Thursday, October 7, 2010

Santa costume - jacket - part 3

The jacket was made by cutting out the panels for the back, front panels, and sleeves as per the pattern developed in part 1.

The lay of the fabric was maintained based on the arrows in the patterns. Once sewn together, the lining was made from standard polycotton (as used in making applique quilts) using the same patterns, and then placing it inside the jacket with all seams facing inside the jacket.

Photo 1 - cutting fabric from pattern

The collar of the jacket needed to stand up so any clothes worn under the jacket will not show, I decided the jacket collar needed some stiffening. I designed a flat collar which resembles a mandarin collar from the back, but lays flat as it comes down the front panels.
The stiffener material I used is some seatbelt webbing I salvaged from some of the road-crash training cars.

Photo 2 -  Seatbelt and fur trim for collar and it's stiffening

I cut the seatbelt fabric to make the collar higher at the back, and tapering down as the collar crosses over at the front.

The liner was inserted inside the jacket outer, and pinned in place. This allowed for minor adjustments in fit, and the positioning of the internal pocket for the gloves which was sewn in place prior to joining the outer and inner together.

Photo 3 - Jacket outer and liner pinned together

I then stitched this into the fur trim and then stitched this into the layers between the jacket outer, and the liner. This was accomplished by turning the jacket (with it's liner) inside out, and stitching it all together, but leaving a turning area of about 300mm (12") unstitched at the back of the jacket.

Photo 4 - Fur trim pinned in place for sewing into jacket layers

Once the sewing was done, the jacket was turned "right side out" and the turning opening was closed by careful pinning and sewing. To reduce the appearance of the closed seam, I used a derivative of the bias tape method, where I sewed the fur trim to the outer, then reversed the lay so it sat properly and then over-sewed the seam with the liner held in place with pins, this concealed the stitching for the outer/trim seam, and allowed the seam for the liner/trim to be hidden in the seam of the first set of stitching - sorry no photos to simplify the description.

Photo 5 - the finished jacket showing the liner in place

The photo above (photo 5) is where I was trying to determine if a single width belt looked OK, compared to a double width belt.

The pants were made in a similar manner, but will be covered in another posting.

Santa Costume Finished - Part 2

Well the santa costume is done...
There will be more parts put up to show how the costume was made - stay tuned..

The costume comprises:
1 - Jacket with cross-over front panels, internal lining, internal pocket (for gloves), shaped collar, fur trim
2 - Pants - lined, with drawstring and suspender tabs, weighted shaped cuffs, fur trim (2 pair made)
3 - modesty panel under jacket
4 - belt with brass buckles, and attachable "pouch" for lollies, keys, phone, etc
5 - Hat - 2 made, one traditional, one "special"
6 - Boots
7 - Gloves
8 - Beard and wig

There will be pages made for the pants, jacket, and belt so I won't discuss them here.

Photo 1 - showing the traditional hat

The boots are an old pair of structural fire boots (tread worn away to nothing) which I polished up and they're now in the costume set.
The wig and beard were a set I bought on E-Bay
The modesty panel is basically a large calico bib which I put on under the jacket - it's sole purpose is to prevent my shirt showing through the beard between the front panels of the jacket. Last year I went straight to a "santa run" from work and my bright "safety orange" work shirt was showing through the beard - not a good look for Santa. I deliberately wore the same shirt in these photos just to make sure the costume completely covered my clothes without ruining the look.
The belt pouch is simply a lined bag with belt loops which can be threaded onto the belt so Santa has an external pocket for stowing lollies (candy), keys, mobile phone, etc

Photo 2 - the costume

The hats were fun.
I'll probably do a page on the hats, but some of the photos didn't work out so there will be some gaps in the documentation.
Basically one hat is the typical design - about 600mm (24") tall, whereas the other is 1800mm (72") tall. The second one was a fun piece I made to try a theory about a hat also being able to be a scarf. Both hats were made from the same crushed velour fabric that the jacket and pants were made from, and used the same fur trim for the brim, and the pom-pom. Both hats are lined as well.

Photo 3 - Santa with the longer hat

Since Bender kept me company outside whilst I was sewing, it's only fair he gets to try on the hat...

Photo 4 - Bender modelling the scarf-hat

Since I don't have a large model of the Santa  Robot, this will have to do...

Photo 5 - Santa and Bender - not menacing at all

I'll document the jacket, pants and belt over the next week (time permitting) and then get back to documenting (and working on) the MOT spotwelder, and a few other projects I'm trying to clear off the "to do" list.

Project costs (AUD):
about $80 for fabric
$30 for the beard and wig
approx 50 hours of sewing, metalwork, etc
maybe $10-20 for incidentals (power, threads, gas, etc)

The day after I completed this project my wife pointed out a costume for sale in one of the online clearance sites... the costume cost about $80 shipped, but it was a thin felt set - the type which only last 3-4 wearings before falling apart... I'd like to think this costume will last many many years so I hardly begrudge the costs in time or money.