Tok'ra desert tan uniform

(based on instructions made by Kitha on http://www.tokraresistance.com)

Shirt

Type is with mock turtle neck collar. The following pattern works, with a number of modifications. Pattern: Simplicity 4830A (jacket) as Kitha suggested. As it is for a jacket and we need a shirt, use a size smaller than usual. I modified it by not having a seam with a zipper down the front. Instead I have a short seam in the back, closed with 4 snaps. I also made the sleeves in one piece each, instead of in two (upper and lower). I suggest taking the pattern pieces #8 and #9 and taping/gluing them together to one piece before cutting out the fabric. I also took out the pockets to make the shirt more canon.

Since I just want the front in one piece (same for the back), and the jacket was meant to be put together by a top piece and a bottom piece, I suggest taping together the pattern pieces #4 and #5 before cutting out the fabric. It makes it a lot easier. Also, since we don't want a zipper down the middle of the front, we fold the fabric double before cutting that, instead of cutting two separate pieces.

The pattern pieces #7 and #10 are not used, as they are for the zipper down the front, and for an elastic at the wrist opening, which we don't need.

You should only cut one piece of #6, the collar (folded double as on pattern). The reason for this is that we are making a shirt and not a jacket, and thus don't want a very hard collar. It should be sewn to the right side of the shirt, and then folded over and sewn to the wrong side.

Material: cotton, hemp, or linen. Preferably of a somewhat coarse thread, as that seems to be what the Tok'ra are using (see the pictures from the link in the tutorial on http://www.tokraresistance.com/tokratancostume.html). Colour should be some variation of tan, beige, or greyish.

Since I needed more than one size of the shirt, I copied the patterns to parchment paper and cut along that. A word of advice - it is possible to sew this shirt by hand (and I had to do that, as I don't have a sewing machine), but it would have been much faster using a machine. Don't get scared away by the pattern - I thought it looked horribly complicated (I've not really sewed much of anything before, except repaired buttons and seems), but common sense goes a long way when the words in the pattern doesn't mean anything to you. The shirt turned out nice anyway, so don't worry - so will yours.

Materials used for shirt



Finished shirt



Pants

I just needed a pair of very simple pants in a greyish colour, which seems to be what they use. I bought medium/dark grey linen in light weight, and it seems to work fine. What I bought was called "light grey linen" despite being at least medium grey - but the colour seems fine for the Tok'ra pants. I bough it from eBay (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=360021329172&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:PIC&ih=023). I have no experience sewing pants, so I bought a pattern: McCall's classic fit M5239 and used that. I took out the pockets as they will be hidden under the "skirt" anyway. Remember to make the pant top straight instead of going in to make room for pockets, if you take them out too. I used 4 snaps to close the pants and a grey band to tie with (bias tape).



Leg and wrist wrappings

For this I bought soft, white, suede leather sheep skins (whole). I bought three for making wrappings to two people, and it was barely enough. I will suggest buying two whole skins per person. I bought these on eBay, just as the linen for the pants. I got them here: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=170197120520&ssPageName=STRK:MEWN:IT&ih=007. They were uncoloured/white, so I needed to dye them. I used Rit Taupe colour. 1 box of powder is enough for 3-4 skins. Be careful, both because the dye stains everything and because even small wrinkles/folds in the skins when it is being dyed will be seen as uneven coloration on the finished skin. One of mine became fine and the other two was somewhat uneven. It doesn't matter much, since the Tok'ra leg/wrist wrappings are bunched up a lot. It would probably be easier to buy them in the right colour from the start, but I couldn't find any. I should have used wide leather bands for tying them, but instead I used some relatively thin ones, because they could be bought in rolls. I will probably change this later. It is difficult to tie the bands hard enough to keep the leg wrappings up, so I made some holes and threaded the leather straps through those and that helped to keep the wrappings in place.

Vest

The vest is made out of relatively thin garment leather. It is the "wrong" side out, and that side should not be colored, i.e. it should be the natural greyish color. The "right" side could be any color, but grey/brownish is probably best. The color should not bleed through to the back, but just be as if it is a layer that is "painted" on. What I bought on eBay was a full cowhide (46 sq.ft. - enough for two vest). Semi-smooth natural grain. Thickness about 1mm. The color was "Venetian Medium Camel". I bought it from Villaleather.

There is a picture at http://www.tokraresistance.com showing a screen used uniform. The direct link is here (hit page down maybe two times to get down to it).

The front and back pieces are both uneven. I cut both a back and a front of the leather and then sewed them together at the top with waxed linen thread (brown). The left side I left open, as that is how it was on the pictures of Tok'ra uniforms I could find. The right side is connected with 6 leather strips of the same material, about 30-32 cm long and 3 cm wide. They are sewed on from the bottom and beside each other.

On the front of the vest is tanned tripe sewn/glued on. Yes, it is actual cow tripe. It is very difficult to get, but it can be ordered from The Leather Connection in UK. Email them and tell them what you want and in which color, and they will tan it and send it to you - they will send to the USA, and probably the rest of the world too.

How much tripe you use is a matter of choice. For some of the Tok'ra they have tripe on the whole front, others have it only on part of the front, and others again have it in two pieces, top and bottom, perhaps up on a shoulder. Some again have it hanging down below the vest. You are very free to do as you want here.

Pictures below show the vest from the back and then from the front. It is the 'wrong' side out of the leather on the picture. Since that is the side we want to show, you sew it on the other, 'right' side.



Vest sewn at top, 'right' (our wrong) side out:



This picture below shows the side-strips, at the bottom, right side of the vest.



Vest, sewn at top and with sidestrips, 'our' right side out:



A bunch of tripe:



Skirt

The leather pieces for the skirt is cut somewhat uneven. I made it out of two pieces of leather that each are trapezoidal in shape. I then made holes down the sides with a leather punch (very hard!). Then they can be laced with leather lacings (can be bought ready from Hobby Lobby or similar store), in x-shapes, like for shoes. The skirts look very different for each Tok'ra, making it relatively easy to make canon.

Skirt:



Skirt seen from side, with the lacings:



Shoulder piece and shoulder belt

The Tok'ra wear a shoulder piece, presumably to protect against heavy things they might carry, or it may be symbolic, or even rank related. In either case, most wear it on the left shoulder, but Jacob and a few others wear it on the right. It is greyish or tan in color, with the border a lighter color. They are usually quilted in a square pattern, but some are basketweave pattern (Jacob!), or even just diagonal lines. Many possibilities here, as usually :) The border is either plain or tripe. The easiest is to buy a material which is already quilted. I found some at hobby lobby. It was white, but can be dyed easily. I dyed it too lightly, I think either tan or taupe Rit color would work, but it probably needs a very short time in the bath. The border is made from bias tape, which is also dyed, but lighter than the quilted material. Just cut the quilt in a oblong oval and sew the bias tape around the edge. Then, glue the shoulder piece to the vest, on top of the tripe. Observe that it is difficult to get to stick! Many Tok'ra use a shoulder belt, which helps to keep zat'nik'tel holder and/or leather pouch in place. I haven't made one yet, but I may one day, since I will need at least a holder for my zat'nik'tel. For now, go to http://www.tokraresistance.com/tokratancostume.html and read their description for a shoulder belt.

Vest with tripe and shoulder piece glued on:



Belt

The Tok'ra have many different kinds of belts, some made of leather, some of clothing of some kind. To make the belt I used a broad, brown strip of leather. I closed it with small metal studs, which could be pressed through holes (made with a punch). The end was kept in place with a small loop of leather:

The belt closes in the back, not the front. The Tok'ra often have three stylish x's in front. You can make these by punching 12 holes and weawing with a thin, lighter color leather strip. Make sure one of the x's is in the exact front.



Socks

I just used ordinary white tennis socks, dyed tan. I dyed them in a strong tea-bath. I took Kitha's suggestion and used Earl Grey (no pekoe).

Shoes

Tan in color. I just used a pair of shoes that fit reasonably in color, as I could not get the kind I wanted (West Lafayette, Indiana is a hole in the ground when it comes to shopping). They also get covered mostly by the leg wrappings, so it does not matter so much. Good desert boots can be bought on Amazon: Clark's Original Men's Desert Boots.

Full uniform

Here is all of the uniform seen together, on me (Roeskva) and Tjalfe.