Friday, June 6, 2014

The Road to ComicCon! Cosplay: Endor Assault Leia, #2

I've started working on my Princess Leia cosplay for SDCC.  So far I bought the material to make my vest and poncho.  Thanks to sales and coupons, I managed to get it all for $20.

I will be making the vest and poncho from scratch, and possibly the trousers too.  I hate, hate, HATE sewing trousers for myself (I inevitably rip out the crotch because I have a weird thigh-butt-waist ratio), so I would like to avoid that if I can.  But, because of the shade of blue and high waist, I think I will end up sewing a pair.  Oh well, maybe it's time to look up a tutorial for drafting my own pattern.

At least I have a lot of JoAnn's coupons...

For the khaki shirt I am planning to check out a few thrift shops in town to see if I can find one in the right color.  Ideally I would find a man's shirt with long sleeves, so I can cut them shorter and use the excess to sew the shoulder pockets.  It looks like Leia's shirt lacks buttons, so I think I'll just cut off the buttons and use that side as the top closure (to hide the button holes) with snaps or something hidden.  Heck, velcro could even work if I don't want to sew on a bunch of snaps.

For the insignia on the vest, I've seen examples of it made in clay, but I'm leaning towards craft foam.  It will be lightweight, I already have the materials, and I won't have to worry if something happens to it since it will be such a simple and cheap build.

No idea about the boots.  Since I will be on my feet all day while wearing this costume I want to be comfortable and wear something with support.  I might make covers for an existing pair of combat-style boots I have, to hide the lace and give them height.  It wouldn't be accurate, but I know I can wear those boots all day without issue.  Or I might say screw it and just wear some Uggs (ha! $10 fUggs from Walmart, morelike!)

I began with the poncho and vest, since I have those materials and they will involve the most sewing and drafting.  So far I have finished sewing the poncho (except the belt slits) and will begin drafting the vest tomorrow.


Leia wears her poncho during the speeder chase and the assault on the Imperial bunker during the Battle of Endor.

It is basically one large rectangle with a hood.  There are slits in the front piece for the belt to come through.  The best depiction of this I've found online is at Verdaera's DeviantArt page - as part of her costume progress pics, she posted a photo of her poncho before she added the camouflage paint.  That photo really shows how the poncho drapes and the belt cinches the front but leaves the sleeves free at the sides.

The poncho hangs a little lower in the back than it does in the front - about knee length in the back, and a little shorter than finger-tip length in the front.  On me, this measures to about 72 inches in length, plus two for seam allowance.

I managed to find some twill fabric with a 54" width.  With my arm-span, I needed my rectangle to be at least 41 inches wide, not including seam allowance.  The poncho sleeves hit right around elbow length, a little longer.  There is a seam about 6ish inches in from the sleeve edges.  Because I only used a single thickness of fabric to cut down cost, mine ended up being around 6 inches deep.  I just folded in the excess fabric from the material's width for that seam.

Now... the hood.
The hood was tricky.  Based on a behind the scenes costume photo shared on the Rebel Legion forum, the hood fits over the speeder bike helmet.  There is a fold in the front that looks like the big circle is one piece used to gather in the hood around her face.  I think it's supposed to look something like this.  (Please forgive my crummy MSPaint job, I just whipped this up really quick.)

But I didn't buy enough fabric to make it exactly like that.  Instead, I made a basic hood with a modified collar/hem.  That way it lays right, but I don't intend to ever wear it up so if it's a little off it won't matter.  I can remake it if I ever try to join the Rebel Legion or just want it to be a little more screen accurate.  It looks something more like this:

And here it is, finished, hood down:

Not too shabby, eh?

All that needs done on this is sewing the belt slits and spray painting it.  I'm nervous to paint it, since I only get one shot at making it look right.  I also need to check and see if it is a natural or synthetic fabric (forgot to look!) since that might influence what kind of paint/dye I use.  Ultimately, I will probably just shoot it with some Krylon, since it's pretty cheap and I don't want to ruin my bathtub working with dye.

That's it for now!

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