Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Hobbit Costume for Expecting Mothers

I recently finished re reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I remember finding a battered old 1960's copy of Fellowship of the Ring at a thrift store one golden autumn. It was 5 cents and I bought it and thought "well, this looks interesting." And after the first chapter I was taken, hook, line and sinker. So, forever the autumn will be connected with those books and those exciting, fluttery, soaked-with-happiness feelings that come along with the deep pleasures of great literature (not unlike being in love). I love reliving those feelings every time I read these books! Though I have new and nicer copies of the trilogy now I have a sort of worshipful adoration for that falling apart paperback from the 60's. I will never get rid of it.

Whilst preparing for our Second Breakfast I have been thinking about making a new hobbit costume. I am working on making David a better hobbit outfit (though on reflection he would make an excellent Bill Ferny, wouldn't he? He just looks the part so.) and I've been dabbling with the idea of making myself a new one. However, I couldn't justify making one for myself when I have a perfectly serviceable one already and the boys need proper hobbit clothes, too. But then. . .

. . .I found out I am expecting! (yup it was a shock. . .a rather enormous one. But I'm getting used to it and am feeling rather excited now that I've had time to digest the news!)

Now, on September 22nd I am sure I will look no more pregnant that I do right now. .. namely not so. . .but by the time the Hobbit (part 2) comes out in December there will be a little belly bump and a new, looser, more comfortable hobbit outfit will not be amiss. In fact, it will be quite necessary, don't you agree?

I have had two ideas in mind for maternity wear. Here are some rough sketches:

#1 ~ Fitted Empire Bodice Outfit

This one is very much the same as the hobbit outfits seen worn by the women in Fellowship of the Ring. The only difference I made was raising the waistline to sit above the bump and making a front opening (a front opening can be seen on at least one bodice in Fellowship of the Ring). To make it more hobbit-like in appearance I though some slanting lines of trim and bold buttons would make it look less historical and more fantasy.

Underneath is the regular shift or blouse, which is adjustable and roomy enough for all of the pregnancy. And double skirts, which can be worn above the bump or made on a drawstring (or a partial drawstring, in the front waistband). An apron could be worn over it too, just tied above the bump.

#2 ~ Loose Jumper Outfit

This is a more casual outfit than the one above, I think. It is inspired by the frocks the little girls wear in The Fellowship and consists of the regular shift and a loose fitting jumper or sleeveless dress worn over it. The dress could be made with adjustable drawstrings in the front waistband as well - sort of like regency gowns, that had strings to pull up the fullness in the front. A kerchief for modesty and to make the wearer look less like an overgrown little girl and more like a woman in a comfortable outfit. An apron could also be worn with this, and a longer underskirt to peek out beneath the bottom.

Outfit #3 ~ Cold Weather Wear

This is still a very rough idea, but I plan to expand on it to make some sort of coat to wear for cold weather. Last December I wore my hobbit outfit to see An Unexpected Journey and though I took a shawl with me, I was very cold. Especially since we went Christmas shopping afterwards and there was a lot of walking on icy sidewalks and being blasted with gusty cold winds!

The coat is inspired by the jackets worn in The Hobbit and also from the 1790's style of jackets with the long fitted sleeves. This could be easily adapted from the jacket pattern I used for my 1790's jacket last winter - made in wool with a quilted lining in the bodice it would be quite cozy, I think. The quilting would firm the fabric up enough to give gentle support without needing to use boning. And with a high waistline and pleated skirts, it would keep the rest of me warm, too! This could be worn over just a shift and skirts, or over the #2 sleeveless dress outfit, or even over the bodiced #1 outfit. A warm neckerchief would be tucked into the neckline to keep the chest covered.

I have some fabrics in mind to use for an outfit. I would like to use what I have instead of having to buy new. I have a very lightweight pale pink cotton printed with darker pink sprigs that I purchased for $1 (for 5 yards!) at a flea market a few years ago. I intended to make it into a regency gown but the print is not quite right for it. But it would work well for a hobbit outfit!

I also have 5 yards of an olive and salmon striped fabric that is heavier, with texture to the stripes. I planned to make it into a 1770's style dress but I am not sure if the textured stripe is appropriate. It could work well as either a sleeveless dress or as a skirt.

I have numerous other small pieces that could work well for bodice fabrics - various colored woolens and linens, and a few plain colored yardages that work for skirts - light blue, grey-green, and yellow.

It will be fun planning this outfit and making it. I'm not sure when I will start on it but hopefully sometime soon. The boys and I just started school so my sewing time will be rather less than it has been.




  1. I love the striped fabric - very hobbit-y! Congratulations on the new baby on the way. So exciting! :)

  2. Blessings 2 u.
    Congrats on this sweet baby on the way.

  3. Congrats! And what an excellent excuse for a new costume.

  4. Congratulations on the news of your latest addition! How exciting! :)

  5. I love the material, and I like your jumper with a little coat. You might even be able to wear the jumper outside of a costume (?). And CONGRATULATIONS on baby #5! I am excited for you all!

  6. Congratulations on Baby #5!

    Your fashion illustrations are beautiful! :)

  7. Congratulations on your news! May God bless your pregnancy and the precious baby inside you!

    I can't wait to see your new hobbit costume -- what a lovely excuse for a new one! :-)


  8. Oh congratulations! I have no clue about hobbit clothes, so I'll keep quiet, just wanted to congratulate you on the #5! :D

    God bless!

  9. Squee! Babies make me happy. You just made my day.

    I just found out baby #3 is coming :)

  10. Dear Sarah,

    May God always bless you and your family! You must be overjoyed; congratulations on your newest miracle!

    Best wishes,
    Anneliese :)

  11. Congratulations, Sarah! How exciting. Your ideas are fun and the sketches are quite lovely. Happy maternity sewing!

  12. Congratulations!! I've been a long-time lurker, but I'm finally venturing out into the public world of blogging. ;-)

    I am taken with your first sketch- the trims lines are so very hobbit-ish. :-) And I love the hemline of the coat! Can't wait to see what you come up with. :-)

  13. Congratulations! Blessings to you and yours!

  14. congratulations. I vote for outfit 3 since it will be cold.

  15. Congratulations! I love the "cold weather" ensemble, and fervently pray for the use of the pink sprigged material. (Unless you ever intend to make another 1830's gown, because that print would be perfect!)

    5 is such a nice number of children.

  16. Thanks everyone!

    I am still sort of in shock, but am happy. I always wanted to have 5 children; I just did not expect to have 5 *so soon*. But I was just thinking recently how nice it would be if Anne had another little girl to play with. Though I do have a feeling this one is a boy. . .we'll see!

    I think I will make the coat also useful for regular winter wear, since I have never really been very pregnant throughout the winter months and do not have a suitable coat. Fashion Fabrics Club has 50% off wool fabrics til the 16th. . .perfect timing!

  17. YAY!!! Congratulations! When are you due? Wishing you a very happy and healthy pregnancy.


  18. Congratulations! I will pray for you when I think of it for all to go well.

    I'm happy you're making another hobbit costume. ^.^ More fodder for inspirations.

  19. Congratulations, Sarah! As always, love seeing all your beautiful creations - so inspiring!

  20. Congratulations Sarah!
    I can't wait to see what you make for a new hobbit dress. I rather like #1 and that coat is delightful!

  21. Would you care to hazard a guess as to when this photo was taken, based on the style of the clothing?

    Oh dear, ugly link is ugly. Congratulations by the way!


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!