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Lord of the Rings Ranger Costume for CraftingCon

I’m guest posting today for CraftingCon at Friends Stitched Together! My Allen has been begging me to make him a Lord of the Rings Ithilien Ranger costume for what seems like ages, and since this month’s CraftingCon theme is LOTR/Hobbit-inspired, it was the perfect time to finally do it. Pop over and read all about it, and see my tips for making a great costume without spending too much time or money: Ithilien Ranger with Fishsticks Designs.

Halloween with the Doctor & His Companions

Happy Halloween from our family of Doctor Who fans! This is the first time in a very long time that we’ve dressed up the whole family with a theme. We had so much fun with it, though, I think we might try to keep doing it, at least for the next few years … until another one of my kiddos is all grown up.

If you’ve read this blog over the last few months, then you probably already know that we love the Doctor. One of my favorite things about how this all came together is that our teenagers chose the theme themselves and divided up all of the characters before they even came to me. I didn’t have to mediate any disagreements, I just got to help pull everything together!

We’ll go in age order since that’s the easiest for me:First up is Charlie as Rory – the Last Centurion. On our first thrift-shopping-for-Halloween excursion, we found a plastic chest plate and sword for $2.99 at Goodwill, and I knew that it would be perfect. The chest plate was the wrong color, though, and it had a big lion emblem attached.We solved that problem easily by pulling off the lion and spray-painting the shield. (This paint did start to chip off right away, so I wouldn’t use it for an application that needed to be permanent. For Charlie’s Last Centurion costume it worked just fine, though. The chipping gives it a pretty cool aged look.)For the “kilt” part of the Roman centurion uniform, I cut pieces from vinyl that I purchased at Joann’s and then used duct tape to secure them to the back of the chest plate. We also added an additional strap to the back of the plate because the original shoulder straps didn’t keep it on very securely. For the shirt and cape, I modified my Charlie Tee pattern. I replaced the original collar with a higher, wider version that folds down, and I sewed the self-drafted cape into the back and sides of the collar. I used a polyester blend interlock, also from Joann’s, primarily because it was the right color, but I love the drape that it has. It’s perfect for our little Last Centurion. (He was so cute at our church’s fall festival when he would try to explain who he was!)Next up, is Jamie as the 11th Doctor. I just adore little boys in bow ties! We found Jamie’s black skinny jeans and canvas boots at Crazy 8, and I love that he can wear them everyday. I purchased the suspenders at Amazon, and I sewed up the bow tie from red Kona cotton to match.The hardest part for Jamie’s costume was the tweed jacket. We searched every thrift shop and resale store within easy driving distance, and just couldn’t find something that didn’t require some significant alterations. Soooo …. we brought home this:It’s just a little big, isn’t it? I’ll start by saying that since this was a costume, I didn’t worry too much about making the jacket look perfect. I used my Which Way Out Jacket pattern sort of placed on top of the original jacket to get an idea what the sizing should look like, then I chopped it all up. I forgot, though, that I needed to add a seam allowance in the back because I was using two pieces, so the back is a bit narrow. I sewed the lining pieces back together, then the outer pieces, just sewing the pockets where they fell. Rather than trying to completely re-do the collar, I just cut it in half in the back, serged the edges, and stitched it back together. Then I pressed the seam allowance open and stitched down each side to keep those edges tucked under. It actually turned out pretty well for a few hours worth of work! Allen’s 10th Doctor costume was by far the easiest! He already had the Chucks, the dress shirt and the dress pants. We found the pinstriped jacket and the trench coat at local thrift stores, and he borrowed one of Ray’s ties to pull everything together. I didn’t think I would have to do anything crafty at all to his outfit … until he wore the jacket to youth group and came home with a huge rip down one of the front seams. Urgh. Boys. So, I ripped the lining open to stitch the jacket back together, and then I just slipstitched the lining back in. Maybe he felt left out of the whole creative process?

“The pointing again! They’re screwdrivers! What are you going to do, assemble a cabinet at them?”
Finally, Samantha as River Song. This costume took the most time, but Samantha and Ray did most of the work on it. Except for the shopping and a few suggestions here and there, all I did was hem the arms after Samantha ripped the sleeves off of her thrift shop dress find. Here’s the before:Both belts came from thrift stores. Actually, three thrift shop belts are a part of this outfit.The top belt was a bit too big, and it was the wrong color, so Samantha stitched a seam down the middle using yarn and a darning needle, then she dyed it the perfect dark grey.For River’s bag, Ray bolted this leather bag – another thrifted find – to a super-long men’s braided belt.That third belt that I mentioned above?It became River’s Vortex Manipulator! Samantha cut up a belt that had holes running the full length, and Ray used a punch and hammer to make the holes bigger (with a large audience on the back porch), so that Samantha could sew the pieces together with suede lacing strands. Ray and I couldn’t possibly let the kids have all the fun, though! So, we dressed as the Doctor’s 9th regeneration and Rose Tyler!Ray’s costume is all pieces that he’ll wear over and over. Mine pretty much consists of things that I already owned plus a Union Jack tank top that I found at a little local store called Julie’s British Shoppe. (Except for River’s sonic screwdriver which came from Barnes & Noble, all the sonic screwdrivers also came from Julie’s!)

We had a blast wearing these costumes to two different Trunk or Treating events last weekend, and we’re excited to get to wear them again tonight for some Halloween fun! We hope you and yours have a great night filled with memories and laughter and only as much scary stuff as you want to enjoy!

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