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- AimeeMajor.com | Princess Leia Star Wars Costume A New Hope
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DEBUT: Disney Not-so-scary Halloween 2013

I’ve been a fan of Star Wars since I was a kid and always related to Princess Leia and loved Han Solo! I finally decided to make the costumes this year. NOTE: The Disneyland photos show my buns 1.0 before I fixed them.

HOW I MADE IT:

Here are some good making of pages for how to make a A New Hope Star Wars Princess Leia:

Leia’s Star Wars A New Hope gown has no shoulder seam and no center or back seam and it’s roughly a big “T” shape. It has side slits (both sides) to about knee length. The back has a key-hole opening at the neck.

SHOPPING LIST:

  • about 9 yards 60″ Jet Set white knit (Joann’s)
  • lightweight iron-on interfacing
  • hook and eyes or snaps for the neck closure
  • bellystrip of leather big enough for your belt. (You can get this at Tandy Leather)
  • Angelus white leather paint (amazon or leather craft supply stores.)
  • 6×18″ .25 aluminum sheet and some type of snips to cut it with (home improvement store)
  • 8 Dritz button blanks size 45, 1 1/8″ (Joann’s)
  • 7 buttons (any size can be left over)
  • thick thread
  • leather snaps (Tandy Leather)
  • leather punch the right size for the snaps (Tandy Leather)
  • leather snap mallet (Tandy Leather)
  • strong glue like Super Glue or 2-part Epoxy.
  • extensions to do your hair buns
  • white plain flat boots, calf height or so

I made Leia’s gown out of 60″ wide Jet Set white thin knit from Joann’s Fabric. The gown is fully lined and has a hood so you need enough for that. I bought about 9 yards I think.

The gown is very loosely fitting in the bodice area, so you need enough fabric to have it baggy AND allow for your sleeves. Since I’m very tall, have long arms and am a bit busty, I decided to use Angel Monkey’s idea of splitting the gown at the waist. So I cut the top of the gown sideways on the fabric so I could make it as wide as I wanted… and the bottom of the gown cut the normal way, on the straight of the grain. The dress has 6 pieces, 4 for the body of the dress (2 fronts, 2 backs since it’s lined), 1 collar which is folded over, 1 hood.

These were the rough measurements I used for cutting my dress. I’m 6 feet tall and have a 42″ bust when I made this. My friend Jinyo said that Victoria’s (very nicely done) Leia dress was roughly about 11″ wider than her natural bust to give you a rough idea to figure out your own Leia dress measurements. Take a look at the dress pattern (labeled with measurements) on this page and the measurements I have below should make sense. Her measurements may be closer for you, or mine might be! It depends on your size.

DRESS

LENGTH: 67″  dress length

BUST: 18″ (on fold)

HEM: 28″ (on fold)

SHOULDER to ARMPIT: 12″+

WRIST OPENING:(from top of wrist to bottom of wrist) 15″+

COLLAR HOLE: 5 cm wide, 3 cm tall

CENTER BACK to WRIST: 33.5″

COLLAR: cut on the bias 6″ height pattern, total length: 17″

HOOD: trapezoid shape, from fold on the left: 23″ top width, 19″ height, 21″ bottom width

Since I split the pattern at the waist, I used the seam allowance at the waist to help add some elastic to help gather the waistline. All this would be hidden by the belt of course. I used a lightweight iron-on interfacing on the collar to help it keep it’s shape and I also applied lightweight interfacing and stay stitching around the collar hole area of the gown. The Jet Set knit can unravel quite easily if you stress it too much, so the interfacing helps with that along the neck area. To close the high collar I put a hook and eye at the top of the collar and the bottom of the collar. After wearing it twice, I’m not sure I would recommend hook and eyes, snaps might stay better.

Another note, you might want to wear a full flesh-toned slip underneath your dress as even fully self-lined, the dress is a little transparent and might show your bra-line!

BELT:

I got a 6×18″ .25 aluminum sheet from Lowe’s and I asked the employee there what kind of snips to get to cut it and bought that.  I used these two images to create my belt from the now defunct Obi-Wan’s Jedi Academy. This to cut the metal pieces and this for assembly. (Thanks to Kay Dee) Basically I snipped the aluminum to the right size and shape. You may find that the aluminum curls a little on one side when you snip it, pay attention to this and cut all the sides the particular way so that the metal all curves to the back.

I made a pattern for the belt to try it on like here. I made sure to give it a large amount of overlap to allow for the snaps and any later change in size. I also made sure that the height/size of the belt was big enough to allow for the metal pieces plus a little extra.

I cut my leather with a strong exacto blade and then painted it with Angelus white leather paint. I used the leather punch to punch holes for the leather snaps and then applied the snaps.  IMPORTANT: It’s much harder to apply leather snaps if you use a normal hammer. It’s best if you have a wooden or soft mallet, the kind you get at a leather craft store like Tandy Leather. I destroyed probably 10+ snaps trying to do it with a normal hammer.

I had a hole drilled in each metal piece that I previously cut and the leather punch to put holes in my belt. The holes need to be big enough to put the shank of my silver button blanks through. The button blanks are  Dritz button blanks size 45, 1 1/8″. You can get them at Joann’s. I used a thick thread to thread the button blank through the aluminum plates and through the belt. On the back side of the belt I attached a button to secure the whole thing. To keep the aluminum plates from spinning on the front of the belt, I applied a little strong glue on the back side of the plates so they would stick to the leather belt some.

HAIR: I haven’t mastered this yet, but there are tips on how to do Leia’s hair buns here, here , here and here.

BOOTS: For the boots, Leia’s real boots are very specific with extra detailing, but other than getting a $200+ custom replica boot, it’s best to just get a plain flat white boot.  I got these here. Since they were slouch boots and had cuffs and other details…, I removed the attaching stitching very carefully with a seam ripper and resewed the lining to the outside where needed.

MAKEUP:  Roughly, she has glossy sort-of cinnamon-colored lips, heavy black eyeliner, brown/grey eyeshadow and prominent peach blush on the cheeks.