Blood Stripes appear in several Star Wars costumes (blood strips are the different colored stripes that go down the sides of paints.) The stripes appear in all of Han Solo’s costumes, which is likely why in the Legends EU, they are called Corellian Blood Stripes.
However, blood stripes also appear on Leia’s Commando outfit in (ROTJ), Luke’s end metal ceremony pants in (ANH) and also in the battle handmaiden outfit that Padmé as well as her handmaidens wears in (TPM).
Typically blood stripes are made out of one continuous piece of fabric; this is how the stripes on Leia’s commando pants are done. However, Han’s stripes are done differently, instead of being a single stripe of fabric; Han’s stripes are actually embroidered in a dashed line.
Blood Stripes Tutorial:
Though sewing would be more secure, this method would also be a good one for Leia’s Endor Commando Pants. Leia’s Endor Commando Pants have a traditional blood stripe that is one continuous contrasting color. Whereas Han’s are an embroidered dashes line and this method would not work for them.
Crepe is a kind of fabric, more a texture than anything else, it can be made out of many different kinds’ fibers, but for Leia, I’d say a crepe silk would be the best bet. Much of the fabric used in Leia’s wardrobe is silk so it goes to reason that the blouse used in Return of the Jedi would not be an exception.
The stitching that was done to put Leia’s Ewok village dress together can be see under the decorative chamois leather lacing done over the top on many, but not all, of the seems of the dress.
It is rare to have actual measurements on costumes from movies, however, in the book, [Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy]. Leia’s slave bikini that she wears in Return of the Jedi at Jabba’s palace, appears in the book next to a ruler. The costume items seen in the pictures are not aligned perfectly on the ruler so a little figuring is required to get actual measurement. These pieces of course are measured to fit Carrie Fisher, and would have to be adjusted for every individual Leia. If you feeling like doing the math, these measurements plus knowing how tall Carrie Fisher was, can give you pretty exact proportions on the original costume. and from there adjust the costume to each individual Leia’s needs.
My measurement figuring comes out to roughly 8″ 1/2 inches for the bikini bottom at the top, (which in the photo is at the bottom of the picture, against the ruler). Leia’s armband is roughly 5″1/2 inches in length, measuring from one the curling end to the other.
In The Empire Strikes Back Leia wears a white snow suit through most of the movie, and with this snow suit she wears two different pairs of boots. On Hoth and while on the run on the Millennium Falcon Leia wears light grey boots with wedge heals. According to Star Wars Costume: The Original Trilogy, Leia’s boots where styled loosely off of mukluks,
when Leia’s in cloud city after she’s been captured by the Empire she changes her boots to a pair of white leather boots with a tall heal and a zipper up the back.
“Silk crepe de chine, from the French “crepe of China”, is a famously versatile silk, possessing a very glossy luster and a subtle texture, as well as a surprisingly light weight and truly excellent drape. The fabric, slightly more textured than silk 4-ply woven crepe, is made with tightly twisted weft yarns, or filling, running in reverse directions from left to right. These twisted yarns produce both the crepe texture of the material and its flexible drape. Silk crepe de chine is probably the most durable of cultivated silks – those woven of single, reeled strands – and is found to be exceedingly even and uniform in texture. Silk crepe de chine is popular for bridal and formal evening wear, and also works well in blouses and men’s shirts. Also used in home décor, the fabric lends a light and luxurious feel to any project. Silk crepe de chine is also an exceptionally forgivable silk when it comes to sewing, as it takes thread well and will typically not fray overly when cut. Dry cleaning is the recommended method of care for this fabric”.
The body of Leia’s political dress is very simple; the dress seems to be cut out on a ‘T’ pattern, the fabric being folded in half fully length ways and then again width ways.
Because of the way the fabric is folded before cutting there are only 2 seems one on ether sides. There is no front or back seems, there are also no shoulder seems and no seem on the top of the sleeves. There are really only 4 seems on Leia’s dress, the 2 side seems which are continuous up through the underside of the sleeves, 1 seem for the collar and the seem for the keyhole back opening.
The side seems are left open from about the knee down, to allow for ease of movement, this split in the dress does no go any high then Leia’s knee, (roughly just below the knee cap).
Leia’s political dress is self lined, meaning that the same fabric that was used to make the dress is used to line it. Leia’s dress has the raw seams enclosed between the lining and the body of the dress.
The bottom hem of the dress comes down to break at the top of Leia’s foot and is a folded hem that is secured down with invisible stitching, possibly sewn by hand.
The top of Leia’s dress is blouses and appears to have elastic ruching used to gather in the waist. (Sadly there are no pockets).
Though different necklines where plaid around with in the concept art faze for Leia’s political dress, the approved design has a turtleneck collar (possibly more of a mock-turtleneck since it does not fold over). This turtleneck collar closed in the back with what appear to be hooks and eyes that are sewn on the inside of the collar so they are not visible from the outside.
Princess Leia’s political dress closes with a series of hooks and eyes closer at the neck, and a keyhole back opening. This opening is more or less a strait cut opening down the center back that goes no lower than mid shoulder blade.
Leia’s hood is made out of a single layer of crepe de chine (so it’s not lined), the hood comes down to roughly just below the top of Leia’s hips. The hood seems to be likely cut out on a trapezoid shape and gathered on the edges before being sewn under the collar.
The hood is attached under the turtleneck collar and the hoods hem is a rolled hem which is stitched down by hand with an invisible stitch. The hood is also left open in the back and is not a closed hood, the fabric for the most part lays over the top of the head.
Leia’s political dress has open wide cut sleeves, Leia’s sleeves at the widest point, the wrist, appear to be more than 14” long (Pam’s Costumes: suggests 14″ inches in length for the sleeves). The image below shows Leia’s hand at shoulder level and the sleeves drops down to roughly Leia’s waist. (Perspective in the image has to be taken into account when figuring out the proper length of the sleeve.)
Note: that for movies there are lots of the same costume made, and often times those used during action sequences will have shorter hems and less full skirts and sleeves. It is likely then that Leia’s dress will appear slightly different throughout the movie and promo stills.
There are no shoulder seems or seems on the top of the sleeves, [some of the patterns that were released had raglan sleeves; however, this is not how the screen dress is constructed]. Since the dress is cut out on a ‘T’ pattern, the only seems that exists are on the underside of the sleeves where it’s the continuation of the single body seem on the side of the dress.
Leia’s political dress belt was made to have a medieval look, the belt itself is made out of leather with aluminum medallions. Leia’s belt also has a clear line of stitching around the entire border.
There are 7 to 8 medallions depending on the belt (the belt worn in ANH has more medallions then the belt worn in ESB). There are 6 to 7 rectangular medallions and 1 center diamond medallion (though more rectangular medallions can be added as needed as long as there evenly spaced). The medallions are made out of aluminum and snaps are used to close the belt in the back. In some versions of the belt, such as the one worn in ANH, a medallion covers up the snap closure, however, the belt worn in ESB appears to only have 7 medallions, leaving the snaps uncovered. (This picture pattern below for the medallions is a rough pattern and may have to be adjusted for each individual Leia, figuring out proportions helps.)
(Note: crepe de chine is most likely the fabric used for the dress, as the other construction details in Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy seems to check out with what is known about the dress from other sources.)
Leia’s Bespin hair consists of a bun with two looped braids tucked underneath the bun, this hair style is most likely achieve with the addition of hair pieces and or hair extensions. This style is not hard to do, however, most tutorials don’t have the right preparations, even if they have good technique, to get the right volume and length most people will need to use synthetic extensions.
Leia’s hair does not have a part of any kind; it is smoothed back into the style,
Leia’s bun is a medium sized bun of un-braided hair that is wrapped into a bun with the ends hidden within the bun. Follow the numbers from 1 to 5 to see the wrapping pattern of the hair.
The bottom edge of her bun is roughly in line with just above Leia’s eyebrow however, this sill chance from Leia to Leia.
The top of Leia’s bun is roughly in line with the crown of her head, Leia’s bun should not be higher than the top of her head.
Leia’s bun is placed in the center of her head; the width of her bun leaves an inch and a half at least on either side of her head. (Note: that a hair net matched to hair color should be put over the bun to finish it.)
Leia has two, English, or three strand, braids that loop from underneath her bun, the braids come out from the sides of Leia’s buns, this is important, as there are several inches left between Leia’s braids.
The bottom edge of the looped braids comes down to just above Leia’s shoulders. (Note: that Leia’s braids need to be about an inch in width if not a little more. They should also be a consistent width all the way through.)
To finish off this style, Leia has the hair in front of her ears are curled into a soft spiral curl, note: that these curls can be a little longer or shorter than the bottom of Leia’s ear lobe, however, they should not be much longer than this.
DIY: Bespin Leia Hair:
Version – 1:
Follow the steps in the video links, (Note: that this tutorial needs tweaking to be movie accurate.) Put your own hair into a ponytail on the crown of your head, if your hair is long enough leave it out to make the bun, if not then make sure to add in some synthetic hair to make the bun large enough.
Take synthetic pre-braided hair in a long enough length to loop down to the top of the shoulders. Pin this hair on the top of the ponytail, and loop the braids as shown in the video, however, make sure to loop them down to the top of the shoulders. (Also: make sure that the braids on hanging down from the sides, this is easy to achieve by pinning on the top of the ponytail, there should be several inches between the loops.) Hid the ends under the bun, make sure to wrap the bun following the pattern in the above picture with numbers. Make sure to position the bun in line with the top of the eyebrows and the head, also make sure that the bun is not too big. Finish the look with a hair net.
(Note: this video link has a bun that is note wrapped the right way and is too big, it also has loops that are too short and the braids need to be a little wider, it also leaves out the ear curls. However, the technique is good for achieving a movie accurate hair style.)
Version – 2:
If you are using a wig you may not need to add in any extra hair, follow the steps above with your wig hair to achieve the right look.
Version – 3:
Like with End Ceremony Leia, you could make a hair piece that you pin on over your own hair, make sure to follow the proportions indicated in the pictures. If you have long enough hair you can add a little synthetic hair into your own to make the right width and use your own hair to make the loops and use a clip in or pin on bun (See Links.)
Leia’s end ceremony hair is rather simple and can be achieved in several different ways to get a movie accurate look.
Leia’s hair is pulled back into a high ponytail on the crown of her head, the tail is braided in a three strand or English braid. The tail of the braid that hangs down Leia’s back should have at least 6” to 12” inches left un-braided.
The bun has three English braids wrapped around the outside, the bun is very large, the bottom edge towards the back of the head starts around the top of Leia’s ears.
the height of the bun is roughly 5” inches, measuring from the crown of the head to the top of the ears is about the same height as the bun. Play around with it to see what looks best for each individual Leia, in some cases this measurement may exceed 5″ inches, but it is advised to keep the height of the bun 5″ inches or under. The Bun is also clearly viable over the top of Leia’s head and the width of the bun does not go past the edge of Leia’s head, and infarct is smaller then the width of Leai’s head.
DIY Leia’s End Ceremony Hair:
This hair style will need hair help, for shoulder length and long hair two packages of synthetic braiding hair can be used to achieve this look.
It is important to note that often the techniques used in the tutorials for Star Wars hair are good, however, often times the proportion are wrong for movie accurate hair.
Version – 1:
Put your hair into a ponytail on the crown of your head; add some synthetic braiding hair into the ponytail and braid. All of Leia’s braids are think and the width if even all the way through, the 82” synthetic hair might work better for adding the right length to the braid down the back. Make or buy a clip on bun, make it by taking two hair daunts and sewing or gluing them one on top of the other. Cover your clip on bun with the hair and stitch the three braids around the hiding the ends inside the clip on bun. Once finished, clip the bun over the top of your long braid that hangs down your back and you’re all done. If you’re using a wig then putting the hair into a long braid and adding a clip on bun would work well, for security it’s recommend sewing instead of gluing the when attaching the built items in this style.
Version – 2:
Follow the steps in the video tutorial above, however, the style needs tweaking, the hair is not long enough so make sure to use the right length of hair to achieve the look. It might be a good idea to use the 82” synthetic hair, or, if you have short hair and can’t make as large of a bun braid only half of a bundle of synthetic hair, use the unbraided half to make your bun larger and then wrap t he braided half around to make the first of three braids. To make the braid that hangs down the back, use a separate bundle of synthetic hair that is the right length and pin it to the bun before wrapping the three braids around the bun.
Another video tutorial, has a similar technique the the tutorial above, and like the above mentioned style needs adjusted to be movie accurate. However, the technique has helpful methods.
Version – 3:
Follow the steps of the video tutorial above, only make sure to smooth out the hair, and to get the right volume and length consider adding in a second bundle of synthetic braiding hair. One for the braid that hangs down Leia’s back, and another bundle to split into three and wrap around the bun.
Remember that in all of these ways of making this hair style, a hair net should be placed over the bun. The hair should also be smooth as possible and try and keep the volume and length as close to movie accurate as possible.
All Lucas era Star Wars movie makeup generally follows two trends, it is semi reflective on current trends (in the time period that the film is made) and it is more or less in the natural/neutral rang.
Below are the approximations of what Leia’s makeup was like in A New Hope, from analysis of the photos. These are the basics of Leia’s makeup and can certainly be plaid around with to get the perfect look for each individual Leia. This is a general guide line for movie accurate Leia makeup colors and application. (Note: Leia wears the same makeup throughout the entirety of A New Hope.)
(Note: Leia’s makeup is done using 1970’s makeup techniques so applying it will be a little different then most people may be used to.) Links at the bottom.
Leia’s foundation is done in a very natural way, and any average well color matched foundation with a setting powder over top should work well, if needed use a little concealer. The key here is to keep it light and as natural looking as possible.
It is also relevant to mention that there are most likely high-lights and low-lights added to the makeup for the purposes of movie magic which aren’t important to cover for the average Leia. (Note: Leia does not have any significant contouring in her makeup.)
Leia’s eye-shadow is more or less blush-pink, the shadow is only applied to the back of the lid up to the socket and eye crease. (no smoky eye for Leia).
(Note: the color of Leia’s eye shadow is blush pink but the shade is an acid pink color in the movie, however, other tones may have be to plaid around with for each individual Leia’s makeup.)
(Note: According to Vintage Makeup Guide in 1978 “The new trick – think of your cheek colour as an eye colour.”)
Above the eye crease and below the eye-brow there appears to be a light taupe color on the brow bone.
(The brown/taupe eye-shadow tone is a dusty and warm color in shade and tone, again like with all of Leia’s makeup the colors that are used in the movies may not work well for every Leia, and there may have to be some adjustment in color and tone for each individual Leia.)
The lighter line that sometimes appears above the black eye-liner on Leia’s makeup is most likely caused by the edge of the black eye-line blending slightly with the eye-shadow. (From applying the makeup it seems this is the most likely reason for this appearance in the makeup sometimes.)
(However, white eyeliner was sometimes used in the 1970’s. “White eyeliner worn directly behind black…” ~ Hair & Makeup Artist Handbook) however, this dose not appear to be the case in Leia’s makeup it is important to understand makeup trends from the time period in which the movies where made.)
A powder eye-shadow for both is most likely, however, creams where also used in the 1970’s.
The eyeliner that Leia wears appears to be black, though brown would also work; a very, very thin line of eyeliner is applied to the top lid, that is later almost completely covered by mascara. Below the lower lashes a thin line of eyeliner is applied under the eyelashes, (Note: eyeliner is not on the water line, but below the lashes). The liner does not extend all the way to the tear duct, but instead stopped close to 2/3rd of the way to the duct.
(Note: Leia’s eyeliner dose not have a wing or anything fancy, it is simple eyeliner that runs along the lashes both above and below.)
(Note: The light or white color that may appear on Leia’s eyelid could be white eyeliner. “White eyeliner worn directly behind black…” ~ Hair & Makeup Artist Handbook)
(Note: Black mascara is worn on the lashes, which are natural look lashes, nothing special or extra.)
An eyeliner pencil is most likely, (liquid eyeliner is general glossy and would not be as accurate.)
Leia’s blush is close to, if not the same color as, her eye-shadow, the blush is applied to the entire apple of the cheek. In one large oval section from the cheek bone to the apple of the cheek, keeping at least two finger widths away from the mouth.
(Note: According to Vintage Makeup Guide in 1978 “The new trick – think of your cheek colour as an eye colour.”) this may explain why Leia’s eyeshadow and blush are similar in color.
Powder blush, though cream was also used at the time
A ruby pink lipstick with a slight gloss to it, the line follows the natural outline of the lip, overdrawing the lips was not done for Leia’s makeup.
Regular semi gloss lipstick in the right color,
A non glossy lipstick in the right color with a clear gloss over the top
A good material to use for Leia’s belt medallions is aluminum flashing, it is inexpensive, (around 6.00$ for a 6X10 roll). The Flashing can be cut easily with hand scissors, and requires little or no sanding to finish.
The round center part of the medallion can be made with cover buttons, (these are buttons that you cover with fabric yourself, however, when left uncovered they make good centers for the belt medallions.) Pam’s Costumes says that 1 1/8” size works well. The Costumes and Art Work blog, uses thread and a curved needle with a backing button to go through the cover button shank to attach the cover buttons to the medallions. Pam’s Costumes, used epoxy glue to attach the cover buttons, she removed the shanks and filled the backs with resin, hot glue could make a good alternative for filling the backs.