The concept of doing this pair from Pixar's Brave came to me in March 2015 as a good choice for Arisia, which is known for its cosplay contest's tough competition given the quality of the costumes presented.
My approach was to produce a mixture of historical authenticity and fantasy. Both dresses are drafted based on patterns from the 14th and 15th centuries. The boiled wool and tablet woven trim in Merida's cloak are also intended for historical authenticity, but elements such as the sparkley crown jewels and bold piping are intended to bring the costumes into the fantastic world of Brave.
I have never combined so many different elements into one costume. Piping, leatherwork, leather tooling, trimming, boning, worbla, weathering, weaving, hand-fletched arrows, and hand-stitched buttons, buttonholes, and eyelets made for a TON of work--filling all nine months that I spent completing this project. That doesn't even begin to cover the wigwork!
The Merida cosplay has been through radical changes since I first debuted it at New York Comic Con 2015. The only elements that have not changed are the bow, wig, and dress. I made a new, better quiver and quiver belt out of leather with stained and embossed celtic knot designs. Also notable is the addition of the cloak and sculpey arrowheads. The quiver pictured in the photos taken by EMCP is no longer in use and has been replaced by the more substantial one seen in other photos.
Here are the progress posts I have:
Queen Elinor's Hair Problem
Queen Elinor, or You Thought You Knew How to Do Things
Merida Goes to NYCC
Photos taken at the Arisia 2016 photobooth
Photos taken by EMCP