Hello! I'm going to make my own version of the iconic bird printed velvet robe from episodes 7, 8, and 10 of Our Flag Means Death. I'm not going to do it in the same colours, but I do want to keep the cut as screen accurate as I can.
I've made a mockup, and have drawn out my pattern diagram, which I hope will be helpful to other people who are also looking to make this robe.
|Photo by Aaron Epstein|
It doesn't have much in common with 18th century wrappers, unlike the yellow one Stede wears in earlier episodes, but this isn't the post to get into historical accuracy so I shan't.
(I've got a very long guest post on the show's costumes over on Frock Flicks. Part 1 is here and part 2 is here.)
The robe is fabulous and I think it works very well for the show!
It's made of a printed cotton velvet (not silk, as Izzy mistakenly called it) and there are a number of online shops that carry the exact same design. Handicraft Palace has it on their website, as well as on ebay, and is the company the show's costumers got the fabric from.
It should be noted that their 3 yard listing is much cheaper than 3 individual yards, so even though the robe only requires about 4 and a half (unless you want to do pattern matching) it's more economical to just get 6 using the 3 yard option if you're buying from this seller.
All these places have it in a variety of other colours besides pink, and I've ordered the dark purple version for my version of the robe. Edit: My purple velvet arrived and is NOT dark at all, it's a very different shade of purple from the photos, so I'm going to overdye it.
I've been told that the way it looks in the show is more accurate to how it looks in person than the extremely bright hot pink it is on the website's photos. And that it sheds a lot of fuzz in the wash. I'll be sure to serge the edges of all my pieces before sewing, even though it'll be fully lined. I don't want any internal fraying to fill the hem up with lint.
"Lining is a fuchsia matka from Sai Silks in NYC with vintage tassels from @westerncostumecompany."
"I started with a traditional kimono pattern draft and added a box pleat at the back neck because costume designer Christine Wada wanted more movement around the feet, but not be too baggy on the shoulders. I also had to add shoulder seams to keep the birds facing up."
"The tassels are stitched to the corners of the sleeves and the corners of the neck band. There are 4 total."
"I don't think it had any beading, I'm almost sure it was a thread tassel."
"The piping is actually a bright orange dupioni and the lining is fuchsia. Initially the robe lining and piping were all going to be either the fuchsia or the orange, but when we did stitching samples to determine the size of the piping, the fuchsia didn't pop well against the fabric. The orange however wasn't as cohesive with the outer fabric, so we used both.
"@shizenbeauty did a great job of getting that exact 1/8th" piping! I swooped in at the end and stitched on those great tassels."
|From Hannah Greene's instagram.|
You can see the inverted box pleat quite clearly here.
After having had a quick look at some sites, the pink silk matka I've come across has been awfully expensive, especially for the rather coarse texture it is. Personally I'd want something more slippery for a lining, like satin, or perhaps taffeta (which is maybe too crisp for the lining of something so drapey, but will soften up if you wash it).
There are definitely lots more pink lining fabrics out there, but I haven't looked very hard because I'm not looking to buy any, and this post is more about the patterning.
|A good view of the piping.|
|We can see here that it's about ankle length on Ed, |
and he's a little bit taller than Stede (when Stede isn't wearing heels).
|From Hannah Greene's instagram.|
|Here it is with my fish print flannel nightgown.|
|Not up to my usual standards, but still wearable.|