Rey from The Force Awakens: Final Hallowe’en Costume
(I was trying to have this done earlier, but maybe it will inspire people for the premiere, or next Hallowe’en!)
Now that the goggles and head scarf were done, I turned to the rest of the costume. If we break it down, there is a short-sleeved knit undershirt, blousy trousers with long ties at the knee/calf, brown woven fabric boots, gauze arm wraps, and a gauzy overdress/tabard that wraps across the front, loops at the left calf, and hangs straight at the back. There is a leather belt that has a tighter waist strap and then a longer hip strap that a pouch attaches to. There is also a backpack with various oddments and webbing straps attached to it, and she has a leather bracer on her left wrist and a long staff with a leather strap that fastens on for carrying.
Because this was going to be a Hallowe’en costume, I veered off course from movie accuracy:
Undershirt — for this my daughter used a grey smooth-knit fleece with long sleeves and a high neck, and layered a t-shirt and a light jacket underneath.
Trousers — I used a sheet from the thrift store, and made simple trousers modelled on her gi pants from karate. I just folded the pants in half, lay them on the folded sheet, traced out the shape with a seam allowance, and cut two. Then I just stitched them up, following instructions like this. I cut them big so that my daughter could layer leggings underneath to keep warm! The final step was to sew ties to the back of each leg cuff, which I made from strips cut from the sheet. These I made long so I could blouse the trouser leg and wrap the cuff snugly to her leg and get a similar look to the movie costume.
Boots — While illustrious costumers were able to track down the exact boots used in the movie (made by a company called Po-Zu), I bought my daughter a pair of faux sheepskin boots from Old Navy. They capture the look adequately, they are warm, and she can wear them after the costume is done.
Arm Wraps — The movie costume looks like the wraps are flexible and stretchy like gauze. I didn’t have any on hand, so I made long fabric strips from a woven cotton that I distressed and dirtied up. I just wrapped them over her arms, and pinned them at the wrist and shoulder. They shifted and unravelled slightly, but not too badly. Gauze would probably work better.
Overdress/tabard — Again, this looks like the head scarf to be a gauze of some kind. I didn’t have any on hand, but I did have some thin cotton curtains. I cut them in half lengthwise, and stitched them end-to-end to make a long fabric rectangle. I dyed it to look a bit dirty/darker, and hung it to dry bunched/pleated. Then it was simply a matter of wrapping it on my daughter and securing it with the belt. If I make a more detailed version of this costume, I would probably sew the pleats down in the shoulders, and attach them to the undershirt at the shoulders so they don’t shift.
Pouch — I had an old satchel that was falling apart. I cut it in half and sewed the edge up to make a pouch. I attached two webbing loops on the back that the hip belt goes through. The movie pouch looks like it snaps on to the belt, but this solution worked fine.
Backpack — I had an old purse lying around that was a thrift store find. It was actually a Coach bag, but had serious mold and damage on it. I never was able to get the mold out, so it had been languishing in my supply pile for about 10 years. It was destined to become part of the costume. I simply attached the shoulder strap at the bottom of the back to convert it into a backpack, and then added various straps and buckles and plastic pipe and other greeblies to make it look more like the movie pack. I would like to make a more accurate pack some day, but again, under my constraints I was pretty happy with how it turned out.
Bracer — I eyeballed an adult template posted on the costuming forum, and cut a bracer out of a wide leather belt I had lying around. It’s not perfect, but it did the job.
Staff — I completely punted on this. No time, plus I thought it would be awkward with having to carry a candy bag, and she was already wearing a backpack!
In the end, my daughter didn’t want to wear the head scarf, so I just set the goggles on top of her head, and did her hair in a bun. Rey’s hair seems to be three buns, but my daughter’s hair is too fine to make three separate buns.
I am pretty happy with how it turned out, given the limitations I had to work with. My daughter had a blast and was ecstatic with the costume, and that means this was a win.