My OH plays Tungdil Stonehammer (of the clan of the Shattered Axes), a dwarven ex-miner who believes in making your own luck and paying due deference to the bearded Lady of Luck who laughs at him often. Mercenary, Traldan, both blessed and cursed; Tungdil goes through his adventuring life with a smile, a dirty joke (usually about elves) and an axe somewhere about his person.
His kit was inspired by the recent Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films, the work of Marcus Heitz, and taking the path of Tralda in a light hearted, fun loving manner.
I include below a brief overview of some of Tungdil’s kit that I have made.
For more kit-walkthroughs, go to Tutorials.
I admit I’m a little behind on sharing the following project, that made it’d debut at the Springfest event earlier this year. My OH is currently playing a Dwarven Traldan devotee and decided that whilst his daily adventuring kit is pretty solid (with an outrageous traldan prayerscarf that was literally chosen because I walked into the shop when getting my sewing machine serviced and went “Tralda” as I spotted the cloth – fun fact for the day), he wanted something “more” for banquet kit. Now then, I’d spotted a pattern based on dwarven costumes from the Hobbit films and had purchased said pattern a while back when we were beginning to think about dwarven characters, so I asked if he’d like anything from that. This led to us wandering around a couple of fabric shops we’d been thinking about exploring, and coming away with some cloth in the patterns of his choosing.
I decided that I would work on the kit in stages, rather than try and complete a full outfit in one go, so whilst I have things bought to make a coat it’s still in the uncut stages … I will admit that this project got bumped back from the banquet in January to the event in May due to over ambitious kit for myself (the red overdress of my crowan’s gown), but the jacket suited Tungdil better worn on the feast day of his Goddess.
The cloth is a printed fabric which unnerved me at first as I was convinced the whole lot would come off in the wash, so I was expecting the worst when I put it through the wash. Then I expected to ruin my iron when ironing it, but the world didn’t end – lesson learned, people who make cloth know what they’re doing! It looks suitably “bling” to be a nobleman’s garb in future, but also suitably mad when combined with the other bits of Tungdil’s kit (and his beard) to work as posh Traldan garb.
Cutting the pieces proved interesting as I decided I wanted to try and match the patterns running down the length of the cloth … having not bought additional cloth to do this. Given it was a rainy day ( and I really didn’t want to drive all the way back to the shop to risk not being able to buy more, to then have to wash it and iron it etc before getting started) I decided to try and make the back symmetrical and get the front pieces to match as best I could. I’m pretty pleased with how it all turned out, though the sleeves have a different emphasis on the pattern which isn’t noticeable until it’s pointed out (which is a win, right?). I also cut the facings last from cloth I had left over from making a skirt. The colour was a nice companion to the outer shell without being “in your face” and the weight of the cloth works. Yay for stash busting!
I cut all the cloth and interfacing over the course of a couple of evenings, ironing the interfacing to the facings in advance of the steps advised in the instructions. Then I followed the instructions, pinning sections together in batches so that I could just sit at my machine and say – sew the two shoulders and the pieces of the collar together at the same sitting, or both sleeves in one go etc. This helped break the project into manageable chunks around the other things on my to-do list, and ticking off each section “done” felt good. I’m a list person, don’t judge me.
About a week before the event my OH helped me finish the jacket with the brass eyelets (chosen to compliment the golden/ochre pattern on the cloth) and I braided some leftover wool from making my dwarf beard to make the lace (see, more stash busting!)
I then hung it up to take photos and I admit it felt very odd to not be doing a rush project ahead of the fest … but don’t worry, I found things to occupy me and I will tell you about them soon!
Time taken ~ approximately 5 evenings plus a Saturday afternoon.
Tungdil’s kit also includes his outrageous scarf (as mentioned above), his greying dwarf beard with its beads and charms and bottles of alchemy, and a “hobo-bag” that I’ve adapted from a pattern found here.
The prayer scarf is made using quilting cotton cut into 4 sections the width of the desired scarf with an additional seam allowance. I tried to mirror the coloured pattern at the neck seam so that the rainbow effect is visible down the body when worn. The pieces were sewn in pairs – top and bottom with the centre seam trimmed and pressed open – before being pinned and sewn right sides together down the length of scarf and across the bottoms, leaving a gap near the middle seam to turn the scarf right sides out. The seams were trimmed, and the whole scarf pressed flat before the hole was hand sewn closed.
There was a small accident involving a pair of outrageous hero pants and a washing machine which has unfortunately led to the scarf “aging” somewhat, but the red “dye wash” has only muted a few colours and not spoiled the overall eye aching splash of colour. Besides, it suits the character to have something that looks a little travel worn.
Tungil’s beard is made using wool mounted on a plastic mesh, elastic webbing and cotton lining, along with a collection of wooden and metal beads and other adornments, following the instructions found here. I changed the pattern to accommodate the size of the mesh that I had been able to buy (as I was making two beards) which lead to having to sew the elastic on the back so that the beard wouldn’t fall off in use. This has meant that my OH has to wear his hat to hide the brilliant white of the elastic (next time I might use black …) but it withstands running around like a mad dwarf, so it works! Because my OH wanted lots of random braids and a thicker beard I threaded the woollen strands into every line (rather than leaving a line between each like the instructions suggest) which meant I could gather the beard into chunks to braid and still have some loose strands to maintain the shaggy beard look he was after. I trimmed the beard before braiding to give it some shape.
I also sewed a cloth lining on the back to cushion my OH’s face during extended periods of use. Sadly this means his stubble now catches on the lining, but I think that’s a small price to pay for not having a plastic mesh digging into one’s cheeks …
The bag is an adaptation of a hobo bag pattern found here (you have to sign up for an email to download the pattern, and to receive news on other patterns in future) which I used to make my own bag. Made from a bundle of fat quarters of quilting cotton and left over bed sheeting (stash busting for the win!), I pieced together the panels to make the bag have a “front” and a “back” by splitting the bag at the “side” where the shoulder strap goes. There’s a bit of a story here, so permit me to waffle on a bit …
I bought two sets of fat quarters from hobby craft – one in reds, one in browns – thinking that some combination would make an outrageous patterned traldan bag that could be reused by other characters in the future. I made my bag first, making bands of colour up the pattern of the bag to gradate the colour and pattern, using much of the floral “rose” cloth and the darker paisley pattern for the base. By cutting my fabric into strips (after first cutting the bottom piece to figure out how much cloth I had left to play with) and matching the front and back the bag ended up with a pattern of rings running up its length ending in a contrast strap. I was very pleased with the look and cut the lining as per the pattern and sewed the whole thing together, making a small flap to close the bag over a wooden toggle from left over scraps. When I showed the bag to my OH he asked for something similar, though with the panels forming a “front” and “back”, the bag being longer and the strap being long enough to make the bag sit on his hip … basically “make like that but make it different”. Cue printing more of the patterns and spending an afternoon mocking up in paper …
I adjusted the pattern length by adding an additional mid panel from the second set I printed out to the first when piecing the pattern together, and then adding an additional section of strap to the top. I then folded the seam allowance of the strap in when trying it out for my OH (holding this at the shoulder seam of my shirt for an example) and then made a judgement on the “correct” length of the strap. Once it was made this ended up being too long, but rather than unpicking everything we just tied the strap into a knot which has had the additional benefit of providing some shape to the bag when worn. Funny old world …
So – the pattern was deemed “acceptable” – I then had to cut the cloth panels such that they would match up. Rather than cutting up the paper pattern I actually pieced together the cloth atop the pattern, pinning the pieces in place with the required seam allowance and mirroring the placement of the coloured panels on the front and back. (All this effort for a “simple bag” …). I cut a strip of cloth the width of the strap for each side and placed this in the centre, with a band of similar cloth at the top of the bag, and the dark band matching the bottom at the base. The remaining cloth was cut in two pieces and trimmed to fit the remaining gaps, before the whole panel was sewn together. The two bag shaped pieces were then sewn together at the shoulder and the whole mess of seams were pressed open. I then cut the lining material to the pattern and followed the instructions to make the bag and fit the bottom. *phew!* Bag done!
The size of the bag and the length of the scarf, when worn with the baggy tunic and baggy hero pants (bought from Having a Larp) that make up my OH’s daily kit (plus the armour worn under the tunic) helps make my OH look suitably stocky and dwarvish. That, and the dirty chuckle of a laugh he’s adopted as Tungdil …