Sunday, September 16, 2012

Faramir Ranger Outfit Part 1

I've learned a lot about sewing through leather. And drafting a pattern on someone not myself :)

This post will be edited with pictures and a lot more instructions to come.

  • Overall nice fit
  • don't overdo it on the 'flare' it becomes skirt like, and don't overcompensate by cutting flare out of the front opening (keep the front opening straight seamed) and don't make it too long (I think a tiny bit shorter than Faramir's in the movie, so just below knee length, looks best. Unless this garment was made for a which case...)
  • mark the ties with a tape measure BEFORE sewing anything on...
  • line the neck so it stays on, or put a little tie or clasp in it...
  • don't make the tie covers too big, and best to make them out of the same material as the overtunic. Possibly respace them or put on 4....


  • -Don't wash cut canvas. You will lose 1/4 inch atleast all around. Wash/dye canvas BEFORE cutting it out. 
  • -Dye things longer than you think. It will always look MUCH darker when its wet. Also, wash right after in COLD water, not hot.-
  • Sewing leather isn't so bad, if its thin, coat-type leather. Use the good needle (cannot be emphasized enough. Often can't tell which is the good needle without testing it. Take good care of your good needle and only poke through leather one hole at a time, in the end much faster...) Maintain good tension so as much of your force is perpendicular to the leather as possible (trying to force it through 2 places may not in the long run save time) Butter helps :) A good needle helps. Thimbles help. Do hard work on a table and brace against the table. Running stitches wrinkle later, so do running stitches with a back stitch every now and again, and another set of running stitches between those.
  • Good idea 1,  lining the canvas with the tarp material really helped give it  more body than canvas. Ideally this part would be leather too...
  • Good idea 2, alter the  strip a little at the shoulder, to make thicker, so it emphasizes the shouler, because that looks cool...
  • Good idea 3, making the rings out of hangers worked SO WELL.

Overall nice pattern, with alterations.
  • Cut Back narrower, (possibly front a tad narrower??) so more room for side panels with the lacing
  • Cut the shoulders much wider at the top (atleast 2" wider than my first draft) so they stand out nicely, and make almost "cap sleeve" look with the almost straight cut inset.
  • I ended up narrowing the leather hauberk inset a little, esp at the top so its not quite as tapered. I realized the tapered look comes more from the gap (the inset is almost straight)  *put this alteration onto the pattern*
  • possibly shorten the entire thing by an inch or two, to be more like Faramir's in the movie.
  • possibly make the leather strips a tad thicker, because they look cool.
  • possibly make the bottom angle of the inset steeper V, to be more like Faramir's in the movie.
  • possibly paint the rings to look more brass like...

After experimenting with more economical cuts (using squares and rectangles, came to the conclusion Faramir's half circle cloak is still way cooler. And its not as un-historical as I thought at first, as some medieval examples show (not so stagey, even though its somewhat wasteful on the cutting...perhaps they did other things with the scraps...Also, I think I might piece it, but still do the half circle shape. SO 2 1/2 yards is not enough. I'm just going to splurge and get 4 yards next time I come across good olive green cloak fabric. The hood being a rectangle with enough room to come out at least 2" beyond the face worked well (wayyy better then the disastrous half circle hood--too much fabric to gather, and it still ended up being to tight on the top with too much fabric in other places. And Micah felt like it was a woman's hood.)  Also, the rectangular hood needs to be self lined, or perhaps just hemmed so the edge is soft, like in this picture

probably a square folded over to a rectangle, with a bit of extra room above the head so it doesn't pull down. I love how his hood drapes, and how it comes out at least 2" beyond his face.

 pictures from here

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