Wednesday, March 1, 2017

How to Make Jedi Robes from Curtains - Part 3

Time to sew the sleeves and hood to the body of your Jedi Robes! (Missed Parts 1 and 2?  Part 1, Part 2)

(I made Jedi Robes because my family is super into Star Wars, but you could also use this pattern to make basic wizard robes.)

Reminder - This tutorial is aimed towards making robes for a child, but you could definitely apply the method for a teen or adult as well, you'd just need bigger curtains (or a sheet or bedspread). You could also just start with plain fabric, but then you would need to add hems and it would take longer. The beauty of this layout is NO HEMMING! Yay!

In Part 3, I will show you how to attach the sleeves and hood to the body.

The robe body consists of one piece right now, and the only seams you need to sew on it are the shoulder seams. Match each front shoulder piece to it's back shoulder piece and sew. I used a conventional 5/8ths inch seam allowance.  Remember to backstitch to secure the ends.

If you have access to a serger, you can finish these seams by serging them. If you don't have a serger, you can sew a zigzag stitch in the seam allowance or use a pinking sheers or some no-fray glue to prevent fraying.

Now it is time to insert the sleeves! If you've never done this before, it may seem a bit intimidating, but I'm going to walk you through it as clearly as I can.

The good news is that there is no front or back to these sleeves, so you can put either sleeve in either sleevehole.

Turn the robe body inside out, and the sleeve right-side out. Slide the sleeve into the armhole so that it lays as shown in the photo above.

The bottom of your sleeve is denoted by the seam in it. This seam should match up with the bottom point of the armhole as shown above.

Pin the sleeve into armhole, matching the seam to the point of the diamond. Leave the gathering thread tails free for later.

Now you need to match the top of your sleeve into the top of the armhole. Mark the top of the sleeve by folding it in half exactly, with the seam on one side. On the other side, you now have your exact center for the sleeve top. Mark this with a pin.

Match your marking pin to the top armhole seam on the robe and pin the two layers in place.

At this point, you may be wondering if you did everything right, as you will probably find that there is more fabric in the sleeve than in the armhole. No worries! This is exactly how it should be. Here is where the gathering threads come into play. Find the two threads for the TOP (right side) of the fabric on both sides of the seam, and pull them up until the sleeve fits nicely inside the armhole. Tie off the tail threads - DONT cut them yet.

Then, smooth and arrange the gathers so that they sit evenly along the sleeve. I like to arrange them so that more of the gathers lie towards the top of the sleeve. This keeps excess bulk out of the armpit region.

Once your gathers are even, pin the sleeve to the armhole, as shown above.

Time to sew! As you can see here, I sewed about a 3/4ths inch seam allowance around the armhole. This left me some allowance area to finish off the edges to prevent fraying (see above for finishing methods).

Remember to backstitch at the beginning and end of your seam (or just sew overlap) to secure the ends.

Repeat for the remaining sleeve.

Time to attach the hood! Hang in there - we're almost done!

Time to pin the hood in place. First, match up the center back seam of the hood with the center back of the robe, right sides together. You can find the center back of the robe by folding it in half, the way we did with the sleeves. Place a pin in the center back to hold the pieces together.

Then, match up the front hem edges of the hood and the robe. Pin in place.

Now, based on the way we cut out the pieces, either the hood or the neckhole are going to be slightly larger than the other piece. This is okay! What you are going to do is fold little tiny pleats in the excess fabric between the five pins you already placed. Pin those pleats down. Try to make them even in size, distance, and number. Above, you can see how I laid out my pieces to check that the sides mirrored each other.

Now you are going to sew the seam in place. Leave a seam allowance of about an inch, and remember to backstitch the ends.

Now grab your scissors and trim down the seam allowance from the robe side of the seam, as shown above.

With the larger, hood seam allowance, turn it over twice and stitch down, to create a smooth finish. (Pin in place before sewing and go slow, smoothing out the curve as you stitch.)

And you're done! Present your little Padawan with the robes he dreamed of!

I did successfully create robes for my husband using this design. I found that a twin bedsheet of appropriate fabric weight was the perfect size for a grown-man. Photos coming soon!

Want more Star Wars? Check out my recreation of Padme's wedding gown!

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