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The Making of a RCMP (inspired!) Uniform

05 Jan

Let me just explain….

….

A few months ago the TV show Project Runway had this challenge where you had to make an outfit that represented a country and was inspired by that countries flag. Partway through the episode I asked my mother, “What would you make if you got Canada?” and she said “I would make a RCMP uniform.”

Of course this completely goes against what the judges would have wanted, since they look for originality, but I found the idea interesting.

Two of my favorite things are uniforms and dramatic color combinations and the Mountie uniforms have both. I thought it might be an interesting challenge / practice piece for me to sew.

I was talking to someone online the next day about cosplay ideas and they said I should cosplay Canadian pride. I asked what that would look like and they said a maple leaf or maybe a Mountie. I said I didn’t think I could pull off a Mountie costume and they said, “Oh no, Angela, you would be the most kawaii Mountie”

(‘kawaii’ means cute)

It was really late at night when this conversation happened, so it sounded brilliant at the time and I announced to the world of facebook that I was going to make a Mountie costume. When I woke up the next day I knew it was something I had to do.

(and now I feel it is my duty to be the most kawaii mountie I can be)

….

Now, If you don’t know what a Mountie is, or haven’t heard of the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) you can learn more here.

Even if you haven’t heard the name before, i’m sure you have (at the very least) seen pictures of them.

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….

Making an accurate uniform seemed a bit daunting to me. It also seemed a bit boring and might hinder my ability to live up to the kawaii-mountie title.

Designing a heavily inspired uniform seemed like a better option.

When I decided on that I knew right away there would be one major difference: I wanted to wear shorts instead of jodhpurs. They are a very unflattering pant style. I’m not interested in wearing them and i’m definitely not interested in making them.

I also decided to make this costume an educational tailoring experience by aiming for an exaggerated hourglass shape.

so after a bit of doodling, I came up with this!

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And the pattern pages to go with it. I don’t always make pattern pages, but they really do help. It gives me an idea of what each piece will look like which helps me visualize when it comes time to draft things. It can also help me estimate how much fabric I will need!

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It was a very easy pattern to draft, which surprised me. The front has princess seams and the back has darts. The lower frontmost panel is reinforced with interfacing and the side panels are made up of six 3/4″ knife pleats. The sleeves have an inverted box pleat on the top which aligns with the shoulder seam.

This is what my mock up looked like.

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And how my pattern ended up looking!

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I made the jacket from a bright red wool suiting which is the easiest material I have ever worked with. I don’t think you could get this fabric to pucker or wrinkle no matter how hard you tried. It sews and irons like a champ.

Construction went along quite quickly and smoothly!

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The first speed bump I hit involved the pockets which were stupidly difficult to get placed and size properly.


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I think the first pocket took me an hour to do – luckily they got progressively easier. I also did a bit of tailoring, nothing super fancy but I pulled it in at the waist.

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Around this time I stepped back from this project and started working a lot more on Royal Milk Tea. When I came back to this I decided to work on the shorts. I had never made shorts before so I was a bit nervous.

I decided to make them elasticized so fit wouldn’t be a major issue. I ended up studying and measuring pair of gym shorts before copying the pieces down onto paper. I added 7+” on each side and several inches in length to account for the “poof” and my pattern ended up looking like so!

(the marks on these are inaccurate, I dunno what I was thinking – ignore those)

shorts

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There really wasn’t much to these. They took of an hour to make.

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Easily the cutest mockup I have ever made, look at those!

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I was happy enough with the mockup to work on the real thing. I used a very dark blue (almost black) silk blend suiting which was lovely to work with and so soft. I used two inch wide elastic on the top and 1/2 elastic on the bottoms. I added cuffs, too which are 2 1/2 inches wide.

The gold is spandex.

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Paired with the jacket.

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My Christmas gifts to myself involved a hat, boots, and a belt, which really made a difference!

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And finally I got off my lazy butt and added the two remaining pockets.

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My wig also arrived! I went for something naturalish that matches the boots, hat, belt, etc.

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Now it still isn’t 100% complete. I have a few snaps and buttons to sew on, along with the tops of the lower pockets. I will probably add epaulettes too, but we’ll see. But or now i’m calling this costume finished, which means I only have three cosplays left to finish for Katsucon. No pressure.

….

There has been a comical amount of interest in this costume, so I imagine I will get a few good pictures of it, which I will make sure to post here!

Thanks for reading ^^

 
5 Comments

Posted by on January 5, 2013 in The Making Of

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

5 responses to “The Making of a RCMP (inspired!) Uniform

  1. Stormraven

    January 5, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Seriously, how are you so adorable? Now I want to make a Mountie-esque uniform (even though I’m as far from Canadian as you can get :P). Those shorts are too freaking cute!

     
  2. cybik

    January 28, 2013 at 9:38 am

    CANUCKS REPRESENT.

    /proudCanadian

     
  3. Pearl

    September 27, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    This is stunning! You have a lot of talent and I think this costume is incredible! I realllly wish I could borrow it. Mattel just released this redheaded mountie Barbie (she’s gorgeous) and it would be so great as a Halloween costume. I am blown away by your creativity and design sense. Very nice work!

     
  4. Suiggari

    December 20, 2013 at 6:23 am

    The shorts have a wonderful shape, did you stuff them with something or do they just go like that naturally?

     
  5. Nicole

    June 20, 2014 at 4:03 am

    Have you thought about making the outfit to sell?

     

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