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The Costume Chronicles

Welcome to the Costume Chronicles, the community scrapbook of The Wardrobe Door. Here you can share pictures and and reports of costumes you've made, and see the handiwork of your fellow Narnia costumers!

Chronicles are arranged chronologically, starting with earliest submissions. Enjoy!

Other Narnians

Father Christmas


My son, Jimmy, in Father Christmas costume I made by looking at the sole on-line picture I was able to find before the movie came out, at our Narnia party on 12/10/05.




The Wardrobe


This wardrobe costume was made especially for Halloween, as well as the midnight showing of the film. I spent a day or so on it, and was quite fond of the outcome. My supplies were:

*a cardboard box
*hot glue
*paint (brown, white, blue)
*fake ivy and leaves







Autumn Dryad


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.

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!

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.

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.





I talked a group of friends into going to to the movie premier of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." For that, we needed a lion. My friend agreed. I designed the costume to be "lion-esque" without using fake fur, and to focus on the wig as the defining lion factor. I used tawny yellow velveteen and deep brown corduroy for the doublet and a rich brown cotton for the shirt.

The wig. The wig. The wig! Our Aslan's reaction when he SAW the wig was wonderful. *grin* This was a fun costume to design, because I had basically free reign to do whatever I wanted with it. I very much like the "V" waist on the doublet and the drape of the cape, as well.

The grommets used for lacing up the sides of the doublet kept coming out and I had to keep adding interfacing to the sides to try to support them and keep them from pulling out of the cloth.

The wig was fun, and simple, and involved a couple of hours of sitting on the floor, slopping neon yellow and orange hair gel into a platinum blonde wig and fingering it through in chunks. Orange and yellow everywhere, and all over the floor, me, and the wig, not to mention the wig stand, my counters, and anyone else who came through the door of my apartment!

We had a great time posing for pictures at the premier!


Aslan Costume for Staged Production of
Narnia the Musical


The following costume for Aslan was one I designed and built for the high school production of Narnia: the Musical that I directed.

Putting a human in the role of the Great Lion is always tricky. I decided immediately that I didn't want to go with the typical lion bodysuit that I have seen used in many stage productions. I didn't want my Aslan looking like the Cowardly Lion. Instead, I decided to do more of a representation, using colors as my focal point, I wanted to create a wild, almost African feel with the costume.


I used a typical robe pattern (Butterick B3648) and made the base of the costume with some scrap fabric I found that had a neat African print. I then cut up strips of fabric in three different lengths and widths, which I sewed to the robe. It was extremely time consuming, but I think the effort paid off. I even used strips of fabric from the costumes of the other characters in the play to sew on the robe, and I thought that added an almost symbolic touch to the costume. I came up with the make-up and the wig after various attempts, but the overall affect was exactly what I had been looking for in a staged human Aslan.

The following link is to my online photo album. It contains various shots of the actor (with his permission) in the Aslan costume, both during the show itself and after the show.


Beavers and Unicorns: Non-Human Costumes
for Narnia the Musical Stage Production


In Narnia: the Musical, a high school production that I recently directed, I had to come up with a variety of costume ideas for my non-human characters. I did not want to use animal body suit or goofy masks in my production, which I thought would make the show look too cartoony. Instead, I decided to do representational costumes and make the characters a mixture of animal and human. I have lumped my two favorites together in this submission: The Beavers and the Unicorn.


For the Beavers, I took historical colonial costume patterns (Butterick B3072 and McCalls M4863) and altered them slightly. I wanted to give the Beavers a peasant feel, and I used mismatched patterns and prints and earthy/autumn colors. I also wanted them to compliment each other. I also made two beaver tails out of brown vinyl and sewed a criss-crossed black pattern into it.

The Unicorn was a lot of fun to design. She had to look graceful, and the actress was also a dancer in the play, so she needed something that would move well. I started with making a short, flowy skirt with some silver fabric. I then too a white leotard and hose and lightly sprayed them silver to match. The best part of the costume was the mane and tail, however.


I took a basic blond wig, coarsed it up a bit, added braids, etc...then I made a horn using styrofoam and I covered it with ribbon and sequins. I attached this to the wig.

For the tail...interestingly enough, I had just made a Nightcrawler (the X-Man) costume for myself for Halloween, and I had to make a tail harness. I used this knowledge to build our Unicorn's. I used a stiff piece of plasic (from a plasic tub) which was attaced to a harness made from fabric that could be pull on like a pair of shorts. To the plastic I attached another piece to lay the blond wig across (it made the tail stick straight out like a galloping horse) Our unicorn was able to sit, run, and dance in that tail! I was proud!

The following link is to my online photo album, containing my pictures of both the Beavers and the Unicorn.

Holly Dryad (Book)


All C.S. Lewis says about the hollies in particular is that the shock-headed hollies themselves are dark, but their wives are bright with berries, and that wine makes them talkative. But the way he describes dryads in general, they're clearly wild-looking people, enough like a person to be mistaken for human at first, but clearly tree-like as well. So, rather than simply cover myself in leaves as per the movie's version of the dryads, I got to work on my own rushed interpretation. (Apologies for the location of the pictures taken.)

The first step was to draw up sketches of what I wanted to do, and what I COULD do, given budget and time constraints. I worked with a base of articles of clothing I had already made, and did some drawing...


My first sketch, I decided to wear a green cape, because trees are green. But I decided it would look better with at least some hair showing. The original idea was to actually have a whole headpiece trailing down my back, made of holly, but weight and money constrained that...


The base was discontinued McCalls pattern 2806, in a dark pink print with roses and leaves printed on. That pattern is not recommended for a dryad costume, as it's too high-waisted and not flattering. But it was made for another purpose, and I was strapped for time, plus, at least it was a plant print! To give it a bit of greenery, I tied on a sash that was actually embossed with leaf patterns; ideally it would've been longer, but again, it was remnants of another costume.

I took a pair of green gauntlets I had from Ren Faire and put them on my hands, then twisted pieces of holly greenery (18-inch long stuff, plastic and wire, with leaves and berries) from Michaels around each to slip around my wrist. To keep the greenery in place, I twisted a pipe cleaner ring around each hand's worth of greenery and fixed that to my middle or ring fingers. Branch hands! If I'd had more time I would have figured a way to put them on my individual fingers.

The crown was more greenery, twisted into a form to go around my head, not quite like a wreath, as I aimed to have all the leaves and berries pointed towards the center of my forehead.


Capes are actually very easy to make. I wore a green velvet hooded cape, and I'm not sure exactly what the pattern was; it was made a while ago. I wore it fearing that I'd be waiting out in the cold for the screening. (And that fear was unfounded.) I actually a six-foot chain of holly greenery from Michaels and safety-pinned them to the top of my cape, where the clasp would be, and let it fall behind my back. Then I took another chain of holly and attached it to the side of my cape, about a foot or so down from the very top, to give two layers of holly. The chains were very good-looking, although it shed horribly. I made a few of the shed pieces into hair clips.


One key to great costuming is great make-up. Mine wasn't great but at least it was interesting. In retrospect, I really should have gone all out and made myself green, but since I was going to the screening alone I didn't. Instead I gave myself green eyebrows and put holly berries on my face. (All the make-up was Ben Nye stage make-up, which I highly recommend; if you put it on, cover it with powder, and then spray the clear mint-scented (!) fixant over it, it will stay on until you scrub it off.)

Anyway, I hope this inspires people to put together a costume, even if they don't have much time or money!

The Lamppost


The outfit is just a pair of long gouchos and a long sleeve black shirt. For the hat (or Lamppost top) I bought a lamp shade and cut the outside layer of cloth off and then put a elasic band on the bottom so it could fot my head and the stuck some little clip on LED lights for the light that the Lamppost gives off light. It is a VERY AFFORDABLE costume to make!




Lady of the Green Kirtle

Lady Blanche

My costume was very easy and in three pieces: the gown, hat and shirt.

The white shirt was just something I bought at the store to wear under my gown to give it that middle ages layered effect. For the hat I took some shiny silver material, (about 5 or 6 inches wide) and sewed it into a tube. After I stuffed it, I curled it into a ring and hand stitched the ends together. Over it I drapped a green scarf and pinned it in place. The gown took the longest but even it wasn't hard. I didn't use a pattern but the steps are easy. It takes 6 yards of very wide fabric, (the widest you can get).

1. Fold it in half so it forms a square. The top of the square along the fold is the top of the dress on the other end is the bottom.
2. Lay down on the square with your arms stretched out to the sides and have someone draw your outline on the fabric with chalk. (make sure you leave a little room for movement and seam allowance). The sleeves can be shaped any way you want. Draw straight along the arms for streight sleeves or do like I did and draw a line down at the elbow for princess sleeves.
3. draw a half circle where the head will go through, and you're ready to cut out your dress.
4. When it's cut out, turn the material's right sides together and pin the sleeves and sides togerther. Sew each side from sleeve openings to bottom openings as two long seams.
5. Turn it right side out, and hem. Your dress is done!

Make sure you use nice draping fabric for the gown, and don't cut the neck hole too big or it won't stay up! If I was to do this costume again I would probably use a narrower tube for the hat and put some fancy trim around the bottom of my dress.

I used green fake velvet for my gown and tied some silver rope from the craft store around my waist for a belt.

Images here



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