Mythlore Costume – Outer Cloak

“I’ll need something for the deep desert”

That was the first response when he saw my sketches. Talk about an unappreciative client friend. (Love you really S…)

So I figured a cloak was the way forward. Maybe a cloak that can be just loosely wrapped. I’m not sure yet. I pinned this image because I like the cut and the way it drags. I also really love the distressed fabric, but we all know you can’t just buy fabric like that. I watched a documentary about clothing sweatshops in China a few years ago and in passing they showed the way that jeans were fashionably distressed. They actually apply the finished garment to industrial sanders in order to thin the fabric and pull the threads. Clever. I’ve always wanted to have a go, but terrified in case I either wreck something I’ve spent ages making, or sand my hands off. Maybe my face. I worry about myself and industrial machinery.

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He nodded in some kind of approving-yet-non-commital way. I don’t have to make it yet because it’s not until September, and this will be the last bit of the costume that I do make because he already has cloaks from over 20 years of doing LRP. But I have a really special idea up my sleeve.

I’ve discovered this technique that allows you to texture fabrics basically however you want. First of all you take your top layer and wash it hot several times to make sure it will never shrink again. The author suggests fabrics like velveteen or linen. Don’t iron it, store it on a roll to keep it vaguely flat. Then when you come to create your new fabric, you back it with another fabric, like a muslin, that will shrink a fair bit. You can then basically quilt the two layers together in any pattern you want, before putting the fabric sandwich in hot water for half an hour then drying it in a hot dryer. Repeat as required to get as much shrink as you can. The backing fabric shrinking basically pulls the top layer out of shape, creating the most fabulous texture imaginable!

I’m thinking that either straight lines or something wavy like this would be cool:

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