I know I promised you guys a tutorial of our Princess Leia and Han Solo costumes that I made for FanX. These are definitely not 100% accurate, and this may not be a great tutorial(it’s the first one I’ve done and I’m terrible at remembering to take photos). Hopefully it’ll still be a great resource for those of you who want to do an easy Han and Leia.
So without further ado, here is my Princess Leia and Han Solo Tutorial:
First of all, I bought the patterns I was going to use. There isn’t a current commercially available pattern for Princess Leia. While I knew I could have drafted my own, I decided to do a search on eBay to find an older one, but I was surprised by the prices that they go for! Many of them went for upwards of 80 dollars! I was definitely not willing to shell out that much, but I found one that I could bid on that I thought would go for a lower price. It was also a better pattern than some of the others I saw.
After almost losing out at the end from the exhilarating bidding war, I won the pattern, and shortly after, it was in my hands.
Behold, Butterick 5174
For Sean, I got these patterns for Han Solo.
I had to make modifications on the men’s patterns, but that was fine by me.
Next, I needed to buy my fabric and notions. I purchased everything from Joann’s as it’s right across the street from where I live, but you can get these at any fabric store or online:
Grosgrain Ribbon in red
I was worried that I may not have enough of the white fabric, as they didn’t have as much as I needed since I needed to line it(it was pretty see through). I figured I’d get as far as I could before buying more fabric though.
So to start off, I first started cutting out all the pattern pieces.
I ironed all the pattern pieces on low heat to get out the folds and wrinkles from being stuffed in the small pouches.
Next I worked on cutting out the fabric.
I of course needed to watch Star Wars
As I feared, I didn’t have enough fabric for Leia’s dress. It had been some time since I had purchased the fabric, so I hoped that my local Joanns had received more of the fabric, especially since it said it was in stock online. Unfortunately it was no where to be found when I stopped in. Thankfully I was heading down to my hometown and they had a store there so I figured I’d check it out. It wasn’t on the shelves, but I asked at the cutting table and they had it there! I was hoping they could cut the 5 yards I wanted into 2 and a half yard pieces. The employee said they had to cut it as one piece, but because they didn’t even have 5 full yards as one piece, I was able to get my request.
After getting all of Leia cut out, I worked on cutting out Han’s shirt, vest, and boot covers.
Han boot cover top
Han boot cover bottom
I don’t have any photos of cutting out the shirt as I kind of had a mini panic attack with that one. I tend to work on things last minute and every minute counted. As I was cutting, I found that I didn’t have enough of the fabric(even though I followed instructions on the back of the pattern.) I ran over to the Joanns(thankfully it’s very close!) and this time they had what I needed. I got what I needed and got back to work.
Now that everything was all cut out, I could finally get to work sewing.
First I worked on Princess Leia.
It was a lot of fabric, so it took longer than I would have liked to sew it together. I sewed the lining and the outside individually, and then I sewed them together. I left a little bit of a keyhole opening in the back of the dress and didn’t add any velcro like the pattern asked for, since it was knit and pretty big. Besides, the original dress had a keyhole opening too. On the hood, I didn’t sew up the back seam, as Leia’s hood is just a long rectangle.
I next glued together the belt pieces with fabric glue.
This is obviously before I glued them on. I didn’t get a photo of the after
I worked on the vest next.
After getting the vest almost done, I knew it was way too long, as Han’s vest goes to about the top of his hips. I grabbed Sean and measured where it needed to hit on him. I then hemmed up the excess fabric. I also opted to not include the different pockets that Han has on his vest. I figured that going for minimal was okay and people would know who he was.
Before working on the shirt, I wanted to make sure I got the boot covers done. The shirt was the least of my worries, even after the fabric fiasco, as I knew if worse came to worse, he could just wear a white button up shirt. Thankfully I was able to get the shirt done too.
I admit that on the shirt I didn’t follow the instructions exactly. It was late and the words started to jumble together on some of the techniques, so I just did what I thought looked right. I didn’t have the full collar and just did a mandarin type like Hans. I also stitched the collar opening closed a little so that it wasn’t so scandalous on Sean. Once I finished the shirt, I was pretty proud!
For the pants, I was going to get a pair of blue slacks from Wal-Mart. Sean found some blue jeans that were about half the price there, so we bought those instead. I had him draw the blood stripes with the black sharpie on the ribbon for me, which I then glued on with fabric glue. While they aren’t screen accurate, they looked pretty good!
Now I wish I had better pictures of Sean and I in our costumes, and even photos of the finished pieces by themselves. Since I was in a hurry and had procrastinated, you’ll just have to see some repeats of photos from FanX to get an idea of the finished product.
We got a lot of complements from other con goers and even got asked for photos a few times. Sean got complimented by saying that his Han was spot on! I laughed each time because of how inaccurate it was, but it still made me feel good that something I made was getting positive reactions. I also think that it helped that Sean’s hair was pretty spot on for Han Solo since he’d been growing it out for fun.
Even my buns turned out great and people asked me where I got them. I bought a headband from Zurchers that had the Princess Leia buns on the ends. I didn’t want to mess with a wig, as I thought I’d be pretty hot that day(and I was correct).
It was pretty cheap and in photos my hair matched pretty decently.
All in all, I was pretty proud of these costumes. Eventually I would like to make them more authentically and join the Rebel Legion, but for what I wanted to accomplish, it worked out great! My only regret is that I didn’t get Sean a blaster and didn’t have a holster, but no one else seemed to care!
Hopefully you found something useful from this tutorial. I promise that I’ll do my best to be a bit better! I have some baby projects that I’m going to be working on soon(a quilt, circle skirts, and blessing dress). I’ll do much better for those(but I’m not going to promise that in case I don’t).
Until next time, thanks for reading!