Hi! I intend to cosplay botw link in his champion tunic, but I've reached a dilemna. I've never been good with choosing fabric and don't have a lot of selection where I live so usually am forced to order fabric online which takes out the touch and feel aspect of fabric shopping. I was wondering if you had any recommendations for fabric for the tunic? I've seen people tell me kona cotton or cotton drill/twill but they don't really stretch for a shirt which concerns me
This isn’t a garment that would need much stretch, as it is loose fitting and has a wide enough neck opening. If you are worried about stretch, I think that the suggestion for a lighter weight cotton twill is good, but try to find a stretch twill with a little bit of spandex content. This would help it move with your body better, but wouldn’t be enough stretch to require special sewing or patterning considerations.
If you wanted to use something even stretchier, an interlock knit with a high cotton or rayon content would be nice and breathable and would be a bit thicker and more stable than something like a jersey knit, and would have increased stretch due to it being a knit.
It’s no secret that Hera Syndulla is my favourite character - take on an Empire and fight to death favourite. Yet, somehow, I have never written about her look beyond a single vague half-meta-half-ficlety thing. In part this was because I felt that her look was self-explanatory enough to speak for itself, but certain official writings and a few comments I have received suggested otherwise and gave me impetus to finally create this blog.
It’s Syndulla Sunday (just), so let’s get to it.
In its main, Hera’s costume is simple: an armoured flightsuit. It’s utterly pragmatic, designed for comfort in the pilot’s chair, ease whilst crawling around an engine room and protection whilst out in the field. The paler neckpiece is almost certainly a helmet seal for inevitable incidents. It is simple, and showcases to the galaxy the role that she plays whilst making her as unobtrusive as a Twi’lek can be in an Imperial galaxy. Perfect for allowing Kanan to play the lead. There is a lot of history built into this look, though. History of the galaxy far far away and our world.
Her armour in her s1-2 look neatly alludes to a leftover of the Clone War, hard and soft pieces combined, particularly in the seemingly floating pauldrons and gauntlet gloves (see yesterday’s Hondo post.) These shapes are echoed in S2 episode Homecoming when we finally see Cham, Gobi and Numa, but with obvious differentiations. In the Clone Wars the Rylothean Twi’leks seen appear to wear more traditional fashions, Cham being an outlier layering armour over a more formal look. When we catch up to him those traditional looks appear to have evolved directly to incorporate armour; unsurprising given the endless turmoil on Ryloth. Hera’s incorporation is similar but noticeably different, as is her colour pallette of warm colours against their cool blues as she has broken away and forged her own path of rebellion.
Naturally Hera’s flightsuit is a callback (callforward?) to the X-Wing pilots of the original trilogy in its basic composition, particularly in the webbing details and allusion to the lines of the OT mae wests. The silhouette is much more grounded in history whilst acting as a proto-precursor to Alliance flightsuits. The fuller volume and high-waist of her flightsuit feels like a direct reference to American WW2 WASPs - Women Airforce Service Pilots - one of whom was Jacqueline Cochran (note, Trek fans!) who was the first female pilot to fly a bomber across the Atlantic, and to later break the sound barrier. What better model for the only pilot to ever outfly Darth Vader, and the first pilot of the B-Wing?
Left: Bless that nerd; Right: WASP’s, including Jacqueline Cochran second from the right.
Hera’s flightcap and goggles are a direct salute to the wealth of pioneering early C20th aviatrixes (aviatri?), headphones playing again in WW2 imagery and all adding to Hera’s pragmatism. (A quick note due to the official errors that referred to above: the flightcaps would typically be leather, quilted and heavily seamed for safety and security with a cotton drill lining. Pleated? Not so much, as pleating would introduce movement and looseness which would render the item impractical. The style of construction in Hera’s cap, other than aesthetic, is for fit and shaping allow as close and secure a fit as possible whilst working with Twi’lek anatomy.)
Amelia Earheart, Amy Johnson, Betty Jo Reed.
The wonderful @lorna-ka played directly on these historical influences in the amazing Mummy AU commission that she did for me. (sorry, had to throw it in here!)
So, not unlike Kanan Hera’s costume is one defensiveness, though driven more from a point of practicality and, in some small part, cultural divergance. Come S2 we finally see Hera sans goggles and headphones, creating a softer look within this boundaries. This is Hera relaxing, settling into her role in her crew and the comfort of being an active part of a larger organisation at last. It also displays trust, which is in a key element of her relationship with Sabine, but also a more subtle part of her development from S1 as she has learn to trust herself, her gut and her own priorities.
This development is furthered in her S3 look. It’s a less overt change than Kanan, Ezra and Sabine’s makeovers, but subtlety is more Hera’s way. As described by Filoni at SWCE:
Hera - because she’s much more a part of the growing rebels alliance - she has more of a military look, a uniform. She wears a rank badge now just to show that she’s really becoming a part of that formalised rebellion. [x]
She was formally granted the rank of captain within the fledgling Alliance in S2, not just of the Ghost, but is now wearing that openly. The addition of tech and pockets to her sleeves further lead into X-Wing pilot flightsuits of the OT. Her shirt has less of that soft historical shape and is more regimented and formal, the colours shifting into those OT greys (a shift that is being seen across Rebels’ colour palette as a whole.) However her silhouette is now much more of an open hybrid between the Ryloth looks worn by Cham and Numa in Homecoming. The open stand-collar shared with Cham, the shift in the cut of her chestplate is building more towards that worn by Numa. (Let it be known now that I am weak for stand collars, so I was absolutely delighted when this look was revealed at SWCE.) Given that we know Cham et al will be coming back in S3, and a trip to Ryloth proper is on the books (Scream), and Homecoming closed on a point of reconciliation between Hera andher father, this suggests a re-embracing of certain elements of Hera’s history and/or a deeper integration of Free Ryloth into the wider Rebellion. (i’m not sure how I would feel about the latter and certain points in Bloodline suggest otherwise. I am also pretty sure that Cham Syndulla would not be down with this.)
This is also a more open look, more vulnerable. The helmet seal is gone, she is less armoured and she is generally more exposed. Gauntlets replaced with short gloves (this an across-the-board shift towards short gloves seen in pretty much all characters, and is an obvious and active push towards that OT aesthetic.) As with the cap, this suggests a further relaxation into her role, and greater confidence in their growing organisation. Even without Kanan taking the role of field general (presumably given his blindness), Hera is settling more into position of, well, desk general, delegating missions and leadership positions to other Ghosts.
It is no longer Syndulla Sunday here, but it is somewhere! With a little luck, someday soon we will see Hera 1) wearing her nerd goggles, and 2) san cap.
Monty Don, an English TV presenter and writer on horticulture (perhaps best known for presenting the BBC television series Gardener’s World) once wrote something for The Guardian on “dirty dressing.” That is, how to dress when one needs to get some gardening done. Lots of rules are laid out here, including the things one must wear (high waisted trousers and leather boots) and sartorial no-nos (shorts and baseball caps … though, we disagree with his sentiments on the second). For me, as a guy who doesn’t garden, the best part is reading the opinion of a man who feels strongly about clothes. A long excerpt:
Over the past 30-odd years I have evolved certain rules about my wardrobe. Never wear jeans. They are absurd items of clothing - cold in winter, hot in summer, slow to dry once wet and chafe in places where chafing is not required. I have not possessed a pair for at least 20 years.
Never wear tight trousers. Always buy trousers at least one waist size too big, make sure that the pockets are big enough to comfortably hold penknife, hanky, string, phone, pencil, labels and perhaps a mint or two. The pocket thing is a matter of fine tuning. Too deep and you are rummaging around up to your elbow in them. But I have big hands and if they are too small you cannot find the knife/hanky/label and extract it without causing uncomfortable restrictions or having to let go of the object in order to extract your hand.
Lots of professional gardeners wear shorts all summer, but they always strike me as hopelessly impractical. If I am honest I also feel that, having been bought up in an age when small boys were forced to wear shorts, long trousers are a privilege that I still cling to and shorts are for sports.
Belts are needed to attach your secateurs’ holster to, to support your back when digging and to stop the size-too-large trousers ending up around your ankles when reaching up to prune the apples. Regard your belt as a piece of gardening kit and buy a really good quality, thick leather belt made by a British leather worker. It should mean business. Braces are much more comfy - especially with high-rise trousers - and I wear them most of the time.
If you are not familiar with their joys, highrise trousers are fantastically comfortable and keep your lower back warm. My children still squirm with embarrassment every time they see me in them (which is most days) but that is probably some kind of seal of approval. If you are uncertain about the required cut, check out photographs of agricultural labourers in summer (ie jacketless) circa 1880-1914. The only two fabrics I use for trousers are corduroy and cotton drill. I have two weights of the latter in identical cuts, very heavy and light. Twice as many heavy as light. You have to accept that gardening trousers get wet, muddy and stained, so need washing a lot. If they are ‘good’ they will be much loved and probably expensive, so must last the wear and tear outdoors and in the washing machine. Anyway, good trousers only start to feel right after a year or so.
Wear thick socks summer and winter, if possible of pure cotton or wool. Gardening in light shoes is a joy, but a rare one. I have a pair of handmade leather boots that I use for all digging and heavy work. These cost as much as a holiday for two in the Bahamas but were worth every penny and much preferable to a holiday. I can dig all day in them without any discomfort and they are wholly waterproof. Get a good pair of wear one as a vest in winter. Shirts are the thing. I like pull-on ones that button down to the chest. Get them big with lots of room under the armpit and long enough to cover your bum. Check that the cuffs are wide enough to easily roll up above the elbow. Cotton drill is best. A chest pocket is useful, too. It goes without saying that no gardening shirt (and no other item of clothing of mine) ever sees an iron.
A tweed jacket is really good and I have a number of old ripped ones I often wear at home. They are thornproof, warm, showerproof and have pockets. They won’t let me wear them on telly because they say it looks too patrician. I have yet to work out if that is patronising or right, but I meekly demur. I like waistcoats either waterproof or leather. The latter is by far the best thing for keeping a cold wind at bay and for protecting you from thorns. A waterproof waistcoat with pockets is ideal if it is merely damp. If it is too wet for that to be sufficient protection it is probably too wet to garden sensibly outside. Fleeces are ubiquitous and inevitable, but I wear them surprisingly little nowadays. They are best as an underlayer when it is wet. On the whole I prefer a good jersey. Cashmere is the ideal inner layer when it is really cold and you can pick them up amazingly cheaply nowadays. A thicker roll-neck jersey makes a good outer layer.
I don’t like hats very much. I have no desire to shelter from the British sun and it is rarely cold enough to need headgear. But I especially loathe baseball caps. Not only are they useless but a symbol of a kind of Disneyfied decadence. A wide-brimmed hat is much more effective and keeps the sun and rain off better. Tweed flat caps are good, but distinctly agricultural. I have a Soviet military hat that I bought off a soldier in Berlin. It is great for pruning the more viciously thorned roses.
Do you happen to have any advice for people with very little to none experience in sewing who want to start sewing their own costume? I've heard doing things like sleeves, skirts and small things are good. Would that apply to the making of an anime sailor school girl outfit? Also, (if you don't mind), what fabric would you reccomend for such an outfit? Thank you lots! :)
My first (actual) sewing projects were hand sewn plushies and beanbags. I think those are great places to start as a beginner because they are low cost, fun to make and explain the basics of how patterns work / how to make 3-d objects with sewing. There are some plushie tutorials here: http://cosplaytutorial.com/list.php#plushies
There are tons of free resources out there to help you learn how to sew! The internet has a lot of learn to sew tutorials and websites, there are a couple sites listed here. You can also check out your local library for sewing books. If you have some money to spend look for local sewing lessons, often they are hosted or advertised at sewing stores.
Some people like to dive right into the big stuff and that can be a great way to learn as well. As you mentioned small things are good to get started with where you can learn one basic skill at a time or a combination of basic skills. Things like simple skirts, bloomers, shirts and vests. I know some people learned to sew by drafting their pieces (creating a pattern from scratch) and sewing but if you don’t have anyone to help you with it then I suggest using sewing patterns.
Sewing patterns are guides to make a specific piece, or a specific set of clothing. They can be purchased online, in sewing stores or at some craft stores. Sewing patterns show the pieces on the front of the package:
One the back of the package they list the amount of fabric you need for the project as well as the notions (buttons, buckles, other things) you may need.
The inside includes a step by step instruction book and pattern pieces. The pattern pieces are on tissue paper, you pin them to the fabric and cut the shapes out. These shapes get sewn together to make your piece. The instruction booklet will show you how to lay out your pattern on the fabric and give you step by step instructions to make the piece. Some patterns are better than others, if you get confused you can use the internet to help figure it out!
If this seems overwhelming you may choose to alter instead of make. Altering means you buy existing clothes that are close to what you need, and then make changes to make it more accurate. Altering is great for simple outfits, school uniforms or anything that resembles regular clothes. You can find clothes to alter at your local mall, thrift stores or online.
Schoolgirl Uniform A great beginner project! School uniforms can be made through altering existing clothes, using a pattern or making it from scratch. Look at cheerleading patterns if you can’t find one for a sailor uniform :)
If you’re buying at a local fabric store don’t be afraid to ask for help form the people who work there. Most can help with basic questions and some can help with the complex stuff, bring pictures along to help explain. While most fabric store employees know there are people who raid them for costume supplies, if you’re shy you can call the project a Halloween costume, mention it’s for a school play or say it’s for a sewing class. I find these excuses are great if you don’t want to explain to hardware store employees why you need a chunk of foam, a ton of plastic tubing and glue :P “Art Project” also works for the weird stuff!
Cottons are great for beginners and easy to work with :) For the skirt you will want something heavier that can hold a pleat I’ve seen wool, cotton/poly blends, cotton twill or drill suggested for pleated skirts. Fabric is not my forte so if anyone has any better suggestions please chime in.
“We’re going to have to control your tongue,” the dentist says, pulling out all the metal from my mouth. Silver bits plop and tinkle into the basin. My mouth is a motherlode.
The dentist is cleaning out my roots. I get a whiff of the stench when I gasp. “I can’t cap that tooth yet, you’re still draining,” he says.
“We’re going to have to do something about your tongue,” I hear the anger rising in his voice. My tongue keeps pushing out the wads of cotton, pushing back the drills, the long thin needles. “I’ve never seen anything as strong or as stubborn,” he says. And I think, how do you tame a wild tongue, train it to be quiet, how do you bridle it and saddle it? How do you make it lie down?
Gloria Anzaldúa, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue,” from Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza