Make, Jane, make!: DIY Hallowe'en: Knight's Costume/Tunic Tutorial


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Thursday, October 18, 2012

DIY Hallowe'en: Knight's Costume/Tunic Tutorial

halloween sword shield tunic helmet

Lucky me! I went to Fabricland and a roll of crushed blue velvet was on sale. None of the other colours or styles were... so I'm not sure if I was the beneficiary of a lucky mistake. In any case, I'll take it because it was so perfect for my little knights' tunics.

I made two tunics, one for my 4 (almost 5 year old) and one for my two year old. For each tunic, you'll need to cut out one long rectangle of your tunic fabric (I used crushed velvet) and one of some kind of lining fabric (I used flannel for additional warmth).

(1) Fold your fabric in half so that the shoulder of your tunic is at the fold and the sides run parallel to the selvages. (This is so that the stretch of the fabric runs across, rather than up and down on the tunic). Place a sweatshirt that fits your child well on the fabric (shoulders on the fold) and use the width as a guideline to trace a long rectangle that is slightly longer than the sweatshirt.

For my 5 year old: 16" on fold x 26.5" (= 16" x 53" rectangle when unfolded)
For my 2 year old: 15" on fold x 22" (= 15" x 44" rectangle when unfolded)

(2) On the lining fabric, trace around the front and back necklines and cut out. Try the fit out on your child. The neckline should be really snug because part of the it will become a seam allowance.

Back neckline traced and cut. Front neckline to be cut.
Both front and back neckline cut.

(3) Open up your fabrics and lay your lining fabric on top of your main fabric, right sides together. Using the opening in your lining as a guide, cut a matching neckline/opening into the main fabric.

(4) Pin the neckline and sew together using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

(5) Turn your tunic right side out and decide how you would like to embellish it. 

(6) Attach your knight's crest/embellishments. I sewed some felt pieces together to create the dragon crest for our tunics. You could also glue/iron on something of your own design. 

When I sewed the crest onto our tunics, I sewed through both the main fabric and the backing fabric to give the front of the garment a bit more stiffness. If you chose a very thick fabric for you tunic, you may  want to attach the crest to the main fabric only.

(7) Cut a 4-inch slit into the bottom centre of your tunic front and back. The slit can be longer or shorter, according to your design. I used four inches because our crest is quite large and I didn't want to interfere with it and also because I wanted to be able to bind the larger tunic with a single 4.5-yard package of blanket binding.

(8)  Starting at the left side of the front slit, pin and bind the lefthand-side edges of your tunic together using a coordinating blanket binding. (Sorry, forgot to take pictures of this!) Repeat on the right side, starting at the right side of the front slit.  Here's a good tutorial for using blanket binding and mitring the corners, if you're unsure. 

(9) Stand back and admire your work before your thankless kids run off with your creations. Cue the violins for the lament of a poor, neglected mother :.( 

Put it all together with:
and the Powerhouse Museum's Helmet
(p.s. the belt is a piece of stretchy cord repurposed from a clothing store shopping bag, Sporting Life to be exact)

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