Friday, November 6, 2015

DIY Han Solo on Endor Costume

I shared our group photo Tuesday of our Halloween costumes and I meant to share this post Wednesday, but here it is Friday afternoon and I'm just barely finishing it. Better late than never, right?

This costume differs from Han Solo in the other movies mainly in the color of his pants: black with red Correllian blood stripes in the first two movies, brown with yellow Correllian blood stripes in Return of the Jedi.

This costume was fairly easy to put together and didn't take too much time, especially compared to Sunshine's Ahsoka costume.

Here's how I put the costume together:

1. Long sleeve cream shirt.
This happens to be a waffle weave henley shirt with three buttons. A shirt with a mandarin collar would have been better, but I didn't have to make this one and it was fairly inexpensive (I think it was $8 at Kohls), so that's what we used.

2. Black vest with pockets
I used one of Mr M's button down shirts as a pattern for the vest (without the sleeves and collar), which I made out of a black twillish-type fabric. There's four pockets on the front, three of them with flaps, and a row of loops on the back. All raw edges were serged, then folded over and stitched in place.

3. Brown pants with yellow Correllian blood stripes
We found the brown pants at Goodwill for a few bucks. I could have made some, but this was the easier and cheaper route to go.
One of the hardest parts of this costume was getting the blood stripes right. They should be embroidered, but I didn't have the time, desire, or spools and spools and spools of thread that would have taken. The next best option was to use paint and ribbon. Unfortunately I had problems getting the paint to behave.
top left: yellow fabric paint on brown ribbon
top right: brown fabric paint on yellow ribbon (top) and brown craft paint on yellow ribbon (bottom)
middle left: brown craft paint on yellow ribbon
middle right: yellow craft paint on brown ribbon
bottom left: brown ribbon taped off
bottom right: "puffy" yellow fabric paint on brown ribbon
The pictures above show the results of my various experiments. The first yellow fabric paint had very poor coverage, even after multiple layers. The brown fabric paint had better coverage, but the shiny aspect was quite distracting when placed next to the pants. Brown craft paint wasn't shiny, but it bled under the tape. The yellow craft paint was actually layered over yellow fabric paint, but still didn't look right. The stripes are 1/2" wide with 1/4" in between. In the end I used a yellow "puffy" fabric paint. It wasn't as puffy as I remember puffy paints being, but it had better coverage so I called it good.
After the paint dried I hot glued the ribbons to the outer seam of the pants, from the waistband to just below the knees. Hot glue was quicker and less fiddly than sewing would have been and since they were thrift store pants I wasn't worried about ruining them.
my cute little helper who still thinks he needs to be held all the time, which adds a whole new level of difficulty to sewing and crafting 

4. Black boot gaiters
Han Solo wears knee high black riding boots, which we don't happen to have. Mr M does have a pair of black shoes, so we paired those with some black gaiters to achieve the look of black boots. I used black vinyl for the gaiters and it was a massive pain to work with. I managed to sew velcro on the inner seams  and sewed some elastic stirrups to the bottom edges, but that was super frustrating, so the rest of the adjustments were done with hot glue. I did use the sewing machine to tack the gaiters to the pants at the inner and outer pants seams to keep them from scrunching down.

5. Belt and holster
Han wears a black belt in the loops of the pants and a looser brown belt with the holster attached. I drew a pattern on some canvas (leftover from Mr M's Luke Skywalker gaiters) that I then wrapped with some thin brown leatherette. I sewed a couple seams to give the holster its shape and hot glued everything else in place.
top row: beginnings of the holster
middle row: belt buckles (the smaller one is for Sunshine's costume) 
bottom row: some of the hardware I used for Mr M's belt buckles
I used two layers of thin plywood for the belt buckles. Others online used other materials, but I thought the wood would be the sturdiest. I screwed the metal pieces into the inside piece of wood, then glued the top piece of wood on top that. I used silver craft paint to give them a metallic look.
view of the underside of the back buckle
The picture is fairly self-explanatory about how I attached the belts to the back buckle. None of the belts needed to be undone, so they were all screwed in place. I used two leather belts for the main belt and the leatherette-wrapped canvas for the holster. The fashion buckle allowed the holster to move and be more flexible than it otherwise would be.
view of the underside of the front buckle
On the front buckle one of the belts and the holster needed to come undone. My original idea was to use overall strap buckles, and while they kind of worked, they were too long for the size of the buckle. After some messing around, I had part of the overall strap buckle left and a slide adjuster. I ended up wiring D-rings to them and the D-rings hooked around the screws. They come off fairly easily, but stay in place well enough that Mr M didn't lose his belt. It's not the prettiest solution, but it works and is much sturdier than some of the others I saw online.

Some better pictures of the holster:
the thigh strap is hot glued to the back of the holster and has a velcro attachment

the blaster strap is sewn to the holster and also has velcro attachments

6. Blaster
The final part of this costume was the blaster. Han Solo isn't Han Solo if he doesn't have a blaster. I purchased a vintage toy blaster on eBay and fixed it up a bit. It was missing the battery cover, which made it cheaper, but also meant I had to come up with a way to make it look better. I made it up as I went along, so if I were to do it again I'd skip the first couple steps and go straight to the thin cardboard.

top row: what the blaster looked like when we received it in the mail
middle row: I put some thick cardboard in the battery area
bottom row: I put sticky back foam over the cardboard to smooth things out, but ended up just cutting some thin, very stiff cardboard (chipboard, maybe?) and glueing it on top of everything. I added a couple shapes to add interest.
I sprayed the blaster black, covering the original Star Wars logo and the cardboard. Then I used brown craft paint on the handle, wiping some of it off to give it a weathered look. I also dabbed silver paint on parts I thought would normally look metallic. The cardboard panel isn't an exact match, but it looks much better than the open hole that was there. 

Stay tuned for posts about how I made the Jawa, Ewok, Leia, and Ahsoka Tano costumes.

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