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Unread 01-31-2014, 04:57 PM   #1
Taytora
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Need Patterns/Ideas for Elspeth's Cloak, Hood, and Skirt

Hello everyone. I'm making my first cosplay -Elspeth, Sun's Champion and need some help with the sewing portion. Specifically, looking for patterns regarding her cloak (cape?), hood (I interpret this as being separate from the cloak -do others view this differently?), as well as her 'white skirt' portion. I have pretty basic sewing skills (my experience includes a small quilt, a Halloween cape I guessed on -turned out pretty rough, and some small odd and end projects) -I am a quick learner though!!

I've tried to do some Google searches, but can't seem to locate a cloak/cape in the same style as hers, with all the 'excess' fabric crossing the upper front torso.

In addition, what types of fabrics would you guys suggest for these pieces?

Another interpretation question -does there appear to be a darker underskirt below the white skirt and metal pieces; that maybe doesn't wrap all the way around the front in a complete circle? If so, I'm pretty confident I could create this piece myself.

Thank you for the assistance!!

Reference images:
Image 1

Image 2

Image 3

Image 4
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Unread 02-06-2014, 06:55 PM   #2
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No suggestions or help from anyone to get me started?
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Unread 02-06-2014, 10:14 PM   #3
Evil Bishounen
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This is extremely ambitious for your first costume. But, with this pretty much being an armor costume, if you're comfortable with making armor, the sewing part is fairly trivial.

Hood:
I don't see the hood being a separate piece. I guess you could make it that way, but you'd have to have it anchored to something to keep the proper shape and so that it sits in the right place without riding up. I'd either attach it to the cloak or to some kind of tunic under the armor.

Cloak:
It just looks, for the most part, like a regular loose cloak that's been rotated so that it closes at the shoulder instead of the center front. The difference is that the hood is facing front.

Cloaks are often made from parts of a circle (so you can have a 1/2 circle cloak, a 3/4 circle cloak, etc), which makes them more loose, or you can have a tailored cloak that's fitted over the shoulders and neck. You don't need a sewing pattern to make a circle-based cloak, and a tailored cloak could be drafted from any kind of torso pattern where you have a complete neck line and shoulder line. There are tons of cloak patterns out there with regular center front closures, though, and it wouldn't be difficult to mangle one.

Starting with a circle cloak, you'd just wear it off-center, and you'd have to extend the fabric there to create "arms", so to speak, that overlap on top of one another. If you attach the hood to the cloak, you'd be attaching it off-center so that it'll face the front despite the cloak having a shoulder closure.

If you start with a tailored cloak pattern, you'd have to cut one side back while extending the other side over the torso. When a cloak is fitted around the shoulders, just rotating it may leave you with weird "bubbles" where the shoulder curves are sitting, since they won't have shoulders to fill them.


White "skirt":
The white part doesn't look like a skirt in most of those pics. It looks more like some kind of hip sash. The last pic is the only one where it looks like some kind of fitted, asymmetrical skirt. So, you'll have to pick from your inconsistencies.


Black skirt:
Yes, there is definitely a black skirt worn under the armor, possibly the lower part of a tunic. There's one, possibly two slits in it that allow for extra leg movement, like there's a slit in front of each leg. It looks like it has a lot of volume to it.


Fabrics:
It really depends on where you live and what time of year you plan on wearing this. You could go with very light, billowy fabrics, or somewhat heavier, voluminous fabrics. This is a case where I'd probably wander around the fabric store and see how things felt and draped.

One thing I will say, though, is that white fabric has a problem with being transparent. You're going to have to find a fabric that's got decent opacity without being too stiff or too heavy, and you'll have to line the cape. You don't want that white outer fabric or the lining to be too heavy considering how billowy the cloak is. I'd probably make it all out of silk because silk is very billowy, and when you layer it, it generally remains fairly light and doesn't get too hot. Silk broadcloth is very opaque for a lightweight fabric. This is also colored by the fact that I live in Southern California, where it tends to be fairly warm most of the year.

If you live in a cold area and/or you get cold easily, a smooth wool would probably work well. (I rarely ever use wool, so I'm not as up on my wool textile terms.) You're less likely to have an opacity problem, and you could line it something really lightweight like rayon.

You could also probably find some decent polyesters, but look for something of a nicer quality. Cheap polyester fabric looks like crap. (And for the love of whatever, don't use polyester poplin.)
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Unread 02-08-2014, 03:01 PM   #4
Taytora
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Thanks for the reply Evil Bishounen! I've been crafting all my life and love a good challenge, so I'm not too concerned about Elspeth being too ambitious for my first cosplay. I'm sure it'll take me a little longer and I'm sure trial and error will be involved, but that's fine by me!

Based on the reference images, what type of cloak do you think hers most looks like -the 1/2 circile, 3/4 circle, or other?

How does one tell the difference between cheap and not-cheap polyester? Just by the price, or can you tell through other cues such as look and feel? While I have some experience with sewing, I have little experience when it comes to different types of fabrics and how they act, look, etc.
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Unread 02-08-2014, 10:42 PM   #5
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I'd guess the 1/2 circle is most appropriate, based on a brief Google search. Look up circular cloak references and compare what other people's look like. The cloak in the ref pics has enough volume that I don't think a tailored cloak is appropriate. (It could be done as a tailored cloak, but it would involve much more flat pattern manipulation to get the fullness in the back.)

It's kind of hard to explain what makes a polyester textile suck versus what makes one good, but here's my best attempt.

- Crappier polyesters tend to just...feel awful. There's something about them that's just bothersome to the touch. I wish I could elaborate in a way that makes sense, the best words I can use are that they feel "gross" and "fake". They can be a bit overly stiff compared to similar textiles. Sometimes they feel even a bit rough. They're more likely to trap heat against the skin and make one itchy and hot.

- Cheaper polyesters often have a lower thread count. The fabrics aren't as dense and they're more prone to snagging, giving you those unsightly loops and thread pulls and the appearance of damage. This is easier to observe if you look at two poly satins of different quality, for instance. Or, the fibers are just monstrously bigger, like in poly poplin or that polyester "linen-look" fabric that gets mixed in with the real linens at the fabric store. These have the look and feel of a tablecloth to me.

- Cheap polyesters can also have a chintzy shine to them. For instance, compare a high-end wedding satin (roughly $10+) to costume satin ($1.99).

Stuff like moleskin, peachskin, or microfiber tends to be nicer. Higher-quality satins (sometimes labeled as "bridal satin" or "wedding satin") with a denser weave are also good, though they might be a tad shiny for this project. I'm partial to stretch suede, which is slightly stretchy on the crossgrain but has no stretch on the straight grain. It has a very smooth, slick back side, and the right side is a subtle twill that's been sueded so it's very soft.
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