This robe can be finished in as little as 3-4 hours, if not doing hand blind hem stitching. I recommend shopping for fabric only when you get those handy 40%+ off coupons in the mail, by email or flyers. I spent $38 on my fabric, using a 50% off coupon at Jo-Ann's for 8 full yards of 44" inch fabric. I went with the lesser width fabric because I absolutely fell in love with the type, color and texture of the fabric and could not find something similar enough in a wider size. This necessitated stitching two 3 yard lengths together, but it was worth it.
Required for this project:
5-8 yards of fabric, depending on width
Heavy duty machine needle
Medium weight machine needle
One regular hand sewing needle (optional for blind hemming)
Sharp scissors OR rotary cutting wheel and mat
One spool/color of matching thread
Straight line machine stitch, or a blind hem machine stitch if you know how to do it-I don't so I did that part by hand.
I cosplay Aayla Secura, Lake Dress Padme Amidala and Classic Princess Leia. My Aayla and my friend's Dash Rendar recently took Best in Show at ConCarolinas.
Step 1: Fabric!
You can do polyester, but I prefer heavy cotton, broadcloth or blends. Polyester fabric can be used, but be aware of the stretch and stretch amount when you buy. Broadcloth isn't that heavy and is usually less expensive in general - but will have more weight than just cotton. The fabric I used here is a linen/cotton blend. Jedi robes are usually made out of wool, but I find this to be both prohibitatively expensive and heavy. If you want to go that route, by all means, do it. A rougher, or any texture will also help hide any machine or hand stitches you have to make. The fabric I chose for my robe had the added benefit of looking nearly identical from either the front or back - most fabric will have a visible right side and wrong side - mine did not.
In this tutorial, we are making a robe that is folded over at he neck/shoulder so it can be more screen accurate, as well as Rebel Legion acceptable - this omits an upper arm seam. Ideally, your only visible seams, when finished will be along the sides and very edges of the robe if you make it fully lined, or do facings. There will be a seam at the hood as well. If I make another robe, I will double over the front edge to remove the front facing edge seams and figure out something for the hood as well.
Step one: WASH YOUR FABRIC FIRST. Seriously, go chuck in the washing machine, dry it, then come back. I'll wait.