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.)