A Star Wars Halloween Episode Two: Revival of the Cool Parents

In a Galaxy Far, Far Away… just kidding. Welcome to Episode Two. In this Episode, I am going to walk through what I did for my husband, Garrett’s costume and mine. In the previous Episode, I made it known that we were doing Star Wars as a family theme for Halloween this year. My three sons decided to be Luke Skywalker, Finn, and an Ewok. If you haven’t read Episode One yet, there is a link at the bottom of the page that will take you directly there.

When my husband and I were deciding our characters this year, we had many iconic ones to choose from such as Leia or Darth Vader. However, one character really stuck out to me personally from the recent Star Wars story, and that was Jyn Erso from Rogue One. We only see a small glimpse into Jyn Erso’s character from the film, but I was impressed with how fierce and strong she was. She does what needs to be done, and even though she does not use the force, she trusts it. Garrett, being my partner in crime, decided to be Cassian Andor from the same movie. I mostly chose this for him, because he doesn’t like to dress up to the extent I do. I told him I would make his costume simple and make him into a cool rebel pilot. He gave in, the poor guy.

To walk through this process, I am going to break down each aspect of the costumes. If you look at pictures of the characters from the movie, you will see that there are many elements that can be taken and done for each character. I did my best to interpret and simplify the costumes for quick, last minute costumes. There is only one sewn piece, but we will get to that. May the Force Be With You.

The Importance of Thrift Stores

Before I start, everybody should remember in their costume making know-how the importance of looking at thrift stores. In a pinch, thrift stores are the perfect asset for two reasons:

  1. You are more likely to find clothes to use as costumes for cheap.
  2. The clothes you find are ones you won’t care to mess up. This is good, because it is better to make a mistake with something that is two dollars than twenty.

A great example of a great thrift store find would be Garrett’s costume. Everything he is wearing was found at a thrift store and I either fixed it up a bit or kept it the way it was. The only thing that wasn’t found at a thrift store was his shirt underneath, the belt he is wearing, and his hiking boots.

Garrett’s Take on Cassian Andor

Items Used:

  • Leather Jacket
  • Grey t-shirt or long sleeved shirt
  • Charcoal grey cargo pants
  • Hiking boots
  • Mission belt

Cassian’s look in Rogue One reminds me a lot of Hans Solo from Episode IV: A New Hope. What I like about Cassian is that he is a mix between the best of Solo’s clothes and the rebel fighter pilots. The type of neckline and the color scheme of his clothes really tie into the timeline. It makes sense when you consider Rogue One takes place just before you meet Hans Solo, and the rest of the characters we know and love. This makes it a little easy in the search for clothes, especially if you are a Star Wars fan and may have Hans Solo’s pieces. Also, there are numerous jackets and shirts that Cassian wears in the beginning, middle, and end of Rogue One which open more interpretations to how you can dress up. Since my husband likes to be simplistic in his costuming, I found some colors that worked with him, while still maintaining a rebel pilot/Cassian vibe.

As mentioned above, we found most of my husband’s clothes at a thrift store. The jacket and pants were the amazing items found, and all I did was alter the color of the pants (process described below). For his shirt, we flipped a t-shirt inside out to match the colors, and the belt was his own. It came from a company called Mission Belt (link here), and they are perfect belts for Star Wars costumes. This was all it took to make Garrett into Cassian. The process, much like his costume, was simplistic and the results were excellent.

My version of Jyn Erso

Items Used:

  • Grey long sleeved shirt
  • Handmade Vest from Pattern (Simplicity 8480)
  • Forest Green Crop Jacket
  • Cargo pants
  • Ankle boots
  • Long Grey Fabric

When I started this costume, I was thrilled at a chance to be Jyn Erso. I love other female Star Wars characters like Leia and Ashoka, but something clicked for me as I watched Jyn’s story. She was fearless and confident in her choices. In the end, she ultimately saved millions with her sacrifice and led the first major attack on the Empire by the rebel alliance. That kind of individual is worth replicating.

Jacket and Top

The jacket I used was a thrift store find. I was lucky, because I managed to find a forest green crop jacket with a hood. The only thing I did to alter it was cut the hood out, cut some buttons off, and pin the bottom up as high as I needed for the costume. For the shirt, I ordered a long sleeve shirt online. However it didn’t make it in time, so I opted for my short sleeved shirt. The colors where dark like I wanted, so it was a great alternative. For more authenticity, a long sleeve shirt is what you want. If you desire more of a genuine look and have the time, there is a pattern for the shirt she wears inside the simplicity pattern. That pattern is listed above in “items used”. I am plus size, so I used sizes 16-24, but there are also sizes 2-14. Make sure to measure your body to find out what size you should be looking for. It is better to go off your own measurements than to go by size number.

Something to keep in mind when you are dressing like Jyn, is she has two different looks in the movie. In the beginning she pairs just her grey shirt and vest, and then towards the middle she has her shirt, jacket, and vest. If you can’t locate a jacket, then pairing the vest with the long sleeved shirt still offers a great look. I am most likely going to be dressed in just the vest and shirt when I am at home or doing other activities. If you are dressing last minute, don’t sweat the small details. Using just a shirt and vest will still give you a great look.

Vest and Scarf

The vest and scarf were the only things that I made myself. I couldn’t find a good cargo vest or jacket to alter, so I decided to make it by hand. Luckily, Simplicity costumes had a pattern with Jyn Erso’s look, so I bought the pattern and went to work. The pattern calls for using a leather or suede-cloth for the jacket, but I couldn’t find good colors. I opted for using cotton fabrics instead, because they were cheaper and they had the colors I wanted. With the notions, I mixed in some grey and black to give more contrast than just the chocolate brown. If you are wondering why I chose a red lining, it is because of the vest in the movie. In the scene where she is rescued by the rebellion, she is knocked on her back and you can see the lining in her jacket is a dark red shade. Even with this simple pattern, I wanted to get as close to her jacket color as possible. I am glad I used it, because all the colors make the jacket pop and feel authentic.

I used a sewing machine and the process itself took me about 8-12 hours, mostly due to feeding baby and wrestling kids. The patten was easy to follow, so an experienced seamstress could probably finish it in less time.

For the scarf, I had no luck finding a plain grey scarf. Instead, I bought some cotton fabric and got 2-3 yards of it. I wanted to make the scarf look as long as it does in the movie, so I got as much as I needed for the length. I wasn’t able to find a dark enough grey, so while I was dying the pants, I slipped the scarf in the dye bath for a few minutes to get a darker grey. The color turned out well and adds another color element to the costume. I didn’t hem the scarf when I took the picture, but it would be good to hem your fabric for long term use. If you are using it for one night and want to reuse your fabric, it should be fine to use the fabric as a scarf without the hem.

Pants

This was a whole new experience for me in costume making. I have only dyed fabric once in my life before this, and it was for a tye-dye shirt I did in the 8th grade. I have not touched fabric dye since, but when you want to get things to match up, you do everything in your repertoire. At the thrift store, I managed to find two pairs of cargo-looking pants in the men’s section. They had fun detailing that would look great as pilot pants for the costumes, but a downside was they were poop brown. I didn’t want poop brown. I wanted charcoal grey, which led me to dying clothes.

It was actually a fairly painless process. I used Rit Dye, and this company provides an amazing website with tutorials on how to dye clothes properly for the first time (link here). I started by using Rit Dye color removal to strip the pants of as much color as I could to start with a new base for dying. After the pants were prepped, I used Rit Dye’s Charcoal color and used two bottles to get the dark grey. I found that using one charcoal grey and half a black dye yielded good results as well. After getting the color to what I wanted, I removed the pants from the dye bath and added it to a bucket which contained Rit Dye’s Color Fixative. The Color fixative keeps the dye from leeching out during washes. Make sure to use that after. As a side note, check what type of fabric you have. If you have synthetic fabric, you will need to buy Rit dye’s synthetic dye, not the one I have in the picture above.

You can see by the contrast in the pictures how different the previous color was to now. This was a fun project, however, dying fabric is a bit time consuming as you wait for the fabrics to set. If you are planning to use dye as an alternative, set time aside where you can focus solely on the process. Look at videos and resources beforehand, and it will make the procedure much easier. Two tips to take from my experience would be to find big storage bins or 5 gallon buckets for dying. You will want space for your clothes to soak up the dye, so you need a large container for bulk amounts of fabric. The second tip is to have gloves, tongs, and a pot/bucket specifically for dying. You will have to intensely wash your tools after in order to safely use for things like food. If you have a bucket or pot you don’t care about, that is the better option.

In a pinch, finding a charcoal grey, waist-high pair of pants is ultimately the easiest way to put together bottoms for your costume. If you have skinny pants or fitted pants that are charcoal grey, then save yourself some time and use those as the bottoms. Just throw on some hiking or ankle boots and the costume is complete!

Despite not being able to sew the costumes this year as I have done previously, I had a blast making these costumes. They still feel handmade and put together with that special touch I add to all my projects. My family looks great and they feel like the characters, which brings me the most joy. My eldest even told others his name was Luke Skywalker! That is the point of Halloween, right? To dress up and have fun for a night as your favorite character.

Please share this and Episode One to others who might benefit. Make sure to like my post, and if you have questions, feel free to ask in the comments below. And of course, have a Happy Halloween!

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