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Susan's Green Archery Dress

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Overview

The dress is about ankle-length, snugly princess-seamed, with long sleeves, the bodice lacing all the way up the back from below the waist. The pale blue underdress (or pale green, as others see it) shows up in several places and can be a bit confusing: we have a few theories on that.

The dress is a dark forest green fabric, medium weight in a fine twill weave, probably a wool blend. The underdress fabric has a sheen, possibly a china silk or silk satin.

Green Dress: Neckline and Embroidery

The round, scooped neckline is notched at the center front and crossed once near the bottom and once near the top of the notch with two lengths of a thin leather cord. They don't cross: they enter the fabric through hand-sewn eyelets, bound in thread a slightly lighter green than the dress itself.

That same thread frames the neckline in a vine-like embroidery, a simple long running stitch connecting small curled satin-stitched designs. The running stitches are tipped in some places by little satin-stitched buds. See Aranel's study in the embroidery gallery below. Note it's not exact—it's very difficult to get a good shot of the embroidery, as her hair or cloak are always in the way.

Seams and Back Lacing

The bodice of the green dress is princess seamed over the bust, but instead of two side pieces with a seam falling directly under the arm, there are three side pieces, with the middle side piece falling directly under the arm. The extra fitting of the extra piece allows for a more fitted bodic with a fuller skirt. The center front is one piece without a center seam. Princess seams both in front and back go to the sleeve arm, not the shoulder; there is no waist seam on any of the pieces.

The seams run full-length; the front piece widens very little, but the direct side piece seems to widen the most, just at mid-hip.

The back is laced up from just below the waist over a self-fabric placket, in a green woven cord. It looks in some lights to have a slightly brownish tint. In others, it looks like it's dyed to match the green color of the dress! The tiny loops that the lacing threads seem to be tiny corded tubes. Notice the lines on either side of the lacing - it seems to be decorative piping.

Sleeves and Embroidery

The sleeves fit snugly down to the wrist. On one side they lengthen and flare away slightly. It lengthens almost to her knuckles and flares slightly, at the side of the wrist opposite her thumb—so it's out of the way when she raises her arm to shoot an arrow.

At mid-upper arm are vertical, elliptical slits that show the underdress bunching horizontally underneath. The final tally of slits seems to be five.

The embroidery near the hem of the sleeve is done in a slightly lighter green thread than the fabric, with several small curls in a satin stitch, connected by a long running stitch. See Aranel's study in the embroidery gallery below.

Underdress

The underdress is rather a puzzle. It's definitely a separate, full-length dress, likely princess-seamed, and hemmed just a few inches shorter than the green dress. It shifts quite a bit, the round neck showing a couple inches at the green dress neckline, sometimes less.

In one image where Susan leans over we can see a ruffle under the neckline of the underdress. It seems to be stitched down all the way around at the neck; the other possibility is that the line we see at the neck is a seam for a two-inch or so neck yoke. Since this is the only time we see it, it's difficult to make out what it is.

In a few images we seem to be seeing a complete undersleeve, specifically in this image (look at the right hand) and possibly this one (look at the left hand). However, we don't see this at other times when it ought to be apparent. It's possible what we see there is just an undershirt for warmth, as it seems in most images that the underdress sleeve is simply baglined to the green sleeve.

Though we're inclined to think the above (as this would be rather bulky), if that is the underdress sleeve, there would be three layers: the green sleeve, the baglining of the sleeve (in the same fabric as the underdress?), and the underdress sleeve.

NarniaWebber GentlePrincess noted recently this image where we see what looks a sleeveless armhole on the underdress! However, we can clearly see the sleeve underneath that. This seems to be a separate piece laying over it. Is it possible the underdress has the ruffled neckline, and this is like a dickey stitched to it for a smooth neckline? Input is welcome.

The skirt is full, with a one- to two-inch shining gold trim sewn down at the hem. This can be seen when Susan jumps down from the tree at Aslan's camp; see this image.



 

Extras

The dress is sometimes worn belted at the hip with a brown leather belt, tooled in floral designs. Note that although one of the first images we had of the dress shows two belt buckles, the second has been photoshopped in for some unknown reason.

Her hair is worn parted on her right with the sides braided back, woven with green vines and small blue flowers.

Shoes

Susan wears at least two pairs of shoes with this outfit, one at the river when Peter is knighted and one on the walk to the Stone Table. The first are a pair of dark brown sandals made with leather thongs, flip-flop style. The second are also a dark brown leather, with the toe and heel connected by a T-strap. The best way to describe them, however, is by pictures:

Click for full picture

Susan's shoe - front
clear front view
Susan's shoe - front
front view running
Susan's shoe - side shot
side view - cut off
Susan's shoe - enhanced side shot
< color enhancement

The last one has been enhanced to show the distinction between dress and shoe. Notice the gleam of metal, which could reveal how the shoes are fastened, as well as the slight (3/4"?) heel.

TheGentleQueen recommended Capezio Pedini dance shoes as a comparable ready-made substitute.

Cloak

Susan and dons this cloak when following Aslan to the Stone Table with Lucy. They wear them on to the Witch's castle and to the battlefield. Susan wears her cloak over her Green Archery Dress, with her horn and quiver over all.

Susan's cloak fabric from StansboroughThe cloak fabric is a knit rib, made by Stansborough Fibres of their "Stansborough Grey" wool. Stansborough sent us this swatch of the original at the right. This appears to have been overdyed to the cool purple as it appears in the film.

The ribbing runs horizontally across the back, then ends at an angle on the center front sides. Based on this angle, the cloak seems to be a 3/4 cut.

trim closeupThe cloak is trimmed with a beautiful blue and red floral metallic trim about 1 1/2" wide, see closeup on left. M & J Trimming carries an identical trim (the only difference might be in the edge), although the exact color match goes in and out of availability. Currently there are five options, none of which match Susan's trim. The same trim has been spotted at JoAnn's Superstores.

The cloak is fastened in front with a red and black (or navy blue) lanyard-woven cord looped over a ball shaped button. Her horn and quiver are slung diagonally over her head, so the cloak is worn behind her left arm but in front of the right.

 

Aranel's Embroidery Studies


Neck

Disney's Hollywood Studios ~ Image Taken by NarniaWebber BookLover

Disney's Hollywood Studios ~ Super High-Res Images Taken by Lady Éowyn

Film Screencaps

Notice the ruffle under the neckline

Promotional

Hi-rez Promotional from ComingSoon.Net Screenshot from NarniaResources.com From narnia-chroniken.de Susan and Lucy running
    hi-rez from disney.wretch.cc - great of trim IMDB.com - notice see-through cloak    

Trailers and Clips

screencap ~ note slits screencap ~ note wrist lining screencap screencap ~ slightly more focus screencap

 

Super high-rez images ~ courtesy the Photobox

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from the Photobox from the Photobox from the Photobox from the Photobox from the Photobox
from the Photobox from the Photobox from the Photobox from the Photobox

 


 

 

'The Lady Clare' - possible inspiration for Susan's dress? Inspiration?

Eleiel sent in the following painting, "The Lady Clare," noting its similarity to Susan's Archery dress and suggesting that the costumers of Narnia could possibly have been inspired by it. This would, indeed, correspond with Isis Mussenden's account that the children's Narnian clothes were inspired by Pre-Raphaelite fashions (read the inteview). Good find, Eleiel!

Painted by the Pre-Raphaelite painter John William Waterhouse in 1900, "The Lady Clare" depicts the heroine of Tennyson's poem by the same title.

 



 

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