If you recognized the word in the title, you must have read Sara Raasch's Snow Like Ashes. The heroine of this trilogy is a feisty sixteen-year-old orphan named Meira who grows up among a group of refugee fighters after their kingdom is laid waste and enslaved by a megalomaniac Enemy King.
She is battle-trained (but not allowed to actually fight, for reasons the book reveals later) and wields a chakram as her weapon of choice.
Meira herself is never pictured on any of the covers (although the chakram is), and there wasn't a whole lot of conclusive description in the books of her outfits, so Emily designed her own look for Meira. All we had to go on were that Meira's kingdom was winter-esque and she had white hair.
Here are her sketches.
We pulled together several different elements to bring those sketches to life. These are the ones we sewed. First was a silver tank top, fitted with contoured side seams and back darts.
Next was "leather" chest armor. We debated between pleather (more realistic) and fleece (warmer and more comfortable) and fleece won. This was a fitted sleeveless half-bodice with an invisible zipper extending halfway up the back seam. Look - you can still see the chalk marks! I started some decorative saddle-stitching because the whole thing was so bland but gave up when I realized it did not improve the look in the slightest.
This is the skirt, inspired by icicles and frozen waterfalls. Emily wanted it like a tutu, with a waistband and bunches of nylon chiffon (or whatever it is that pettiskirts are made of). The bunches were cut as flat rectangles or squares of different sizes, with the longer ones at the sides and shorter ones toward the center front and back. One corner of each was secured between the layers of an open waistband which fastens around the waist with hooks and snaps. Set sufficiently close together, the bunches form a continuous-looking fabric.
Here is the ensemble.
We later added a strip of brown knit fabric around the waist for a sash, and from which to hang the chakram.
And now - the chakram! It's cardboard (and therefore the best part of the costume)!
Very easy to make - just a circle with the center cut out, leaving a wavy handle. I stuck two layers of cardboard together (I cut a chakram shape out of each layer first, then glued them together). For added strength, I positioned the flutes of one layer at right angles to the other layer.
Then I paper-taped the edge to cover the corrugation and give it a smooth finish, like a real (but blunt) blade. By "paper-tape", I mean that I cut a strip of kraft paper (a grocery sack is a perfect kind of paper to use!) of the exact width of the double-layered chakram, and glued that all around the circumference.
It makes a really good frisbee, and flies beautifully (and does not kill).
Here's the final set (missing the brown sash, which I forgot to include in this shot) - the brown jacket was from Target, the grey gloves were Simplicity from JoAnn, and their light blue fingerless inserts were also from Target.
Funny story: Emily went trick-or-treating with two classmates, both of whom are avid readers like she is. One dressed up as Cinder from Marrisa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles and the other dressed up as (are you ready for this?) a character from a book she wrote herself. I cannot tell you enough how fantastic that is.
Meira, Cinder and Non-Commercial Character From Private Story are relatively unusual Halloween costume picks and therefore less recognizeable by most candy-supplying households, the girls thought. So they took their respective books with them in case they were asked to identify themselves. People reacted with astonishment to see the books sitting with their candy in their loot bags and asked, "Which house gave out books?"
Now wouldn't that have been an awesome candy-alternative? Trick or Treat! War and Peace, anyone?