At A Long Expected Party in Shaker Village in September of 2008, on the last day there, we watched the movies, and I was struck by a thought when Grima Wormtongue entered the scene...
You guessed it. He intrigues me and I want to make his costume. In Peter Jackson's LOTR The Two Towers, Brad Dourif claimed the role, and made it into something more complicated than plain evil. I love a complicated character, so there you go. Well, at ALEP, it was a passing thought.
Then, when I got home, a little while later Jo, one of the organizer's of ALEP, contacted me and asked if I'd ever thought of making a Grima Wormtongue costume. The organizers are thinking of hosting another Lord of the Rings celebration in Edoras, and they could perhaps use a Grima Wormtongue. Funny coincidence, I thought. The timing was so close, and all that. I said yes, just recently, on the last day at ALEP.
So, this character is now my most recent on a long list of characters in my project plans... Now starts the research. This will be a hard one, I'm thinking, so I'm glad I have a lot of time.
Research Photos, snagged from ACS and other locations all over the internet:
This page was last updated: March 24, 2013
September 14, 2009:
After Prince Vlad I'll be making Grima. His presence is requested at ALEP II in September 2011. Yes. I have taken him on.
December 31, 2009:
The fabric to the left is a stretch lace with a cloque texture (puckered), espresso (19-1213 is close) with gold dots. Stretch in the length only. The lace is open around the dots.
This captures the look I was going for, and I thought this would be part of the costume that would be very hard to find.
The fabric on the left is a faux persian lamb... It's been said Grima's overrobe collar was smocked velvet. Well, I can skip the smocking with this, and it will still look right. I decided to go with it.
I found this when I found the other two parts, but did not jump on it. I don't know why, but now I'm glad I waited. I think I thought it would not sell out as fast as the stuff at EmmaOneSock. Well. I got an e-mail from Thai Silks: they had an internet sale, and the price was reduced by 45%, good until April 1. I thought that's a good incentive! And so I jumped.
Those other two fabrics arrived a while ago, btw. They are, as to be expected, way better in real life... and I do think I'm going to love this one in a big way.
Still need to find the underdress fabric, that off colored gold/wheat shade that's smocked at the collar, and the velvet for the cloak...
March 16, 2011:
I have been a little active... I've been shopping on ebay.
Grima has some STUFF.
Because I really don't want to make his pendant, I started browsing and found these:
A heavy link chain necklace, 54" long, of double link textured goldstone, circa 1940.
And, a pendant/brooch by Israeli artist Avi Soffer, ancient Roman glass mounted in sterling. There is a pin, and three places I can loop a chain through, or fasten some kind of other link... giving me lots of options.
Yes. It's blue, not black. It's not the same as the one Grima has in the film. But I like it, and... I don't care!
I wanted to see how these look against Grima's fabrics, so I took a few very lousy photos... Why so lousy? They were taken on my phone camera, where DROID fails, because Eric had my camera in Colorado... But in any case, here is a look, however poor it is, with the chain doubled up and woven through the silver around the glass:
April 3, 2011:
I found this for Grima's base fabric: Muga silk in dark gold and black:
September 11, 2011:
Grima almost has a completed over-robe. YAY!
I was bad-- I did not make a muslin because I figured out how it went just by throwing the silk noil on the dress form. So, yesterday I had nothing but washed fabrics waiting to go--
But now I have this!!!
Image of Grima's statue above for reference...
I could not find a copy of the costume photos from The Two Towers Extended Edition's third disc, but I found this photo of the statue.
One place where I've so far deviated from the original is I don't have a slit up the back. Instead, I actually added a panel there, to get the length the robes need, at least by what I'm seeing in the costume photos in The Two Towers. In those photos it looks to me as though the back of the robes trail like mine does. I could be seeing things wrong, but I don't think so. I *do" know a split exists, as I noticed it watching the movie. But, heh, I think the statue isn't quite right, at least as far as length goes. As for accuracy, a split is something I can put in later, if I decide I want it. But I like it like it is right now.
Grima's over robe has several things in common with Snape's.
I used Snape's yoke, for example. It's hidden under the fur collar. The fur collar is not supporting the robes, because I figured out quickly that that would mess up how the fur drapes. So, the fur collar will be attached separately in four places, in addition to the tie I put in the front.
Still to do: I've got to make the yoke: For that part I did use a muslin and it's hidden under the fur right now. I have to finish the front side edges and hem. And then there's distressing. Eeep. Do I REALLY have to mess up his costume?
September 14, 2011:
Grima has smocked pleats!
Hard to believe that started out as a very long rectangle. A contributor at Alleycatscratch thought it was 26 by 14 inches before smocked. I tried that, adding a few more inches. This was only enough for the front. So, I added two squares on either side, or a rectangle equal to the front but cut in half. French seamed the pieces together. The seams fall on the shoulder lines, and are hidden by the pleats. This rectangle in total comes to something like 56 by 15 inches.
I've got two more rows and then I will even up the pleats and smock them in place.
I love this costume.
September 17, 2011:
Grima has a finished overcloak!
Here are some photos of the progress before I finished...
A photo of the original, for reference...
I've rigged it so the Persian Lamb collar can be snapped off. The snaps tuck under, adding to the shaping. I kinda like it!
What's left to do: the robes, the underrobes, the handkerchief and the belt.
Now to the next thing.
September 18, 2011:
Grima's smocking detail... I finished the smocking. Here are some shots of the collar now.
And now, the finished overcloak:
I crocheted the tie for the front closure. In the image above you can see one of the snaps...
There are eleven rows. The first four rows are smocked on the backside with the same trellis stitch I used in the front. The next seven are done front side. I made each successive pleat row a fraction wider than the first, because I wanted the diamonds to get progressively larger, as I knew they would get wider,.. And that's what happened.
I'm happy with it! Very much, in fact.
Tomorrow, or later tonight, I'll be cutting the fabric for the other parts of his outfit.
September 19, 2011:
Progress on the cutting front:
Everything is cut except the lining of the over robe. The under robe won't be lined. The over cloak wasn't lined, either... This is more how I used to make things before I started lining everything. I think Severus Snape started that, btw... But it isn't ALWAYS necessary.
OK. Want to see the pretty fabrics I was cutting on today?
Here we go:
The collar piece doesn't go on the under robe. I just put it there because I'd just cut it out. The sleeves of the under robe are to the left, on Arwen, along with Grima's over cloak.
I tried hard to make sure the print was centered, and think I managed well, although the velvet wanted to walk...
One thing about this print is that the paint is not evenly applied. There are sections where the gold is darker than others. I turned the pile to make the black show more, and cut where the gold was less prominent, where I could. I like that it's uneven. This provides a natural distressing. Good thing, as I don't think I'll be able to distress this thing.
Btw, the gold shows up much more in photos than it does in real life, due to flash and reflection.
I'm not gathering the body of the over robe into the belt, like it was shown in the costume stills in The Two Towers appendices. I don't need the extra inches in the waist, frankly. So, this is an area where I'm deviating very purposefully from the original.
And just what did this mean pattern wise? Well. It means I used the pattern I made for Arwen's Blood Red gown for the body of the over and under robes, including the circular collar there. I drafted the sleeves for Grima today, working from Prince Vlad's coat sleeves, making them a one piece sleeve.
Even though I used Arwen's pattern, this doesn't look feminine to me. Color choices might be part of the reason. The sleeves and the over robe collar fabric look kind of like chain mail, adding to the masculine look.
September 22, 2011:
Grima has underwear!
It's not perfect, but considering my current time restraints and that most of it won't be seen, I can live with that...I can fix the flaws later, if I feel like it.
It's been a while since I put in a zipper. I thought I'd have to re-learn how, but I figured it out pretty fast and it went in OK the first time.
This leaves the over-robe and the handkerchief. I've got five days until I leave... These last things shouldn't be a problem considering what I did in the five days leading up to Dragon*Con 2011. There's no comparison! (I never did that much in that little time ever, costume wise, and entirely undocumented here, unfortunately.)
I'm tired, but determined. For tonight I'm stopping.
Tomorrow, after other obligations, I will have a half day to work on things. And then I will have all of Friday.
September 27. 2011:
I have a Grima! And I'm heading to ALEP II shortly...
But first, I want to celebrate, because after D*C 2011, I wasn't sure I'd get this done in the manner I'm accustomed to.
Well, I got it done. I think it meets the 30 foot rule, or something... heh.
Flaws and all, I don't CARE! I do, yeah, but I wanted this badly, finished & all that...
Grima is FINISHED! YAY! *Dances*
So, picture spammage before I head out...
Something we had in the house. I didn't commission one to look like Grima's, but might do that later. (Or learn some leather crafting myself.)
This will do for improvising.
The over robe:
Over robe sleeve detail, showing the buttons, and the finger tie, crocheted.
The paint on the velvet loves to catch on things, and one thing it particularly loves to catch on is the gold thread woven into the jersey fabric of the sleeves. This is causing a very nice distressing all on its own. I find this funny, considering I feel unable to do that.
I think it looks good that way. And I'm guessing that gold paint will collect loads of other things at ALEP-- Leaves, twigs, dust... yes.
And now, everything together:
If you look at the photo above to the right, you can see how the silk noil of the cloak is bunched up.
That's the paint in the velvet of the over robe grabbing things again. I didn't see it until after I took the photo.
Pulled it down for the photo here to the right...
The handkerchief, with and without flash...
Never had a chance to play with makeup before heading of to ALEP II. I'll do that there and hope for the best. I think, though, that my expression works.
Peter Jackson's visualization of The Lord of the Rings woke my latent passion for costuming and inspired me to learn to sew.
This page and its links reflect my best efforts in Lord of the Rings costuming.
Projects linking to their own pages are featured here. Click the links in the navigation bar to visit the individual pages, or scroll further below to the image links and see a quick overview of the costumes.
Grima Wormtongue's Robes
Welcome to Yvette's
Nearly ten years ago I set out to teach myself to sew, so that I could create inspired costumes such as those featured on my site.
I created this site to share what I've done. It launched August 18, 2004, and has been growing ever-since.
In addition to costume construction pages, there are pages featuring portraits of the costumes being worn.
Costuming is a hobby I love documenting, but I do not do commissions, nor do I sell patterns.
Please visit where your interests lead you, and enjoy.
The navigation on my site is under construction. I'll be getting the links set up page by page. In the meantime, please bear with me.