10.30.2015

Princess Leia


 I've been working since January or so to make Alex's Halloween costume. she decided a long, long time ago (probably the day after Halloween 2014) that she wanted to be Leia. I didn't really think thru the fact that it would be such a popular costume this year. but she doesn't seem to mind. in fact, she said hers would be better than everyone else's anyways because i made it. so anyways, here's how i made Alex's A New Hope movie accurate Leia costume. I started with the hat. I asked Alex if she wanted to wear a wig or a hat and she wanted nothing to do with a wig. so i set out to find a Leia buns hat pattern. I didn't really like anything I found so i pieced together a few different patterns and put my own twist on the buns to crochet her hat. I love the part in the hat - i had to redo that several times to get it right. And the hat is really warm and cozy - it basically has built in ear warmers. Then I started working on both the belt and the dress at the same time. The dress looks rather simple to make, but as it turns out it is way more complicated than you'd think. It's a double layered white jersey gown with the long hood - that's a lot of fabric. I basically made this dress twice since I made the pattern myself and made a few mistakes along the way. I researched and read a bunch of different tutorials and padawan guides for making adult sized Leia gowns. I took Alex's measurements and set out to make a pattern out of excess old fabric that I had on hand. I had to make adjustments to the pattern, but not too bad. I wish I had made the arms a little longer, but I am happy with the length since I didn't want her tripping over the gown. There's even the slit in the sides like in the movie. I don't have a lot of experience with this type of fabric and i hand stitched quite a bit of it (which I prefer to machine sewing anyways.) I made the hood pattern wrong the first time - math error! so i made that part a second time as well. and i had never made a keyhole opening in clothes before nor had I made a mandorin collar before. I made the collar wrong the first time as well, but re-measured; made a new pattern and made it again. So, yes, I made every single part of this gown twice! and before i hemmed the bottom of the dress I sewed an elastic waste into the gown. I know, that part is not movie specific, but this is an 8 year old and it would be way easier for her to wear with that waste line sewn in. And finally I hand stitched the hem of the dress. I am so happy with how it turned out. It did not dawn on me until I finished that she would be wearing this at school at most likely get chocolate frosting or cupcake or something on this gown. I sprayed the entire thing with scotch guard - recommended by a friend of mine (thanks for the fabulous idea, Alison.) We'll see how well that works, but I figure if it doesn't then she'll just be post trash compactor Leia then. Finally the belt. I made the fabric part of the belt out of faux leather - I kind of wish I had gone with real leather just for the sturdiness and thickness of it. the faux leather was kind of a problem. the first time i tried putting snaps onto the belt for fasteners they ripped right thru the fabric. so yes, I also made the belt twice! This time i used snap fabric strips that I sewed onto the faux leather as the fasteners and those seem to be working beautifully. the plates on the belt: I cut them out of aluminum sheeting; filed down each one; and punched a hole in the middle. I then attached those to the belts with an eyelit brad (or whatever you call those things) using a resin button that I had made as a washer. They still were rotating and spinning so I did add some glue (e6000) to the backside of the metal plates. I bent the plates to curve around her waste for betting fitting. Finally i finished off the belt by glueing silver button covers over the hole of the plates. Oh, the blaster. I bought one of those cheap toy blasters that are white and orange; spray painted silver first; then spray painted black; sanded some areas for wear and tear so the silver would show thru; and sealed it with a matte coat. I made the blaster strictly for pictures; she will not be leaving the house with it. She loves the costume and might even wear it (if it survives the weekend) when we go to see The Force Awakens in December. Happy Halloween.

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