December 13, 2015

I made a Jedi robe from Star Wars!

Hello geeks! ~

Okay, so I sewed a brown Jedi robe/cloak from Star Wars from scratch in like, two days. 
– The reason?
I thought I could dress up for the upcoming world premiere of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie, since I'm a volunteer worker at the town's cinema. And hey, great excuse to be nerdy and cosplay outside the walls of my apartment! :D Bonus points for the cinema encouraging the workers to dress up! For example: when the James Bond movie Spectre premiered earlier this year all workers on that day were formally dressed and wore black/white suits.

So yeah, I went to mom's over the weekend and spent like all my time sewing this robe together. I'm sorry but I don't have many photos of the progress because I was in such a hurry to get it done in time. I'm still gonna try to tell at least something on how I made it, even though this post won't really be detailed enough (I guess?) to function as any kind of tutorial on "how to make a Jedi robe". Sorry. ^^"

As a base pattern I used some very basic men's fleece jacket in, like, the biggest size possible – XXL. The pattern was then widened and lengthened to the galaxy moon and back. The pattern was also modified so that the sides of the body widened towards the bottom and the underside of the sleeves curved into small "trumpets" towards the arm openings, aka what I'd call 'wizard sleeves'. The hood was greatly enlarged too, to the point it looked comical. The hood was cut out twice (four pieces in total) so that it would be doubled on the final product.

I started by overlocking all the edges, of every single piece, to keep them from fraying. After that I sewed the shoulder seams together.

Shoulder seams done.
Next up I took the sleeves, folded them to mark out the center back and ironed them. It doesn't really show on the photo below but the edge further away is the arm opening and the end hanging off the ironing board has a slight tip (because of the trumpet style) which proved to be an annoyance when I hemmed the sleeve mouths later, lol. I actually had to hand-stitch the tips in place so that they'd stay flat.

One sleeve folded and ironed.
I first sewed on the sleeves and then sewed the underside of the sleeves closed and continued all the way down the side seams. Now it started to look like something!

Sleeves attached and side seams closed.
I hemmed the arm openings by doing a big fold of a couple centimeters. I always steam pressed seams open when I had sewed something together and I also ironed folded edges before hemming them. This fabric is elastic so yeah, it was needed to iron things in place because the fabric is seriously alive and did cause me some inner cursing during the process, lol.

One hood piece put in place on the fabric, to act as a pattern for cutting out
the "double hood".
Next up I think I went to straighten (read: cut) the bottom because, as is tradition for me by now, it's never ever straight down there – aka all pieces are not the same length. I don't know why this keeps happening because I sure do cut the pieces the same way and I always iron to mark out the center spots (shoulder folds etc) before sewing so yeah, it should be aligned perfectly but lolnope.
Oh well, I went to the trusty overlock to get the job done faster but guess what? I possess the luck of Donald Duck (it rhymes, hihi) so of course when I started sewing the machine made some really loud and scary sounds that sounded like I just tried to start a fucking lovechild of a chainsaw and a snowmobile – and a really old painful one at that.

Overlock, y u do dis to me? ;__;
Yeah, that's how much I had time to sew before it died on me...
Oh well, no can do except take out the ordinary scissors, cut the shit straight and do the good ol' zigzag instead. With the bottom hemmed I was nearing the end – now I just had to hem the front and sew on the hood. The hood did reveal itself to be the most annoying part of the whole thing though. xD I did hem the front "flaps" first all the way down to the bottom and then I started to sew the hood together; I first took two of the four pieces and united them so that I got one complete hood – a crazy big one at that. I then took the remaining two pieces and did the same thing to them and now I had two hoods. What was next was to sew both of these hoods together into a single hood that wouldn't show the underside (aka seam side). I thought that this was a good idea because the guys in Star Wars don't always wear the hood so yeah, when it's just chilling on the back it would still look neat and clean since even the inside of the hood would look the same as the outside.
The thing with sewing the hood was that the neck (aka the spot for attaching the hood on the cape) was only around 60 cm around while the hood was 112 cm.
See what this means? – Yep, make huge-ass pleats so that it will fit in!

Pleating in progress. I decided to make three deep folds on each side
of the middle seam of the hood.
I sewed the pleats in place really carefully (so much fabric layers!) and I was kinda expecting the needle to break on the sewing machine... but it didn't, phew. Next up was to take the "inner hood" and pleat it as well.

Showing that the underside (seam side) of the outer hood is pleated and sewn on; the
"inner hood" is yet to be pleated and attached to the body of the cloak.
"Inner hood" pleating in progress – one side done.
I did some fancy stuff by sewing the pleats of the "inner hood" in place without actually attaching it to the cloak itself yet – this made it possible for me to hem the "inner hood" on top of the outer hood's seams and thus hide all the seams for a very clean and professional look. The problem is that, meanwhile I was pinning the hem folds, mom came and took a look at it because I had joked that this is sooooo gonna break the whole sewing machine – worst part is that she agreed because holy crud so many layers and pleats had accumulated in that hood attachment spot by now that sewing it by machine was out of the question; not even the thickest 100 numbered needle would make it. So yeah, I had to sacrifice some Neatness Pro™ points and just skip the actual hem folding and just sew it on as a single layer, no folding. I still of course sewed the edges of the "inner hood" on top of the outer hood's seams, to hide the "mess". Not like it was messy because clean overlock seams but yeah, still looks better.

Finished Jedi robe!
Back view of the hood when not worn.
So yeah, this is what I've been sewing on the whole weekend. It was really stressful to make it in such a short time (intense sewing, go!) but at least I can't call it rushed because the sewing work is still clean, save for a few really minor things (mostly hemming) because of the fabric living its own life...

It's gonna be fun to wear this at the cinema and be a random Jedi knight!
The issue is that I'll have to throw the rest together from whatever I can find from the closet since I won't have time to make or buy the rest of the parts. Now if only I had a lightsaber...

That's all I have for this time!
Shiro Samurai says goodbye!


FankiKitsune said...

Cooooooool! Nythän sä voit tehä vaikka Obi-Wanin ku mä oon tekemäs Count Dookun. 8D

Resa Peralta said...

Amazing! You're very artistic and creative!

Airi said...

OMG Shiro you are so cool!!! Ah, I love this, it's so inspiring! I'm trying to start sewing clothes too >3< Can I ask how you learned to sew?

Shiro Samurai said...

Thank you!
I learned to sew mostly thanks to my mom (she had a fabric store and sewed a lot so it came naturally) but I learned the basics in school during the early-ish years because we had obligatory sewing classes for all students. I can't remember at what age exactly but I think around 10-13 years we had those lessons; we also had obligatory woodwork lessons. Oh and yes, it didn't matter if you were a boy or a girl (I know there's more genders than that but yeah, that's how the school put it), you had to do both – which I think was a great thing. :)