Friday, August 4, 2017

Jawa Costume in a Week - Day Three: making the dress

Links to other days:
Day One: research patterns and get supplies
Day Two: dying fabric and making balaclava
Day Three: making the dress
Day Four: sewing the hood
Day Five: making the mask and weathering
Day Six: Boots
Day Seven: Tweaks and Photos

Making the Dress

The dress was easy peasy and if I followed my own pattern, it would have been even easier. Now monks cloth frays like crazy so its best to cut and sew quickly without much movement of the fabric.

1. Lay out fabric with fold where shoulders will be:


Remember our pattern? I cut off a 120 inch long piece and folded it in half.

Find center and put a pin there. Then take your shoulder measurement and half it. (mine was 17+ 2=19 so half is 9.5) and measure 9.5 from each side of pin. Put pins there.

*Note: I panicked and thought there was no way this was right. So I measured 24 (12 on each side of center pin) in pictures for my shoulders. I had to fix this later.


2. Cut

I laid the tape from the corner at bottom to my pin on top and then just cut along it.


And you get a nice trapezoid shape.

3. Measure and cut the neck opening

I made an 8 inch opening that was shallow into the fold area. You can always enlarge it later, but the main thing is to measure 4 inches on either side of center pin and then the hole will be equal distance from both sides.


4. Try on

My head barely went through so I enlarged it by just the tiniest bit but my shoulders are way too big! See how the joining seam with the sleeve will be way off my shoulders? My finger is in the right spot and the seam would have been way off.


So back I went back and cut off the sides more till I had the 19 inches. That original measurement looks really small but its fine. I still couldn't go 18 (in my mind it was just too narrow, but when i sewed it up the sleeve is just off my shoulder and I like it. So 19 is good for me.)


5. Take off, and get ready to sew seams

Update: Pockets!  Version 2.0 has pockets, so google a simple pocket shape, cut them and pin them in place prior to sewing seams. And sew them in first. (hint:I used brown muslim which won't fray as the pockets)

Double fold it up all nice again and line up edges. Measure 9 inches from shoulder tops for sleeve opening. Put in pin to mark it and then sew from pin to bottom of dress (leaving sleeves area open of course! And pockets) Do this for each side.


I just made a visual for anyone confused. You are sewing side seams. By the way - there is no right side or wrong side. Just pick and sew. Then make sure all your seams are on that side. I sew with a 1/2 inch seam allowance, and then put on the binding. If not using binding, then zig-zag inside that seam allowance to keep it from fraying.



6. Sew binding on head opening
Monks cloth frays like crazy - and it looks cool. But you don't want this on your inside seams. To stop this you can do three things: glue the edge so they won't fray (makes them stiff and pokey with No-fray stuff from Dritz at JoAnns), zig-zag edges but they may still fray a bit, or put binding on them. I love binding!

My edges inside and out get binding and zig-zagging - just to be sure those pesky seams don't fray. My edges already started to fray just from washing.


Open binding. Its basically a strip of cloth folded in half, and then those halves are folded in so no raw edges are exposed.


You stuff your edge inside it and sew.


Get the right kind and size or it won't work as well - trust me! Extra wide and double fold, and you need two packages if you do all seams (at least) or one just for neck and sleeve seams.


Just put your edges inside the fold, and sew. I chose to sew two seams to hold it in place and since its hidden, I don't have to worry about being neat.


The end of the binding you just fold over and tuck it inside. See, no exposed fraying edges and it had a bit of a stretch so your head will go in great.


I sewed binding on my inside seams as well, including sleeves. No fraying on insides for me.

7. Cut and Sew sleeves.

*Important: remember you still have your hood to cut out. Keep that in mind when cutting sleeves

Sleeves are bells which is really easy. Start by marking your rectangle with your measurements. I choose my sleeves to be 18 by 33 by 24. That means you need to add 1 inch for sewing, so they become 19 on top, 33 on sides, and 25 on end. 

I didn't take pictures because I was in the zone and really this is pretty easy.  Anyway - cut two. As mentioned, if you want a more pronounced bell - go with 29 at the big end. 

Its really easy to fold your cloth in half, then measure down each side half of what you need it to be (so 9.5 inches and 12.5 inches respectively) then lay down your tape measure to use as a guide and cut.

While you are at it, put pins in the center of the shorter (19 inch) end where its folded, for later.

Sew the long sides (33 inches) together to make a tube using 1/2 inch seam allowance, then zig-zag inside that allowance (or use binding)

Then you turn the sleeve inside out, pin to inside of dress sleeve opening, and line up seams, then sew them together. I like to pin mine in, finding center of sleeve (which you should already have a pin in) and matching that to the shoulder fold.

Before you sew: do a sanity check. Look at your sleeve, imagine if you pull it out and make sure the seams will be on the right side (inside or outside). Undoing stitches is awful in monks cloth.

Monks cloth stretches so do your best but stagger any big puckers out. Mine went fine, I really had no problems.

Voila! You have a dress! Now, have try it on with your boots on. Have some helper trim sleeves and hem of dress. They need to fray, bottom must be floor length, and arms finger length. 

Zig-zag one inch from edges after trimming (do not turn it or anything).

Then if its not already frayed like all get out - pull out threads till its frayed and lovely, and the zig-zag border will keep it from fraying all the way up to your knees.

Links to other days:
Day One: research patterns and get supplies
Day Two: dying fabric and making balaclava
Day Three: making the dress
Day Four: sewing the hood
Day Five: making the mask and weathering
Day Six: Boots
Day Seven: Tweaks and Photos

1 comment:

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