Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Project 40: Acolyte Robes

The completed look
A week from tonight, when the moon is new, our godson will stand in front of a group of elder Witches that I have assembled and perform the ritual to create sacred space as defined in my tradition of The Craft. Since he turned nine, we have met on each new Moon to learn another part of the ceremony. He has worked diligently, and I have every confidence that he will do well and that the council of Witches will assent to his elevation.

All that, however, leaves the question of appropriate attire entirely unanswered. Every occasion in life, I have found, is an excellent reason to create new clothes. Finishing the first year of your religious education is no exception.

This young man's love for the colour green shows no sign of fading, so I knew that green had to be prominent. More than a year ago, on a trip to New York City's fabulous Mood Fabrics, I happened upon some Kelly green microfibre velvet and seized upon it. Luxe and washable - what's not to love?

Neckline and closure
You may recall that this time last year, when I was making him a set of Apprentice Robes, I learned far too late that I didn't own the correct size of pattern for the garment I was making and had to draft my own smaller-sized pattern. I went OK, but I needed this execution to be better than OK, so I purchased the child-sized version of the pattern from McCalls.

I have learned quite a lot in the last year about the exacting science of pattern making, so I felt confident that based on his measurements I would be able to select the correct size on the paper pattern pieces when tracing my plastic sheeting pattern pieces.

Inner robe with rope belt
This pattern calls for just one part to be double-layered: the yoke. I selected some lining fabric for the inner part which was labeled "deep moss" but actually turned out to be more like a medium brown! Och!

Construction was smooth in general for outer robe. Surprisingly I ran into some geometry problems fitting the yoke lining to the shell. I don't honestly know how I went wrong there, but by hook or by crook I managed to fit the pieces together.

I added a hook and eye closure that matches my own recently finished ritual robe.

Next I needed to draft a pattern for an inner robe. It's essentially a floor-length t-shirt, and I had used the recent Stat Trek birthday present to make sure I had all the geometry correct. That went fine, though I think I need to improve my understanding of neck bands. This one stood up when I expected it to lie down. Hmmm. I added a green rayon rope belt too. If the inner robe is too long, hitching it up will be no problem now.
Inner robe neckline

Anyway, the two garments together make a beautiful combination and I'm very much looking forward to seeing him in them. The crowning jewel, of course, will be when I present him with one of the five remaining silver pentagrams made by the artists who made the one that I wear. To whom the remaining four will go I have yet to learn, but this one? This one is for him. He has earned it.

Vents for mobility

The actual point of all this

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