Friday, August 8, 2014

Han Solo Costume: Making the Shirt

Han Solo's shirt is a simple v-neck placket shirt with a short mandarin-like collar and set-in sleeves There's been some debate on whether the fabric is a stretch knit fabric or woven fabric. It's a bit hard to tell (although I think it's the stretch knit), so I went with a woven fabric (i.e. muslin) because I have plenty of it. There's no need to buy fabric when I have a perfectly good substitute.

I didn't think I needed to make too many modifications. Although his shirt gapes a little bit more than what I would be comfortable wearing, so I wanted to change that slightly for me.

Men's shirts haven't changed much over the ages, so I decided that I would use an existing pattern that I owned because I thought it would be easier. I would use a combination of elements - the short mandarin collar of "The Last Quarter" with the V-neck placket of the "Highlander". There would be some additional modifications, like set-in sleeves and no cuff. It would save me the hassle of drafting my own pattern.

However, I discovered that this pattern wasn't going to cut it -- it didn't have set-in sleeves and used a sleeve gussett, so I went back to the drawing board and drafted out my own pattern using my generic sloper. (And used the placket pattern from the Tailor's Guide pattern.)

My back sloper piece is for one side of the back. For this pattern, I opted to make a single back piece so I made the pattern piece to be on the fold.

I also drafted out the sleeves accordingly, although I did have to make a small gusset piece for under the arm for it to fit correctly. I decided to live "dangerously" and make my mock-up the final shirt if it turned out well. Why? Because I have already made outfits using my sloper and I know it fits so I didn't feel the need to make two shirts.

It took me about four hours to finish the shirt, including drafting out the pattern, which isn't too bad. The completed shirt looks pretty darn close.  I used a roll hem for the shirt bottom. I still need to trim down the placket on the inside, but that's a minor fix.

And here's the required cat shot; Pharaoh helping me draft out the pattern.

And now I can move onto the harder pieces!