nerd post

This post is all about Star Wars and costuming, so if you don’t like both – or either – of those things, go away. Go far, far away, and come back when I get back to embarrassing life stories, or mocking shitty people, or whatever it is I usually do here. I don’t remember what this site is supposed to be about anymore.

Anyway, so I’ve seen The Force Awakens three times already, the first being Thursday December 17, the first screening at the El Capitan Theatre. It was pretty fucking fantastic, and it kills me that I can’t vomit out all my theories here because so many people still haven’t seen it. Needless to say, I think all my theories are pretty solid and 95% of them will be right, I’m sure. I’ve also won Star Wars Trivial Pursuit a few times despite never reading the expanded universe stuff, so I know my shit. What I also know is how to make good costume replicas. That first started in my early teens. Disney’s second animated golden age was upon us, and they were releasing a new animated feature film every summer, right around my birthday, and I always wanted to be the lead girl for Halloween. But why did I have to wait so long to have the costume? Mum finally got tired of my nagging for an Esmeralda costume and shoved me at her 1970s Kenmore sewing machine, grousing “If you want it so bad, you make it!” So I did. This was the first costume I ever made:

I don’t know if you know anything about making clothes or costumes, but it’s generally never a good idea to start with a corseted bodice. But I struggled through it, even using clear fishing line to zigzag stitch over the gold piping, and wore that damn costume all summer, and to school on Halloween. Where my friends laughed at me and said I looked Greek, because being a kid that’s mixed and definitely not white without being easily distinguished as another ethnicity really sucks. People just call you everything but what you are. But anyway, after that I realized sewing is something I can do, so I kept doing it. Then I was Meg from Hercules, Mulan in her “tried to get married and failed” dress (which I still love), and Pocahontas. Being in marching band and doing zero period, marching out in the wet football field at 6 am wearing nothing but an imitation suede short dress with no shoes kinda sucks. But I looked great.

So that’s how my costuming craze was born. I went to fashion school for a while and my ex bought me patternmaking books so I could get better at making my own designs a reality, but school fizzled out and I had to work for a living. I still make Halloween costumes for myself and my family, but it wasn’t until this year when I knocked out coronation gown Anna from Frozen, plus two Ghostbuster costumes in a month, that I realized how much I missed that work. Star Wars came out and I fell totally in love with Rey, so she’s my next costume, once Anna’s winter cape is done. Oh, did I mention I’m currently doing Anna out in Hollywood during my winter break? I am. We’re having professional photos done tomorrow (I’m with an Elsa), but here’s a quick and dirty test run I did at home last week:

We had a white elephant gift exchange at work that had to be under $10, so I got $10 worth of Frozen cereal. They should know better than to let me troll at work. But on Christmas Eve it was Star Wars day at work, and I walked around in one of my SW shirts with Rey hair, so clearly, they don’t learn quickly:

Sorry, that was my Instagram post, so you also get some desk decorations and the wampa hat I rigged to scare people walking past my little desk window. I have to show up for work to get paid, but I don’t have to take it seriously. But back on point, I’ve been so excited to get home and make things, it’s so nice. The only bugger is that it was so busy with work and the holidays, and working up through Xmas Eve, that I didn’t have much time to have fun. Today is my one day off from doing the Hollywood thing, so I need to try and finish the cape, along with other errands. I’ve also started a reference folder for Rey and will sketch her soon, but I decided to take a peek on Etsy to see if there’s any competition, since I was hoping to somehow have enough time to start selling costumes too. I won’t call out anyone on Etsy, but I will categorically state that there are no good, accurate reproductions on that site. Not one. It actually makes me angry, how much I see people charging for a few yards of white cotton (white! cotton!!) draped over a mannequin and cinching it with a brown leather belt and saying “Tada! It’s Rey!” No. No no no no no no no no. NO. She has probably the easiest costume to make for a woman in the Star Wars universe, and yet this is the garbage I see. She still has textures and shades, and weathering and staining and wearing. There is nuance to this. But hey, why try hard when you can just capitalize for maximum profit? It makes me so angry.

taken by me at the El Capitan, December 17 2015

taken by me at the El Capitan, December 17 2015

So yeah, I’ll be making that hopefully starting this week. If not, then next week. Then making shitty people cry when they see what accuracy looks like, and maybe make them want to try harder. And if I can get a dressmaker’s form soon, maybe I’ll start letting others wear what I make, and then they can see what it’s like to be dressed well. My sister already wants a Rey costume, and she hasn’t been into costumes or Halloween since she was still in her teens. See her in my costume and get your ass blown off.

One Comment

  1. Kendal wrote:

    hmmm I guess I should work on Elsa’s coronation gown while I’m here. Not looking forward to figuring out embroidery. And Esmeralda! I made that too, to go to the Renaissance Faire. lol. Do you have any pictures of yours? I do, somewhere… the old-fashioned physical prints… somewhere… :-/ I cheated with the corset and used some thick stretchy material, and sewed on the gold stripes. I made her red/purple dress too, which I think is still in my parents garage… 😛