T his is a freestyle pattern. I mean, quite literally. I wrote next to nothing down while creating her and doubt I could reproduce the work identically. In other words, I'm not going to be making this dress or pattern again. It's a shame too, because Noire had given me permission to use the pattern again in the future, haha, but it just didn't work out into that. There will most likely be variations on her (like without the open back) but no promises at this time.Actual work was easy and relaxing. I did some basic planning over the color placement for the armor and then went for it. I had a basic idea of how the open back was going to work so I focused on the front. I knew her shirt was going to dip below the waistline so it started out "blunt" and the curve was added later.I started at the waist and worked up. Color placement was vital for the armor's appearance. I put a simple "X" on the lazy color graph for where the crystal was going to go. I mostly ignored the back because of the open weirdness for the pattern, so I went up the breastplate. Had to switch thread colors about half way up because the white half of her shirt was introduced there. For her back I pulled the two straps for the arms up and around, forcing the two halves to come together. This tightening freaked me out because I thought it was too tight, I was really worried that the nylon might snap. Once everything was in place though there wasn't anymore worry. In the end the tightening forced the waist higher (good thing) and allowed her bust to be covered properly instead of "loose". This is really good for the armor 'cause you want that stuff to be form-fitting.From that point I went down and worked the skirt. I made it a bit longer than her original art would suggest. This is a personal preference both in that it would be impossible for me to add my signature tag at a shorter length and that skirts have no business being that short. Especially to battle, haha. The hem is finished with a really clean, straight row of beads. Then I moved up for the final detailing. Her collar, which is asymmetrical like her shirt coloring, was a real pain to do. I didn't count how many times I stabbed myself trying to get the needle to go through the beads yet another time. I added her Crystal, the "outline" for the armor to give it a second layer, and the outline for the bodice against the skirt. I added the little strappy hanging thingies too, which took 1.5 hours to make all five. Originally I thought I was going to make some little shoulder armors for her too but decided against it. Last was adding all the armor straps in gold to make it look a lot less like a single piece of clothing and more like the armor was on top of the bodice. The last little bit was the line of beads up to the collar to give it extra layers.The spear came next. It wasn't easy getting it to scale, but I got it done! Mom helped a lot with it. She brought me a regular wooden skewer, for like cooking, and I painted it with some metallic blue nail polish. I used gold nail polish for the grip. We sanded down the tip and I split the top end for the point. The spear point was hand-cut by me from aluminum sheet metal. I textured the point using an eXacto knife. We cut some old leather from a glove to wrap the point to the skewer. The leather is tied on, for real. There's a couple of glue dot points to keep it stable.Last bit of this was the shield! Making the circle for the shield itself wasn't difficult. I used Suzanne Cooper's instructions for Really, Really Round Peyote and scaled it to the proper size for Kerria. The gold disk was the easiest part of the entire shield, haha. From there I waited an entire month for my gold wing charms to come in the mail since making beaded feathers wasn't working out for me. They're made of some sort of metal, I believe pewter. I sewed and glued the wings into place and attached her eagle head in the center of them, much like the concept art. I glued some cut up leather from an old purse onto the back of the shield for shape support since without it it was a very floppy circle. The shield won't support itself and it doesn't have any "real" grip placements to be used - I've displayed and photographed it here with the sizing coin.Size 11 glass seed beads in silver-lined gold, silver-lined red, and pearly white. Same for size 15. Threaded together with red and white Japanese One G nylon. The shield is done with brown One G. The pendant gem is real gold and red crystal Crystaletts from my friend Sharon: www.etsy.com/shop/YadasiBeads Almost entirely herringbone stitch.

Shield Maiden Kerria Red and White Miniature Bead Dress with Spear & Shield

  • The original pattern is Japanese - this is my modified version.