Tuesday, December 28, 2010

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)

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