Introduction: Easy Peet the Sock Man Costume (from the Wingfeather Saga, on the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness)

Peet the Sock Man is a character from the Wingfeather Saga, a book series that is remarkably obscure for its intense awesomeness. He is pretty much the village crazy guy, and is appreciated for his tricks and songs, as well as laughed at for his odd behavior. The reason that we are writing this Instructable is because we couldn't find a tutorial for a Peet costume on the internet at all!

Well now there is one.

Peet is really a fun character to dress up as. Read on for a fantastic tutorial for a fantastic costume.

"His cheeks were sunken, his eyes were shadowed, and the creases around them gave him the look of having just finished crying. He wore ragged clothes and was filthy, as were the dingy knitted socks that he wore up past his elbows." -- Andrew Peterson, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, page 30


According to various descriptions and images in the books, Peet the Sock Man’s wardrobe has five major parts: the tunic, the over shirt, the britches, the boots, and of course, the socks. You will need to be willing to ruin most of the articles here. See steps 1, 2, and 3

For the tunic, you will need a white T-shirt, a piece of twine, and some coffee, of any sort.

For the over shirt, you will need a dress shirt of an odd color, perhaps lime or purple.

For the britches, you will need a pair of pants, brown if possible but gray or black will work. Preferably, get pajamas with a drawstring. They ought to be a size or two too large.

You can use any pair of boots that you want, as long as they’re a bit ratty. As for the socks, they should be up to your elbows, with several inches dangling down. They could have patterns, and/or be mismatched. If you just happen to have a pair of plain knee socks from a sport, those will work too.

You will also need several random scraps of fabric. We used an old pillow case, a scrap of a curtain, and a napkin.

A ratty belt is also needed to complete the look.

Remember, the thrift store is your best friend! Every article that we used here came from Goodwill, except for the socks and the belt.

Step 1: Choosing Supplies

The t-shirt is the main base of your costume. It will become your tunic, with some cutting and staining. You should have a plain white t-shirt (cream is acceptable) with no pocket or buttons. It should be at least one size too large, but larger is great. Whether or not its a v-neck is up to you. However, if your shirt is several sizes too large, the neck may be too low to look accurate. If you choose not to use a v-neck, then you will have to cut it deeper than if otherwise.

The over shirt should be a dress shirt of a strange color. We chose purple, but you really could choose any color at all. Select one that is at least a couple sizes too large. Again, the thrift store is the best place to get these.

The pants should be large, one or two sizes too large for you, maybe even three. The best type of pants to use for medieval britches are pajama pants, with functional drawstrings, preferably brown or gray, without a pattern.

Your socks should be knee socks, preferably mismatched and/or with patterns. However, you can use any random socks that you have lying around, as long as the come up to your elbows, with at least three inches dangling.

With the boots, you have the most freedom. The only description of Peet’s boots is that they were “Two ragged boots.” The boots that we chose weren’t exactly ragged, but they had a nice faded color.

Step 2: Staining the Tunic

For those who enjoy the satisfaction of ruining perfectly good clothes, this is the best step in the entire Instructable. This step should probably be done outside, because it could potentially be quite messy. Do it on a hard surface, such as a concrete driveway or wooden picnic table.

Brew about a quart of coffee in a couple different batches of different strengths. Lay the t-shirt out on a hard surface outside. Poor the coffee evenly over the shirt, so that it has an even light brown color. If you used French press coffee, then poor the mud over the shirt and rub it in. If possible, find a lump of red clay, break off a corner and rub it in patches over the shirt. You can also use tea for varied degrees of color.

Let the shirt lie there for several hours to dry. When the shirt is almost dry, you can put it in the dryer for a bit to help set the stain.

Step 3: Trimming and Finishing the Tunic

Once it is dry, cut all the hems, collar, and sleeves off of the t-shirt, removing as little as possible. If you did not choose a v-neck t-shirt, then cut a small v in the neck. If you want to adjust the cuts after the first go around, that’s fine, but remember that you can take more off, but you can’t put it back on. Using an awl, or the tip of your sewing scissors, punch some holes along the v that you cut on the t-shirt, on each side. Thread some twine through the holes, like threading shoelaces.

Step 4: Trimming the Dress Shirt

Cut the bottom hem off of the dress shirt. Trim the cuffs and collar off as well, then remove the buttons and button holes, and the hemming attached to them. The shirt should have no buttons, hems, or pockets. The stiffer fabric attached to the hems should go too.

Step 5: Patching

Cut your miscellaneous pieces of fabric into about a dozen squares and rectangles of fabric. These patches should vary in size, anywhere from 1” by 1” to 3” by 3,” just whatever looks good. They should be at least three different colors. None of them should match either the shirts or pants.

This part will require some sewing, and be a bit time consuming, but its easy, and really worthwhile.

Sew the patches onto the fabric with wide, garish stitches, using brightly colored thread that clashes with the fabrics. We used a single patch in the inner tunic, then patched the pants three times. We patched the outer shirt five or six times. Each time we used a really basic stitch that should be really easy to replicate.

Step 6: Wearing the Costume

Put on the pants. Pull on the tunic, then wrap that ratty belt around it. Put the dress shirt on over the tunic. Pull the socks up to your elbows, letting the rest dangle. Put on the boots, being sure to tuck the pants into them. Now look in the mirror and admire your fantastic costume!

Step 7: Weathering the Costume

Put on the costume. Play some Handyball with your friends. Maybe challenge a street sign to a fistfight.

Or just roll in the mud.

"Earlier that summer, in fact, Peet crashed into the street sign at the corner of Main and Vibbly Way (which was quite innocent, as it was standing tall and in plain sight). After insulting the sign's mother, Peet challenged it to a contest, though it quite stoically showed no sign of retaliation. He took a hard swipe at it, missed, spun in a circle like a circus dancer from Dugtown, and collapsed in the dirt where he snored noisily all that night." -- Andrew Peterson, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, page 30