February 16, 2016 by New Capel Street: Fabric Division
That’s right, I had a bad day, so you’re all suffering through the medium of LARP kit puns. Bet you didn’t even know that was a thing. But to, for once, get right to it, here’s a quick tutorial on how to pattern up, and cut out, a basic LARP tunic. This is based on the pattern block we made previously, so if this sounds unfamiliar, go take a look here and here and come back when you’re all caught up.
So we’ve made the pattern block from a slightly-too-large t-shirt, and picked and washed fabric. We might even have given it a cheeky iron to get the worst of the drying wrinkles out.
The next step is turning your block into a tunic pattern. First of all, get a large sheet of pattern tissue paper – The Cloth Shop just off Stephen’s Green do a five-sheet pack for a little over a fiver. Five sheets of paper for a fiver may sound like a rip-off, but it goes a long way and is unbelievably useful. As you can probably see from my photo, the sheet I’m using has had bits hacked out for other patterns already. Lay it out flat on your table, clean floor or other flat surface, then take your block and fold it in half down the centre line, and place it on the edge of the sheet of paper.
Trace around the neck and shoulder line, and the armpit line, and stop. Grab a measuring tape, or a piece of string, and hold it at armpit level, and measure down to around your knee. Doesn’t have to be exact. Bring the side seam line (the bit below the armpit, where my piece curves) down until the tracing is about the length you want. Using a gently curved line, draw from the corner out to the outside edge of the paper.
Now, there’s a few things you could do here. You could leave it sleeveless. You could do a set in sleeve, which is a separate piece, or a raglan sleeve, which is a different type of separate piece. Or you could do the lazy thing, and do a batwing/kimono style sleeve extension. A good example of this technique can be found here in a By Hand London sewalong, and I’ve used it to excellent effect on the same pattern they’re discussing.
I’ve highlighted where my new lines are on the shoulder and sleeve – I just brought it out about 12 or 14 inches from the shoulder, to around elbow length. I like elbow length sleeves, so if that works for you, great. If not, make em longer. Or shorter. Cut the pattern piece out!
Once you’re happy with the pattern piece (and maybe have held it up to your chest to make sure the length is more or less right), it’s time to cut out the fabric! Lay it out on your table, and fold it until there’s a double thickness of cloth the width of your pattern piece. Make sure the grain is straight – that the threads of the weave are straight and not skewed off. Place the pattern down on the folded edge:
Now, if you have a cutting mat and rotary cutter, all you need to do now is weigh down the pattern with whatever else is on your table. I used a few pairs of scissors, and a cup. Going slowly, cut around the edges, igoring the folded line.
If you don’t have a cutting mat, very carefully pin the pattern to both layers of fabric, and use your fabric scissors to slowly cut it out.
And that’s it! Now, do it again. Now you have a front and back piece for your tunic, ready to assemble!
If you’re not ready to sew immediately, carefully fold these up and put them away so that they don’t get jostled around, eaten by small children or cats, or just lost. We’ll cover assembling next time. Any questions, just comment below!!!