Thursday, 15 May 2014

A LARP Costume (Simplicity 2172)

So, as a few of you may know, one of my main hobbies is LARP which stands for Live-Action Roleplay. I’m not going to go into what it is right here, google is your friend. I’m also not really going to post a lot about the costume I make for it on this blog – not because I’m not proud of it, I am, but because I am trying to move away from making costume for LARP… frankly, I HAVE ENOUGH OF THE STUFF. Seriously, I have enough outfits. I do not need anymore.
There was one exception to this rule however! I had originally planned this outfit to be the main outfit for a character I have, but the other people in my group said it didn’t fit – after I’d already bought the pattern and the fabric, SO HELPFUL. Anyway, I wore something else – it didn’t matter much. BUT I had fallen in love with the idea of this outfit, and knew I needed to make it, and eventually, over TWO YEARS LATER, the opportunity arose.
I’m terrible at working without a deadline, REALLY TERRIBLE, so this sat in the ‘in progress’ pile for nearly the entirety of that two years. BUT, now it is finished, I am SUPER PROUD OF IT. The pattern is Simplicity 2172 – however I made quite a few adjustments. Design-wise I took the pleat off the bottom of the skirt – I also did not lengthen the skirt any, despite the fact it is floor length on me, in fact I shortened it. A LOT. So yes, with the pleat on I imagine it is made for a GIANT. I also didn’t add any ruffles – they aren’t really my thing. As you can see from the picture, the coat actually ends just inches above the floor too – I left this because I like the look of the hem of the coat echoing the hem of the skirt, but I’m pretty sure in the pattern pictures it’s a LOT shorter than that.
In terms of fit, the jacket was an easy enough fit, I had to make my own waistband for the skirt, and then graded the yoke to fit it (buying patterns that are large enough to fit my bust occasionally means that there aren’t sizes for my waist). I also did a LOT of adjustment to the fit of the bodice. A LOT. I’m talking 4-6 inches from the waist. I sew with a really narrow seam allowance, so that doesn’t help (I’ve since learnt to be a bit better about that), and I’m a freaky shape.
In terms of finishing the insides, the skirt is French seamed, because I made it before I got my overlocker, the top I’m pretty sure is just pinked, but as the whole thing is entirely lined, I’m not so bothered about that. The jacket is overlocked, AND fully lined. The edges of the top are finished with bias binding, which I hand stitched into place – don’t ask me why, I wasn’t busy at the time, I had no deadline on it and it seemed like a good idea. It was. It looks ACE. I cheated a bit with the jacket and the skirt, as the skirt needed hemming, but there was no way I was going to hem THAT MUCH FABRIC by hand. I think it’s like 4 metres. Anyway, so I hemmed the skirt with a straight stich, and then added ribbon on top of it with a decorative stitch. Using my fab new ribbon foot on my janome, which makes sewing narrow ribbons SO EASY. You’ll see some more of that next week too! I also did the same to the coat instead of top stitching it to hold the lining in place – I think it’s given it a really professional finish.

LETS TALK FASTENING. This pattern introduced me to the beauty that is hook & eye tape. Prior to this I would have sewn on 30 hooks and eyes by hand. That’s MAD. Instead, it was really easy to add some hook and eye tape to the back of the top. The skirt is fastened with a regular skirt zipper, and a skirt hook at the top. The jacket was another excuse to use my new machines fancy tools, I made keyhole buttonholes, and then covered buttons to go through them. Looks pretty suave I think. The pattern called for the lacing down the back to be made of the same fabric as the coat itself, but I liked having it in a contrast ribbon, and life is too short to make loops out of fabric and then turn them right-side out… it’s too short I tell you.

I’m reasonably proud of this. It looks OK on (it looks better on the dummy than on me #awkward #Iforgotaboutarms) and the finish is pretty good. People were kind and admired it a bit when I wore it too, which is always lovely. Mostly, I am proud of this because I FINISHED IT, and also because of the finishing techniques I’ve put into it.



  1. I've been waiting for this post! This dress looked amazing on you, beautiful finishing touches and gorgeous colours! Is there a logistical problem getting into the top if all the hooks are at the back or does it shuffle round?

    1. Hey Lou! Thank you - I don't think it looked so good LOL. It's totally easy to put on, it is a shuffle-round affair though (or a get-your-friendly-NPC-to-help affair).