Jedi robe for my little Padawan - tutorial

My little guy has been asking for a Jedi robe for a while now.  I looked around online and found some great tutorials but I wanted something in between the simplistic kiddie ones and uber-complex fanboy ones.

I got some really cheap brown polyester fabric on sale at Fabricland - 3 yards of it at $1.99 a yard.

I laid it down with the fold across the width at the top and had the Padawan lie down with his head off the folded edge. Then I drew the basic outline on one side. I made the width to the end of the sleeves go the full width as I wanted to add wide hems and a fold along the shoulders. (I forgot to take a picture of this step - here is the cut out piece.) Make the body wide as you need extra for the hem of the front opening and to make some folds and tucks - more on those later.

Then I folded the fabric lengthwise and cut along the lines - this way both sides were the same with no measuring needed.  I also cut right up the front.

I started sewing with the side seams. Then I hemmed the front open edge with a 1 1/4" hem. My stitch line was about 1/4" from the edge of the fabric.

Next, on the front, I folded a little fold over edge to make it look like that front hem was an attached strip.  I folded it so that the extra bit of seam allowance would be the folded part - I could just feel along to tuck the barbican under that seam allowance. That made the folded over bit nice and firm.
I sewed along just to the left of my original stitches and tucked in just enough to get caught in the stitching. Try to feel along underneath to be sure the fold goes to about where the first stitch line is.

Now for the shoulder tuck which makes the robe look almost like 2 parts. Your Padawan has to try on the robe for this step so you can figure out where the shoulders are. Make a nice deep tuck.

While your wiggly worm of a Padawan is doing try ons, make your other measurements. Add in the back tucks to bring in the width of the back.

Mark the length of the sleeves - pin where the wrist is. We'll sort out the exact seam later.

Eek! You can see the burn mark on my polar fleece shirt!

Then the length. Pin where you want it to end up. Pin all the way around.

It will be a very deep seam allowance so don't cut yet.

Back to the sewing machine.

I started with the back darts. Sew along the dart for a few inches and do the same for the other one. Make sure each dart faces outwards. Try to make yours more centered than mine.

For the shoulder seams, I just made a short stitch across the top of the shoulder. The the fold will fall into place as it hangs, but will not take away from the width at the bottom as it is only attached at the top. There was still a bit of the fold visible for a guide.

The sleeves take a bit of thought.  I have one measurement, but I need a nice deep hem and a bit longer at the bottom. I also want it a bit longer than the wrists so I will adjust the first measurement. See where my line starts compared to the pin.

I chalked a line for where I want it to end up and another 2 1/2" one for the hem - that was all the length I had to work with.

Now I cut along that outer line. Then I folded the robe over to copy that to the other side. Match up at armpits and the bottom corner. Cut away the excess.

Fold back to the other chalk mark and transfer the chalk mark to the other sleeve.

Sew that hem up and the sleeves are done. The bottom points are fiddly. Start near the corner with the excess to the back. When you come back around to it, cut that flap off and tuck in the edges.

On to the bottom hem. I wanted it to be 4" deep. I marked off all around using the pins as a guide. 

Cut off the excess. Pin up to your pins. Start at each front edge and move towards the back as you will have to make small folds to the inside due to the angle. Try to line up your side seams. Pin a bit from one side, the the other, alternating so it is even.

Sew that hem up and the main robe is done.

The hood is next.

Measure the neck part - it is all the raw edges.

This one was 15". Cut that in half. Then I added another 3" for the hem and 2" for the back seam allowance. That gives me 12.5" for the neck measurement. Add 2" to that measurement for the front edge. Here is my diagram.

Cut that out of your fabric, with a fold at the top.

Sew the back seam. Then hem the front opening. To make this look nice, first sew a tiny hem to hide the raw edges.

Then sew your 1 1/4" hem.

Attach the hood to the robe, right sides together. The hood will still be a bit bigger, so start pinning each end first, then the centre. Make pleats closer to the back.

Sew the hood on.

To cover that seam allowance (as it will show),  make a strip to go over it. Cut out a strip,1 1/2" longer than your neck seam and 3 1/2" wide.

Hem the short ends with a 3/4" seam allowance. Then sew it along the length, right sides together.

Flip it right side out. I use a bamboo stick. I must invest one day in a tool that helps with this.

Press flat with the seam in the centre. 

Cut your robe and hood seam allowance to 1/4" and sew this strip over it, sewing close along each edge.

And you're done! I gave my Padawan a simple cream fleece vest and cream pants to go with his new robe.  The hood is just right - deep enough to hide his face a bit if he needs to be surreptitious, and drape nicely in the back when back to uncover his face.


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