29 November 2008

Whatever Happened To... Princess Leia Costume, a.k.a. McCall's 4756

This is one of THE iconic images of Princess Leia, right?  Mega-draped tunic wonder for being camouflaged in the desert, or whatever.  I find white so impractical for daily life.  Why else would she wear so much white if not for survival?  If I sat still and watched the whole movie I guess I would figure out why, but I'm not a Star Wars fan.  (My husband, who is, shudders as he reads this whole paragraph.)

My version didn't come out too shabby!  The costume was for my friend Amy's 6-month-old daughter.  What a cute baby!  For the dress I used McCall's 4756, without the button down center front and a little slit opening on the back.  I also extended the long sleeves, used a size 1 bodice with size 4 length  to make a dress instead of tunic, and added a simple bias collar.  Someday I'll post a review.  This was a very simple sew and I love this classic little girl dress silhouette.  The belt was also improvised -- it ties in the back and I sewed on some gold buttons to look like the medallions from the original belt.  

I was most proud of the hair!  Amy had emailed this picture to me to show me what's available for purchase off the shelf, and my first instinct was to copy the fleece buns.  I worried that wire in them would be uncomfortable and unsafe, so Shauna suggested doll hair.  Couldn't find any long, straight brown hair at the craft store (all dolls have short, curly, blonde hair?) so I headed to the yarn section and grabbed a skein of 100% wool Lion brand yarn.  I used a balloon as a head form and twill tape to outline a structure, and then "basted" using scotch-tape to attach lengths of yarn to the twill tape, twisting every so often to make sure they were the right length in the right places to make those trademark buns.  Then I sewed the yarn down to the twill tape in a very delicate operation and ripped off the scotch tape.   

Truthfully, my favorite part has nothing to do with my handiwork:  it's the shoes!
The real Princess Leia photo from Obi-Wan's Jedi Academy.  Costume photo from OfficialStarWarsCostumes.com.


  1. Great idea, excellent execution, perfect model!
    I have one observation, though: wouldn't it drape better if it were made with jersey fabric? Just a thought!

  2. I love your costume! So Cute!
    Looking at the princess Leia Costume reminds me of the Malissa Dress on Burdastyle! (www.burdastyle.com/patterns/show/2669)
    I just can't go anywhere without seeing the pattern in the clothes anymore!

  3. Hee-- I've seen a lot of Princess Leia costumes, but never one for a baby! So cute!

  4. I am new here! What a great blog :) ♥♥ Hugs!


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