Tuesday, December 28, 2010

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)

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