Argy, an ardent Star Wars fan, was thrilled to receive a birthday party invitation. The dress code was to be Jedi robes. Master 5 was beside himself with excitement and began counting down the days.
Meanwhile I surveyed our Jedi kit. Whilst we seemed to be blessed with a surfeit of lightsabers, there was nary a robe to be seen. So I turned to the font of all knowledge (Google) for advice. I felt sure there might be a tutorial or two showing how to construct such a robe.
Indeed there was.
But as I waded through the search results, I began to feel as if I had entered a parallel universe. Rather than finding simple instructions for making Jedi robes, I started to find passionate essays arguing fabric selection and seam placement.
For example, its seems that no Jedi worth their telekinetic powers would be caught dead in polyester. Not even a poly-blend, for more your wash-and-wear Jedi. No siree, apparently its natural fibres or nothing. And don't get me started on the two-piece sleeve. Apparently seams are a monumental fashion faux pas. Its enough to have you declared padawan non grata.
I realised as I kept reading that there are people out there, bless them, that think they are actual Jedi Knights. At this point, I'm afraid I ran screaming for the reassurance of a commercial pattern book.
And so it was, that I ended up finding McCalls 3789 - a costume pattern for a hat, tunic and robe. In a stroke of legal genius (and clever avoidance of trademark infrigement), it was described in the pattern book as Lord of the Stars. Feeling confident in my ability to tell my Boba Fett from my Bilbo Baggins, I snapped it up.
Of course I almost fainted when I examined the envelope and realised that a hooded robe would need nearly 7 yards of fabric. Are you kidding? For a costume? For a 5 year old?
Warning: if there are any real Jedi Knights reading, please avert your eyes now.
I made an executive decision that loose-fitting Jedi robes were very 1980. All that excess fabric should have gone out with shoulder pads, leg-o-mutton sleeves and leg warmers. So, I
I cobbled together various pieces of Views B (robe) and C (tunic) and effectively used about half the fabric requirement. There were a few bits of redrafting to do, including a bit of lengthening and spreading, but all in all it went remarkably well.
Pivotal to the success of course, was that old dressmaking rule: always include 8" of fitting ease to allow for the wielding of a lightsaber.