When sewing for costumes and cosplay, I gravitate towards items that can be repurposed in everyday wear. Of course, it is a fine line to balance. Few characters allow you to make something that is recognizable but can be worn outside of the context of “costume” and “cosplay.” As is the perpetual struggle of a cosplayer with a mindset on sustainability.
For Halloween one year my husband, being a horror nerd, suggested we dress up as Jack and Wendy Torrance from Kubrick’s The Shining. The trademark outfits ticked all the boxes. Jack has a distinct maroon red corduroy jacket, and the hallmark axe would elevate it from casual wear to costume. I set to find a high quality source photo for the jacket and took it from there.
As I was planning this jacket, the original jacket worn in the film was being auctioned off. It was a great source for how to alter the pattern to include some distinct features! The jacket ended up going for nearly $24,000, for those that may be curious.
To create the jacket, I altered Simplicity 8845. It is a simple denim jacket pattern that I had previously made for Ian which fits him quite well. I made some notable additions/alterations to this pattern to give it more 80’s Shining stank:
- Combined the front into one pattern piece
- Combined the back into one pattern piece
- Inserted cotton ribbed band to the bottom hem
- Widened the shoulders by 0.5 inch
- Slashed and spread the wrists at the cuff to make two 0.5 inch pleats
- Slashed and spread the back to add six 0.5 inch pleats underneath the yoke
- Slashed and spread the front yoke to add two 0.5 inch pleats on each front shoulder seam
- Altered the button placket to make it a hidden button placket
- Added false pocket flaps to the front
It was made up of a dark red corduroy with a flecked brown band at the hem, both purchased via Etsy.
This was a lot of fun to make. The alterations to take it from a denim jacket to a distinctly Jack Torrance look were simple and satisfying. My husband does wear this jacket in his usual rotation, so I wish that I had done true pockets at the front instead of false pocket flaps so he could rest his hands in his pockets.