November 3, 2007

Ogle Wan Kenobi

So, Matt wanted to be a Jedi for Hallowe'en. (and not an evil or soon-to-be-evil one, either; I checked.) Here's the "official Star Wars licensed" costume for adults.

It is completely lame.

Note that the tunic is all one piece, with what appear to be little pieces of vinyl ironed on to stand in for actual layers of clothing. I would rather go with a sack on my head, and I just couldn't subject a dedicated fan to such degradation. Also, it cost between $50 and $60. (!!!) And that's without the cloak, which is another $50 or so (plus shipping) (The cloak does not look nearly so lame, until you consider that it is "one size only" and is meant--supposedly--for an "average" person. Male or female. Not someone who's almost 6'3". Can you say "lame" again? Of course, you can get beautifully personally tailored wool cloaks, too....but we'd like the kids to be able to attend at least a community college some day!)

This poster became my inspiration.

For the cloak, I found some brown poly/cotton broadcloth. Broadcloth is dirt cheap (around $3 a yard), and while it's not wool, as in the movies, it does have a nice floaty effect. I measured his wingspan and his height from the base of the neck to the bottom of his ankle, did the math, and borrowed some instructions off the web for construction. Easy. Oh, and I added some fancy-schmancy pleats at the shoulders to make it more Obi-Wan-ish (or "Ogle-Wan -ish", as one of the speech kids dubbed it.)

The tunic started out simply enough: it's just a short bathrobe. Until I looked at that poster again, and noticed the tabards. And the under-tunics, visible at the neck. Back to the drawing board! I found a different color of all-cotton broadcloth, again for around $3 a yard. I already had several yards of muslin--handy for all kinds of things. And then I cheated.
See those nice under-tunic collars? They're actually just collars: thin strips of cloth, cunningly positioned and attached to the real tunic, then crossed with a section of velcro at the point where they cross. As long as he doesn't do jumping jacks, they look pretty good. I made one in broadcloth and one in muslin, then did the tabards (those thingies that drape over the shoulders and tuck in to the belt/sash thingy) of muslin.

Lame-o official options: around $100, give or take. My prices: cloak cloth, $24. Muslin, $8. Tunic cloth: $11.60. Thread (which I have lots of left): $8. My total: $51.60. Plus it's custom tailored and therefore actually fits him.

Of course, left out of that total is the fact that he'll owe me for years, since it took at least a week and a half of all my spare time. But damn, it looked good!

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