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Creating Classic Costumes

by Amber of the Jedi Meditation Chamber

As I started my quest for knowledge regarding Jedi attire I was surprised how little info there was on the web. What surprised me even more was how many fans out there were searching for the same information that I was looking for. When I did manage to stumble across some useful info I started collecting what I could and asking questions of other Jedi want-to-be's. That is how I have gained this knowledge and I feel that it is only appropriate that I point out that my insight has in part been gleaned from many other fans who have also sweated the details of Jedi garb.

Jedi garb in general can be best described as functional, practical, and simplistic, yet also dramatic and mysterious. From what we have seen in the films the Jedi color scheme is made up of earth tones. In TPM Jedi garb is made up a several layers (tunic, inner tunic, tabard or stole/obi and the outer robe). For this reason natural fabrics are important as they allow air to circulate and keep the wearer more comfortable. TPM Jedi garb was made from wool, linen and raw silk. I have found that 100% cotton unbleached muslin is a great substitute for the tunics and a heavy cotton like weavers cloth can be used for the Jedi robe. Not only are these option cooler, they are also more economical.

For the non-sewer or the film maker looking for short cuts, a Karate gi or other martial art uniform can be used to instantly provide a Jedi feel. The addition of a Jedi outer robe, leather belt and riding style boots could convey the Jedi look. However I would recommend that if time and money permit that you make your own Jedi garb. The Jedi design is simple and given enough patience and time frequently a sewing novice can put together Jedi garb. The design itself requires that a person be familiar with reading a commercial pattern, able to do straight line sewing, some simple gathering (for the robe hood) and hem. Really, it is that easy.

Now on to design specifics... Because Jedi garb is worn in loose layers there is some ease when it comes to fitting a person. I found that getting a commercial kimono pattern such as Simplicity # 8311 and lengthening the sleeves a bit works well. The inner tunic can be modified from pattern #8311 by making the sleeves tighter and longer and by wrapping the inner tunic tighter around the body. The tabard or stole and obi are simply two strips of double layered fabric approximately 6-8" wide that are held in place by the obi or sash and in Qui-Gon's style extend a couple of inches past the tunic in front and back or in Obi-Wan's case are attached to the obi in the back come up over the shoulders and extend down a couple of inches longer than the tunic only on the front. The obi or sash itself is 6-8" wide and can either be made to attach in the back by velcro or wrap and tie (my preferred method). A wonderful outer robe design was suggested by another Jedi garb enthusiast, WiliQueen and is based on Simplicity pattern # 7438. Using her sleeve and hood modification diagrams (which can be found on my web page) the robe appears dead on accurate. I realize this is just a basic overview. More detailed patterns and instructions can be found on my web page.

Customizing Jedi garb can be easily achieved by either varying the color scheme or adding, eliminating, or lengthening layers. Sandals instead of boots, or changing the style of belt are all ways of individualizing a style while still appearing Jedi. We saw that there were many differences in style that added personal touch among the Jedi Council members. Be creative and have fun.

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