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This should have been the easiest of the three.

I should know better than tagging anything “easy.”

My first problem was in figuring out what shape Gandalf’s cloak is, since – again, depending on reference – it isn’t quite a true cloak, and it isn’t quite a hooded robe. So, I compromised by starting with the hooded robe pattern, and extended the sleeves down to the hem.

This allows it to be draped over the arms like a robe, or tossed over the shoulders like a cloak.

The main source of contention, was the robe/tunic itself.

My original plan of using two front pieces to give enough fabric for cinching around the waist made a collar that was too wide, so my original attemp at a tunic was scrapped. Also, the colour of the fabric didn’t line up with the colour in all the screencaps I had of Gandalf’s costume, so that was also a point of contention. It was great for the cloak, but not for the tunic.

The fabric that was the colour that I prefered was heavier, and didn’t cinch well, especially after lining the collar; I tried to use double-sided fabric tape and stitches to help, but I taped/stitched in the wrong places. No amount of anything was going to make this travesty work, so I had to sit back and seriously reflect on what I was expecting out of this costume.

By the time I had decided to just suck it up and go with the fabric I was using for the cloak, it turned out that the lighter-side of the fabric I wanted for the tunic was the side I’d used for the outside of the cloak. I at least wanted to keep the darker cloak to contrast with the lighter tunic, so I had to redo both cloak and tunic from scratch to make it work. The problem was, I was on the last dregs of this particular fabric.

Miraculously, I had just enough to cut out all five pieces (two for the tunic, two for the cloak, one for the hood) with little room to spare. I forced myself to take my time, and make sure I tripled-checked everything so I didn’t mess anything up.

The only other heart-in-throat portion was the hat. Out of the remains of the fabric, I had nothing left for the hat. I was resigning myself to yet another incomplete costume, when I remembered something very important: I never threw away the scrapped, original cloak.

Using the same method I came up with for the top hat, and fedora, I very carefully utilized the remaining fabric to work with the design. Unfortunately, the only way I could get enough fabric for the top of the hat was to cut and sew it in such a way that the point curves and falls forward, instead of backward. But once I had the hat on Timmy’s head and played around with it, it fell into place almost perfectly.

After posting the finished product on Instagram, I realized that something was missing. Timmy-Gandalf needed a beard.

A medical gauze pad, some cotton batting, 5-minute epoxy, two pieces of stick-on velcro, and 10 minutes of time, and voilà! Instant beard. It started to yellow a bit by the end of Saturday, because of the epoxy, but meh. What can you do?