Since most of the White Witch's gowns are very similar in structure
and materials, we've grouped them together. Keep watching for
patterns, dreadlock tips, and more on the Battle Dress.
Deciding on the fabric is probably the first problem one faces
when making one of the first six White Witch dresses. Now that we
know what we know of the fabrics
(this is a good time to read up on the fabrics first!), it's time
Deciding on the fabric is the first problem that one faces when
making a White Witch gown, as most of us are not custom felt-makers,
nor do traditional felt-making techniques teach how to form felt
to the body so! The following are some ideas we've gathered which
could possibly work.
Underdress and overlay: NWebber Jedielfqueen has suggested
using a stiff, highly-structured underdress with a light, gauzy
overlay for texture. For the underdress canvas, twill, or felt
would work (for more stiffness you could even bond two layers
together); for the overlay try organza, linen, or gauze. This
could be a separate floating dress tacked down in some places,
or, you could rip or tatter the overlay for the most texture
and tack or bond it in place.
Highly layered replicating: If you
have enough time, try replicating/cheating each layer and bonding
or handstitching over the final layers. Start with canvas for
structure, over that a silk satin for the shimmering layer. You
could stop here and do lace and sheer pieces for the ice pieces.
However, the seams of the dress could be covered over, if you're
ambitious, by ripping and layering some felt or gauze for the
felted wool look. For the lace, it seems most laces on bolts out
there are going to be pointing towards wedding and floral. This
is a shot in the dark, but, check out stores around Halloween
time. They may have bolts of fabrics like webbing, or even webbing
meant to spread as "creepy" decoration. This layer might
add a lot, but it would have to be handstitched. Do all the layers
in white, or Ombre dye some blue for the Turkish Delight gown,
or in blue/gray/black as needed.
Felt: The good thing about using felt is that its stiffness
will replicate the drape of the original. To eliminate bulky
seam allowances, try overlapping seams or needle felting them
together (see below). Texture can be added to the plain felt
in the same way.
Needle felting: Needle felting is a dry technique wherein
you position wool fleece felt pieces on a larger felt piece,
then stab in place with a felting needle. The felting needle
has tiny, sharp barbs that will catch on the fibers and secure
them to each other. Needle felting could be used to add texture
to an already-made piece of felt or to cover up a seamline.
Knitting and "fulling" wool: The idea
here is to knit the dress or a layer in wool, then felt or "full"
the dress. Fulling is the process of agitating knitted or woven
wool in hot water, meshing the fibers and removing the knit properties
- colors blend and stitches disappear, and the fabric no longer
stretches. These felting instructions copied from Bags: A Knitter's dozen:
To protect your washer from excess
fiber, place bag in a zippered pillow protector or fine mesh bag.
Set washer for hot wash, low water level and maximum agitation.
(Using the rinse and spin cycles is no recommended as they may
set permanent creases.) Add a small amount of mild detergent,
and two old towels (non-shredding) or pairs of jenes for abrasion.
Check on the progress about every 5 minutes. [Each time you check,
pull the garment back into shape and smooth.] Reset the washer
to continue agitating if necessary. Do not let it drain and spin.
When you are happy with the size [and extent of felting], remove
bag from the washer. Rinse thoroughly by hand in cool to warm
water. Roll in towels to remove as much water as possible.
The good thing about this is you can easily incorporate
other colors by weaving yarn through the knitting before felting
it. Also, the garment can be shaped by using knit dec- and inc-stitches,
without bulky seam allowances or seam lines. The technique is
very impractical, though. Have you ever tried knitting a full-length,
strapless dress? Plus wool shrinks when it is felted, and not
always predictably. So this idea seems better theoretically than
Coarse faux fur: What we have in mind here
is the coarse, polyester faux furs generally found in the value
sections at fabric stores. The heathery shades of grey could work
well for the Smoke Lavendar gown or others.
For the ambitious, we also have the following felt-making
The gradient blue-to-white coloring effect seen in the Turkish Delight
gown is known as ombre. NarniaWebber MisterTumnus wrote the following
instructions for dyeing your fabric ombre:
"[Ombre dying] is done by taking the part you want dyed the new color
and hanging it above the dye where the part you want altered is
actually steeped in the dye. Keeping in mind the fabric should be damp
before you dip it in. KEEP IT DAMP! The dye will work faster and
better wet. You allow it to soak for a while. The dye will 'creep' up
the damp fabric. Then you take a wet brush, dip it in the dye bath and
push the dye up further along the skirt to exactly where you want it."
Ombre was used a lot in the Star Wars Prequel costumes; see
Padawansguide.com's construction tips for Padme's
and Lake dress.
Keep in mind, too, that dying works best with natural fabrics.
Polyester is especially difficult to dye and doesn't "take" very easily.
Corset suggestions and hoop skirts coming eventually. For now,
we've found an excellent starting point for a pattern for Jadis'
gowns with wider skirts: Vogue
Icicle Crown and Accessories
Several people have mounted icicle decorations (available around
Christmas) to form the White Witch's crown or wand.
NWebber DramaFreak_03 suggests making icicles from using clear
resin (available at craft stores, we presume?). Simply mix the resin
according to package directions, then pour into a mold made from
plaster of paris or clay. Once the resin is hardened these can be