Monday, December 3, 2007

Hoth Jacket Tutorial

How to create a jacket as seen on the rebel soldiers in the battlefield of the planet Hoth from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back:

You will need to get a jacket pattern and alter it, or you can get a copy of the pattern I made which is roughly a women's size 14 (email me for details). After you have the pattern, calculate how much fabric you will need. You will need a natural color cotton fabric, soft & flexible enough to be comfortable, but heavy enough to be a jacket. You will also need about 1-2 yards of tan pre-quilted cotton material, a 20"-22" ecru invisible zipper, thin poly batting, and matching thread for the natural color cotton (tan thread is optional). You will need red, blue, and silver or grey fabric paint. I used Sharpie paint pens. This jacket is lined in the shoulders and sleeves, so you will need extra fabric for that. I used the same material as the jacket for my lining material.

Once you've assembled all your materials, pre-wash your fabric. Pre-washing will shrink the fabric before you cut it out and sew it into your jacket. If you don't pre-wash, the cotton will shrink and your jacket won't fit. MAKE SURE YOU PRE-WASH your fabric! After the fabric is washed and dried, lay it out and cut out your pattern pieces. (See instructions below for details on cutting out the sleeves.)

You will need to paint the colored blocks on the grid for the right arm patch before sewing it to the sleeve. This way, if you mess up, you can just re-cut a new piece and you won't have to worry about picking the stitching out or ruining your whole sleeve. The picture below shows what the colored blocks and the grid look like.

Once you have the blocks painted, set aside to dry.

(For pocket dimensions & details on the color blocks, see here.)

Baste the quilted upper front and upper back pieces to the upper front and upper back lining pieces.

Sew upper front pieces to lower front pieces. Sew invisible zipper to combined front pieces using an invisible zipper foot. Finish center front seam below zipper. Sew upper back to lower back. Sew back to front at shoulders.

If you have the pattern I created, the pattern for the sleeve has markings on it that show you where to cut for the lower quilted portion of the sleeves and the upper unquilted portion of the sleeves. Fold the pattern forward along the line marked for the lower sleeve cutting line. Cut two, on fold, of the natural colored cotton material. Cut two, on fold, of the poly batting.

For the upper sleeve, fold the pattern backward along the line marked for the upper sleeve cutting line (*important note: these lines overlap to allow for 5/8" seam allowance). Cut two, on fold, of the natural colored cotton material.

Unfold the sleeve pattern and cut two, on fold, of the entire sleeve out of your lining fabric. Set aside upper sleeves and sleeve linings.

With right sides out, pin lower sleeve and batting together using quilters' pins. Make sure you pin every area well, to avoid slipping. Baste the layers together around the outer edges, 1/4" from edge. Repeat for other sleeve.

You will need to mark the batting with a grid of squares that matches the tan pre-quilted fabric's quilting. I chose to use a graphite pencil, as my tailor's pencil didn't show up very well. Whatever you use, make sure it washes out or does not show through. Following the grid you marked out, quilt the layers together.

Sew quilted lower sleeve to upper sleeve. Pin sleeve to sleeve lining at hem, right sides together. Sew, turn fabric to right side, and press. On outside, top stitch close to seam.

Baste sleeve and sleeve lining together 1/4" along outer edges. Sew pocket flaps, and turn under hems on pockets, press. Sew pockets to sleeves making sure to put the correct pockets on the correct sleeve. (The pattern I created will tell you which pocket goes where, you can also use the pictures as reference.)

Sew sleeves to shoulders, again making sure you sew the correct sleeve to the correct arm hole. Sew underarm & side seam on both sides of jacket, leaving enough at the hem for the side slits. Narrow hem the remainder to finish the slits.

Try on the jacket and mark where the bottom of the jacket should be. Narrow hem the bottom edge of jacket.

Pin collar and batting together using quilters' pins. Fold collar in half, right sides together. Sew rounded ends, leaving long edges open.

Pin notched edge to jacket at neck edge, matching notches and ends of collar with ends of jacket. Sew collar to jacket, being sure to keep loose edge free of needle. Turn collar right side out. Turn loose edge under and pin to inside of jacket at seam. Slipstitch closed.

Now, you have a completed Hoth Rebel Soldier jacket!

Completed jacket shown with Hoth hat, holster,gun, gaiters, & pants.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Jedi Bear Clan Younglings

Jedi Youngling Costume:

For Halloween, and Rebel Legion family event, I decided to make Jedi Youngling costumes for our kids. According to the information I found, Bear Clan younglings (like the ones seen with Yoda in Episode II) are between the ages of 4 and 8, my kids are 2½ and 1 so they are a bit young for the costume, but they are too cute in them (I'm not biased at all!!)!

Here, I'm going to post some pictures of the costumes and patterns I created and give information that I found as well as a couple tips I discovered in the hopes that it might help someone else who wants to create this costume.

From my research, these are some things that I have discovered/believe about the costume:

The outer tunic has a "bell" shape to the hem.

Outer tunic hem length seems to vary, depending on the height of the child.

Inner tunic appears to be a long sleeved shirt with a round neck.

Inner tunic sleeves are either loose, similar to the outer tunic; or they are tight fitting and "runched" similar to Obi-Wan's under tunic sleeves.

Boys wear pants, and it appears that girls wear a skirt.

The under tunic and pants/skirt are the same fabric.

There are no tabbards.

There is an obi.

Outer tunic, inner tunic, pants/skirt and obi are all earth tones/browns.

There is a 2-part leather belt.

There are no belt pouches or food capsules.

Footwear: calf-high leather moccasins, the moccasins lace up the front and the ends of the laces wrap around the leg a couple times and then tie in front.

Additionally, the younglings in the scene with Yoda have the large helmet and small practice saber.

Here are my two children in the costumes I created. I haven't finished their leather belts yet, so I had to improvise for a Halloween party on the 20th. My daughter (1) is on the left and son (2½) is on the right.

This is the pattern I created for the tunic. I started with Simplicity's costume for kids #4426. I'm not sure they still make this, but some stores may have it or there's always eBay. I had to alter the size as well as the pattern, since my kids are much smaller than the size "S" (about a size 7) that the pattern had. From left to right, top to bottom, the pattern pieces are: Tunic front (cut 2), tunic back (cut one on fold), tunic sleeve (cut 2 on fold), and binding for the neckline. I had to change the binding as I went. I didn't like how I originally thought it out. I was making my costumes out of scraps left over from other projects, so I only put the binding around the neck and down the front. Some younglings' outer tunics also have the binding go all the way around the bottom of the hem as well.

This is the pattern I created for the moccasins. I based it on my recollection of putting together a Tandy Leather moccasin kit as a child, and by looking at the pictures I found of the younglings' moccasins. You will need to make a pattern based off the size of the wearer's foot. The pieces from left to right, top to bottom are: The "leg" of the moccasin (the part that wraps around the calf), the sole/sides of the moccasin (based on the size of the foot), the tongue of the moccasin, and the "bias" that wraps around the edge of the sole/side.

For the moccasins in the movie, they would have used sueded leather and leather lacing. In the interest of time and money, I purchased some red tag suede cloth from JoAnn's. I cut 4 legs, soles, and tongues for each moccasin out of the suede cloth and two of the bias strips. Then, I cut one of the leg, sole, and tongue out of canvas. I sandwiched a piece of canvas between the suede cloth (right sides out) and zig-zagged the edges. I folded the back of the sole/sides up sort of like box flaps, overlapping the two outer tabs and then folding the middle tab up over the outer tabs. Then, I hand-sewed the toes of the sole to the toe of the tongue, making sure to add tucks in the sole to gather it around the tongue properly. Then, I wrapped the bias around the side of the moccasin and used an awl to punch holes in the bias and side of the moccasin to thread leather lace through. When I finished threading the lace, I hand-sewed the leg of the moccasin to the inside of the moccasin. I could have put the leg part in and poked the awl through the bias, the side of the moccasin, AND the leg, but that is a lot of layers to push the awl through! After the leg was sewn on, I poked the awl through to create 3 holes on each side, being careful to be sure the holes matched on each side. Then, I laced the leather lace like a shoe. The movie moccasins have the lacing wrapped around the edges of the leg part in a decorative way, but I didn't have the money or time to put into that much leather lace.

(I hope that makes sense, I'm more of a visual person and words don't mean the same as actually seeing someone doing something. Let me know if you would like more information.)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

X-Wing Flak Vest

The vest is made out of sport nylon, double layered to prevent transparency. The shoulder straps are made of sport nylon as well. The adjustable waist strap is nylon strapping. Instead of copper wire in the smaller channels, I used plastic string trimmer cording. This way, it can bend and flex without getting warped out of shape like wire does. Clasps are Tandy Leather clasps.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A-wing Flak Vest Tutorial

How To Create an A-wing Flak Vest: (Tutorial Under Construction)


(*Note, everything will need to be adjusted more or less depending on if you change the given pattern, I will list what I used.)

1 1/2 yards grey flannel, or similar fabric
1/2 yard white fabric
1 1/2 yards 2" nylon strapping
1/8 yard 2" velcro
1 1/2 yards cording -as close to 5/16" as possible. (I found this in the home decor/drapery section of my local JoAnn's).