This year for Dragon*Con, I decided to finally make that Lord of the Rings costume I've always wanted. Lacking an Elflike physique, I opted to go with a hobbit, and used it as a challenge for my embroidery skills. This was entirely done freehand, with no pattern or hoop or plan, mostly on moving vehicles and at one point while I was actually wearing it. I researched the design by examining natural riverside plants (well, as close to natural as you can get when you live in Philadelphia) and just sort of let the design evolve as I went. For all the detail, I have to say this was one of the most fun costuming bits I did this year.
This is the bodice design, based on a weeping willow growing near my home. I finished this bit in about a week.
This is a closeup of the hem embroidery. The vine was done while camping, the leaves on two 20 hours stints on Greyhound, and the flowers on a SEPTA bus to work. It encircles a 108 inch hem.
A closeup of the flowers at the base of the tree:
The bits together, with an overskirt I eventually covered in leaves like the ones on the vine:
And finally, because this became the quote of the trip on our utterly sleep deprived ride to the Ren Faire: "Hey! I can embroider something while I'm wearing it!" (The hem of the bodice, constructed in a sleepless night before the trip):