So I asked youngest what he'd like. All I got was a shrug and a 'I don't know'. Not a great start. But I couldn't stop thinking about Epic, having been to see it recently. I remembered some of the characters wearing nutshells on their backs, or bits of beetle (something from The Spiderwyck Chronicles too). So I suggested making a beetle carapace or a leaf shield out of cardboard. Nope. Youngest informed me he'd rather have a cloak. I suggested maybe a leaf. I knew I had a bundle of green fabric tucked away in my sewing box, so cutting something out wouldn't be a problem. Youngest agreed, and since we were visiting the school for an open evening so he could show us his work over the year, we visited Forest School too, and he picked a couple of leaves that he wanted for his cloak. He finally chose this one (ash, I think).
Then I had to figure out how to keep it clasped around his shoulders. At first I was just going to sew it together, with maybe a fabric leaf-shaped 'broach', and let him pull it on over his head. I'd already cut out a 'leaf' and used some embroidery thread to make the vein pattern on it.
Once I'd stitched the ties in place, I made a second leaf 'clasp' and used both leaves to cover the join.
The last job was to put some veins on the main leaf. I unravelled some black cord that I'd bought, and hand stitched it down the length of the cloak. It didn't have to be perfect because a real leaf isn't either. :)
And there you have it - the finished article. The fabric cost me about £3 from a charity shop (and I have enough material to make another three or four, it was THAT big a piece), the black cord cost me 50p, the embroidery thread came from a huge bag of the stuff that I bought for £1, and it took me just over a day to cut out and hand sew the whole thing. I didn't put a hem on the cloak - the fabric was jersey, which doesn't fray much, and the ragged, slightly curling edges just added realism to the overall effect. Boy was happy with it, the party went with the swing, and I enjoyed myself. Now, where did I put that pattern for a Jedi cloak for me...