Friday, 26 August 2011

A Shirt fit for a Gargoyle

In order to really make the wings part of the costume, we got enough of the “stone” looking dark blue material to make a shirt, also hiding the panel that the wings attach to. I used the peasant shirt pattern again and made a lot of alterations.

No ties in the front: sewed the front seam all the way to the neckline.

Sewing front to back:

Gathering and binding the shoulders:

At this point I had Cory try it on to make sure the neck was big enough. I had cut it a little larger than the pattern since there was no gap in the front of this one. We also measured how long he wanted the sleeves: short little ones with elastic in the hem.

Gathering the sleeve at the shoulder:

Once the sleeves were on and the sides sewn closed, it was time for the big alteration: cutting a panel into the back that allowed the wings to be put on under the shirt and come out. I decided to do this by cutting slits in the back then closing the section below the wings with Velcro. I used long strips from of left over material to finish and reinforce the cuts.

Then it was time for hemming:

I realized at 8:45pm Thursday night that I didn’t have the right Velcro to close the gaps. I had a little piece of tan and a slightly longer piece of red left over from previous costumes, but no black. I made it to the fabric store just in time; got my Velcro and they locked the door behind me.

Once Cory got home I could measure how much elastic to put into the sleeves and finished the shirt.

It took a little convincing to get Cory to model for me for this post. Here is the finished product:

He’s promised me a photo of him all done up in his gargoyle make up too.

Eventually I hope to have a post with all the photos I’ve been promised!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011


Cory has been attending a live-action role playing group out of Edmonton called “Underworld” that’s vampire themed. He’s created a character of a race called “gargalyn” (no idea how to spell that). It’s supposed to look like a living gargoyle. To do that he needed wings, which he found on line and ordered. This is what they looked like:

Not very convincing. So we needed to recover them to make them look more like stone. After a visit to the fabric store we had some really nice dark bluish-grey textured material and some tan stuff for the inside.

First, I had to take one of the wings apart. Not too bad actually, they were not constructed very well and seemed to rely on hot glue at a few key points to keep everything together. All the seams were just basted. They would have fallen apart within a few months. The apparatus is pretty sturdy though.

Cutting out the tan for the inside of the wings:

Once wing together: yes the seams go on the outside. It gives it the look that it’s in sections.

Both inside wings together:

To make sure the outside grey pieces matched the inside for size, I used one to cut out both backs. Then used the pieces from the pockets for the pipes to cut out pieces in the grey and sewed them on to the outside. Trimmed the inside and sewed it all together. This took a two tries as I had forgotten what exactly the little pieces were for and sewed the two sections together wrong. I couldn’t figure out why nothing was matching up when Cory came home and asked if I was going to do the pockets for the piping in the outside color. Then I remembered and felt very foolish. Proceeded to take out a bunch of seams and put it together the right way. Funny the material lined up much more nicely when everything was sewn together properly…

Test run on the apparatus: fit great once it was together properly!

Sewing together the second wing:

All done!

Cory took the frame to the store and repainted it so it looked more authentic than shiny black plastic. If you look close at the picture above, you can see the claw-looking thing at the joint is painted to look like bone. After this, he took the whole thing back to the store and glued the material so it wouldn’t slide off and the frame so it’s more sturdy but no longer collapsible. It also has pull-strings in the back that allow the wings to fold and unfold when he wants them to. This is still working, Cory just lengthened the pull strings.

Now for the second part of this project: making another peasant shirt out of the dark material; with alterations to hide the apparatus for the wings.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Every Jedi Needs A Cloak

A great looking, chocolate brown cloak to hide his light saber and anything else he wishes. I have the adult version of this pattern and have made it several times. It’s a great cloak.

Cutting out the pattern pieces: this took all of Tuesday night.

Material all cut out and starting the sewing began late Wednesday.

The shoulder pieces are interchangeable to have sleeves or not. Also gives a great line to the fabric.

This is the back all sewn together:

Sleeves going on: this pattern does it yet another way: the sleeves go on the front and back pieces first:

Then the front and back are sewn together. The shoulder and top of the sleeves have already been done here and I’ve got the underarm and sides pinned and ready to sew.

On to the hood: with gathering on the neck.

Hood pinned onto the cloak:

Facing sewn on to cover the seam: Really glad I didn’t have to hand-sew this one.

Hemming: this was really annoying. My bobbin ran out just over a quarter of the way through this so I had to re-pin and do it again. I was already really short on time and not happy.

Hemming the hood and front: all the pins look a little too much like something out of a horror movie for my liking.

Finish the hemming with the sleeves: again, I don’t like the look of all the pins.

With the clasp sewn on, the cloak and the costume were officially finished at 11:20pm Wednesday night. I had to get it done in order to get it shipped in time. I was much more awake on Thursday than I had thought I was going to be.

Now I just hope everything fits ok.

Happy Birthday Nephew!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Completing the Jedi

I think it’s pretty safe to assume that if I’m not updating this blog, it’s because I’m sewing; and taking pictures which will eventually end up on the blog.

So while I wasn’t able to get the costume done in time to take it myself, I spent the last two weeks (mostly) sewing madly to make sure to get it done in time for my nephew’s actual birthday on the 14th. I’m happy to say I sent it on the bus this afternoon and it should be there tomorrow morning. As a kid I remember how exciting it was to get something in the mail with my name on it. (Not so fun anymore; it’s all bills.) So I put my nephew’s name on the box, care of his parents. I hope he enjoys it.

Resuming and finishing the hand stitching:

Velcro at the waist to help keep it in place:

Starting the belt: Cory really helped me out here: it was getting quite late last Thursday and I was running out of time. While I ate and got ready for bed he turned the belt straps inside right.

Unfortunately that was where the sewing stopped for the week. I came home to find my poor kitty, whom I’ve posted pictures of as my company, very sick. So ran to pick up a cat carrier, then took her to the only vet in town that’s open past 5:30 (why?) in the middle of a really horrible hail storm. I had to stop and wait it out because I couldn’t see the road anymore because there was so much coming down.

Eventually we made it and I got her in to see the vet. The vet was very good and really explained everything. Bandit was terrified and clinging to me, but did really well. Turned out Bandit has a urinary tract infection and might be diabetic. She’s on two weeks of antibiotics and will need more tests afterwards. The vet said that the infection could have raised her blood sugar levels, and they need to make sure the infection is gone. She's a senior now and this sort of thing is quite common for her age.

But she is doing much better. Eating much more and moving around much more than she was when I brought her home. Saturday we went to Brooks for the medieval festival and I got to wear my green costume again. We forgot hats and sunscreen so we both got sunburns on our faces.  Sunday I felt really guilty for leaving Bandit alone when she is sick so I spent the whole day with her on the couch. I think we both felt better for it.

Back to the grind on Monday: and getting the costume done! Completed the belt:

Completed robe and belt:

That just leaves the brown cloak, which will be the subject of tomorrow’s post. What’s a Jedi without that cloak to add some mystery?