Saturday, November 30, 2013

Princess Leia

I had mentioned my dislike of the inescapable Disney Juggernaut, and our desire to introduce her to The Canon of nerd fiction. Part of the motivation for that, now six weeks past, was to steer her towards what, in our minds, was an acceptable Halloween costume. To hell with a pretty pink princess fairy fluff - we've done that. No, this year she would be a badass princess: Princess Leia!

In hindsight - heck, even in the moment - the easiest and cheapest way to achieve this would be to purchase a costume. There are ways of doing this. We were this close to ordering one, and actually stood in a Target and were this close to buying one. But we just couldn't bring ourselves to purchasing another mass-produced, cheap labor-made, and never-given-a-second-thought costume. Nope, I decided we'd make one.

Thanks to my dear mother, I'm savvy with a sewing machine. I could perhaps have cobbled something together on my own, but was aided enormously by the efforts of these folks, who are better with sewing than I, and produced step-by-step instructions on how she produced her own Leia costume. (Episode IV only - I'm not dressing my daughter up for Jabba's Palace.) A trip to Jo-Ann and we're off to the races:

I laid out a 1:1 pattern on taped-together pieces of newsprint. Cleared off, our kitchen table provides enough space for the job.

The dress pattern is roughly in the shape of a number 7. This gets applied to a piece of fabric that has been folded once (along what will be the top of the shoulder and arms), then twice (down the vertical centerline). This results in a tunic-like piece of fabric that gets sewn along the underside of the arms and down the sides. This then gets done a second time, and the two sewn one inside the other.

The second cutout was fit into a cutout from the first.

The seams get ironed as we go along.

Fun times down in the basement with the sewing machine.

Partly done after a marathon session one night. Missing are the bottom hems and collar.

Meanwhile, Hilary used half a skein of dark brown yard to create the cinnamon buns

The mostly-finished costume received a trial run about a week before Halloween. So far, so good.

On the night of, Hilary whipped together a blaster from some cardboard tubing and black gaff tape.

Somebody has to save our skins!

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