Saturday, January 8, 2011

Tabards Research

In regards to Obi-Wan's tabards, one of the main things about his tabards that make them a bit different than most of the other jedi costumes, is that while they extend past the obi and skirt of his outer tunic in the front, they do not in the back like Anakin's and others.  Instead, Obi-Wan's tabards end at his obi in the back.

In the Simplicity 4450 pattern, the tabards extend below the obi in both front and back, but this is easy enough to adjust.  The pattern also calls for a shoulder seam on the tabards, which I will be drafting out of the pattern, because from pictures, it's obvious that Obi-Wan's tabards do not have seams at the shoulder, and look a whole lot better without a seam there anyway.

The Simplicity 4450 pattern also calls for the front of the tabards to be all one piece, but with a curve at the waist.  However, this also seems to be incorrect for Obi-Wan's tabards.  His tabards appear to also have a waist seam in the front under the obi.  If you look at the grain of the fabric on his tabards both above and below the obi, you can see that the grain of the fabric runs parallel with the edge of the tabards both above and below the obi.  Meaning, they have to be cut out as two separate pieces and attached with a waist seam, since the grain of the fabric wouldn't curve like that.  And if you were to cut the tabards out with a curve in them like the pattern calls for, the grain of the fabric would run parallel to the edge of the tabards below the obi, and run on a diagonal above the obi.

So I will definitely be redrafting the tabard pattern.  It needs to be a little narrower for my shoulders, since it's a men's pattern.  I'm going to make the pieces that run from the back of the obi and over the shoulders to the front of the obi be one piece to eliminate the shoulder seam.  And I'll definitely be cutting the bottom part of the tabards out separate and attaching them to the rest of the tabard with a waist seam.  And you definitely need some kind of a waist seam or dart or something under the obi in the front anyway, so the tabards hang nicely parallel to each other below the obi.

Instead of hanging with the "x-factor" look.

Another thing I noticed about Obi-Wan's tabards, is that they do overlap each other ever so slightly in the front at the obi.

As well as in the back just above the obi.

It also looks like his tabards extend a wee bit further past the hem of his outer tunic in Revenge of the Sith than they did in Attack of the Clones.

One more detail I was curious about, was whether there was actually a seam at the base of the tabards in the front, or was the fabric simply cut on the fold and only had seams along the sides.  Yes, this is a stupidly minor detail, but hey, I can't help it, I'm trying to get this as close to correct as I can.  So for the heck of it, I started flipping through all the reference pics I have saved of his costume, and I didn't have to go very far before I got my answer.  Yes, his tabards have a seam at the bottom.

So I think that's all the details I've noticed so far, so on to making the tabard mockups.

"You don't want to sell me death sticks.....
You want to go home and rethink your life....."
- Obi-Wan Kenobi  (Attack of the Clones)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Outer Tunic Mockup - All Together

With the binding on the collar, I'm pretty happy with the over all look of how the outer tunic turned out. There are definitely a few things I may yet need to tweak, but we'll see how things look with the tabards and obi before I decide what to change or adjust.  And pardon the visible stitch on the collar.  It's a mockup, so I took the easy route to get it on there for now.  The actual costume will have hidden stitches on the outer tunic collar.

But a couple things I might change would be tapering the side seams in just a wee bit more at the waist, to help cut down on some of the gathering on the back panel of the tunic when the obi is put on. I have a few more curves than men do, so it might make the overall look of the costume a little better if it was tailored around the waist just a wee bit more, but we'll see how it looks with the tabards and obi before I decide on that. And it does look a little better on me than on the dress form.

I might also extend the wrap of the front panel a wee bit, so I have a little bit more overlap in the front panels of the skirt once everything is hemmed. But again, we'll see. But so far, I'm very happy with how things are looking!

So, on to the tabards this weekend!

Additional Pictures:

"Very well. The burden is on me not to destroy all the droids before you get there."
- Obi-Wan Kenobi  (Revenge of the Sith)

Outer Tunic Mockup - Skirt

The skirt mock up! After cutting the Simplicity 4450 pattern in half at the waist, I then redrafted the skirt part of the pattern, making the skirt longer, and adding a wide angled flair to the side seam, to give the skirt the fullness and spin that the movie costume skirt has. I cut the skirt out, sewed it together, pinned it to the upper tunic, and wasn't happy with the results.

It just didn't hang right, and even with flared out side seams, it still didn't have the fullness or spin of the movie costume. The hem also hung straight across the front, straight across the back, and very gathered at both sides. Even with female hips and an obi wrapped around it, it still just didn't hang right, still straight across the front and back and lots of gathering at both sides. But if you look at the hem of the skirt of the movie costume, the hem hangs pretty much straight across the front, has some gathering at the sides, but in the back, the hem hangs with a bit of a wave.

So I went back to looking through pictures of the costume, and watching the way it flows and hangs in the movie (or maybe that was just a good excuse to watch parts of the movie again), and decided to try a different approach. One way to get that wave across the back of the hem line would be to make the back panel of the skirt extra wide, and then pleat or gather the top of the fabric at the waist line. Which, looking at the base of the obi in the back on the movie costume, the gathers in the fabric there look pretty uniform, which makes me think there is some pleating going on back there. So that's what I decided to try.

I scrapped my first set of skirt patterns, and drafted a new set. I brought the side seam flare in some on both the front and back of the skirt. And when I cut out the skirt back panel, I used the full width of the fabric, making the skirt back panel several inches wider than the back panel of the tunic. I ran a slip stitch by hand along the very top of the back panel of the skirt to make small gathers in the fabric, pinned the skirt to the outer tunic mockup, pulled the slip stitch to pull the gathers tight and uniform, then sewed the skirt onto the outer tunic. And the results were much better!

The skirt hem hangs straight in the front, has a little less gather at the sides, more like the movie costume, and the back hem has that waved hang to it. And the back of the skirt spins out much further on the second mock up than it did on the first. So I'm pretty happy with how the gathering method turned out, and will use that for the skirt on the actual costume fabric. And since the crinkle cotton and other fabrics I am considering using for the actual costume is much less stiff and has a looser weave to it than the muslin I used for the mockups, I think the gathered skirt will look, hang, and flow even better than the muslin mockup. But I guess we'll find out when I get there!

You'll have to pardon the "obi" in the pics. I wanted to see how the outer tuinc and skirt would hang with an obi cinching the waist line, so I took one of the scrap collar attemps from the inner tunic that didn't work out, and wrapped it around the waist and pinned it down to see how things looked. And of course, I'll do a blind hem on the skirt instead of a machine stitch, but hand hemming a mock up just wasn't going to happen!

On to adding the binding around the collar, and finishing up the outer tunic mockup!

Additional Pictures:

"Not to worry.  We're still flying half a ship."
- Obi-Wan Kenobi  (Revenge of the Sith)

Outer Tunic Mockup - Top Half

For the outer tunic, I used the outer tunic pattern from Simplicity 4450, with a lot of modifications. For starters, the pattern is for a men's costume, and even the extra small was about 2 to 3 sizes too big for me all the way around. I ended up redrawing the pattern pieces, and bringing in the side seams quite a bit. In the end, I think I ended up taking off about four inches total in the circumference of the outer tunic to make it small enough for me, yet still be roomy enough to move in like Jedi garb is supposed to be.

From research on the outer tunic, there's pretty good evidence that there is a waist seam underneath the obi and tabards, so I cut the pattern in half at the waist and drafted the upper part of the outer tunic separate from the lower skirt part of the tunic. I decided to work on getting the upper half of the tunic to fit and look right before I worked on putting the skirt on. And with the way the skirt and skirt lining is constructed and hemmed, I'll be attaching the two sections separately anyway on the final costume.

Other than moving the side seams and shoulder tucks in on both the front and back pieces of the pattern, I left everything else the same. I didn't change anything with the sleeve pattern, other than adding a bit more length to it, so I could have a bigger hem at the bottom of the sleeve like the movie costume has, rather than the narrower hem that the pattern calls for. But other than that, I left the rest of the upper portion of the pattern as is to see what I got.

The first mock up of the upper part of the outer tunic came out pretty well. The shoulder tucks took a little bit to figure out exactly what the directions were trying to say, but besides that, the outer tunic was easy to put together. However, as soon as I put it on the dress form, it was obvious I needed to make some more adjustments to the pattern and try again. It was very baggy looking, and just plain didn't look right. It had that woman in oversized men's clothes look, and the sides of the tunic around the arms just wouldn't lay right.

First mockup pinned up to see where I needed to make adjustments on the next mock up.
So I did some experimenting with pinning various seams down a little smaller, and figured out where I needed to adjust the pattern. I needed to shave off a bit more of the side seams to make the outer tunic fit me a little better. Yes, the outer tunic is supposed to be roomy, but not to the point that it looks like it's still two sizes to big on me.

The sleeves also needed some work, because the bottom seam of the sleeves joined the side seam of the tunic about an inch or less above the waist line seam, and it just made the whole thing look weird, since the "armpits" were at my waist, so by the time I would have put on the obi, it would have been sleeve, armpit, obi, instead of sleeve, armpit, side seam, obi. lol! Again, it's a men's pattern, so I needed to make the sleeves a little more proportioned for me, since I've got that short torso, long legs thing going on. So I left the width at the base of the sleeve by the cuff alone, but narrowed the top of the sleeve by several inches and contoured it just a bit in the armpit, so the sleeves of the outer tunic would still be roomy for me, but not ginormous like they were on the first mock up.

Another change I made was to lengthen the shoulder tuck seam by an inch in both front and back, a suggestion I got from this great Simplicity 4450 tutorial at Crazy Old Wizards. And I'm glad I did, as the second mock up of the upper part of the outer tunic came out so much better! The longer shoulder tuck seam made the fabric on the body of the tunic lay much more neatly, and since the tabards will cover the shoulder tuck seam, you won't see it anyway. And the change of the sleeves made the whole thing look better, since the base of the sleeves tied into the side seams much higher above the waist line. It might need a little tweaking yet as I go, but so far, I am happy with the results of the second mock up! I still need to add the binding around the collar of the outer tunic, but I will add that after the skirt mock up is finished and attached.

On to the lower half of the outer tunic!

Additional Pictures:

"Yes, well, I took a lesson from Anakin and decided not to follow orders."
- Obi-Wan Kenobi  (Clone Wars - Legacy of Terror)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Outer Tunic Research

So, a little on the outer tunic.  We know from the picture on the inner tunic research that the front of the outer tunic is not lined, hence the reason Ewan wore the dickie inner tunic.  And I'm assuming that the back of the outer tunic is not lined as well, again, the reason for the dickie inner tunic from the movie. 

However, we do know that the sleeves are lined.  I'm assuming so that they will flow better over the inner tunic sleeves.

But I have seen some debate over whether or not the skirt of the outer tunic was lined.  It would make sense for it to be lined, since it doesn't seem to stick to his pants much, but then this is movie magic, just reshoot the scene if the skirt gets stuck to the pants.  And websites I've looked at had pictures posted that hinted there might be a lining in the skirt, but it was hard to tell for sure. 

Then there was the picture that someone took at one of the costume exhibits while laying on her back and looking up under the skirt of the costume.  An Obi-Wan kilt check.  I love it!  But the picture looked like there was lining under the skirt of the over tunic. 

Finally, I hauled out my DVD, and yup, no doubt about it, that skirt is definitely lined!  I never noticed this before, until I was actually paying attention to his costume, and I had to laugh.  I'm surprised this scene didn't get reshot, considering the skirt is stuck on his belt!

So the skirt of the outer tunic is lined, but it looks like it is hemmed separately from the skirt fabric.  Yet, whenever we see Obi-Wan fighting, we only see one piece of fabric spinning around, not two.  So the lining must be tacked to the skirt somewhere, because the two pieces definitely flow as one.

And sure enough, it appears to be tacked to the hem of the skirt in the back, at least in the middle. 

And from a video taken by one of the guys at Crazy Old Wizards, when he got to actually examine the costume at one of the exhibits (lucky man), the lining is tacked down to the hem along the front of the skirt as well.

There's also been some debate about whether or not there is a waist line seam on the outer tunic that's hidden by the obi.  There is a picture of a waist line seam peeking out from under the obi on Mace Windu's costume, but we don't have proof like this for Obi-Wan's costume.  But I think the fact that Obi-Wan's outer tunic is not lined in front and back, but is lined in the skirt, is a pretty good indication that there is a waist seam on his outer tunic underneath his obi.

The skirt of his outer tunic is fairly full too, because he gets some serious spin on that thing while fighting!

Just watch the Mustafar fight, and you'll see what I mean.  And since Obi-Wan's tabards end at his belt in the back, unlike Anakin's, that's definitely tunic skirt twirling around.  So I'm all the more convinced that there is a waist seam hidden under the obi, and I will be building my outer tunic in a similar fashion.

I'm also beginning to think the back of the over tunic skirt is pleated a bit at the waist, to give it some of it's fullness.  I don't believe the front of the skirt is pleated at the waist, because it seems to lay fairly flat, with some random wrinkles around the obi.

While from the back, the way the skirt hangs, and the gathers in the fabric peeking out from under the bottom of the obi look a little too uniform not to be slightly pleated.  And pleats would help explain the fullness of the outer tunic skirt, since I don't think just flaring out the side seams would give it that kind of fullness and that much spin during fight scenes.

Another thing I've noticed with the collar of the outer tunic, is that there is no seam in the collar at the back of the neck like there is in the Simplicity 4450 pattern.  So that is definitely something I will be changing with the pattern, as no seam is more screen correct and no seam just plain looks nicer.

We also know that the collar on the outer tunic ends at the waist seam and does not extend all the way down to the bottom hem of the outer tunic like the pattern calls for.  Of course, now I can't find the pictures that I saw that proved this, but I do remember seeing it and it has been mentioned by others who have replicated Obi-Wan's Revenge of the Sith garb.  So I'll be doing the same with mine as well. 

So, with all that said, I have a mockup of the outer tunic just about done.  But considering it's getting late, and I have to clean up at least some of the fabric disaster in my living room, I'll have to put together the outer tunic mockup blog tomorrow. 

"Yes, well, if you could tell time half as well as you could stick a landing, we wouldn't be behind schedule now would we."
- Obi-Wan Kenobi  (Clone Wars - Hunt for Ziro)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Inner Tunic Mockup

Since a "real jedi" would wear a functional under tunic rather than a dickie, I decided to go with a full tunic for my inner tunic vs the movie magic version.  And I figure if I can survive the heat in the heavy layers of 10+ yards of upholstery fabric and corset and bodice of my Renaissance court gown, then I can probably survive the "extra layer" of the full tunic, to have a "more correct" costume.

But the next problem was, no pattern for an under tunic.  I planned to modify Simplicity 4450 to use for most of the costume, but 4450 has no under tunic.  For the inner tunic is has a dickie that is just a collar and that's it.  No under sleeves, not even the "t-shirt" like dickie that Ewan wore for the movie.  Some people just use the outer tunic in the pattern to make both the inner and outer tunics, but I wanted something a little more fitted for my inner tunic to cut down on a little of the bulk.

So that meant drafting my own pattern.  And pattern drafting from scratch isn't something I have done too much of.  Since the inner tunic fabric is basically like a jersey knit, I went and grabbed one of my small fitted t-shirts that are oh so comfortable to use as a guideline for making a fitted inner tunic that will hopefully be just as comfortable!

So I traced out the t-shirt, made some adjustments, redrew this, tweaked that, and finally I had a pattern I was happy with for the front and back of the tunic.  So I grabbed the bolt of muslin I picked up the other day for making mockups of all the pieces, and cut out the back and two front pieces (since it's a wrap front so the collar wraps correctly) and sewed them together to see what I got.  Looked pretty good, and fit like the t-shirt on my dressform. 

Now for the collar.  And that was a trip to figure out because of the three fold look of the collar on the under tunic.  I didn't really have a pattern to follow for the collar, so I just had to wing it and see what I came up with!  I think I went through 4 collars before I finally got a mockup collar I liked and successfully got it attached to the rest of the under tunic mock up. Looked great on the dress form and fit me great too when I tried it on!

Now for sleeves, since the t-shirt I had used was short sleeves.  And I needed fitted extra long sleeves!  I laid out some interfacing to start attempting to sketch out a sleeve pattern when an idea hit me, and I grabbed the pattern (Suitability 3409) for the Western Pleasure show shirts I've been making, and pulled out the pattern for the sleeve.  It fit perfectly onto the arm hole of my undertunic, and after retracing the sleeve pattern, making some minor adjustments to it, and adding 12 inches to the length to get the gathered look at the wrists on Obi-Wan's under tunic, I finally had sleeves!  Now adding 12 inches might be too much, but it didn't look too bad when I tried it on and bunched the sleeves at my wrists, but if they do turn out to be too long, I can always shorten and rehem them.  I'd rather have them too long, than too short, because too short means having to make a whole new under tunic.

So I'm really happy with how the under tunic mock up came out!  Will work on mock ups of the rest of the outfit, then see about getting the real inner tunic made once I've had a chance to wash and dry the fabric I bought for it!

Additional Pictures:

 "The only thing worse than being your wingmate is being your passenger!"
- Obi-Wan Kenobi  (Labyrinth of Evil)

Inner Tunic Research

Figured the inner tunic was probably the best place to start, and work my way out through the layers of the costume.  The inner tunic on Obi-Wan's Episode 3 outfit is probably one of the main reasons I like this one the best of his three prequel garb.  I like the change to the brown fabric, and the tighter, neater look around the neck.  It gives him an older more sophisticated look, which of course is the lead in for the Ben Kenobi that we see in Episode 4. 

But researching the inner tunic has been interesting, because the inner tunic really isn't much of a tunic.  It's more of a "t-shirt" with brown sleeves and collar.  Or what some would call a dickie.

So, why the dickie instead of a full brown under tunic?  Because apparently the over tunic material is so thin, an all brown inner tunic would show through the body of the outer tunic.  So they only put the brown where it needed to be, where it would be covered by the lining of the sleeves and the binding on the over tunic, and made the rest of the shirt the same color as the outer tunic.  A little movie magic!

 So, now the question is, do I make a dickie for my inner tunic?  Or do a make a full tunic for my inner tunic?

"Oh, this is going to be easy."
- Obi-Wan Kenobi - Revenge of the Sith