Friday, 23 March 2012

Blood of a hen!

Or an Arch Mage Cloak. Same color…

Moving on,

March 17 saw the second Alliance Calgary LARP event. The weeks leading up saw me extremely busy working on all the required costume pieces for it.

First project was Cory’s Arch Mage: a huge red cloak with black & gold trim. I’ve made cloaks before; the pattern I usually use is pretty simple and can be done in a day. Cory chose a new pattern with a ton of gathering involved. It was worth it though, it looked fantastic!

New pattern & materials:

I had to be very creative with this one as the 9.5 meters we needed for this was not all in one piece. It was in 5. Or 7. I can’t remember exactly. I really hate it when people do that at the Fabric store! But it all worked out in the end. I did lots of ironing and mixing and matching pieces to get what needed. Fortunately the twill Cory picked doesn’t have a nap or a “right” side. That would have made this little exercise nearly impossible.

First up: cutting out the pieces: Cloak pieces are huge! Four for the body and four more for the sleeves; 8 small pieces for the chest or “yoke” and hood. I have to say I really like the way the hood went on this one.

Let the gathering (and bloodletting) begin! It’s a good thing this costume is red!

These are the sleeves. Not sure they really needed darts, but they were on the pattern, so I did them. Then I played with my new serger to reinforce the seams.

OOo the fun part! Adding the trim. This really changed the whole look of the costume. It actually went on the sleeves before the sleeves were sewn on to the cloak. It was super easy, which is why I liked it.

Little bit more blood!

Looks great here doesn’t it? What I didn’t take pictures of was all the hand sewing I did on the yoke. There are actually two layers in there to enclose all the gathered edges on the body pieces and sleeves. This required several tedious hours of hand-sewing. (During which I watched “Robin Hood: Men in Tights”) Both thumbs and index fingers were numb by the time I finished. I’ve since discovered that a well pinned yoke can skip right to the top-stitching. No more hand sewing for me!! I really punish my poor hands doing all this!

I actually finished this before Cory went on his annual trip to the convention for Game Manufacturers, Distributors and store owners in Las Vegas (jealous!). He decided he wanted trim added to the hood as well. I didn’t have enough left over so that meant another trip to Fabricland! I spend so much time in there I really should give the manager my resume…

Finally, here is the completed costume as worn by Cory aka Az’cane the grumpy, ancient, ornery, old arch mage.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Pirate Shirt

Last minute commission before the LARP event Feb 18: a shirt. Heavy twill material, pirate pattern. No problem. By the time I finished my poor fingers disagreed.


Material & interfacing cut out:

Facing for the split in the chest:

Cut open:

Turned inside and ironed flat:

Shoulder seam:

Interfacing on collar:

Collar going together:
Turned out and ironed: the one side is folded up to make it easier to close once sewn on:

Neckline gathered and collar pinned on: For some reason gathering always involves me stabbing myself with the pins.

Once the collar is sewn on, the seam allowance is tuned inside the collar and the side that was folded up is used to hand-sew the collar closed.

Sleeve: gathered and pinned on. More pain.

Looks great though:

Next the under arm was sewn closed. Then finishing the opening at the cuff:

After sewing the cuff together much the same as the collar, the same process is repeated to sew the cuff on to the end of the sleeve: and more stabbing my poor fingers.

The look is worth it:

Closing the cuff and adding the button hole and button:

All that’s left is to hem the bottom of the shirt. It also had a slit that was finished the same as the cuff slit. I did go over all of the seams with the serger to prevent the material from fraying as it was trying to do while I was putting the shirt together.

The pattern says to add strings to tie the neck closed in the seam at the collar. From the previous shirt I made using this pattern, I know the wearer feels this leaves too much open. This time I left the tie out of the seam and instead added small button holes along the slit and put one long string in. It looked much better.

One completed heavy pirate shirt:

As worn at the LARP:

Total cost: Approximately $45 for materials (on sale, pre-purchased) + $55 for 7.5 hours work = $100