--than regular velvet.
Other materials needed will vary, but most likely include:
For a price total, this can range from $20 for fabric and materials to $100+. It all depends on where you want to take it.
(And here’s a tip from people I trust--if you’re looking for multiple fabrics that match or compliment, try an inexpensive bed-in-a-bag which would have sheets, shams, bed skirts, and a comforter. When on clearance, you can’t beat that price!)
Step 3: Cut out pattern and fabric
This is my least favorite step because it’s time consuming and boring. But since it’s the first task, it’s nice to get it out of the way and move onto more interesting endeavors.
Cut out your pattern for the size you need. I always suggest to cut bigger because you can take it in. It’s much more difficult to increase the size afterward.
Next, lay your pattern on your fabric. It may take some adjusting and playing around to get all your pieces to fit. The pattern should include a diagram on how to do this, but it’s not always the best solution. For me, I had my crushed velvet in two pieces since I bought them on different occasions, so the suggested layout didn’t work.
Once you find what works for you, pin the pattern onto the fabric and cut them out. I always leave my patterns attached until I sew them so I don’t accidentally mix any up!
Step 4: Sew!
This is the fun part, in my opinion, because it’s when the dress starts to take shape. At the same time, it can be the most frustrating because you need to decipher the sometimes-difficult sewing terminology in the directions. Take breaks when you need them. Breathe deeply. You’ll get through it, and it will be worth it!
If you run into a snag with this step, there’s several outlets in which to find help. One being Dragonmount’s very own Tinker Social Group! There’s always someone to offer assistance to any craft project in the Arts and Crafts Wagon! You can also try other crafter’s forums like Craftster.
Step 5: Add embellishments
Besides choosing your style and fabric, you can also choose different ways to spruce up your dress. My pattern did call for ribbon along the neckline, but I decided to take it one step further and add lace.
When I was done with the neckline, the dress still looked a bit plain, so I mimicked the ribbon and lace motif with vertical lines running along the front of the dress along the seams. This gave it a nice pop of color and a little more frills!
Step 6: Enjoy
Now, just be seen in your Aes Sedai dress. Bask in the praise of those around you. Keep your chin raised and make sure to sniff at appropriate times. Before long, you’ll be projecting that Aes Sedai spirit!
Have you made an Aes Sedai (or some other fandom) dress? If so, please share your pictures, the patterns you used, your frustrations and joys! Next time, I’ll show you how to (poorly) make your own mistcloak!