Hello Fellow Rangers,
I hear you’re interested in making your own Ranger’s Apprentice costumes and cloaks. Well, it’s taken me over seven years and a lot of patience but I’ve completed my own personal mission to create a Ranger cosplay. So I thought I’d give you all a nudge in the right direction with this easy step-by-step tutorial.
I’m sure you’ll all agree that the most important piece of a Ranger’s garb is the cloak – without it our jobs would be much harder and our movements too conspicuous.
After sewing my own cloak, I realised that it’s not too difficult if you have a sharp mind … and a sharp needle and thread. So let’s get started!
You can buy your own fabric (mottled green and grey if you want to be exact) OR you can approach it the way I did, using an old woollen blanket. You’ll just need to make sure that it’s about 60–90 centimetres (2–3 feet) longer than you and as wide as your arm span.
Next, lay the blanket on the floor, line the bottoms of your feet up with the bottom of the blanket and mark where your shoulders end. This is for the neck line. Along the line do a running stitch (it should look like this – – – – – –), with a thick cord.
Once done, pull the end of the cord so that the blanket is forced to scrunch up like a curtain. Make sure it feels good around your neck before you knot the cord in place.
Now here’s where it gets a little tricky. Fold the blanket in half LONG sides together, straighten it, and then cut down the fold of the smaller square, or your soon-to-be ‘hood’, to just above the neck line. Starting from the newly cut edge, round the back point of the ‘hood’.
Sew the cut ends back together so that it creates a nice rounded shape for the hood. AND you’re almost done! You may want to try step 4 and 5 with a piece of paper first so you can get the feel for it without taking a chance on your cloak.
Fold the outside edges of the hood under around 5–7 centimetres (2–3 inches) to form a hem. Then sew it in place.
The only thing left to do is round the corners of the bottom of your cloak if you wish. It’s best to have a family member or friend to help you out by cutting round the bottom of the cloak while you wear it. And you’re done!
Since I don’t have much time and must return to my Ranger duties soon, I will leave you with just a few quick tips on the main garb...
A Ranger’s light-weight, soft-soled leather boots are pretty easy to find in an online store, or if you’re feeling very brave, here is a pattern to make your own.
Black sweat pants are good for beginners. Sometimes even hardcore cosplayers will wear them.
Just remember you should always go for something that may be a size or two bigger than you normally wear.
These include arm guards, belts, pouches, quivers, bows and of course a double knife holster. (Don’t forget to observe any rules about weapons at cosplay events). A full step-by-step tutorial on how to create these bits and pieces is a lesson for another time! But there are plenty of options to choose from in online stores or again, if you’re feeling rather confident, there are patterns and how-to’s for all.
Now, mind you, it took me a good seven years or more to get where I am now, so don’t expect much in the beginning. I just kept telling myself that making each piece was a mission and that once I had gotten everything I needed to fit well into my Ranger’s garb, I would be a master.
Now I must bid you all farewell. Good luck on your mission to create a Ranger’s cloak of your own!
The Ranger Corps