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My first costume - Leia Rebel Briefing Room now a WIP
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PaleoLaura (Laura Smith)
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Location: Plainfield, Illinois
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:07 pm    Post subject: My first costume - Leia Rebel Briefing Room now a WIP Reply with quote

Hi, I've been wanted to start a Leia costume for years. I finally worked up the courage to do so. I'm mostly in the research phase, but I believe I have some good plans. I've purchased a pair of boots and although I will probably have to have the tops modified a bit, I think the overall look of the boot is spot-on. They are http://www.jcpenney.com/shoes/arizona-ramona-womens-tall-boots/prod.jump?ppId=pp5004880744&catId=cat100240063&deptId=dept20000013&N=1004620006&Nao=192&pN=9&extDim=true&topDim=Categories&topDimvalue=boots&dimCombo=Categories%7C&dimComboVal=boots%7C&currentDim=Categories&currentDimVal=boots&_dyncharset=UTF-8&colorizedImg=DP0623201417034597M.tif We plan on having a cobbler cut them straight across, therefore losing maybe an inch, and also removing the pulls.

As for the pants, I am planning on using this pattern, minus the pockets and belt loops. Also raising the waist to natural waist height. http://www.simplicity.com/p-8467-misses-miss-petite-amazing-fit-pants.aspx

The shirt I plan on using this pattern, http://www.simplicity.com/p-6942-burda-style-blouse.aspx version "B", altering the sleeves to an elbow cuff and adding the pockets. It will not have buttons, but rather either hidden hook and latch or hidden snaps.

I'm still unsure however, of the correct fabrics to use, especially for the pants. Should I die white twill to pale blue? The shirt I plan on using a medium tan. Also, for the vest, I was thinking maybe a solid flannel, medium gray?

I haven't purchased any of the fabric yet, only the boots, which I can return if someone could point me to a better pair. I have fairly large calfs, so these were one of the few pairs that I tried on that fit around them.

Thank you so much for any advice. I'm a bit overwhelmed, but really looking forward to the process and finally making my costume. I'm hopeful that eventually I'll be able to join the Rebel Legion.


Last edited by PaleoLaura (Laura Smith) on Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome Laura! I am excited to see another briefing room Leia in progress. We do not have nearly enough of those here.

For your boots, I would say that they are sufficiently straight-across to not worry about having a cobbler cut them short. The pulls will still need to be removed though.

I would recommend against flannel for the vest. It appears to have more structure and stiffness than you can get with flannel, not to mention that it does not appear at all fuzzy. I would recommend some nice cotton for that, though nothing as thin as broadcloth.

I did a quick search on my favorite online fabric source and found a couple of possibilities for your pants already in light blue: stretch twill, normal twill, or suiting. Though, of course, you'd want to order swatches before committing to any fabric you'd buy online.

Do any of our members who have made this costume have any materials suggestions?
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Obi Anne (Johanna Nybelius)
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Rebel Briefing costumeis actually good example of "make it work"-costuming, so I'm not sure I'm the best when it comes to recommending specific fabris, but here we go:

Trousers - I would definitely use stretch twill for the trousers. You need that stretch to make them tight enough. For the gold stripe avoid shiny satin ribbons, it doesn't look good. I had a cheap polyester, but dull gold fabric in my stash and simply cut a strip of that and sewed it on.

Shirt - I found my fabric in a section labeled "shirt fabrics" in a webshop. I think mine looks good, but if I make a new one I would go for a fabric that is a bit thinner. It gets hot with the vest, and poncho for Endor Leia, over it. Also my fabric is probably some kind of polyester, which is good because it hardly wrinkles, but it's bad because it doesn't breathe very well.

Vest - For this I'm pretty sure that the original is made out of cotton twill, possibly in two layers. When I went in and asked about twill in the only fabric store in town they looked at me as if I was crazy. In the end I actually used cotton broadcloth, but I interlined it with felt (so both fabrics that you have been warned against). The interlining made it stiffer, and made sure that the decorative stitching was visible. I am on a hunt for a grey twill though, because I want to redo my vest.
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Swfangirl ()
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For my pants I did 2 versions, one I sewed with a blue fabric (I don't remember the cloth type anymore but it does have stretch so you can kneel and sit but be fairly fitted). The second version I actually found some dress slacks at goodwill that were the right color and material after I did my first version, and I added the strips to the side.

My tan shirt was another goodwill find, it was men's dickies work shirt that I took the pockets off the front and used them to make the pockets on the sleeves. I changed the front closure from outer buttons and took in the shirt to be fitted for me. The shirt actually reminds me a lot of the RSO girls shirts modified.

My vest is single layer thicker cotton. I shopped for a bit before I found a color I liked.

There is a couple of sources for the rank badge, most are pretty inexpensive if you decide not to make your own. The wrist communicator can be made, or you can get an inexpensive watch base as a start, there are a lot out there with similar shapes.

Added note: rebelhaven.com has a great tutorial on hers, I used it a lot deciding how I wanted mine to look. She did an excellent job.

http://rebelshaven.com/etleiajournal.html
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Kylo Ren (Dawn Bright)
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A very strange way I go about finding pants is...at thrift stores. They have the most hilarious selection of colors (and cheap!) available. For a number of costumes I just shopped various stores. Then just add the needed line down them and you are good to go!
Make sure if you do go the dye route that you are careful and just go super light and dye multiple times for the correct colors. Dyeing Poly blends is a bit more difficult!
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PaleoLaura (Laura Smith)
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies ladies. They are much appreciated! I ordered several swatches from fabrics.com that look pretty good to me. I took to heart the advice about the various fabrics. I'm now looking at stretch denim or cotton/nylon twill for the pants; 100% cotton lightweight twill for the shirt, and possible a medium weight canvas for the vest. I know it'll be a bit heavy, but I'm hoping it will be stiff enough, especially for the cap sleeves. Here's hoping I chose wisely. If not, I can always order more swatches. I was also able to order some black matte leather (on sale, hooray!) for the holster and pouches. I have a bit of experience in making pouches because we have made costumes for my son the last three years, all of which were various SW characters with belts and pouches. While I made them out of craft foam, the basic premise I believe is the same, but I'll be sewing them instead of hot glue.

I'm hoping to be able to assemble the whole costume before Star Wars Day 6 at the Joliet Library in June. I hear it will probably have a Return of the Jedi theme this year, so I would fit in nicely!

Thanks again! If anyone else has any advice in regards to the costume, I would love to hear it!
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Obi Anne (Johanna Nybelius)
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One simple trick is to put a piece of elastic on the trousers that goes under the foot, so that they stay in place when you put the boots on.
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PaleoLaura (Laura Smith)
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Started work on the mock-up of the vest. Looking at our free-time, it looks like I'm going to have to commission the pants and shirt, unfortunately. I found a good seamstress though, and she's going to start a mock-up of the shirt in the next couple of weeks to check the fit. Now if the samples and the leather would arrive, I could order the fabric and start the belt pouches.
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leia81us (Cindy Brandon)
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:56 am    Post subject: I can help with outfit Reply with quote

I have this outfit I just used a tan short sleaved button down shirt,blue pants that you put a stripe on,boots I got at Ross,and make a poncho out of sheet you color. Hope this helps you Laughing
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PaleoLaura (Laura Smith)
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can officially say this is a work in progress.

Not the best picture, since it was taken by my son in less than idea lighting. However, I'm very pleased with how the pants and shirt came out. The yellow stripe is straight as can be down the side and I think the blue of the pants and tan of the shirt look pretty good together.

[img][/img]

I finished the pouches for the belt. The webbing is a dark olive green, so I think I'm good there. My husband welds, so next on his list is to make a buckle. The back pouches don't look like it in the picture, but they are all the same size. I haven't sewn anything since, oh 1979 in Girl Scouts, so I'm really pleased with how the pouches came out.





In one back pouch I sewed in a quick link to hold my keys securely, in another I sewed an interior pocket to hold trading cards.

The front pouch - just wide enough to fit my cell phone. I took the picture before I washed the chalk marks off, so the strap looks a little goofy. It does lay flat against the pouch when the flap is tucked in.


Still working on stretching the calves of the boots. They're almost there. I'm also having my blaster 3D printed. I will be attempting to modify Leia's ANH blaster. We stopped in and got to see them printing one of the pieces. I've never seen a 3D printer before, so it was cool to actually see one and have it be printing my pieces as a bonus.
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Lora Skywalker ()
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your progress is looking good. Smile
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Blue (Beth)
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking very nice. I think your pockets on your shirt sleeves are a bit on the small side though. Would it be possible to make them a bit bigger?
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PaleoLaura (Laura Smith)
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll give upsizing the pockets a try. I was hoping they would look a bit better with the cap sleeves covering the top of the sleeve, but probably not. I used Vera's pattern. I guess I should have made it bigger due to my sleeve size? Beth - you wouldn't have the finished height and width of your sleeves handy, would you? I'm still new to sewing and I don't have too much extra fabric. Thanks!
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Dark Queen ()
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:19 pm    Post subject: Me Too! Reply with quote

I am now ready (!) to start the Leia Rebel Briefing costume; would appreciate any progress reports you have.
Am most worried about the WIG!
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PaleoLaura (Laura Smith)
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not much more progress so far, unfortunately. I did find some white twill fabric for my vest and plan on dyeing it this week. I found it pretty impossible to find a gray fabric I liked that went well with the tan I have for my shirt. Everything was either too dark a gray or too thin of a fabric. I am planning on modifying the General Madine pattern that's on the Rebel Bunker Yahoo group. It seems pretty close, save for the length and not having to close like Madine's.

I'm struggling a bit with modifying the blaster, but I can't afford a more expensive one right now. I did find some gray primer that should work well for the undercoat of the blaster and a nice black Krylon spray paint that should do pretty well. Now if Mother Nature would just cooperate and warm up the temperature a bit, I could get the belt buckle painted and hopefully work on the blaster.

I'm lucky in regards to the hair, since my hair is pretty long, I'm planning on using my length for the back braids and have some kanekalon in two shades of brown that I've combined to match my natural highlights and will braid for across the top of my head. I'm thinking of attaching them to a plastic headband to keep them in place.
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