Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011 - Princess Leia

My daughter has recently fallen in love with the Star Wars trilogy, and we figured a great way to celebrate this would be with a Princess Leia costume from A New Hope.

This has to be one of the easiest costumes to make. The only supplies needed were:
  • Brown fleece and matching thread
  • Elastic
  • An old white sheet
  • Gray ribbon (and lighter to heat seal the ends)
  • Necessary cutting devices
  • A glue gun
  • A sewing machine.
To make the wig first I measured her head from hairline to the nape of her neck. I then measured her head from crown to bottom of her ear. Finally I measured from her part on her forehead to the part at the nape of the neck. You then cut that shape out of the fleece (I doubled up the fleece so I only had to make one cut). Make sure to allow a little extra room when cutting for seam allowances and for stretch. Sew the pieces together and then at the opening sew a little hem all the way around to allow room for the elastic. Make sure to leave a little opening to feed the elastic through. After feeding the elastic through sew the ends together and the opening shut.

To make the "cinnamon buns" on the side of the wig cut three (roughly) equally sized fleece strips measuring around 1.5" by 60". Then braid it and use the glue gun to glue each end together. Then start rolling the braid into a bun shape, gluing it to itself as you roll. After you finish you then glue the entire bun to the side of the head. Then repeat for the other bun.

To make the costume take an old white sheet and fold it in half lengthwise. Then fold it again sidewise. Next take the child's measurements from midchest to fingertips, armpit to fingertips, neck to floor, and midchest to shoulder. Then draw that shape on the sheet and cut it out. When you unfold it you will have the entire shape of the costume with only one set of cuts. Then sew the edges together (except for the neck and feet openings). Serge or zigzag stitch if desired. Then at the neck hole find the back and the middle and make a 4 inch cut downwards so the head will fit in all the way. Fold the edges of the cut over and sew down for a more polished look.

To make the collar cut a section that is roughly the same length as the neck opening from the tailored edge of the sheet, making sure to add a little extra room for the curvature of the neck and to make the edges look polished. Also cut some small lengths of fabric to make ties to keep the opening closed. Fold the ends of the sheet used for the collar twice and sew down. Then fold the sheet in half and iron flat. Next make ties to close the costume and place inside the collar. Sew down and top stitch all the way, except for the unfinished edge. Next pin the collar to the neckline and sew down and you're done.

Finish off the costume by cutting a length of gray ribbon to make the belt. Make it long enough for your child and heat seal the ends with a lighter to prevent fraying. Super simple.

In all the wig took around an hour or so to make and the costume was made extremely last minute (as in minutes before we had to leave to trick-or-treat) in about an hour-and-a-half. Not time intensive at all and definitely much loved. An added bonus with the costume is the dress part can double as an angel costume for Christmas time (or next Halloween if not outgrown). All you'd need are some wings and a halo.

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