Hooded Ranger Cloak?

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Iodo
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Hooded Ranger Cloak?

Postby Iodo » Thu Nov 12, 2020 6:00 pm

My dad has wanted a hooded ranger cloak for years and I'm playing with the idea of making him one for Christmas, so my question for you all is, what are the best ways you know of to make a practical hooded cloak that's comfortable and works? because I've never attempted this before so I really have no clue where to start with the pattern

Thanks :P (and I hope he doesn't read this LOL)
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Re: Hooded Ranger Cloak?

Postby Elleth » Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:11 pm

I've played with a couple approaches and have a couple more R&D projects underway.
I've had several cloaks on the classic "long hooded cape clasped at the neck" pattern, and they were all terrible for any real weather or woods.

Basically I think you need to do at least one of two things to minimize the darn thing from choking you:

- keep the length in back comparatively short, to about what Andy did for his "watch cloak."
- stitch the neck shut to about halfway down the breastbone

More when I learn more, but for now I think either Greg's bocksten-and-seperate-hood or Andy's watchcloak are the best places to look for inspiration.
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Re: Hooded Ranger Cloak?

Postby Iodo » Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:08 pm

Elleth wrote:I've played with a couple approaches and have a couple more R&D projects underway.
I've had several cloaks on the classic "long hooded cape clasped at the neck" pattern, and they were all terrible for any real weather or woods.

Basically I think you need to do at least one of two things to minimize the darn thing from choking you:

- keep the length in back comparatively short, to about what Andy did for his "watch cloak."
- stitch the neck shut to about halfway down the breastbone

More when I learn more, but for now I think either Greg's bocksten-and-seperate-hood or Andy's watchcloak are the best places to look for inspiration.

Thanks for the tip about sewing it closed :P I've had the same experiences with badly made cos-plays with cloaks that clasp at the neck, that's what I really want to try to avoid

[EDIT] As an after thought, I came across this on an image search:

Cloak.jpg
Cloak.jpg (64.33 KiB) Viewed 553 times


there are some more pictures on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/578697153/ ... green-wool

that pattern looks quite simple (apart from the hood bit) and possibly less prone to the choking problem? so maybe something similar to that would work ?
Gimli: It's true you don't see many Dwarf-women. And in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, that they are often mistaken for Dwarf-men.
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Re: Hooded Ranger Cloak?

Postby Taurinor » Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:33 pm

Edit - Iodo's edit beat me to it! :mrgreen:

I don't use a hooded cloak myself, so take this positively briny, but I know some folks have played with a crossover front in the style of Frodo's original cloak in PJ's movies. Uthgard's cloak has a crossover front, and I think Manveruon has been playing with the idea. It seems like that might pull some of the weight forward (especially with a larger overlap), and provide a little more volume across the neck than just a clasp in front. That style seems to call for somewhat shaped shoulders, as well, which might help keep it distributed a little more evenly. Also might look nice "pinned upon the left shoulder by a brooch of silver shaped like a rayed star"!

I also think thinking of the cloak as a shell garment, rather than a blanket might help. Tight weave for water and wind resistance, but not overly heavy - layer tunics for warmth, instead!
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Re: Hooded Ranger Cloak?

Postby Elleth » Thu Nov 12, 2020 10:23 pm

... in fact, my current "Middle Earth" cloak has a crossed-over front, and yes, it helps quite a bit!

It's still not perfect, but it's much much much better than the classic clasp-at-the-throat pattern.
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Re: Hooded Ranger Cloak?

Postby Manveruon » Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:29 am

Taurinor wrote:Edit - Iodo's edit beat me to it! :mrgreen:

I don't use a hooded cloak myself, so take this positively briny, but I know some folks have played with a crossover front in the style of Frodo's original cloak in PJ's movies. Uthgard's cloak has a crossover front, and I think Manveruon has been playing with the idea. It seems like that might pull some of the weight forward (especially with a larger overlap), and provide a little more volume across the neck than just a clasp in front. That style seems to call for somewhat shaped shoulders, as well, which might help keep it distributed a little more evenly. Also might look nice "pinned upon the left shoulder by a brooch of silver shaped like a rayed star"!

I also think thinking of the cloak as a shell garment, rather than a blanket might help. Tight weave for water and wind resistance, but not overly heavy - layer tunics for warmth, instead!



Came here to say this! Yes yes absolutely!

(Hopefully I will have some pictures of it in action by this time next week, as I’m planning an outing on Monday, and intend to wear it out for that!)

Indeed I have been playing with this design, and so far I have to say I LOVE IT. I made a prototype out of some green wool-blend fabric I had lying around, and while I now know I want to change a few things about the final design before making one out of my REALLY NICE wool, I’m overall quite pleased. Taurinor is completely right that the crossover front takes a ton of the strain off the neck area, making the whole thing lay soooooo much nicer overall. My next one will feature longer tabs that reach *actually* all the way to the shoulder, whereas this one only crosses over to about the clavicle or so - but still, the design works quite well and is extremely comfortable. And it absolutely does look very nice "pinned upon the left shoulder by a brooch of silver shaped like a rayed star"!
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Re: Hooded Ranger Cloak?

Postby Iodo » Fri Nov 13, 2020 6:55 am

Awesome, Thanks so much for the info :P after I've finished the gift exchange project I'll see if can make some pattern mock-ups from old fabric to test some ideas

What about the hood bit? that seems more complicated
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Re: Hooded Ranger Cloak?

Postby Manveruon » Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:37 pm

Honestly, hoods are pretty easy. Usually they’re just a plain square or rectangle shape, doubled and sewn up two sides (or sometimes folded at the top and sewn up the back). Then you just pin and sew that to the neck hole of the cloak (French seams or flat-felled seams are usually good for this so there are no raw edges, unless you’re lining it).
If you want the hood to be less pointed, just round off the seam in the back so there’s no hard corner there. And if you want it MORE pointed, with a long tail, just elongate that point.
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Re: Hooded Ranger Cloak?

Postby Iodo » Fri Nov 13, 2020 9:31 pm

And there was me thinking it had to be a complicated shape to make it fit a cloak :lol:

thanks for the info :P
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Re: Hooded Ranger Cloak?

Postby Cimrandir » Thu Nov 19, 2020 3:23 am

So I'm in the camp of using separate hood and cloak but I can vouch for the cross-over method of cloak fastening. My current build is actually a blend of the Bocksten cloak and a early medieval plain square cloak that fastens on the right shoulder. I like the Bocksten for all the reasons Greg laid out in his wonderful article for the newsletter and for the practicality of the shaped shoulders. I like the square for the evocative aethestic of a rougher, earlier time. So what I am planning is basically building a Bocksten but shifting the closure to the front of the right shoulder (instead of the top) and then pinning it with a small penannular brooch. It will most likely have to have two darts on either shoulder to get it to hang right but hopefully it will have both a nice drape and a practical design. For length, I'd like it to hit just above the knee.
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Re: Hooded Ranger Cloak?

Postby Iodo » Thu Nov 19, 2020 7:42 am

Cimrandir wrote:So I'm in the camp of using separate hood and cloak but I can vouch for the cross-over method of cloak fastening. My current build is actually a blend of the Bocksten cloak and a early medieval plain square cloak that fastens on the right shoulder. I like the Bocksten for all the reasons Greg laid out in his wonderful article for the newsletter and for the practicality of the shaped shoulders. I like the square for the evocative aethestic of a rougher, earlier time. So what I am planning is basically building a Bocksten but shifting the closure to the front of the right shoulder (instead of the top) and then pinning it with a small penannular brooch. It will most likely have to have two darts on either shoulder to get it to hang right but hopefully it will have both a nice drape and a practical design. For length, I'd like it to hit just above the knee.


that sounds like a cool design :P My cloak of choice is also patterned from the Bocksten cloak, hence I had no clue what I was doing trying to make a more fantasy inspired hooded cloak :lol:
Gimli: It's true you don't see many Dwarf-women. And in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, that they are often mistaken for Dwarf-men.
Aragorn: It's the beards.
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Re: Hooded Ranger Cloak?

Postby Elleth » Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:54 pm

That sounds really cool Cimrandir!

... for what it's worth, I'm stitching up a couple "R&D" cloaks at the moment: a hoodless Bocksten with separate hood, and a short hooded "watch cloak" on more or less Andy's pattern.

The "watch cloak" is from plain wool broadcloth: offcuts from my original "Ranger" cloak.
The Bocksten pattern is strichloden wool, lined in linen. For that one I cheated, and just used a circular neck opening and unfitted shoulder so I could use it with the opening to either arm or down the front. I know it means things won't sit as well on the shoulders and that the neck will be a little bigger than I'd otherwise need, but that was a tradeoff I was willing to make for the testing flexibility.

Neither are completed, but my tentative thoughts:

- So far, I love a linen lining in my hood but I'm not at all partial to a linen-lined cloak body. Partly that's because linen doesn't take natural dye so well, so it flashes brighter than I like. I might be able to tone that down with another walnut dunk - we'll see. However, I'm also not really partial to the "slicker" interior texture or the slightly stiffer draping that results. It feels great for formal garments: not so much for a roughabout woodland cloak. I may end up either replacing the lining with lightweight worsted wool or pulling it out entirely - but I want to give the linen an honest try first.

- I like the flexibility of a separate hood, but so far have no strong feelings either way.

- I do like the strichloden wool, but not enough to pay a premium for it over regular broadcloth. I may revise that opinion once I get them both out in the weather, but I doubt it.

- so far, in terms of sheer practicality the "watch cloak" seems far and away the winner. It has neither the iconic look nor the textual support of the Bocksten pattern: but just being able to close the front (or side) up completely from the weather is a huge win.


I may revise those opinions once everything is stitched completely up and run through its paces... but things are far enough along I can wear them about, so I'm kinda doubting that at this point.
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Re: Hooded Ranger Cloak?

Postby Iodo » Thu Nov 19, 2020 3:59 pm

Elleth wrote:The Bocksten pattern is strichloden wool, lined in linen. For that one I cheated, and just used a circular neck opening and unfitted shoulder so I could use it with the opening to either arm or down the front. I know it means things won't sit as well on the shoulders and that the neck will be a little bigger than I'd otherwise need, but that was a tradeoff I was willing to make for the testing flexibility.

That's the direction I went with my dwarven adaption of the Bocksten pattern, it's totally symmetrical and can be worn on ether side or with the opening at the front, but with the opening at the front it can't easily be fastened because of the shape
Gimli: It's true you don't see many Dwarf-women. And in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, that they are often mistaken for Dwarf-men.
Aragorn: It's the beards.
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Re: Hooded Ranger Cloak?

Postby Manveruon » Thu Nov 19, 2020 7:12 pm

I feel like a closeable “watch cloak” like that has a really dwarvish vibe anyway. It seems very much like something the dwarves would have devised, being excellent problem solvers and innovators, and also living in largely inhospitable climes.
Last edited by Manveruon on Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hooded Ranger Cloak?

Postby Elleth » Sat Nov 21, 2020 4:00 pm

Oh, a bit late... but this is how I attach a cloak hood:

merf-cloak-neck.jpg
merf-cloak-neck.jpg (104.48 KiB) Viewed 271 times


I first sew the hood on "upside down" - wrong sides together. Then I flip the hood back out and stitch it in position.
The gathering/pleating at the back can get a little hairy, but no worse than trying to fell it. And this results in a nice clean collar.

It's basically the same technique as in the "lasdhir" - stitch one way, turn inside out, stitch the other way so as to capture the seam.
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=3185#p35080

I'll be doing my watch cloak hood in a week or so and can add step-by-steps then, if anyone wants them.

Also, here's the whole thing open so you can see how the crossed front works:
merf-cloak-open.jpg
merf-cloak-open.jpg (96.92 KiB) Viewed 271 times
Persona: Aerlinneth, Dúnedain of Amon Lendel c. TA 3010.

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