Making Han Solo Costume Vest
More in my series of posts about making a Han Solo costume. This time… the Han Solo Costume Vest.
The Han Solo costume vest is black with a lot of specific pockets.
Magnoli offers a nice one, but I wanted to make it myself and save some money. I got the Falcon Jacket pattern from Dawn Anderson Designs for Han Solo’s vest. It would require some modification but was a good starting point. There’s a great A New Hope Vest Breakdown thread here on rebellegion by SoloYT1300 (Robert Kohn). Just in case the thread or images go down, I’ve archived that information here in a zip file if you need it. I have to say, after making it myself, it was a lot of work!
The A New Hope Han Solo Costume Vest is made out of black twill and lined in a thinner black cotton with interfacing in various areas.
MAKING THE MUSLIN FOR HAN SOLO COSTUME VEST
Here’s a couple good shots of the vest to get an idea of what you’re going for.
I took the basic front and back pieces (no sleeves, no pockets) of the Dawn Anderson Designs Falcon Jacket pattern and did up a muslin. I had my husband try it on (with his previously made pants and shirt) and I compared the length of his vest to the length of the screen shots of Han Solo. Han Solo’s vest is a little short. It hits perhaps a little above the waist of his pants and in many screen shots it appears to be shorter than his shirt/pants line depending on his posture. I marked with a pen where I wanted the end of his vest to be and roughly where the pockets should be. I very closely watched A New Hope scenes and screenshots to try to get the sizes of the pockets pretty close to what Han Solo’s are. I made sure to leave room on my muslin drawing for seam allowances and empty space between the pockets and the seams.
My pockets ended up being slightly smaller and differently shaped than the ones that come with the Falcon pattern. The Falcon pattern does not have a crescent glove pocket. So draft your pocket sizes from your muslin and add seam the appropriate allowance. The matching billowed piece pocket parts must also be trimmed to match the new sized pocket pieces. It wasn’t too tough. You can just wrap the billowed pocket piece around your front pocket muslin to see how long it needs to be to accommodate your pocket. The pattern thankfully includes pretty much all the information you need to make the billowed pockets like the A New Hope vest.
Again, please look at the Rebel Legion thread about this vest, you can see which pockets are top stitched and billowed so that you get the details right! Basically, the front pockets are all billowed on three sides (including the crescent pocket). The only exception is the small rectangular pocket which is just topstitched onto the crescent pocket. The large back pocket is billowed on the two sides but topstiched on the bottom. The “loops” on the back are not one single piece but separate loops.
There is some debate exactly how the flaps work on the lower left front pocket. Some people think there are two flaps or perhaps a hidden pocket inside that pocket (and a second flap on that). It’s so hard to see in the movie whats really going on. I watched the one or two scenes where you can see that pocket partially open and I just can’t tell what’s going on. I decided to just make it a normal pocket. There’s also not any information I could find on whether the vest has interior pockets. I added one on mine for my husband’s convenience.
Even though I followed the pattern directions very carefully, the billowed pockets were a pretty tough to get even remotely clean/straight. So do this slowly and carefully! The hardest part for me was getting clean corners and really good accordion folds. Clip your corners very carefully and press everything really well. The pattern gives pretty good instructions for this.
Here are the mostly finished pockets without the back loops.