There are many things families can do together. They can eat together, play together, work together, think together, laugh together, shop together, walk together, study together, and pray together. I had a wonderful experience during the last three, I’d like to share with you. It was a family sewing together project, that turned into two family sewing projects.
Three weeks ago, my younger daughter, Mollie wrote me an email asking me if I thought I could make Jedi Robes from Star Wars by George Lucas for my grandsons’ Luke and Wyatt’s birthday party. She sent me the following link:
I told her I didn’t understand how that one worked.
I studied it. I didn’t quite understand how it looked when it was finished. The sleeves were not set in sleeves. They should be easy to do. I didn’t think they would need a four inch hem like it said in this link. That is really a deep hem.
On there the lady said there was no shoulder hem, I guess that’s right because you’re sewing it at the bottom of the sleeves. The bottom of the sleeves might be at the selvage edge – meaning it won’t unravel.
You can mark on the pattern where you need to cut for each robe.
Steps: 1. You make the robe.
Steps: 2. Then you make the hood and attach it.
I thought, “It’ll be fun once we figure out how to make one. A little too big is not bad. A little too small is not good. Goldilocks size is great! It’ll be just right.”
Then Mollie sent me two other links.
After I read the 2nd link, I had a vision in my head of how to make the robes. I knew that I could do it. For simplicity and time in sewing, I decided not to do the vee-neck criss-cross items called a tunic, or a belt. Temperatures here in the Charlotte, NC area might get to 96 degrees and wouldn’t be too comfortable. Plus I didn’t like the tan color of the ones in link 1. I didn’t think it looked stylish. Mollie told me to tell her what materials to buy and her husband, Mark would buy them. Then all four of them would come over and help me make them. That was exciting to me. I’ve love having family projects where everyone does their part.
I printed out link 2. I cut out what I thought the sleeve would look like slanted as it was in the picture. It turned out a little less than desirable on my grandson, Luke’s robe, so I changed it to be squared off at a right angle. This is simpler to cut out and simpler to sew. Hurray for simplicity.
Measurements needed to sew the Jedi Robe.
We used 45 inch wide fabric. It was a cotton-polyester blend.
1 spool of matching thread for each three robes you’re making.
6 inch paper plate and/or 9 inch paper plate (depending upon the length from neck to wrist) – no paper plates trace a saucer or regular plate then cut around at diameter measurement you need.
If you’re doing adult robes you might have to use 60 inch wider fabric or sew on additional cloth for the bottom part of the sleeve, or use shorter sleeves. You’ll need the following measurements:
1. The length in inches from the middle of the neck to the wrist.
2. The length in inches from the top of the shoulder to the ankle.
|Middle of Neck to Wrist Length in Inches||Distance from middle to edge of robe part||Paper Plate folded in half||Hood Squared|
|24-25-26 (need 60 inch wide material or extra material to add insert to extend sleeves)||16 inches||9 inch||18 inches wide x 32 inches long|
|21-22-23||14 inches||8 inch||16 inches wide x 32 inches long|
|19-20-21||12 inches||7 inch||14 inches wide x 28 inches long|
|16-17-18||10 inches||6 inch||12 inches wide x 24 inches long|
|13-14-15||8 inches||4 inch||8 inches wide x 16 inches long|
Make Your Pattern
I took the special advertising section of the newspaper which is the top half of a whole newspaper page with the fold in it to use to cut out my pattern to use as a guide. It was approximately 11 1/2 inches long x 23 inches wide opened up. I folded it over on the left hand side at the point of length from the middle of the neck to the wrist.
Purchase as many inches long as the length from the top of the shoulder to the ankles. Plus the number of inches wide you need for the hood. Open Plus the number of inches wide, if you need additional sleeve length.
length of robe + number of inches for hood + (if necessary) extra material for additional sleeve length
1. Open the material wide. Now fold it down until you have the length needed from the top of the shoulders to the top of the ankle. It will have a fold at the top. You will have two layers of cloth. Fold your pattern at the left hand side so that the length from there to the right side of the pattern equals the length from the center of crease to the right edge of the pattern. Match the fold in the newspaper with the crease in the material.
2. Cut all the way across at the bottom at the length you need for the robe. Put the extra material to the side so you won’t cut it.
3. Pin the pattern for the sleeve onto the material at the center crease and at the top and bottom of the pattern.
4. Cut the material around the pattern for the sleeve.
5. At the narrower part at the bottom of the half-page pattern, cut straight down to the bottom of the material. This will be the side of the robe.
6. At the folded side, put paper plate cut to the width you need, folded in half and then in half again. Mark the part where you want it to line up with the crease at the front of the robe. Cut around the edge of the plate. You will end up with a half-moon of material cut out for the neck.
7. Cut the material down the center crease. This will be the opening of the robe.
Prepare Sewing Machine:
1. Put appropriate size needle in it.
2. Put thread on bobbin.
3. Thread needle as directed.
4. Make sure your sewing machine has a clear path around it. Make sure it is not blocking doorways.
1. Put outside edges together (Sew basic stitch about 1/2 inch from edge. Usually on the bolt, the outside of the fabric is what you see. The other side is the lighter side. Sew from the outer edge of the right sleeve, curve around the part where you’ll go from the sleeve to the side of the robe. Then sew the rest of the side of the robe down to the bottom. Now sew the left sleeve and down the left side of the robe.
2. If your sleeves are not on the selvage edge, fold it over about 1/8 of an inch and pin it down. Then sew a zig-zag stitch to catch it at a fourth of an inch deep . Sew it on the inside of the sleeve, so that the pretty stitch shows up on the outside.
3. Fold under the edge of the material about 1/8 inch and pin it down 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the top left hand side down and then across the hem of the robe. Sew a zig-zag stitch so it catches the material where you pinned it. Sew straight down to the edge. Sew straight across at the hem line. Now sew the other side the same way.
4. Fold the hood material in half. Wrong side out. Put the folded edge in front of you. Pin the right side together. Stitch a regular stitch about 1/2 inch from the edge. This will be the back seam of the hood. (Frankly, I mixed it up and had some with the seam at the top of the hood, and they turned out okay.)
5. Open the hood at the left side of the fold. Turn the edge in 1/8 inch and sew a zig-zag stitch to hem it.
6. Now on the bottom side of the hood, open it up wide. Stitch a wide loose stitch about 1/4 inch from the edge. Don’t knot the ends of the threads. You’re going to pull one of the threads that will cause it to gather the hood into little folds.
7. Now you’re ready to attach the hood to the robe. Pin the hood to the robe. Pulling the material to fit. Then sew it a little inside the basting wide stitch line. Keep material straight. Check to make certain you’re not catching part of the sleeve you don’t want sewn in your stitches.
8. Celebrate. Dance around. Try it on for size. You have completed the Jedi Robe.
It turned out that Mark bought the material and helped me cut out the first robe which was for Luke. Then I sewed it together. Luke and Wyatt helped me by cutting threads and by giving me straight pins. Mollie sewed three robes. I made the pattern and cut out all of them. I sewed the other six. My husband, Carl was my personal cheerleader encouraging me and Mollie, Mark, Luke, and Wyatt in the project.
Princess Leia Ponchos
Then my older daughter, Lorrie wrote asking what I thought of Ponchos for my granddaughters, Kylie and Kirstyn for the party. I hadn’t even finished the Jedi Robes.
I looked at the pictures. I said, “Yes, I think I can make them.” God is so good to me. I had a plastic poncho I could use to make the pattern in my mind. They wouldn’t need sleeves, just a hole in the material and a hem on the sleeve part, that would go far enough down on the sides to the waist, so they could add a belt if they wanted.
The poncho I had wasn’t rounded. I thought that would make it easier. A rectangular box shape. I taught kindergarten, I could do box shapes.
Lorrie asked me how much material I’d need. I said two yards…but that didn’t include hoods which they later decided that Princess Leia had and they wanted to have hoods, too.
Here’s what I did.
Lorrie bought two yards of camouflage material. This material took a larger sewing machine needle.
The poncho didn’t go down to the wrists. It went to about an inch below the elbow. I figured that 45 inch material would work. Lorrie bought two yards of blue/green material for Kylie, and two yards of a green material for Kirstyn. I went to Lorrie’s to pick up the material and to measure Kirstyn the next day. Then I went and bought 14 inches more of material for each for their hoods. I also bought thread to match each kind of material.
Directions for the Princess Leia Poncho:
1. Cut out the 7 inch paper plate neck which made the 14 inches for the hood.
2. Pin across where the armhole needs to stop and the side of the poncho begins.
3. Cut down the front crease about 4 inches to make a vee-neckline, so that the hood will look better. Then cut out a piece of fabric about 2 inches wide 12 inches long for a facing. I sewed a regular stitch. I pulled it tight on the right side at the stitch line, then I zig-zag stitched it down and around the facing on the inside of the poncho.
4. Stitch the right side together from the line where the armhole stops to the bottom of the material. Put right sides together and sew it on the wrong side about 1/2 inch from the edge.
5. Fold over the edge of the right armhole. Pin it like a hem. Zig-zag stitch all around it meets the side stitching.
6. Stitch the left side together from the line where the armhole stops to the bottom of the material. Put right sides together and sew it on the wrong side about 1/2 inch from the edge.
7. Fold over the edge of the left armhole material. Pin it. Zig-zag stitch hem it all around until you get to the side stitching.
8. Fold over the edge of the bottom hem. Pin it. Zig-zag stitch hem it all across the bottom.
9. Fold the hood material in half. Wrong side out. Put the folded edge in front of you. Pin the right side together. Stitch a regular stitch about 1/2 inch from the edge. This will be the back seam of the hood. (Frankly, I mixed it up and had robes with the seam at the top of the hood, and they turned out okay.) Both Kylie’s and Kirstyn’s hoods had the seams at the top.
10. Open the hood at the left side of the fold. Turn the edge in 1/8 inch and sew a zig-zag stitch to hem it.
11. Now on the bottom side of the hood, open it up wide. Stitch a wide loose stitch about 1/4 inch from the edge. Don’t knot the ends of the threads. You’re going to pull one of the threads that will cause it to gather the hood into little folds, so that it will fit.
12. Now you’re ready to attach the hood to the robe. Pin the hood to the robe. Pulling the material to fit. Then sew it a little inside the basting wide stitch line. Keep the material straight. Check to make certain you’re not catching part of the sleeve you don’t want sewn in your stitches.
13. Celebrate. Dance around. Try it on for size. You have completed the Princess Leia Poncho with a hood.
Lorrie bought the material. Kylie and Kirstyn helped by not arguing over who was going to get which material. They decided I could choose. They also agreed to stand and be measured nicely. They invited me to supper. Kirk, Kylie, and Kirstyn were excited that I had Kirstyn’s poncho finished. Hurray. Lorrie called to encourage me, too.
I must admit that we had a few problems with the sewing machine. However, we got them all figured out. One time when I sewed a hood on the wrong side, Mollie was sweet enough to pull out the stitches with a seam ripper. That was a big help. When we were working together, we encouraged each other. When my daughters weren’t there, they called to check on me to find out how things were going. It was fun, especially when I could see the clear image of the completed 9 Jedi Robes and the Princess Leia Ponchos in my mind. Then I instilled a winning spirit in Mollie and me to get it done. We were glad the sewing machine cooperated.The sewing machine, our sewing skills, and our faith that we could do it took us successfully to the finish line. Carl continued to encourage me every day until both projects were finished. He took pictures of me modeling Kylie and Kirstyn’s robes for me. Thank you, Carl, Mollie, Mark, Luke, Wyatt, Lorrie, Kirk, Kylie, and Kirstyn.
I am very grateful for my family. They give me life.
Do something to celebrate your family!
Eat together, play together, work together, think together, laugh together, shop together, walk together, study together, pray together.
Joan Y. Edwards
Thanks for reading my blog. Good luck with your sewing projects. If you use my ideas to create a Jedi robe or Princess Leia poncho costume, I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below. If there is a part that you would like more detailed directions, let me know.
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