29 December 2012

Dedicate Rosethorn - Design and Patterning

I've always hoped to make a cosplay from one of Tamora Pierce's novels.  I grew up on her works and even now they hold a special place in my heart.  Now I've got the chance due to another cosplay I am retiring and re-purposing!

This is the kimono and skirt from my original Eisen (Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time) cosplay.  I wore it once at Ikkicon V, but I decided to remake the entire cosplay once my sewing skills improved.  These garments no longer serve any purpose, but they are made of a linen-rayon blend fabric in a beautiful shade of green.

For my Tamora Pierce cosplay, I chose Dedicate Initiate Rosethorn from the Circle of Magic series.  Rosethorn is Briar's teacher for plant magic and one of my favourite characters after reading Briar's Book.  (click here for Rosethorn's Wikia article)

In appearance and personality we are quite similar, and this is how I chose to cosplay her.  I also won't be spending a lot of money on materials because I've got all the fabric and boning and buttons and shoes I'll need already on hand.  The only thing I'll need to purchase is fabric for the cloak.

My design includes a doublet worn over an undyed cotton shirt (which I'll be making anyway to go with another doublet I already made).  There will also be a skirt.  I've already got a skit leftover from my Eisen cosplay that should require little modification.  I'll add channels on either side to facilitate the ruching.  The ruching can be removed if a full-length habit is desired, but Rosethorn often hikes hers up.

Also mentioned in the novels is a cloak that dedicates sometimes wear.  Mine will be full-length and flowy, made of a darker green fabric than the doublet and skirt.  I don't have enough linen left from my Eisen cosplay to make the cloak :/

A few notes about why I designed the habit the way I did.  Throughout the Circle of Magic series and ensuing novels, there is little description of the dedicates' habits.  There is a mention of Dedicate Lark pulling her hands into the wide sleeves of her habit.  I used a wide-sleeved cotton shirt for to accommodate this detail.  Historically, most Western religious habits were loose-fitting and plain.  There were exceptions, such as pope and cardinal garments, but even these were fairly loose-fitting.
I chose the fitted doublet because it is utilitarian.  You don't need many undergarments (boning provides support for the breasts) and it's a durable design.  Mine is based on a pattern from Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion: The Cut and Construction of Clothes for Men and Women, C.1560-1620.  It's taken directly from a garment worn by a young woman during that time period.  Men's doublets could be highly decorated and ceremonial, or they could be used for cold weather or hunting.  Like I say, the garment can stand up to the hard work, such as what Rosethorn does in her garden.
My cloak is an extremely basic design with a large hood in back.  It clasps in front with a simple cloak pin or loop.  I'd like to make sleeves or armholes and I may use the same draping technique I came up for to make Luminara Unduli's cloak (Star Wars).  The cloak adds detail to the ensemble and gives me something to wear against cold weather.

My boots are a knee-length Native American style made of brown suede leather.  I got them on sale many years ago and they've seen a lot of wear because they are so comfortable.  They seem to me like a good accompaniment to the other colours in Rosethorn's habit.


Janet Arnold's doublet pattern is made for a very small young woman.  It's too short on me and does not have enough girth.  I revised the pattern and made a bottle green velvet doublet from it.  This one fits quite nicely, but it could do to have a little more girth in the breast.  To accommodate this, I added one inch to the fronts and one inch to the back.

All told, that adds four inches.  The garment may be a little loose, however it is quite easy to add darts or take in at the seams.  I also added about two inches to the shoulder so the doublet sleeve would end right on top of my shoulder.

Now that all that's done I can cut out the fabric pieces!

Everything except the collar (which needs to be cut on the fold of the fabric) fit onto one of the wide sleeves I removed from Eisen's kimono.

All cut!

Next step is to cut out interlining pieces for the fronts and back, then sew boning channels onto those pieces.

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