I have a question that is, while not strictly off-topic, skimming the
edge of off-topicness. I am, yes, a recent addict of the "Lord of the
Rings" movies, and my current bee-in-bonnet is making Father Christmas
figures using the 12" Gandalf the Grey action figure, and giving them
to friends and family members. The figures aren't intended for heavy
play, but to prop up with a doll stand and Gandalf's staff (Father
Christmas doesn't need a sword to spread his message--whichever
message from this time of year that you want to spread).
The ensemble of garb that I sew consists of long-johns (not period, I
know, but he's a *fantasy* Father Christmas), boots (the bane of my
existence), a long robe belted with Gandalf's braided belt, and a
hooded overcoat with a nifty hook-n-eye closure (if I do say so
myself). The robe is essentially a T-tunic reduced for an action figure.
I use a lot of 100-percent cotton quilting fabrics (all prewashed),
most with small Christmas-Yule-fantasy themed motifs (holly, vines,
stars, etc.) and almost all it is overprinted with metallic inks. The
'long-johns' are spandex-blend fabrics for stretch over the figure,
and the overcoat is made either from more cotton, or from 'other'
fabrics--panne velvet, small-motif damask brocades, etc. with faux fur
trim and metallic braids.
My on-going problem is the long robe--I have 4 pattern pieces: a
front, a back (cut 2, seamed halfway up the back, raw edges finished
with scrap fabric, snap sewn at the neck), a neck facing (machine sewn
to right side of neck opening, then turned under and tacked down by
hand, else it won't sit properly), and a sleeve pattern, cut 2, with a
mark to align the top of the sleeve with the shoulder seam.
I sew all with a scant 1/4" seam; the robe's back pieces are sewn
together, then back to front, finish the neck because it's easier
before putting on the sleeves, sew on the sleeves, and then finish the
side seams (and hem). Even clipping into the corner where sleeve
bottom meets side seam top, I get puckering when the robe is turned
right side out, pressed, and put onto the figure. It doesn't matter if
he's nekkid, in cotton knit, or in spandex, the robe still puckers
under the arms when it's on him.
I modified the sleeve pattern by adding a 'drop' to the arm edge of
the sleeve where it meets the shoulder (poor sewing vocabulary, looks
like /-- , if the dashes were at the top of the line). It doesn't seem
to work. Now, I know I'm being a perfectionist here, because most
people won't bother to take off the overcoat (except my mom, who
taught me to sew and be a perfectionist...) to reveal the robe, but I
want Father Christmas to look good, regardless.
So, should I bite the bullet and cut lozenge-shaped godets to put
under the arms? Math isn't my strong subject, so how do I calculate
width and length of the godet? Or will this be another case of cutting
pieces from waste muslin until one works (awfully time-consuming, that)?
If anyone has advice, please let me know, on- or off-group. When I
was active in the SCA back in the late '80s, I never made a T-tunic; I
cheated and used Folkwear's Egyptian shirt pattern! Then I developed a
persona and started making bodices until feasting caught up with me...
Happy Holidays from Hobbiton! Happy Yule!