Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hoth Hat

Hoth hat #1. I'm not 100% happy with the pattern as it is, and may make some alterations of my own. It will be up to my client if she wants to keep this hat, or have me remake the pattern a bit (so it's smaller, this hat is HUGE!) and make a different hat.

Royal Guard Layout

I had someone ask me about how I did the robe for the Royal Guard. Here is my quick diagram of the pattern layout I created when making the Royal Guard for a client.

The Return of the Jedi version of the Royal Guard robe opens on the right shoulder. You will basically need 3 pieces to the robe: a Back, a Front, and an Overlap. The Overlap is sewn to the right shoulder of the Back and the Front is sewn at the left shoulder. The front is essentially as full as the back, but it does not get sewn to the right shoulder.

Here is what the 3 pieces should look like sewn together. In the drawing, I've shaded the Overlap with pencil lines to help distinguish it from the other pieces.

The front gets two pleats put in at the neckline, and the right side is anchored to the right shoulder with hooks. I used flat trouser hooks & eyes.

The lining to the robe is done in the same way, except that it is made shorter so that the outer part of the robe sort of "turns under" at the hem. I sewed the robe and lining together at the hem, along the front and overlap, turning it at the neck edge and top-stitching the neck edge closed.

For the inner robe, I used Simplicity 4942 View A.

To see my original post, with pictures, on the making of this robe click HERE.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Hoth Rebel Snowspeeder Pilot

I have had in my mind for a long time that I want to make my husband & I X-wing pilot costumes. I already have the material for the flight suit (I'll be making ours from scratch) as well as the flak vests (which are actually already cut out). I have the movie canon belt buckles for both of our costumes as well as the movie canon adjustment buckles for the flak vests. Soon, I'll be ordering polypropylene strapping for the ejection harnesses and belts.

It is widely rumored that Star Wars: Celebration V will be held in the spring of 2010 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of "The Empire Strikes Back" (I'm still hoping they have it in Indianapolis again, or somewhere within easy enough driving distance). Going with that assumption, and also the goal of making X-wing pilot costumes, I've decided that it would be fitting to also make Hoth Snowspeeder pilot costumes. There are only a few changes/additions to the X-wing pilot costume that make it a Hoth Snowspeeder pilot costume.

The changes/additions include:
  • Gaiter-type boots instead of black German Jack boots.
  • Grey gauntlet gloves instead of black gauntlet gloves.
  • Flak vest is worn reversed from the way it is seen in "A New Hope"
  • Addition of an orange nylon jacket with puffy collar and pleated sleeves.
  • Addition of a "soft helmet" under the hard helmet.

Here is Luke from "A New Hope" as a X-wing pilot.

Here is Luke from "The Empire Strikes Back" wearing his Hoth Snowspeeder jacket. The bottom image also shows the Snowspeeder gloves.

I have been keeping my eye out for nylon that would work for the jackets but haven't had much luck. My local JoAnn's stores carry two kinds of orange nylon but neither will work. They carry sport nylon in orange, but sport nyon has too rough of a weave and is too stiff to be a jacket. They also carry ripstop nylon in orange which has the right texture and sheen, but has the distinctive visible squares that most ripstop nylon has.

The other day while browsing at my local Field's fabric (I don't get there as often) I noticed an orange quilted nylon in their clearance section. The nylon itself looked like it would work perfectly, however it was quilted onto a poly batting. The more I looked at it, the more I wanted to purchase it and pick out the quliting stitches. The crazy costume obsessed woman in me reared her head and won the battle. I purchased all that they had left and decided that over the course of time (I have about a year to complete these) I will pick out the quilting and use the nylon for our Hoth Snowspeeder jackets. On top of it, I'll have several yards of batting in the end that I can use for other projects! :) The nylon/batting combo only cost just under $4 a yard too.

Here's the quilted orange nylon I purchased.

Crinkled a bit to show some of the "sheen".

Close-up showing the quilting.
(Thankfully, the quilting isn't close together and difficult to pick out. If it was quilted in tiny squares, I'm not sure I'd want to pick it out!)

Comparing the cotton flight suit fabric [left] to the nylon jacket fabric [right]. Flash on.

Comparing the cotton flight suit fabric [left] to the nylon jacket fabric [right]. Flash off.

I am a long way to actually starting on these jackets, but I wanted to post my fabric finding.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Padme Mustafar Update

I've made some more progress on my Padme Mustafar costume.

The original costume has leather straps that criss-cross the bust area. I didn't want to take the money for real leather, so I used some pleather I had left over from a previous project. The pleather I had wasn't long enough to span all the way across my chest and to my back, so I had to piece it. I chose to piece it directly in the middle where the "buckle" will go, so that the buckle will help hide the seam.

To conceal the edges of the pleather, I folded it to the backside and hot glued the edges down. This way, I didn't have to worry about stitches showing since the pleather is too stiff and narrow to sew in a tube and turn right side out. The hot glue is still flexible enough to bend with the straps around my body.

Here are some progress pictures:

Hot gluing the straps.

Closer view of hot gluing.

The straps on the outfit, after gluing. (I haven't sewn the straps together in the back yet, they are just pinned in place.)

After gluing.

I have sewn the pants, but they turned out too baggy, so I need to re-work them. I am waiting until I am a little further along in my pregnancy before finalizing the size, so I don't make them too tight. Next, I will be working on the broach and buckle. I will be making them out of Sculpey clay.

To see my previous update click Here.

Hoth Tan Vest

Here is my tutorial on how I made the tan Hoth vest similar to what Luke wore in "The Empire Strikes Back".

The tan vest as seen on Luke in "The Empire Strikes Back"

You will need a vest pattern to use as your base, medium weight tan fabric (I used Trigger in khaki from JoAnn's), a somewhat lightweight lining fabric (I used a quilter's cotton in cream/light tan), batting, matching thread, matching bias tape, tan 1" Velcro, a ruler, tailor's pencil, and quilter's pins.

After you cut out the basic form of your vest, you need to cut out pocket flaps. Cut 2 from the tan fabric and 2 from the lining. The pocket flaps aren't a rectangle, but have a slight slant to them. The narrow edge is sewn into the front edge of the vest and the wider edge is close to the side seam. The narrow edge is approx. 4 inches and the wider edge is approx 6 inches. (*Note: In the interest of cutting down on bulk, I omitted the working pockets and just made the flaps for cosmetics only.) Sew the pocket flaps on all but the short end, turn and press. Top stitch the bottom edge of the pocket flap approx. 1/8 inch from edge and then again approx 1/4 inch from first stitching.

Sandwich the batting, outer fabric, and lining of the back as seen in the picture. Sew along the bottom hem.

Turn and press.

On the 2 front pieces, layer the batting and tan fabric, with the tan fabric right side up. Pin the pockets in the correct position, making sure that the short edge of the pocket meets up with the front edge. Pin the lining to the batting & fabric sandwich. Sew along bottom hem and center fronts, making sure to catch short edge of pocket in seam.

Turn and press.

(*Note: On the pattern I used, the vest had a yoke. It wasn't until I had it cut out that I realized the original vests didn't actually have a yoke, but a faux yoke. It is up to you if you want your vest to have an actual or faux yoke. In this tutorial, I'll be covering the actual yoke.) Open the yokes and the lower front sections with the tan fabric & batting on one side and the lining on the other side.

Line up the yoke and front sections, pin, and sew together.

Once you have the linings sewn to the tan fabric and batting, zig zag (or surge) around the edges to baste the layers together.

Using your tailor's pencil and ruler, mark diagonal lines 3½ inches apart. Then, draw diagonal lines in the opposite direction again 3½ inches apart creating squares/diamonds on a diagonal. Once all the lines are marked, pin generously with quilter's pins. Note that the front pieces are not quilted below the pocket area or in the yoke area (yoke is approx. 8" from shoulder to quilting). Also note, it will be necessary for you to move the pocket flap out of the way while you mark, pin, and stitch the quilting.

Once you have the lines pinned, stitch along the lines you marked until every line is sewn, removing pins as you go.

Sew pocket flap to front along top and wide edges approx. 1/8 inch from edge and then again 1/4 inch from first stitching.

You will need to create a rounded, puffed, collar and line it with about 3 layers of batting. After you have your collar cut, sew it together along top edge, pin one open end with batting to the neck edge of the vest, being sure to leave one edge free. Clip curves.

Turn the free end of the collar to the right side.

Turn under the seam allowance on the free edge of the collar and pin it to the seam allowance on the neck edge of the vest. Slip stitch by hand to sew the collar closed. (*Note, This is not shown in my pictures, I did this step later, and did not get pictures of it.)

Sew velcro to the center fronts of the vest.

Sew bias tape to the armholes.

Turn the bias tape over the raw edge of the armhole, then turn toward the inside of the vest, making sure the bias tape does not show on the outside of the vest.

Sew the bias tape closed, making sure to keep the stitches approx. ½ inch from edge.

Cut two "window" pocket sections and pin them together on the sides and bottom. (*Note: I based the size of the pocket on the greeblie that my client already owns. The dimensions of her greeblie were 3½ inches by 2 3/8 inches. I based the center "window" on this dimension and added 1 1/4 inches on each side, allowing for a 1/4 inch seam. If your greeblie is a different size, you will need to adjust the pocket to fit those dimensions.)

Sew the window pocket sections together along the sides and bottom edges only. Turn, press. Tuck the center "flaps" in toward the middle of the pocket, press, and topstitch approx. 1/8 inch from edge. Zig zag/surge the top edge, fold under 1/4 inch, and topstitch approx 1/4 inch from top edge. Sew pocket to left vest front just under yoke along sides and bottom approx 1/4 inch from edge. If desired, sew a patch of 2" Velcro to the vest in the center of the "window" to apply the appropriate greeblie to the vest (you will need to glue the other side of the Velcro to the greeblie's back side).

One step that is not pictured is to top stitch the bottom edge of the vest ½ inch from the edge.

(*Note: I am not entirely convinced that the quilting on the back of the vest goes all the way to the collar. I think it might also have a faux yoke similar to the front of the vest that does not get quilted. Since I was not entirely sure, I went ahead and quilted the entire back of the vest. The choice is yours if you want to include the faux (or actual) yoke or quilt the entire back.)


There you have a tan Hoth Hanger Trooper and Tech vest.


Front, right side open.

Front, right and left sides open.


Many thanks go out to Phyllis Schulte for the tutorial and images that helped me create my own tutorial. If you would like more information on Hoth Rebel costumes, or to see Phyllis' original tutorial, visit the Yahoo group: Ice Station Echo

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Pilot Costumers

I've been too busy to post updates on my recent projects, the pictures are still sitting in my camera...but I realized that I had a few pictures of some of my costume clients after they received their costume element from me. Here are three pilots, two with flak vests from me and one with a flight suit from me:

Gil's flight suit:

(Updated 4-29-09 with some completed costume shots of Gil:)

Russ' flak vest:
(photos by Martin Miller)

Lauren's flak vest: