Thranduil Cosplay ProgressOr: How I tend to make complicated patterns from scratch (mind that I’m just an autodidact and professionals might have much better methods!!)
1. The sketch
I always sketch out what I have to do first, to get an impression - using a tablet with note function helps me to keep references and sketches together but it is absolutely not a necessity.
2. The mock-up
I make a mock-up from cheap fabric and cut it roughly to fit my dressform. Then I start to pin all those small seams or simply draw them on.
3.Cutting of the mock-up
I cut the mock-up apart at the seams and drawn on lines so I have all the tiny bits and pieces for the pattern.
4. Making the pattern
Usually the cut out pieces of the mock-up are not symmetrical and so I take the pieces from both sides, layer them, put them on paper and try to find a sort of compromise that I draw and even out. After that, voilá, I have my pattern. However, it is very important to name the different pieces in a way you do not mix them up.
5. Pattern tracing, cutting stuff etc
I put the pattern on the fabric, trace it and cut it out. My little trick for cutting the seam allowance (learned from tailors at the local theatre): I use the tape measure’s width for the seam allowance. It is a fast way to get a tidy seam allowance.
Thranduil’s coat has an awful lot of piping to it. I made a ruler for the piping, the inside is the length I need to put it around the string. Plus seam allowance. Because I want the fabric to bend with the edges the piping is applied to it is cut from the fabric diagonally. Also, like this there is not much fraying.
7. Applying the piping
Having a clean seam allowance pays off when you put the piping to it. I could simply put it to the edge of the seam allowance. I always knew where the piping was and could sew it easily.
8. Putting together and cutting the seam allowance
It was a lot of work to put everything together and try and make it look tidily. I put fabric glue to the seam allowances to prevent it from fraying (thanks for the tip gameofneedles !!! :3) and then cut them shorter. Since the fabric is almost made entirely out of metallic threads, I could not iron it and therefore simply pulled it into shape and glued the seam allowance to the insides.
9. Torso almost finished
Put together the large panels of fabric. Still needs lining and sleeves and collar but that’s as far as I’ve come :>