Author: Jorryn Varna
The Aes Sedai Shawl
This is a rough sketch of how I pictured the shawl. In the books the shawls were quilted or embroidered in a pattern of vines and leaves but left it out for two reasons. I thought it would detract from the flame logo, and I didn't want to draw it!
Treyana Sedai and I have been discussing the use of "stitch witchery" or double-sided fusible interfacing to adhere the flame logo to the back of the shawl. No sewing involved!!! We've both had luck with this method before in making banners and such.
In order to finish the edges of the logo when using the fusible web, I suggest using a novelty trim or a string of small beads.
These are a few of the trims I happened to have on hand. Most come in a variety of colors other than what is shown. This is a product that has been getting a lot of attention lately, so there are new styles on the market all the time!
Most are relatively easy to work with and can be sewn or glued in place with fabric glue. The best part is, they run from about $.25 to $3.00 a yard (three feet).
This is a template for your pattern. (Looks suspiciously like math homework, you say, but please read on!) Length A-B is your armspan from fingertip to fingertip plus one foot. Length C-D is how long you wish the shawl to fall down your back. You will need to add about a foot again to this length, to account for drape. Of course, lengths A-D and B-D will be where you attach the fringe in the color of your choice!
You can choose to hem all the edges with a rolled hem, or use hem tape. This comes as a plain strip that looks like a ribbon, or as a strip of lace. The lace would lend the shawl an especially lovely touch since the inside of the wrap would be edged in lace! When using hem tape, extend all edges of your pattern at least one inch for seam allowance.
Here is a detail of the flame logo. It is inspired by the cover art of Lord of Chaos.
Dress For Novice and Accepted
Here is my sketch of an Accepted's Dress. It has the seven bands of color around the neckline and the hem. By creating this dress without the bands, it can function as a Novice Dress. I recommend using a lightweight fabric and lining it to keep it from being too see-through. We're not Domani after all! As you can almost see, there is a tie at the sides that can adjust the fit around the waist.
The bands of color can be added easiest by using fabric glue to fasten narrow ribbon to the finished dress. These ribbons, pictured at right, come in about every shade imaginable and in three styles. The others don't have the loops at the edges, and are different widths.
For a pattern for this dress, try Simplicity #9162. It is the closest thing I can find to my sketch and would only need slight alterations. The dress has a "V" neckline and does not have a tie. Here are the pictures care of the Simplicity website. In fact, views B and C would be fine with no alterations.
Ebou Dari Dress
Ah, Altara! This has always been my favorite costume. I can't decide which I like more, the marriage knife or the oval necklines. They are a lovely detail to this fashion and are shown here paired with the layered petticoats. The lovely Queen Tylin was so good to model for this sketch.
I wasn't able to find a pattern that matched exactly. Since I don't want to try drawing one, I included a picture of one that is close, again care of the Simplicity website (pattern #9025). The neckline is totally wrong, but with a bit of trial and error (or a good seamstress), it could be altered. And actually, I like the sleeves in the Simplicity pattern better!
The colored petticoats are fairly easy. There were no patterns online that I could find, but I've seen them in stores. The design would be similar to a full skirt, gathered at the waist, and cut in layers.
Ebou Dar has a warm climate, like the rest of Altara. Due to this, the fabric choices should be lightweight. The warmer climate is one of the reasons that I like the shorter sleeves in the picture above.
My one question about the picture concerns her hair. I fear I don't have the time to research that particular fashion...
If anyone has a good sketch of a marriage knife, I would like to include it.
In my mind, this land is like ancient Greece. With a warm maritime climate and a thriving oilfish industry, this must be a lovely vacation spot.
I created an old Mediterranean style costume for this country. Berelain's dresses are sometimes described as being "draped" on her and this fits in with the style of the Greeks and Romans.
This dress should be made of very lightweight material, and in light colors. The hair is gathered up in a loose bun reminiscent of the styles shown in ancient Greek portraits. Large buttons, old t-shirt rings from the 80's, fabric strips, or decorative lace rounds could be used to cover the gathers across the shoulders. A zipper would have to be put in the side seam instead of the center back to allow for the back drape.
The hair ornament was intended to be like a fine metal headband that ran in three arcs. This can be easily copied by using metallic cord or trim and fastening it in your hair with hairpins. Ancient women in warmer climates almost always wore their hair up in intricate twists and braids. This kept them cool and was incredibly stylish!
I was so pleased to find a dress pattern that comes close to what I had in mind. This is Simplicity #8946. It has a lower back than I drew, but that makes little difference. You may want to make the front drape a little like the back, that would make it look a little more like the Grecian style I pictured. The train of the dress could be shortened or removed.
Slinky, sexy and sheer! This costume is the ultimate dress for a Domani merchant. Who could possibly resist her? I originally based this dress off a painting by Jonathon Earl Bowser. I included a detail from his painting instead of my original sketch. Mine didn't scan very well and needs to be redone! This one is much better anyway...
(Take a look at www.jonathonart.com for more artwork like this.)
I was so thrilled when I found a pattern that matched my concept perfectly. This dress is a must for any woman who has her eye on a special guy because the style is so romantic and striking. Check out Simplicity #9125 to make your own!
Andoran Ladies' Dress
Here is a dress I have actually made; it just lacks the hem to be finished. Please excuse the headless mannequin... I know it's kinda creepy, but I got so tired of trying to draw the models.
This is patterned after the description of the Andor dress from the World of Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Time:
"Andoran women usually wear dresses with square-cut necks showing little if any cleavage, and fitted sleeves. These dresses are occasionally embroidered with flowers and leaves, and are worn belted at the waist ... Commoners wear the same basic style of dress ... usually with higher necklines and an apron." (Jordan and Patterson 238.)
In order to get the look of embroidered leaves, I used a brocade fabric that had leaves and vines woven into it. I originally sketched the design with the rope and tassel belt, but due to several reasons, I chose to attach a strip of the contrast fabric around the empire waist, just above where the overskirt splits.
Generally, Elayne's and Morgase's dresses are described as having a "blue skirt slashed with cream" or something similar. I couldn't think of a better way to "slash" a skirt with color other than to have two skirts, with one split up the center as shown.
The best part about this dress is that I get to decorate it with roses, and there is a pattern that is almost exactly right. Check out Butterick #6203:
As promised: PHOTOS!!
The bodice is fully lined and I will be adding ribbon-embroidered roses to it soon. The red fabric is a heavy tapestry with vines and leaves. The cream is the crepe side of a crepe-backed satin and the cream skirt is hemmed two inches higher that the red. It has a zipper back closure.
Total cost to of production: about $38.
Saldaean Ladies' Dress
There is very little description of the Saldaean mode of dress in the TWoRJTWoT. It does mention high necks and long sleeves, paired with heavy embroidery down the sleeves for noblewomen. The basic style is the same for those infamous Saldaean farmgirls, only the fabric would be rougher.
Again this is one of my works in progress. I chose to do a two piece ensemble which would make it easy to swap a divided skirt for the normal full skirt pictured. The pattern was the tricky part...
For this design, I actually altered a set of patterns I had on hand. The upper part of the bodice is similar to Simplicity #9300, but I cut it to flare over the hips. The skirt is a standard full skirt pattern that is readily available in most Simplicity costumes.
This one is a lot of fun but very challenging. I'm also working on a new pattern for the Ebou Dari dress based off this top. (The previous pattern I cited for Ebou Dar is now out of print.)
As promised: some real life pics of my first concept! The top is green velveteen, lined with satin. The skirt is crepe. All fabrics were found in remnant bins!
There was a little trouble centering me in the photos... sorry about the left sides being cut off. The next photos will be better lit, closer up, and I'll be centered!!
Total cost of construction: about $20