Friday, May 22, 2009

Smaller Hoth Hat Tutorial

Tutorial for creating a smaller sized Hoth hat.
(Updated 5-27-10)

Finished Hat (shown on the left is the "winter" version which is fully batted, on the right is the "con" version, created with batting only in the quilted neck piece.) :


If you would like the pattern for the smaller sized Hoth hat, contact me via email (it can be found in my profile under "Contact"). You will need 1 yard of off-white cotton material. I used a quilter's cotton from JoAnn's (be sure to pre-wash your fabric). You will also need ½ yard of fusible interfacing, some heavyweight stabilizer, a piece of plastic such as polystyrene, a package of double fold bias tape in "Oyster" and one in "Taupe", thin polyester batting, a scrap of tan fabric, and thread to match your fabrics.

"Con" version: Every piece except the lower front brim and neck piece get interfaced. The upper front brim will also need a piece of heavy weight stabilizer in addition to the interfacing. The lower front brim needs a piece of polystyrene (see the template that comes with the pattern for a guide). The neck piece needs batting.

"Winter" version: Every piece except the lower front brim and upper front brim need batting. The lower front brim needs a piece of polystyrene (see the template that comes with the pattern for a guide). The upper front brim will need a piece of heavy weight stabilizer and fusible interfacing.

The remainder of the tutorial shows the "con" version.

Lay out the quilting lines on one part of the neck piece using a dressmaker's pencil or tailor's chalk. After the quilting lines are marked, layer the two fabric neck pieces with the batting in the middle and zig zag or surge the edges to keep it from shifting.

Then, pin generously with quilter's pins and sew along the lines, removing pins as you sew. I like to sew all the lines in one direction first, starting in the center and moving out toward the edges. Then, I turn the piece and sew the lines in the opposite direction, again starting with the line in the center and moving toward the edges.

At this point, I hand wash the neck piece to remove the lines from the dressmaker's pencil. Hang to dry. When it is dry, lightly iron it.

Next, you will need to open up the Taupe bias tape and pin the shorter edge to the back brim. Sew. (*Note, be sure you pin and stitch the shorter edge of bias to all the pieces that will require bias tape in this way)

Pin a section of the Taupe bias tape (still folded) to the upper front brim, being sure there is enough of the brim below the tape for a seam allowance.

You need to top stitch only the top edge of this piece of bias tape, leaving the lower edge free. Then, unfold a new section of the Taupe bias tape and pin it to the curved edge of the upper front brim. Sew.

Unfold the Taupe bias tape and pin to ONLY ONE section of the lower front brim. Sew.

Next, you need to make sure both lower front brim pieces line up as you pin the other edge of the bias tape to the second piece of lower front brim. Sew.

Turn right side out and press, making sure that the seams on the inside are lying flat, facing forward toward the fold of the bias tape.

Insert the plastic lower front brim into the fabric lower front brim. Adjust the size of the plastic brim if needed.

Unfold the Oyster bias tape and pin to the neck piece. Sew. (*Note: be sure that the bias tape folds to the BACK of the neck piece.)

*The next few steps detail a sort of "stitch-in-the-ditch" type of stitching that the original Hoth hats utilized to sew the back side of the bias tape.*

After you have sewed one edge of the bias tape down, fold the rest of the bias tape over the raw edge toward the back.

Pin from the front, just along the edge of the bias tape, being sure the pin catches the bias tape in the back (see first picture). Sew on the top, along the edge of the bias tape, removing pins as you sew.

This is what the stitching will look like from the front.

This is what the stitching will look like from the back.

*All pieces that require bias tape will be sewn this way with the exception of the lower front brim.

Sew the sides of the hat together at center front and center back. Sew to top of hat. Be sure to zig zag or surge the edges to prevent fraying.

Top stitch around the rim of the hat about 1/8" away from the seam, making sure that the seam allowance is facing toward the rim of the hat and not the top.

There are 5 "tabs" for the goggle strap on the quilted neck piece. Two are larger and three are smaller. Create the tabs out of your scrap of tan fabric. The smaller tabs are 1" wide by 2½" long. The two larger tabs are 2½" wide by 3" long (be sure to allow extra for seam allowance).

Sew the small tabs like a tube, leaving both ends open. Turn & press. Zig zag or surge open ends. Sew the bottom and sides of the larger tabs, being sure to round the corners a bit. Turn & press. Zig zag or surge open tops.

Cut 1" white Velcro the width of each tab. Fold one zig zagged end of each tab under and sew the fuzzy portion of the Velcro over the folded edge.

Fold the neck piece in half to find the center back. Center one small tab over the center back and pin in place. Arrange the remaining tabs evenly on either side of the center tab, with the two larger tabs on each outer end.

Fold under the tops of the large tabs and place just a little below ½" under the top edge of the quilted neck piece. Pin in place. Fold under the tops of the remaining 3 smaller tabs and place them so that the bottom edge is in line with the bottom edge of the larger tabs. Pin in place.

Top stitch all tabs to the quilted neck piece, being sure to match your thread to the tabs.

Match the scratchy side of the Velcro to the fuzzy side of the Velcro. Pin the scratchy side to the quilted neck piece. Pin the tabs out of your way, and stitch the Velcro to the quilted neck piece. Remove pins, and close tabs.

Pin the back brim, upper front brim, and lower front brim to the hat. Sew.

Pin the neck piece to the hat. Sew.

For a more finished look, unfold the Oyster bias tape and sew to the raw seam, fold over and sew closed.

Sew a 1" tube of scrap off-white fabric. Sew a square of Velcro to the closed end of the tube. Sew the opposite end of the Velcro to the left side of the neck piece. Zig zag or surge the end of the fabric tube, fold to the back, and sew to the right side of the neck piece.

This is what the chin strap should look like when closed.

You will also want to hand stitch the bias tape where the upper and lower front brims meet.

There you have a smaller sized Hoth hat. To see my previous tutorial on the original sized Hoth hat, click HERE.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Return of the Jedi "Slave Leia" bikini

Princess Leia as Jabba's prisoner, wearing the famous gold is one of the most infamous bikinis in the world, and very popular with male Star Wars fans. I feel it is too revealing to wear in public. However, the costume freak in me wanted to try making one for the challenge of it, and also for my husband to enjoy seeing me in it (even though he's not as big a Star Wars fan as I am, I don't think he minds when I wear this for him!). So, about 2 years ago, I created my own. I gleaned a lot of information from Padawan's Guide, Slave Bikini Builders Club, and Leia's Metal Bikini.

The original costume as worn by Carrie Fisher in Return of the Jedi.

My finished costume.

I used copper wire to create a framework for the bra based off of my measurements (Carrie Fisher is/was smaller than me, so I had to adjust the proportions to look okay on my frame). I then covered the wire framework with Sculpey clay and baked it in the oven.

After the bra was baked and cooled, I used watered down Elmer's white glue to glue kitchen string to the bra for the details. I also added prebaked "dots" to simulate the dotted texture of the original costume.

For the bracelet, I didn't want to make it entirely of Sculpey clay because it wouldn't flex enough to get over my wrist. I decided to use a plastic Old Orchard orange juice container.

Here is the orange juice container after I cut it down and glued string & pre-baked Sculpey details to it; prior to painting.

My front and back skirt plates were made using mostly cardboard. I used images of Carrie in the bikini to judge where the plates should fall on my body (once again adjusting the size to match my frame). After I created a suitable pattern, I cut out pieces of cardboard in graduating sizes.

Once I was satisfied with the shape of the plate sections, I glued them together. This is the front plate glued together. It isn't easy to tell from the picture, but as I glued the cardboard layers together, I curved them to match the curve of my body and used clothespins to keep the cardboard layers in that shape until it dried. Once the glue dried, I removed the clothespins and the plates stayed in the curved form.

Here are the plates prior to painting. The back plate is on the left and the front plate is on the right. After the cardboard layers were dry, I put crinkled aluminum foil over them to create the texture of the original costume. Then, I glued on smooth cardboard, string, and pre-baked Sculpey details where necessary.

I found a "formula" for the size of the front and back skirts on the Slave Bikini Builders website in the files section. It uses the width of your shoulders and your height to calculate how much width and length your skirts should have. It is possible to make the skirts without this formula, just go with "what looks good". I created a "waistband" for each section of skirt, sewed snaps to the skirt sections, and glued the other half of the snap to the inside of the skirt plates. This way, I can remove the skirts to wash them when needed. When I made the skirts, I also made a little pantie of the same material and sewed it directly into the waistbands. (*PLEASE NOTE* If a woman wants to wear the bikini in public, I wouldn't recommend attaching the pantie directly to the costume. If the costume were to malfunction, so would the pantie. If you wear this in public, it is recommended that your pantie be a separate piece. That way, if you lose the skirt, you don't lose ALL of your dignity.) The fabric I used was Sunline lining fabric in "Wine" from JoAnn's.

The side "links" that hold the front and back plates together at the hip are also made of Sculpey with string details. I glued the links to the back plates using black elastic and attached the elastic to the front plates using snaps.

My hair decorations are made from cardboard with string details. The end of the braid decoration is made from craft foam with string and pre-baked Sculpey details. My collar is a wire framework covered in Sculpey clay with string and pre-baked Sculpey details. In the center back of the collar is a hinge for easy on/off (the original also has a hinge). The snake armlet is a wire framework with Sculpey clay over it. As stated above, the bracelet is a plastic orange juice concentrate container with string and pre-baked Sculpey details.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Padme Mustafar Update

I have my Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith (ROTS) Padme "Mustafar" costume completed now and it has Rebel Legion approval (as formal/canon). Here are some "in progress" pictures and some completed costume pictures:

The finished sleevelets.
These were much easier for me to do since I had already done the sleevelets for my aqua georgette gown and spent a LONG time getting the size just right for my arms when I made them. This time, I was able to use my aqua georgette sleevelets as a template!

Left sleevelet embroidery detail.
This is Padme's signature "Naboo Symbol" seen (in some form or other) on most of her gowns throughout the prequel trilogy. I drew the symbol onto the back of the faux suede and hand-embroidered it using DMC thread.

The "buckle" and broach made from white Primo clay
(after baking, prior to painting).
I used exhibit photos gathered from the Internet (most likely from Padawan's Guide or Kay_Dee's excellent FIDM exhibit gallery) as my template. I printed the image to a size that seemed to be the proper scale (body:buckle ratio)(body:broach ratio), cut them out, placed the cutouts on top of the prepared clay and used a pin to punch through the paper and transfer the design onto the clay (incidentally, this is also how Michelangelo and his assistants transferred the designs onto the Sistine Chapel ceiling...). After I had the basic shape cut out, I began to sculpt it to resemble the actual pieces. I added flowers and stems that I sculpted separately. I also sculpted the triangular details separately and added them to the buckle/broach, along with the flowers & stems, before baking.

Here are the buckle and broach after I painted and "weathered" them.

The harness front, with buckle in place.

The harness back after sewing Velcro on to keep it closed and allow for easy removal.

The entire finished costume (minus sleevelets).


3/4 Front

Left side


Right side

I'm not entirely happy with the wig. It looks too fake in the front at the part line. I'm contemplating adding a braid extension to my own hair now that I found a place that sells extensions that match my hair color.

To see my previous update click here.