I have a good excuse for missing last week’s post! I had surgery on Monday! While I could’ve probably pushed myself to get something out on Tuesday, I prioritized my health (for once!) and rested up instead. Now it’s… the following Thursday. Happy Tutorial Thursday, y’all!
So, I trust that everyone went out and made their basic blocks last week, because we’ll actually be needing them this week for our sleeve drafting! If you haven’t, mosey on over to part 1 in this series and get that pattern ready!
Now, sleeves are the bane of most people’s existence when it comes to sewing, much less drafting a pattern. Being able to make a good sleeve is a skill that you will never regret honing, so we’ll start with a basic sleeve block, talk about how to adjust some weirdness in the fit that may arise when you attempt to put it on the basic block and discuss a few neat adjustments you can make to get different shapes in your sleeves.
The first time I made my own piece of clothing without a pattern and without modifying another existing piece of clothing, it worked out better than I expected, truth be told. It still felt awful to wear and tugged in all the wrong places, but it was something I could put on. It was this shirt right here.
Looking at this shirt, it’s probably not readily apparent where the flaws are. I know that they’re in the fit of the shoulders and arms, primarily. The sleeves are a little too snug on the bicep, the top of the shoulders is weirdly flat and it’s hard for me to actually put my arm over my head like in that photo. It looked okay and felt terrible, but hey, I made it myself!
So how did Baby Jay at the ripe ol’ age of 14 manage a semi-functional garment? The pattern looked something like this:
Now, how do I know that’s what it looked like over 15 years later?
Easy, it’s the same exact pattern I used when making Anders in 2012:
And again with Nathaniel in 2013:
And all of our Attack On Titan jackets in 2014? You guessed it!
What about Kenny Crow in 2017?
Okay, but surely in 2018 I did Leo differe–
Nope! Every single one of these costumes started with that same rough shape, even if some pieces got changed around slightly. At this point in my cosplay career, I’m not afraid of making really bizarre patterns or things that are super tightly tailored, but that’s because I have the foundation necessary to tackle weirdness and alterations.
Last year, Fire Emblem Heroes dropped a Spring banner with brand new, beautiful bunny versions of Xander, Camilla, Chrom and Lucina.
We fell in love immediately with these designs and Glitz claimed Xander without hesitation. I didn’t want to be left out, but what was I supposed to do? Let’s face it, I just wasn’t cut out for Camilla. I also don’t have a particular affinity for Chrom or Lucina, so they were also out.
I initially decided to do a version of Leo for myself, using slightly different colors. I sketched it out quickly but never got around to doing it, or Spring Xander for that matter. Both got shelved when we had to put all of our cosplay plans on hold due to financial issues and we didn’t dig them back up until Spring 2018.
Though we’ve still had a rocky money situation, I thought we could squeeze in a cosplay or two for the first half of the cosplay season. I rethought my Leo plans to use the same fabric as Xander, but the price tag seemed out of our range.
That’s when the plans shifted.
While digging around for a few supplies, I stumbled upon a single piece of folded fabric that I couldn’t remember ever getting. It was a piece of blue stretch velvet that had once been a curtain and it was just enough to make a tailcoat from.
Instead of Spring Leo, I was going to be Winter Leo.