Autumn Dryad of Chronicles of Narnia--Lion, Witch, and Wardrobe
Inspiration: I talked a group of grad school friends into wearing costumes to the premier of "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" movie. We easily got people to agree to be the Pevensie kids, and were rapidly running out of humanoid characters for the number of people involved. I decided to be a dryad in order to give the starring roles to my "not used to dressing up" friends who were wearing copies of the movie costumes. My dryad required a bit more imagination and finesse because we had no pictures off of which to base the costume. I also wanted an excuse to wear my new leather bodice from Journeyman Leather. :-D So I was a Renaissance dryad, not a Grecian Pauline Baynes dryad.
Favorite Aspect: I loved the leaves on my face. This was my first time working with liquid latex, and the leaves went on easily and were so comfortable I honestly forgot I was wearing them. My shoes were also high on my favorites list. They are basic mesh slippers with leaves carefully sewn on to conform to the shape of the foot. I love them, and have worn them to parties since. Very comfortable, and had good tred, which was important since we were walking on ice part of the evening. A third aspect I enjoyed was my dress fabric...I found a lovely textured brown that honestly looked and felt like soft bark. It stretched and draped perfectly for what I wanted, and the look was great!
Least Favorite Aspect: I hand-tacked every one of the 300+ leaves to my skirts, and it took hours. It was fun to place them... I simply spread my dress out on the floor, stood over it, and scattered leaves onto it from waist-height, but tacking them down where they fell took more than ten hours. I shed leaves from my skirts as I walked, too. A little frustrating, knowing how much work went into getting them onto the skirts in the first place! But the weight of the leaves made my skirts drape nicely, and I loved the look, so it was worth it in the end.
Easiest Task: My friend Other Elf serged a large part of my dress for me, which I greatly appreciate. It made the dress less bulky in the seams and left me time to do detail work. Pulling my bodice from its hanging bag in the closet and lacing myself in was also simple. It really made the costume.
Hardest Task: I struggled with the concept of what design I wanted to do for a long time. Pauline Baynes, the illustrator for the C.S. Lewis Narnia books, invisioned Grecian-style flowing, fluffy robes in light colors, but that was not anything like what I wanted to do. I wanted an Autumn costume, and that involved Fall leaves, browns, oranges, and dusky greens. I stewed over the design for several weeks before settling on this.