Friday, April 24, 2009

Hoth Rebel Snowspeeder Pilot

I have had in my mind for a long time that I want to make my husband & I X-wing pilot costumes. I already have the material for the flight suit (I'll be making ours from scratch) as well as the flak vests (which are actually already cut out). I have the movie canon belt buckles for both of our costumes as well as the movie canon adjustment buckles for the flak vests. Soon, I'll be ordering polypropylene strapping for the ejection harnesses and belts.

It is widely rumored that Star Wars: Celebration V will be held in the spring of 2010 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of "The Empire Strikes Back" (I'm still hoping they have it in Indianapolis again, or somewhere within easy enough driving distance). Going with that assumption, and also the goal of making X-wing pilot costumes, I've decided that it would be fitting to also make Hoth Snowspeeder pilot costumes. There are only a few changes/additions to the X-wing pilot costume that make it a Hoth Snowspeeder pilot costume.

The changes/additions include:
  • Gaiter-type boots instead of black German Jack boots.
  • Grey gauntlet gloves instead of black gauntlet gloves.
  • Flak vest is worn reversed from the way it is seen in "A New Hope"
  • Addition of an orange nylon jacket with puffy collar and pleated sleeves.
  • Addition of a "soft helmet" under the hard helmet.

Here is Luke from "A New Hope" as a X-wing pilot.

Here is Luke from "The Empire Strikes Back" wearing his Hoth Snowspeeder jacket. The bottom image also shows the Snowspeeder gloves.

I have been keeping my eye out for nylon that would work for the jackets but haven't had much luck. My local JoAnn's stores carry two kinds of orange nylon but neither will work. They carry sport nylon in orange, but sport nyon has too rough of a weave and is too stiff to be a jacket. They also carry ripstop nylon in orange which has the right texture and sheen, but has the distinctive visible squares that most ripstop nylon has.

The other day while browsing at my local Field's fabric (I don't get there as often) I noticed an orange quilted nylon in their clearance section. The nylon itself looked like it would work perfectly, however it was quilted onto a poly batting. The more I looked at it, the more I wanted to purchase it and pick out the quliting stitches. The crazy costume obsessed woman in me reared her head and won the battle. I purchased all that they had left and decided that over the course of time (I have about a year to complete these) I will pick out the quilting and use the nylon for our Hoth Snowspeeder jackets. On top of it, I'll have several yards of batting in the end that I can use for other projects! :) The nylon/batting combo only cost just under $4 a yard too.

Here's the quilted orange nylon I purchased.

Crinkled a bit to show some of the "sheen".

Close-up showing the quilting.
(Thankfully, the quilting isn't close together and difficult to pick out. If it was quilted in tiny squares, I'm not sure I'd want to pick it out!)

Comparing the cotton flight suit fabric [left] to the nylon jacket fabric [right]. Flash on.

Comparing the cotton flight suit fabric [left] to the nylon jacket fabric [right]. Flash off.

I am a long way to actually starting on these jackets, but I wanted to post my fabric finding.