Halloween 2010 - Part 1 Anakin Skywalker

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Hopefully all of you are well rested from Halloween and the post holiday sugar crashes. I thought I'd write a little about the costumes that came gallumping out of my house this year.

After many changes of mind, Peter finally settled on dressing up as Anakin Skywalker. (I was really pulling for Captain Underpants, having been inspired last year by this costume made by Debbie Cook.) Lucy, after nearly deciding on Alice (from Alice in Wonderland) changed her mind to Tinkerbell. And Clara, in keeping with her laid-back nature, decided that she would wear the elephant costume I made for Peter a few years ago. I think it's kind of funny that both Lucy and Peter chose mean characters for Halloween. (Pixies, I think, are usually pranksters.)

Peter's costume wasn't immediately obvious. I did a little research, looking at image after image of Anakin Skywalker. I decided to make a wrap-front shirt, elastic waist pants, the black leather vest-thing, and a cloak. That's a lot of pieces for one costume, I know. I decided to give the lounge pants from Simplicity 9499 a try (I had purchased the pattern for the raglan-sleeved t-shirt). They were fabulous! I made a muslin out of a sheet and all that needed to be adjusted was the length. The pants have enough ease for sitting, but not so much that there is a lot of bagginess at the bum or front crotch. They also have slim-ish legs, not the wide, flappy things one so often finds in loungewear. And of course, with a fold over casing for the elastic waist, and no pockets, they went together in a snap. I made the final version out of brown stretch cotton sateen.



 A wrap-front shirt for a boy is no easy matter. I considered using one of the bathrobe patterns I happen to have (Simplicity 9853), but the thought of having to remove all of the ease and fiddling with armholes didn't sound appealing. I have Jalie 2910 in my collection of patterns, though I had yet to make it. Knowing that children's bodies aren't all that different, I decided to let go of any gender-based sewing hang-ups I might have (not many, I'll tell you) and gave that a go, making a muslin out of a stable black knit. I doubled the width of the neckband to give more coverage and to make it look a bit more costumey. Success again! In this case we just needed to add length to the hems (both sleeve and body). I made the final version of this pattern in a soft brown cotton jersey.



Peter loves the shirt and pants from this costume so much that he wore them the first two nights after they were made as pajamas. He has gone on to wear the shirt to school as a regular shirt.

Now for the cloak and vest-thing. There was a bit of luck, here as well. I originally planned to use the hooded bathrobe pattern from the December 2009 Burda, which would have totally worked. And I planned to fiddle with a basic t-shirt pattern for the vest-thing. But as I walked past the cutting table at Fabricana, I saw Simplicity 5512 sitting on the counter along with a pile of fabric belonging to another customer. Perfect! A pattern for a lined hooded cloak and a tabbard (which could be easily cut down the center front for the leather garment). What's more, there was only one of these pattern left in the drawer. Totally worth the investment, in my opinion, even if it used more fabric than the bathrobe pattern called for. I will use this pattern again and again.

These two pieces went together pretty well. I had to change the slope of the shoulder seam on both garments. Peter's shoulders are not as square as the pattern. I had a limited amount of fashion fabric for the cloak (there was only 1.5 metres on the bolt), so I was limited to making the cape (not the sleeved cloak), but I put slits in the side seams for ease of use. I muslined the cape using sheets, and finished it fully so now we have a purple flowered hooded cape in our dress-up box.


The finished cloak was made out of a brown/black stretch suiting blend. I was certain I would have enough suitable fabric somewhere in my stash to line the cape, so I didn't purchase any. This was a bit of a tricky decision. The only suitable fabric I had was black Bemberg rayon, but I was not about to use up my Bemberg lining on a costume (granted I got it on sale at half price, but it was still five dollars a metre!) After much frustration and disappointment at the size and uselessness of my fabric stash, I decided to use a white all-cotton sheet and two packages of dye that I happened to have - a purple and a brown. I had hoped I would end up with a dark brown, but instead I ended up with a muted dark purple. But it worked. I used a button from my jar and made a loop of bias from the suiting fabric. I covered the raw ends of the loop with a square of the black vinyl that I used for the tabbard.

 

The tabbard was pretty straightforward. I was pretty excited to get to use my teflon presser foot that I received from David for Christmas last year. I made it as stated, with the exception of cutting and hemming the center front, so that the fronts could overlap under the belt. I didn't muslin this garment, just bit the bullet and cut into the black vinyl.


This is what he wore to school on Friday. He added the cloak for trick-or-treating. All in all a success! Everything fit and it was impressive (important to me), but did not draw attention to him (important to Peter). He was also warm enough on Halloween night. This is something to consider around here.

Stay tuned for a Tinkerbell post!

Comments (4)

you are amazing!! Hand-dyeing AND hand-sewing costumes? Wow.

LOL at the size and uselessness of a fabric stash. I have definitely been there--how can I have all that fabric and yet nothing works for what I need? Great costume! My nephew at one point actually believed his last name was "Skywalker" and would tell strangers this. He would approve.

Thanks everyone. This costume was fun to sew - mostly because everything came together so easily.

Wow, great Anakin costume. I made an Anakin Skywalker costume for my son when he was 4. It was my first big sewing project, and he loved it. That year, he was good Anakin. The next year, he wore the costume again. We drew a scar on his eye, and he was bad Anakin. this past year (he was 7) he was Darth Vader. I hope we are done with that now, although he is now asking me to make him a Jedi Robe.