The creation of the cloak
Searching for a black fabric with the darkest shade possible, I came across a silk viscose velvet fabric that had a perfectly ghostly shine to it, while still looking completely black in even bright sunlight. It also happened to be the most expensive black fabric they had in the store, but since nothing else looked that good, I still wanted to buy it for this costume.
Since most of the cloak panels would run in straight lines, I used long metal wires as a template, with another metal wire shaped as the top of the cloak in between them.
Four equal panels were traced onto the fabric, with the slanted edges running against each other to waste as little fabric as possible.
The two panels for the front of the cloak needed an opening for the mask frame to be cut into them.
I decided to add shims in the fabric underneath the mask, instead of making more separate panels to keep as few seams around the mask as possible.
I wanted to add hidden openings for my arms instead of adding sleeves to the cloak, so extra panels were sewn onto one side of the openings, with the opposing corners sewn to the inside of the cloak, basically becoming open pockets that I could slide my arms through.
Several shims were made to be sewn in between the panels and the cuts I made through the center of the panels earlier.
The fabric was a complete pain to work with, but all the shims and panels were eventually sewn together.
The front opening of the cloak was hand-sewn onto the lining around the frame that the mask would be bolted onto.
While wearing the costume, pins were placed through the fabric around the whole circumference of the cloak where it touched the floor in order to see where to cut and hem the bottom edge.
Studio Ghibli for making the movie Spirited Away.
Stoff Og Stil for selling me the fabric for the cloak.
My mother for marking off the cloak bottom with pins.
After cutting the bottom edge to the right height, the 800 meter long circumference of the cloak was neatly hemmed for about 6 years, or at least it felt like it.
With all the sewing of the cloak completed, I could bolt the mask onto the frame to complete the costume.
Even as expensive as the fabric was, it was still worth buying it for the cloak, and it raised up the look of the costume in a way other fabrics probably would not. The hidden arm openings worked just as planned too, surprising everyone who see my arms suddenly appear from seemingly nowhere within the cloak.
To figure out the appropriate pattern for the cloak, the external padding of the mask frame was marked up into several segments that I could then copy the shapes of onto the fabric.
4 days - between 1 April 2014 and 4 April 2014.
Black silk viscose velvet fabric - 1646,60 NOK.
Black sewing thread - 0 NOK - Already available.
Total - 1646,60 NOK / $190,46 USD.
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