Sunday, 29 April 2012

little update without pictures

So today I worked on the sleeves. It has to have been one of the most frustrating days ever. Since we've adjusted the panel that joins the back to the front and made it a lot smaller of course the sleeves from the original pattern no longer work but because we made the panel smaller we've taken out a fair amount of movement room as well. I think I have to cut the arm hole deeper under the pit area since I can't take away anymore fabric at the shoulder.

I bought another suit jacket pattern on Saturday which I cut out today as well and put a mock up together. I have a better understanding of how the whole thing *should* work but I couldn't set the sleeve in properly. I spent a lot of time today cutting paper and muslin. To what end I don't really know. Mostly I don't really know what I am doing and I find that this fear of fucking it up royally is making me less inclined to just go for it and leads to more I can't do this speeches being yelled at who ever will listen.  Emotional artist in the house.

I got the 3rd pattern mock up done with 1 sleeve, then get M to try it on and he waves his arms around like a man doing the chicken dance to test his range of arm motion is definitely reduced. This makes me annoyed because I don't know how to fix it and I decided I had had enough. I don't know where the problem exactly is and of course neither does he. But then he tried on a regular jacket and he has the SAME amount of motion room so really it's his chicken dance not the sleeve. I tried to explain to him, he doesn't do sports in his suits why would he do sports and massive amounts of arm waving in this? Imperial officers mostly stand around looking cool with their arms behind their backs. This led to an argument which led to him banging pots around in the kitchen loudly and me looking online for solutions. Instead I took solace of some VERY badly made imperial officer uniforms and took on renewed hope that I can do this better, if I try hard enough.  Over a decent glass of wine and a nice supper we called a truce and discussed how to proceed.

 So we'll stick with the 1st pattern and the  2nd try and I will try to fux about with the sleeve pattern some more to get it to set in properly and make some more room for his shoulder upper arm.

Then the fun begins because then I need to figure out the side pockets and the front panel and the skirt bits. I'm pretty sure that once I get through this learning curve I will have a much better understanding of how this works but really at the moment all I want to do is burn everything and cry.

Instead we watched a lot of TV and a dear friend sent me a gift certificate for books ( unrelated to the sewing problem)

I have some photos of the problems but I'll upload later. Right now I want to go to bed and sleep off the frustration and maybe take a new look at it tomorrow.

Saturday, 28 April 2012


Sleeves are causing me no end of headaches.

more to come.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Making an Imperial Officer Uniform part 4

Today I bit the bullet and cut the real fabric. Since we actually got the basic body pattern done it was time to take it to that next step. ( EEP!!) This fabric has a grain and a slight pattern as well as a right side and a wrong side so cutting it out means taking care to get it right. It's a green cotton twill for a "green" officer uniform"
The basic pattern laid out so you can see what the pieces look like.
The front ( inside out) the actual right side is a lighter colour. The white thread is a tacked seam only. It will be replaced by the right colour of thread later once we get the fitting done for the sleeves and the rank cylinder pockets-.
view from the side.
View from the back. There is some slight puckering but that's more due to the issues I had fitting the side part with the back princess line. It's curved shape means the seam has to be eased in and that will take some practice on my part.
side, the other.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Making an Imperial Officer's Uniform part 3

we tried to cut and adjust but in some places there was just TOO much seam allowance and in others not enough.
the pattern was just far too broad across his upper back. It may be that the medium size would have worked better as this is an American pattern the sizes are geared differently but honestly it was designed for a very oddly shaped man.
we tried to adjust and cut the 1st draft but it was just not working.
so we started from scratch and quite literally drew the pattern ON marcus. 
better fit across the shoulders and at the side
the back
we then began the process of actually fitting the back seams
I was concerned that the princess seams were too low down so we raised them slightly but after taking a LONG look on line for the BACKS of the imperial uniforms both from the movie and fan made it seems that seams are ALL over the place.
getting the shoulders right
way better.
much better fit, it is the right side ( on the picture not the person) that will become the pattern for the next step.

Making an Imperial Officer Uniform part 2

So this is the really awful 1st draft.
too short and too wide. ( the pattern not the husband)
other side
the back
see...too large even for a large.
the shoulder seams sloped backwards
again the shoulder seams were just wrong.

Making an Imperial Officer Uniform.

So this is my journey into the dark side of WTF sewing.About 2 years ago I promised the love of my life I would make him an imperial officer. I did hours upon hours of research. Forums, pictures, blogs and after this I come to the single conclusion no one has the answers. Lucas Arts hasn't issued an official pattern so we struggle in the dark hoping to get it right. I am not a seamstress. I know how to sew but my talents in this area are rudimentary. So as one can imagine tailoring a jacket is not something that comes easily to me.

Almost every single source said that the basic pattern shape comes from this pattern here. The McCalls Civil War officer uniform. It's hard to get in Germany so as one can imagine I jumped through some hoops to buy this.

Marcus ( the husband guinea pig)  is a fairly tall, decently shaped guy so after measuring I went with the pattern's L size. I cut a paper pattern copy then we used a cheap cotton muslin to cut a useable pattern.

This is the pattern everyone suggests we use to make the Imperial Outfit.

This is what it looks like.On the duct tape dummy as you can see it's HUGE across the shoulders but more slender around the body.
as you can see it is quite large across the shoulders. The duct tape dummy is body accurate for my husband.
side view
the back side. As you can see it's really large.
back view.

left side view
So as you can see from these two views the shoulder seams are off completely and the arm holes are far too big.  My friend J who has been helping me and who knows a whole lot more about what she is doing, we cut the pattern out and then I tacked it together. When I tried it on Marcus it was far too big and I had no idea how to fix it so it sat for a while.

Yesterday J came over to continue the process and  we discovered after trying to figure out how to fix this awful pattern that the best idea was to scrap it and draft a pattern from scratch so we draped the muslin over Marcus and drew the pattern out ON him and started all over again. What I learned from this is that it's actually easier to create one's own pattern than try to fix an existing one especially when the existing one has apparently been drafted to fit mutants.

more to come...