So few people remember Eilonwy. It’s sad, but true. The Black Cauldron came out in 1985 and it wasn’t well-received then, and it hasn’t become a cult classic. As a sixth grader I read all of the books and loved them, and was honestly kind of disappointed in the movie. But I still loved Eilonwy, so she popped to mind when I was planning for my first Not So Scary party of the year in 2015!
I started with Simplicity’s saloon girl pattern, 2851 (now out of print) for the bodice. I’d used it once when making my short Snow White dress and thought it would be a good match. I used a sturdy black broadcloth and used red single fold bias tape for the detailing. The sleeves were from a cream cotton and I honestly can’t even tell you what pattern I used. What I can say…is that something went horribly wrong. I still can’t even describe it. One sleeve went on perfectly. The other sleeve turned out to be a demon from hell. No matter what I did, the sleeve was twisted and it made that side of the bodice twisted. I let the sleeve out, I took the sleeve in, I cut down the armscye, I cut down the shoulder…it would. not. work. It was literally an hour before I was supposed to leave, and the damn thing was unwearable. So what did I do? I ran across the street to Walmart, bought a boy’s black tee shirt and new bias tape, cut the shirt into the proper shape, stitched on bias tape, attached the sleeves from the old bodice, and bam! Wearable Eilonwy. It wasn’t fantastic, but it worked!
The skirt, luckily, was much easier. I cut and sewed pale pink cotton into a dirndl skirt layer (with pockets) and then used a rose colored fabric cut into a circle panel over the top, leaving about a two inch gap between the edges of the panel where it was sewn over the pale pink layer. I used the rose fabric to make a casing for an elastic waistband. It works fine, but the fabric is heavy enough to make the skirt slide when it’s worn. I’m either going to remake the waistband to make it fasten with hooks and eyes, or, when I remake the bodice, add snaps so that the skirt can snap into the bodice. Honestly, I’ll probably do both just to make sure they stay in place!
I didn’t want to wear a wig for this cosplay- I’ve only worn a wig once for Not So Scary and it was the WORST (thanks for being a swamp, Florida). I bought a set of super cheap extensions on eBay instead. Are they quite the right color? No, but they’re close enough, and I’m rather fond of my cheap eBay weave. I curled the rest of my hair and brushed my hair and the extensions together to blend them a little, and pinned a length of black trim from Joann’s around my head to look like Eilonwy’s black circlet.
My favorite part was the bauble! I bought a clear plastic Christmas ornament from Amazon Prime (and bought another one when the first one was too small, and then forgot to cancel my subscription so after the free trial I still had Prime, oops) and painted it with sparkly yellow acrylic craft paint. On the inside I wrapped a length of battery-operated Christmas lights with yellow tulle and put the whole thing inside the ornament. It was a little bit of a hassle to pop the ornament open and closed every time I wanted to use the lights, but it was worth it!
I brought back Eilonwy for Akaicon 2016 and ended up entering her in the cosplay competition. I didn’t win, but honestly I just wanted more experience with judging and walking in the contest before I entered it seriously. I had a lot of fun, and I’m planning my entry for Akaicon 2017 now!