Creating Chrom’s Tunic by Avoiding Near Disaster

For PAX 2016, The Boy and I wanted to go as Chrom and Lucina, two of our favorite characters from Nintendo’s Fire Emblem Awakening. I sketched the costume designs and we bought a few yards of fabric in the colors we needed. Problem was, we underestimated how tall The Boy is… and didn’t buy enough fabric to make the tunic.

 

Rather than accept disaster, I improvised. 

Knowing that The Boy would wear an undershirt with the costume, I altered the design to be more like a smock with adjustable ties down the sides. This ended up having more benefits than I originally anticipated:

  • The smock used less fabric, essential since we didn’t buy enough
  • Adjustable ties reduced the margin of error of making the tunic too small or too large
  • Less pressure for perfection, because the costume’s cape would hide mistakes

How to Save the Project:

First, I cut two identical lengths of the fabric for the front and back of the tunic, making sure to cut a semi-circle for the neck for a more natural fit. Second, I cut 8 long strips out of the remaining scrap fabric to use for fabric ties. I hemmed these strips with the sewing machine so there would be no loose ends.

Next came the hem. I pinned the tunic all around, and affixed the ties on both sides in two main locations: one near the chest and one near the waist. I sewed the main hem for both the front and back panels before attaching them, because it was easier to feed through the sewing machine at this point. Then the two identical panels with ties were sewn together at the shoulder.

For detailing, I trimmed the tunic in a gold ribbon that I stitched about 1-inch in from the hem. The gold trim adds a nice touch to the costume, without being overly complex.

My dad once told me that all crafters make mistakes, but it’s the masters of their craft that know how to hide them.

We were talking about knitting. Or carpentry. One of those two. Either way, the concept still applies. I still consider myself a novice seamstress, but I’m a master at fixing my own mistakes and making the best of any situation.

I was really happy with how the tunic turned out. It wasn’t perfect, but I wasn’t going for perfection. The goal was to make a Chrom costume and have fun; and I think I achieved that with this tunic.

The takeaway from this crafting session:

  • Measure twice.
  • Create backup plans when a project doesn’t go as anticipated
  • Measure a third time.

 

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