I've briefly mentioned my second job as costumer for Frightful Acts before. Frightful Acts is a small high-end silicone mask company made up of a very few dedicated people. We were recently commissioned to make a Darth Maul mask by a devoted Star Wars fan, and when someone saw our progress updates on Facebook they commissioned an Emperor Palpatine mask as well. Since we're making the masks we figured we might as well go all the way and make the costumes as well.
I decided to start with Emperor Palpatine because frankly his costume is a lot easier. There are just two basic pieces to it, a cloak and under-cloak, both of which are fairly straightforward. Darth Maul on the other hand has half a dozen very specific layers and a cloak of tiny little sunray pleats that I'm dreading having to make. Tonight I finished the Emperor's cloak.
The original movie cloak was made out of waffle weave fabric dyed black (or so I heard while researching my own cloak) since it's almost impossible to find waffle weave fabric in black, as I quickly found out. I did however find a black plisse fabric that looks very similar to waffle weave. It had glossy stripes on the good side which wouldn't work for the costume so I just used the backside of it. The cloak itself is fairly simple, the only really defining characteristics are the fabric choice and the shirring at the sleeves. I had a fairly easy time making the cloak actually. We'll just have to wait and see how the rest of the Star Wars costumes go though.