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An Unexpected Lord of the Rings Halloween Journey

This year for Halloween I decided to make my daughter and husband Gandalf and Frodo.  My husband made me an Eye of Sauron costume at the last minute so I would match too but it’s not pictured.

The hobbit costume was not too hard.  All the fabric came out of the remnant bins at 75% off.  I followed a simplicity pattern for the vest and pants.  I made the pants a few sizes too big and then shorted them to have that oversized hobbit look.  This was probably the first sewing project I never had to take apart and put back together because I screwed something up.   I did have to have my husband interpret the pants directions for me because instead of slipping one leg in the other and sewing, these did some sort of weird fold over thing, but the pants came out great once he figured out for me what they were talking about.  The cape is just a long gathered rectangle of fabric and the hood is a 20” square folded in half and sewn up one side and then attached with a metal clasp. The feet are sandals with canvas straps that I sewed faux fur to make them hobbity.  I also made her a travel/candy bag.

Gandalf was a little harder.  I started with a Simplicity Wiseman costume pattern.  I made a yoke and a few box pleats and sewed them under the yoke.  I did not actually buy enough fabric to make box pleats so it’s a little tighter than I had hoped.  I then took 8.5 inches of fabric and made cuffs on the sleeves and along the bottom.  I then did hand sticking about the part where the cuffs meet the robe.  Robes use a lot of fabric and I wanted to use linen to be “authentic” but I used 108” wide gray cotton instead to cut down on cost.  I made six strings of double fold ¼ inch bias tape (seeing who would say “I’ve gotta make more double fold ¼ inch bias tape in the whiniest voice first became a running joke at my house during this procedure) to make the belt utilizing a six string braiding method I found on line.  I hand stitched it to the buckle.  His cape is made out of the same fabric as the robe, with a large hood, and is tied instead of hooked like the hobbit cape.

The hat, oh the hat!  I thought I would save some money and make it out of fleece instead of wool.  (Who has the money for a wool Halloween costume anyways?)  I couldn’t find buckram for the brim so I bought iron on heavy weight interfacing.  Turns out fleece melts if you use enough heat to attach iron on interfacing.  So I looked high and low for grey felt wool, which I guess only exists in some place other than here.  I finally was able to find some buckram, after a lot of driving and made the hat out of un-melted fleece and buckram.  I made my husband follow the directions from Sally Pointer on how to make the pattern and once all that was done; it only took a few minutes to whip up.

We bought the wig and beard and the costume still needs a bag I haven’t finished yet.

Everyone has really liked out costumes, however we hear “Look Mom, Dumbledore!” a lot and people point to my daughter and tell us “he’s the cutest little hobbit they have ever seen.”  My husband is a real trooper though.  It was 80 degrees at the trunk or treat we were at when the picture was taken.  He was wearing a beard, wig, fleece hat, cape, robe and pants under the robe.  I thought he was going to pass out from the heat, but he just kept smiling and waving and getting his picture taken.  You could tell the people who thought he was Dumbledore from the people who thought he was Gandalf by whether or not they wanted the little hobbit in the picture too.

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