Saturday, May 1, 2010

Snowtrooper: Third step (Part 1)

These posts might make you think that the construction of the Snowtrooper costume was well planned ahead. But really, it wasn't. I'm just trying to make some sense to it dividing the process in a reasonable manner. It wouldn't be pleasing to read if I had described it as it really was. Maniac.

Let presume that all the ground work is done. Huge amount of references have been collected, material purchases has been done, all the patterns have been drawn and work spaces have been prepared. It’s time to start!

Third step: Production- Soft components

I started from the shoes. The base shoes were fake-Crocs we had bought for 5 euros per pair from a local supermarket. Yoki detached the back straps, because we had no need for them. I made the patterns using scrap fabric wearing the base shoe, like making a shoe cover. This is the idea behind shoe covers by Sarcasm-hime. To make the pattern work, it is recommendable to make a trial version and try it on before cutting it out from the real fabric. Also during the process it doesn’t take too much effort to try the cover on with the base shoe just in case. You might have sewn too similar pieces together and the cover just doesn’t fit on the base. Happened.

Preparing the Crocs.

Based on the references, I chose to do the seams on front and back. Before I started sewing, I authorized Yoki to attach backcloth for each cover piece, while I hot-glued sheet cotton over the top of the sandals to cover the holes and to make them little warmer to use in the wintertime. I sew the shoe covers and linings for clean look. I cut openings on the curve seams to make them set better. To imitate the look of real Mukluk’s I topstitched the seams. This also makes the seams more durable.

Inside of the shoe.

In the back of the shoe, I sew heel tags from fiber fabric for the look, but also to make the shoes sturdy to use, because there was only a sandal as the base. I also kept durability in mind. In our experience, the heel is usually the first to suffer. Because the design for the shoes is loose and the base is a sandal they needed some attachment. We measured rubber band around our ankles and sew them on the sandals to prevent them from falling. Before I attached the cover to the base, I sew on three straps with Velcro for each cover and stitched round shapes on the tip of the shoes.

Complete shoes.

I attached the cover to the shoe with hot glue. It worked with the materials, but I don't recommend hot glue for fake leather or leather covers and base shoes. They tear easily. After the covers was attached I cut all the excessive seam allowance I had left on the bottom of the cover. I glued strips of craft foam around the base of the shoes for finished look. The hollows which were left between the foam band and the sandal I filled with hot glue. At the time I couldn't think of any other filling material which would be easy to apply in small gaps and which would be somewhat flexible. Yoki painted flat studs with metal grey miniature for the details on the back of the shoes. Note to self: buy latex paint for the soles, because spray paint will flake.

Pouches I chose to do mirrored. Some people make them identical.

Next I moved to the clothing made from flannel. In other words everything, pants not included. For the pouches I used pattern from The Definitive How To - Snowtrooper. For finished look lining was added. In the movie the gloves was originally gardening gloves, but because I like to do everything myself, I made them. Pattern I used can be found from here. I had to enlarge it about 5%, because the proto made from the original pattern was quite tight and I worked with woven cloth. Lastly, I added trimming from tricot.

Gloves with the armor plates.

The jacket was relative easy to sew. Structures were easy to accomplish, even if the corners on the front took some thinking. I seem to forget how to make strict corners, even if I have done them repeatedly in my projects. Velcro attachment I sewed in the interface of the topmost flap so that the stitches would not be visible on the bodice. For the lining I used white batiste and flannel on the hem part. I wanted it to look and feel little heavier that what it would have been with batiste and of course, because the inside of the hem is rather visible. Batiste would have looked ridiculous. I added shoulder pads for build look between the bodice and interface.

Velcro attachment.

I topstitched all the borders of the jackets few millimeters from the edge. Based on the references, I topstitched the hem about centimeter from the edge. Because there was some added looseness on the lining of the top part of the jacket, I added reinforcement stitches on the waist seam to prevent the hems flannel lining "dropping and sagging". Belt loops I added after we had our armor parts ready for right alignment.

Front view of the duster.

Back view of the duster all wrinkly.

The pants I made full length. I sew the zipper on the side of the pants for comfort. I didn't want add it under the crotch piece of the armor for obvious reasons. I thought about adding half lining on the pants, but in the end I didn't find them necessary.

Jabba approves!

I will gladly give more detailed information about making of the clothes, their structures and patterns if there's interest.

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