Jedi robes, or "habit"

 A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, lived a Jedi named Thareen Penumbra...

Jedi Habit: begun January 2006, finished July 2006, reworked November-December 2006.

Site updated 4/7/2007

UPDATE: I was accepted into the Rebel Legion with this costume this February, in time for some appearances at the California ScienCenter as part of the festivities surrounding the Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination exhibit.

The undertunic is DONE. Woot. I got a second sacrificial copy of McCall's 4247. I cut the fabric at Woodbury. So much nicer to cut fabric on big tables with lots of room to spread out instead of trying to do it in an apartment.


I first did the garment as the instructions in the pattern package indicated. Here's the body unit.

Here's the garment with sleeves. The only thing I didn't do was the ties. I'm going to add some velcro to help putting the costume on correctly.

Look at how nice the fabrics look together.

Dig how the inner tunic and outer tunic's fabrics contrast. Beautiful.

However, it became clear that the neck line wasn't going to work. Time to add a Kimono collar.

Once I did, it looked just right.

Here's what a Kataginu looks like. This was the inspiration for the tabard on my Jedi robes. It's the tabard-like garment on top of the Kimono top in this outfit. The stiffness comes from lots and lots of starch. The bottom is a Hakama, a skirt like garment. This outfit might be familiar...this is what the Samurai wore during the Edo period, and it's still formalwear for Japanese men.

Here is a link to the Chanchanko/Tabard/Kataginu garment sketch. It's primitive. But it's the genuine article.

This is the outer tunic, also done with Simplicity pattern 5840. This is not silk or acetate satin but cotton sateen. I found the fabric at FIDM's Scholarship Store. They estimated there was 5 yards of the fabric, 44" wide. Turns out I have more like 10 yards of this gorgeous stuff, all for about $0.50/yard. ($1/yard for 5 yards, and then I found out I actually had 10 yards.) I made out like a bandit. It's sort of a golden khaki. It reminds me of Indian, Pakistani and Afghani clothing. FIDM's scholarship store is worth checking out if you live in LA and you want to get into Cosplay.

Sateen gets its sheen from a process called Mercerization. Most thread is shiny because the cotton is Mercerized before spinning into thread. The process, as it is described in the Wikipedia article, sounds really ugly and ecologically unsound. But the results are pretty spiffy.

The first part of the outfit was my outer robe, which I started at Anime Los Angeles 2, January 2006. The fabric used in the Prequel Trilogy for Jedi and Sith outer robes is wool. However, wool is expensive, and it's also quite warm. Not bad for January in Los Angeles, but really not advisable for July in San Diego or August in LA. So I got 11 yards of brown cotton twill, the kind most commonly used for dress shirts. I was actually looking for brown denim, but this turned out OK.

The only things one could do at the costuming workshop I attended were measuring and cutting. I don't blame Colleen Crosby and her buddies for cutting things off at that point: the outer robe is the most time-consuming part of this project.

I have been meaning to scan the handout I was given at the workshop but I haven't had the chance. What's more, I think I probably should get permission from the folks who conducted the workshop to distribute the handout. However, it is a lot like the instructions on the Padawan's Guide website. Pay attention to the drawings by WilliQueen...they are pretty darn accurate.

The other workshop at Anime Los Angeles was a lightsabre making workshop. With the permission of Obi-Shawn Crosby, I have distilled the workshop down into a tutorial video and a static HTML tutorial. The tutorial video is also available as an 28MB low-res QuickTime from Archive.Org. The handout from the workshop is linked from the static tutorial. You will see the resulting lightsabres modeled with the costume. I have actually redone my sabres so a version 2 of the tutorial is coming. It might not be here until Fall 2006 semester ends, but it is coming.

My lightsabre belt is from eBay seller Pan-In-The-Box. He's this guy from Singapore who is a fan of Sci-Fi movies, anime and video games. He has apparently also taken advantage of the region's garment crafters to make replicas of props and garments at a reasonable cost. Even though you are buying from a guy in Singapore you will get your stuff. Just give him time.

Oh yeah, I know full well that my belt is black. 1.) I bought black to be different. 2.) I bought black to go with my existing belt pouches, including the one I use with my digital camera. Sunrider Base, Rebel Legion accepted my costume in spite of the black belt. The character I'm portraying, one which has her origins in Traveller gaming sessions a couple of decades (!) ago, kind of skates the edge of being a "grey Jedi." And I have a bit of back story to account for her belt: it's a trophy taken from a Sith wannabe she defeated.

The head scarf is something I decided was necessary due to the facts of life with regard to cons. It gets HOT on the con floor. You will sweat, regardless of how good the convention center's air conditioning is. And there is precedent for a female Jedi wearing a do-rag: Luminaria Unduli wears both a hooded cloak (although not in this statuette) and a headdress.

The scarf is my design: the multi-colored accent around the head is a braid made with scraps from making other garments. And the tabard is another creation of mine.

The Simplicity patterns are history. Say goodnight, Gracie. Bye bye. I don't know if Lucasfilm did this or whether Simplicity just decided to discontinue it on their own. However, they are discontinued. For those who have a copy, congratulations, you have a collectors' item. For others, it should pop up on eBay.

OK, I've discussed things enough: here's the finished product. I will replacing these older pics with newer and better ones soon.

Here's the picture that got me into Rebel Legion.

Here's the costume without the outer robe:

Notice I fixed the Outer Tunic length problem. I'm happy with the whole ensemble now.

Here's me with my Rebel Legion local base. We have some guests in this pic as well but this is the whole group. Note that our territory extends from San Luis Obispo to the Mexican Border. Sunrider Base REPRESENT!!!

This was taken 11/2/2006

Here are some more shots from that Rebel Legion event, on Fotki.

Here's another Fotki gallery, from another Rebel Legion event two days later.

This is what the costume looked like on 7/11/2006:

Up against the wall, Jedi scum!