Welcome back to another edition of Fandom Flair. As promised, today I'll show you my mistcloak. My inspiration from this—besides just the fact that having a mistcloak would be amazing!—was a couple of fans at the Phoenix Comicon in May of 2013. Brandon Sanderson was in attendance, and that meant we all tried hard to impress him. This group did a great job of it, dressed as Vin, Eland, Sazed, and Tindwyl.
I adored the mistcloak and realized it's really only lots and lots of strips! What could be hard about that?
Step 1: Gather materials
This project required a lot of different kinds of fabric, but not much of each. I went in on this with my sister, Mavin, so we were able to buy the fabrics in bulk and make two cloaks. This cut down on the price.
First, you need a base material, which serves as the solid around the shoulders and neck that the strips get sewn to. In my inspiration photo, you can see how her base material was thick and decorative. I went with a cheaper option. I chose poplin, a semi-heavy but durable fabric, in a solid gray. This material is great to work with, easy to sew and very forgiving with mistakes. It flows well and has great weight if you used it for a project that required a lot of length.
I only needed about half a yard of this material for the base, but I also liked it enough to include it in the strips. Therefore, I bought about 2 yards. I got it relatively inexpensive, about $4 a yard.
For the strips, I chose a variety of fabrics. I picked a sheer, gray organza, and a gray satin. Again, I got 2 yards of each material. However, the satin I got at Walmart for $1 a yard, and the organza was about $2 a yard at a fabric warehouse.
So, a list of materials would include:
2 yards of 3+ fabrics
Pinking shears/pinking rotary cutter
Lace/fringe for embellishment (Optional)
Step 2: Get your pattern
The best way to start this is with a circle. If you've ever made a circle skirt, you know what I'm talking about. The circle will be the fabric that sits on your shoulders, the cloak-like part that is solid.
For this, all you need to do is measure the circumference of your neck and divide by 4 (you can add on an extra inch if you don’t want it completely flush with your neck).
The next measurement you want is from your neck (where it meets your shoulder) to the end of your shoulder. I started with a neck to shoulder measurement that was much longer than necessary, and I wound up trimming it as we continued.
Once you have your measurements, you can draw your pattern. Take your base material, lay it on the floor, and fold it in half. Find the center and make a mark. If you have tailor’s chalk, that would work very well. If you don’t, you can use any sort of marker that will be dark enough; just make sure you cut on the inside of the marker so you don’t see it in your final product.
From your central mark, use measuring tape to find the correct distance (neck circumference divided by 4). Mark that distance. Repeat on the other side. Then, using a compass, or a string and a pushpin, connect those two points using an arch.
Next, do the same for your shoulder-neck length. Mark on both sides and connect using an arch.
Cut along both lines and you have your shoulder base!
Now, onto the strips. This all depends on your height, as the strips need to be as long as you are (well, from your shoulder to your feet). I’m only 5’2”, so my strips only needed to be about 50” or so. What we wound up doing was making them too big, just to be on the safe side, and then pinning them to the appropriate length. More on that later.
To cut out the strips, we used a rotary cutter. This was one of our many bad ideas on the project. This decision would have been okay if I wasn’t totally lazy. But since I am, once I had my strips, I wanted to sew them on. I didn’t take into account the fact that all three fabrics frayed like crazy. The ideal solution would have been to have a serger (which I don’t have), or to stitch under the edge of every single side of every single strip.
Our lazy solution was to use pinking shears (or you could use a pinking rotary cutter) to finish the edges. This was also difficult to do with the shears because we had to redo the seams on each strip. Using a pinking rotary cutter from the start would have been the best lazy option.
We used 36 strips per mistcloak. Obviously, more would have been better.
Step 3: Pinning and Sewing
First, let’s tackle the base. We have the circle, so now we just need to cut a vertical line straight up and down to make our opening. To create clean hems, fold each side under and stitch. Do the same with the circle that is closest your neck. I (stupidly) used white thread which makes the seam super obvious. I would suggest using a color that blends in better.
Next, I cut two long strips of the poplin and turned them into ties. Mavin decided to use a clasp to keep her cloak together. Again, this is a way to make it yours and unique.
With that done, now it’s only a matter of pinning the strips into place. This would be difficult to do on your own, so I would suggest having a partner help. I put my base on and Mavin pinned all my strips in place. We did a bottom layer, with the strips next to each other, and a top layer, with the strips staggered.
Here was lazy mistake number two. After they were pinned, I didn’t want to bother with removing the extra length at the top. I just sewed them all down. This created a very ugly, tattered look, with random strips cut off near the base. To cover this, we decided to add a little bit of frills in the form of lace. I bought a double layered black lace, about two inches long. Mavin went with a three layered lace that was about four inches. Again, customize.
Lucky for us, this covered the ugly seam and made it look a little fancy!
Step 4: Accessorize
We wore these mistcloaks to the Phoenix Comicon the next year. I was going for a Vin look, but Mavin was more or less just another mistborn. We both had our allomancer metal vials that we bought from Brandon Sanderson’s official store. I even added in a single stud earing to my ear. Complete the look with black leggings and a black shirt. Now you’re ready to rock your mistcloak!
And here I am with a No Face cosplayer. I adored the detail on her outfit!
Stay tuned for next time when I’ll show you how to make an easy Aes Sedai shawl!