It's been a long time since I've done any clothes making. Sure, I've made some cloaks, and I made curtains, but making stuff to fit bodies is a whole other game. Especially when your kids aren't average (ultra skinny and her sister no-fat) and they need costumes that haven't existed in patterns since the 1980s. So, with the exception of McCalls M6203 which gave me the guidelines to making a pair of military-esque pants for Endor Leia, everything else needed to be drawn out from scratch. (oh and I bought a khaki shirt for Endor Leia, it was a time issue.)
First we toured the fabric store. We knew roughly what kind of textures and colors we wanted so we had to see what was available. Then I came home and got out my sketch paper. Now I don't draw people so you I won't torture you with my sketches, but I put each costume on a sheet of paper and put the well known costumes on my poorly proportioned 'naked' people. Then I took the measurements I had and drew out measurements onto my costumes. Thinking the whole time about how to turn those shapes into 2D fabric needed to make the costumes.
Death Star Leia is a well known dress and there are lots of guidelines for how to make an authentic costume, as well as loads of how to throw an inexpensive Leia costume together in 5 minutes or less. We went the more authentic route. This meant I took how the pattern was cut from the fabric into serious consideration. In the authentic dress there are no visible seams - except the collar, and there are no seams at all on the shoulders. Most costume makers and most patterns don't worry about this, and I wasn't going to either, but as I got to laying out everything the fabric easily accommodated this style of pattern so the most important part was cutting out a design. Unfortunately, do to a measuring mistake the first attempt at the dress ended up too skinny (although it fits Ver1) and had to be discarded to the play bin. The second dress was cut much more roomy and ended up being the one she wears.
The Leia dress simply needed the underside of the oversized sleeves sewn together all the way to the hem of the dress. Then hems done on the sleeve and the bottom (although I did these last). I gathered the dress at the neck since it was going to be worn by a 4 year old who has nothing on her body to make the dress naturally fold. Then I added a hood to the back (around to the shoulders) and a stiffened collar. To get the white without it being too see through we used the back side of a shimmery satin that was in the wedding section of the store. I used the extra fabric to make an identical dress for her favorite doll as well.
Endor Leia took me a lot more thought. Her costume on the surface is really easy. Military pants in a blue/grey with a yellow stripe down the outseam. A khaki shirt that is 3/4 sleeve or rolled sleeves, which I bought from the local uniform store since boy scout shirts don't come small enough for my 6 year old. Then there is her trademark poncho in forest camo. Basically it's a square with a hole in the middle for the head. It goes further in the back than in the front, but the front is also partially tucked into her belt, the back is not. I took a piece of fabric to the measurements I wanted. I gave it a 5" hem on the arms side and small hem on the bottom in front and back. I cut an X in the middle and then enlarged it to the size I waned by trying it on and folding back the excess fabric. Finally I added a collar that opens up into a hood in the back. It is made out of one piece of fabric that is sewn together at the top of the hood and sewn down on both sides in the front only opening out when it reaches the backside of the shoulders, so as to make a hood. We used a lightweight camo print for the poncho, but we could have dyed our own out of a faux canvas or used a fleece as easily.
The pants I made out of grey cotton with a yellow cotton stripe on the leg. For the most part I followed the pattern for my daughters measurements, although I did try to take them in so that they would fit her better and allow for the adding of 5/8" of fabric on the outside seam. Apparently, the pants are quite comfortable as she has worn them three full days so far and it's not even Halloween yet. Although there is a lot of debate as to whether or not the pants are blue or grey, they look fine in the grey and there wasn't the right shade of blue available anyway.
|If you mix Obi-Wan and this guy you'll get our thinking.|
Last we got to my costume. I had decided to play Callista Masala who is the character that later becomes Callista Ming and who I took my now well used internet moniker from. Since she gets all weird after she becomes Callista Ming I wanted to do an Old Republic portrayal. Since all of that is in stories there are no pictures really to go off of. What images I could find were of her as a ghost and after she takes over Ming's body, like the image I posted above. However, aside from her hair being dark and curly and then being cropped short and blondish, I figured she probably kept her style from the old days.
I made the vest from a purple faux suede, which was not what I was looking for, but the best I could find. It had a black backing so while I'd intended to fully line it in black and have the black come around for the dark accents on the edges I ended up just folding the material over, which was a bit tricky in the shoulders, but in the end looked really good. I added some tails to the back of the vest to give it a bit of character to go with the skirt. I ended up wearing a white shirt under the vest for two reasons. One, I don't actually own a really nice bra and the best one that I had did an only ok job of supporting everything and still being covered by the vest. The other reason was because me showing that much cleavage made my oldest daughter uncomfortable and she asked me to cover up when I was just trying on the outfit. A bit ironic since I am a nudist at home, hmmm maybe that will have to change a bit.
The skirt was made out of a really stretchy material and while I put a zipper on the smaller side it wasn't necessary at all. I didn't follow this entirely. I made the skirt out of one piece of material, cut completely at an angle so it went around and kept getting longer so that the longest side and the shortest side formed the seam that had the zipper in (the only seam in the skirt). I rolled the top of the skirt over with some stabilizer to make a invisible waist, and put a small rolled hem on the bottom of the material. I ended up wearing black pants under the skirt (although I'd originally planned on khaki) and brown jedi style boots.
I had a little extra time so I made a black cloak to go with my jedi outfit (okay, day before we left). I didn't want to do the big jedi sleeves and my original idea was it would be a cloak with a mantel that would act as sleeves or the arms could be completely inside the cloak as well. To make it look nicer I made the arm holes smaller so moving the arms in and out aren't as easy as I originally planned, but it feels nicer to wear. I used the black liner material I bought for the vest on the mantel of the cloak letting it wrap the bottom of the mantel with a 1" hem. The cloak is floor length and has a full hood that comes around to the front along with the full mantel. I love it so much I wish I could wear it all the time, it just needs a nice clasp to hold it closed. It will probably be my new movie going cloak, since I am allergic to most theater seats and have to stay covered away from them. I also hope to reuse it for a steampunk costume and maybe a Harry Potter one :) I was told at the con that I used the material that is the same as most cosplayers use for Bellatrix Lestrange, that could be fun.
Tomorrow we will wrap up with the accessories we made and had made.