Sunday, March 14, 2010

tabard with wings

One of the groupings of costumes was called the "First Nations Family" This particular piece was worn by the elder male of the group (sorry , I can't name names here) who is, in real life, a First Nations chief from the west.
This costume began with simple hip length, long sleeved quilted tunic that zipped up the front.
Worn over that was a quilted tabard that I manipulated the quilted design to be rectangular zig-zag blocks rather than stripes.
Worn over the tabard was a cowl with "wings" (for want of a better word), at the back.

In the case of multiple layers such as these being worn, you need to be able to ensure that the clothes stay in the position you want them to, while they are being worn. I also wanted the performer to be able to remove layers, or leave layers off until the last minute because you can imagine the heat of wearing all this in an indoor arena while waiting to go onstage.
The tunic was closed CF with a zipper. The tabard closed on one shoulder and I snapped and velcroed it it to the tunic so it would stay in position. The cowl and wings attached to the tabard so the whole unit would work as one.

The cowl was built on a yoke structure of cotton duck that covered the upper chest and had a CB opening under the "wings".
I draped the fashion fabric cowl on the duck and stitched in the folds here and there by hand to hold it in place. The "wings" were 2 separate pieces of sun-ray pleated fabric that I attached to the base piece at the back neck and shoulder, folding them over on themselves to give a double layer. These were then hand stitched to the base, and then caught along the CB line which closed with snaps. I finished the back of the cowl shoulders with a narrow binding that was then stitched down over the back shoulder of the wings.
The front of the cowl was decorated with a row of bias tube "fringe" that went through small slits in squares of another decorative fabric. This technique was a take-off of original details on historic native clothing.

I wish I had taken photos of the wings being held out because it was a very dramatic and effective look.
I also wish they had shown more close ups of these during the ceremonies.
The look was topped off by an elaborate pleated head dress that was made by the very talented milliner-Kaz. I'll ask her if she has any photos to show.


  1. Ok, after viewing these last three posts of yours I have decided--you are freaky awesome! Wow! Thanks for the details in doing this work too. I'm just a beginning sewer but these details help me understand how things work. Beautiful coats!

  2. Terri,
    Wow! I love what you do with fabric. I really enjoy your blog. I have nominated you for a new award which you can pick up from my blog (if you have time).

  3. Thanks for the nomination, that's very kind but I don't know if can fulfill all the requirements- I don't think I can send it on to 12 other blogs since I barely have time to write this one- I'm behind on my blog reading!