Saturday, May 22, 2010

Now for something completely different

Can you spot the difference in these photos?

Yes, that's right, Princess Leia has a head!

A couple of months ago the Greenwich Public School in Sydney, Australia, held its annual "Drinks by the Harbour" fundraiser. The theme was "white". My friend Jean was persuaded to go as Princess Leia in the ceremonial scene in Star Wars: A New Hope; ie:

By "persuaded" I mean that I pointed out that she has the hair and the cheekbones, and I would make the dress and the necklace if she would agree. So that was that.

Turns out we aren't the first to try this - see Kay-dee's page (thank you Kay-dee for the detailed information) and Padme's closet.  We used a white maxi dress from Supre (an Australian chain store a bit like UK's Top Shop), a bit of white georgette from my fabric stash, silver lame for the belt, and cardboard and tin foil for the necklace.

Working with the white dress as the base, I made wide straps to cover the shoestring straps of the dress, and also to give me something substantial to sew the georgette sleeves onto. I simply cut large bell sleeves and sewed them in. It is not an accurate copy of the costume (as Kay-dee has made) - more of an homage!

There are lots of suggestions on the web for making Leia's necklace - along the lines of modelling clay or getting a metalworker to beat some metal pieces for you. My idea was simpler and cheaper - cardboard, white glue and (craft) foil.   

Simply cut pieces of thick cardboard into pieces roughly the size and shape of the pieces in the necklace, and cover with splodges of white glue - thickly. When dry they will look something like this:

Then, cut pieces of craft foil big enough to wrap around the cardboard, and press into the contours formed by the glue. Then string the pieces together - I used a needle to make a tunnel at the top of each piece of cardboard, under the foil, and threaded tiger tail filament through, finishing with a clasp so I could open it.

Here's another view of the finished necklace:

Finally, I couldn't resist trying it on before I gave it to Jean (we made a better belt than this, though).

And here's Jean rocking the look on the night:

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