The Road Goes Ever On and On (so wear quality togs)



Laura Boyles

(click images to to enlarge)

Other Credits

Keith Boyles, my dad-in-law and model. Mark Boyles, my husband, who hand crafted the buttons on the waistcoat from antler and provided tea and encouragement. Avalon Cloaks for the rather gorgeous cloak clasp

Outline the story …

Entry inspired by Lord of the Rings, Frodo Baggins.

Frodo Baggins is carrying The One Ring to its fate, if only he can resist the power it seeks to gain over him. Armed with good sense and great companions, he will have many adventures before he can return to the peace of Hobbiton.

A hobbit on an adventure, serious as it is, needs a fine warm woollen cloak and waistcoat to see him through experiences as diverse as nights by campfires, sojourns through misty mountains, and meetings with Elves and Dwarves

Bilbo’s cloak is a green tartan wool with a cotton mix lining, cut in a full circle for maximum warmth and swoosh. There are arm holes for sensible hobbit types, closed with hooks and eyes against the elements if preferred. The leaf clasp has echoes of the Lorien leaf cloak clasp as seen in the movies.

The waistcoat is the same wool as the cloak, with a linen lining and back covered in willow leaves, redolent of the companions’ brush with Old Man Willow and rescue by Tom Bombadil. The buttons are made of antler, a nod to the white hart that symbolises their meeting with the Elves at the halfway point of the story.

If Frodo looks a bit long in the tooth, it’s time to rethink your expectations about the energy and determination of your elders and betters!

Outline the construction…

The cloak was the product of much online research. I wanted a swooshable, cotton lined woollen cloak to wear through a northern U.K. winter, hence the full circle design. It required learning several simple stitching basics and discovering what my (inherited) sewing machine and I could accomplish together. The circles were made by folding the fabric and using string and a fixed point to mark the cuts for neck and hem. The long double hems and overstitching were examples of learning-by-necessity - to keep the lining in place, and to secure the extra fabric I wished to preserve in case I wished to make changes in the future.

I’m daunted by the idea of commercial patterns, so I traced the shape of one of my husband’s waistcoats onto paper, then used the paper pattern as a first toile, and flannel bedsheets as the second.
After cutting the final pieces from the wool, interfacing and linen, I sewed the tucks, welts and belt in place before assembling the main pieces. I followed a friendly online tutorial (AnitaByDesign) so that I’d have some hope of doing it right. The inside side seams were achieved by machine and witchcraft, but I ladder stitched the outsides together by hand. Finally, I overstitched the whole thing for a finished look.
The button holes - my first ever - gave me 24 hours of terror, but while not perfect, I am elated that they are very passable.




  1. Avatar Laura Holland on March 11, 2021 at 9:15 pm

    Very Bilbo Baggins- excellent, congratulations.

    • Avatar Laura Boyles on March 11, 2021 at 10:48 pm

      Frodo! It was Frodo. I’m sure Bilbo had something more like a daily wear frock coat. Frodo had a cloak. My brain was clearly very full that day, and I switched hobbits halfway through my description. Oh dear.

    • Avatar Laura Boyles on March 12, 2021 at 2:50 pm

      And thank you!

  2. Avatar Lorraine Lysen on March 11, 2021 at 10:47 pm

    A distinguished look for the travelling hobbit!

    • Avatar Laura Boyles on March 12, 2021 at 2:51 pm

      Thank you ☺️

  3. Avatar Rowan on March 12, 2021 at 4:45 am

    Wow! The stitching on the waistcoat came out SO well! Such a good ensemble for a Hobbit on an adventure 🙂

    • Avatar Laura Boyles on March 12, 2021 at 2:50 pm

      Thank you! I keep looking at it and thinking, ‘whoa, did I really do that? It looks so smart. Can’t be me!’

  4. Avatar Laura Wemyss on March 12, 2021 at 12:51 pm

    I like your use of complementary fabrics. And the handmade buttons do add such a nice touch!

    • Avatar Laura Boyles on March 12, 2021 at 2:47 pm

      Thank you! I’ll pass your button compliment on to my husband. He’ll be chuffed.

  5. Avatar Andrea Olinte on March 12, 2021 at 2:45 pm

    I love that cloak. And greetings to Keith, he is presenting it perfect.

    • Avatar Laura Boyles on March 12, 2021 at 2:48 pm

      That is now my actual winter coat. Pity Spring is here. And yes, Keith is a star! And a surprisingly convincing hobbit.

  6. Avatar Carolien van Alphen on March 12, 2021 at 6:21 pm

    Definitely makes me think of a hobbit at the first glance. The different pieces of the outfit go really well togehter. Well done!

  7. Avatar Katherine B on March 12, 2021 at 7:03 pm

    I love the whole outfit, but that waistcoat! Wow! I love the willow leaves on the back, what a brilliant touch. I’d wear any of those pieces proudly, what a lucky family you have. 🙂

    • Avatar Laura Boyles on March 13, 2021 at 1:50 pm

      So kind! Thank you xx

  8. Avatar Suzi Smart on March 12, 2021 at 9:07 pm

    I love the fullness of the full circle cloak. It is the one regret I have about the hobbit cloak I made. Great job. Good luck!

  9. Avatar Stephanie Murison on March 13, 2021 at 12:02 am

    Love this! The cloak and waistcoat combo is delightful, and the gorgeous clasp is a wonderful detail! (When I read your description, I assumed that the cloak was an heirloom which Frodo inherited from Bilbo) either way, its a perfect outfit for any hobbit to wear on an adventure!

  10. Avatar JAYE SUDAR on March 15, 2021 at 3:12 am

    You did a beautiful job. That outfit represents a lot of work, and the way it just flows is lovely. Once again, beautiful!

  11. Avatar Valerie on March 17, 2021 at 2:43 am

    Just a perfect Hobbit cloak! The waistcoat is beautiful, and the willow print back is a delightful surprise.

  12. Avatar KC (Keowyndrial) on March 19, 2021 at 10:32 pm

    Perfect Hobbit ensemble – very well done! The waistcoat is exquisitely finished, and the cloak looks practical and elegant.

  13. Avatar AnnaCatherine Sendgikoski on March 23, 2021 at 3:55 am

    This is awesome! I love your designs. Very well done! Deer antler buttons! Now I need some! Thank you!

  14. Avatar Benigna on March 26, 2021 at 10:43 am

    This looks wonderful for a hobbit on a journey! Oh, and the back of the waistcoat is absolutely amazing.

  15. Avatar Felicity on March 29, 2021 at 9:35 pm

    This outfit is great! I love all of the little details in the styling and the fit is spot on!

  16. Avatar Lizzie Blake on April 1, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    This is an amazing Frodo outfit! I love that you even incorporated Tom Bombadil into your design

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