Agnieszka, Witch of the Valley



Jessica Fitch

(click images to to enlarge)

Outline the story …

The character I've chosen is Agnieszka from the book "Uprooted" by Naomi Novik, which is loosely based on Poland and its legends. Agnieszka grows up in a village that borders an evil wood. She is recognized as a magic user by The Dragon (which, it turns out, is a Title, not a beast. He’s, in fact, a wizard, and a grumpy, younger one at that.). Agnieszka is taken to The Dragon’s tower to live. The Wood begins to expand its evil influence beyond its boundaries, and it's up to Agnieszka to save her village and kingdom. This entire story has a very folky feel to it. Baba Yaga is mentioned more than once throughout the story, so I drew inspiration from artwork featuring her and other folk witches. I decided that, since magic clothes are featured in the book, I could take a more fantastical route with the costume. I thought about what a Witch like Agnieszka would wear to a feast day and wanted her look to still have an adventure feel to it. I wanted her to have a high collar and definitely a large bright shawl/babushka. I chose a lot of fall colors to represent The Wood and a rich, navy blue for the magic Agnieszka possesses within herself.

Outline the construction…

This costume was very intimidating. I've never attempted a corset, and I learned so much making this one. I used Simplicity 1819 for the pattern, but I went with Morgan Donnerr's double welt method to construct it. I had to learn how to set grommets, use boning, and bias tape. The corset is far from perfect, but I'm happy with my first try at one.

The shrug was the most fun to construct. The pattern is from Rabbit and Hat on Etsy. I used a navy blue corduroy and a gold upholstery fabric. I've never sewn a good collar. This one sits so nice, and it’s reversible. I feel that this piece is the best element of my costume. I used darts, topstitching, and grommets to construct it.

The underdress is made from a linen blend and is very soft and comfortable. I used Simplicity 9966 for the base pattern. I changed the sleeves so they would be more voluminous, and I added the cuffs. Basic sewing skills were used for this, along with setting grommets. I wanted the shawl to be huge and very bright. I used yarn along the edges to make my own fringe. I also topstitched on some bias tape and fashion trim.

Across all the elements of this costume, I used topstitching, darts, hems, and grommets. Overall, I learned a lot! Some of my grommets are messy, but, for so many firsts, I'm happy with this costume and am excited to try more corsetry!




  1. Avatar Gabrielle Amey on March 11, 2021 at 9:20 pm

    Ah! This is so great!

  2. Kitty Mortensen Kitty Mortensen on March 12, 2021 at 5:19 pm

    That corset and that shrug are absolutely delicious 😀 I love this so much

  3. Avatar Amy Sakovich on March 13, 2021 at 1:00 am

    Love to see this character here! You do a great job conveying a folk wear feel along with a bit of magical mystery

  4. Avatar Manon L'Hostis on March 14, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    Love this look!! It looks great on you ❤

  5. Avatar JAYE SUDAR on March 15, 2021 at 3:57 am

    Beautiful work!

  6. Avatar Lyndall Cave on March 15, 2021 at 6:30 am

    I LOVE the book Uprooted, and I think you’ve really brought out the feeling of the book and Agnieszka’s character in this outfit! I can totally picture her wearing this to a feast day.

    And that shawl! So luscious and cozy and the trim is GORGEOUS. I love what you did with the yarn loops.

    • Avatar jessica on March 19, 2021 at 1:20 pm

      Thank you! the yarn loops were super fun to do, I did sneeze a lot during that part of construction lol

  7. Avatar AnnaCatherine Sendgikoski on March 24, 2021 at 5:37 am

    Wow, I love everything about this outfit! Very well done! Thank you!

  8. Avatar Stephanie Murison on March 27, 2021 at 2:25 am

    I love the folk inspiration behind this, I feel like it really suits the character you described! (I’ve never read the book, but it sounds like a fun story, I might have to give it a go!) The colours of your outfit all go so well together and I adore the patterned fabric of the corset, well done!

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