Classic Leia Dress Fabric: A New Hope & The Empire Strikes Back

Princess Leia’s classic white dress (follow link to image), which she wears in A New Hope and the end of The Empire Strikes Back, is a hard fabric to figure out, there has been a lot of speculation about what kind of fabric it is. Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy says that it is made of crepe de chine silk, which is a light weight woven fabric.

Leia dress fabric
(Stat Wars Costume: The Original Trilogy: Picture From DIY The Galaxy Of Star Wars)

A more affordable fabric that that has been used by some costumes is Jet Set Polyester, this fabric is a jersey knit with a tiny bit of stretch, however, if you are looking for a more accurate fabric, other options that might be more affordable would be to get a synthetic crepe de chine.

(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.)

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The Empire Strikes Back: Bespin/Cloud City: Leia Hairstyle: Movie Accurate

Breakdown:

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.

Bun:

Leia’s hair does not have a part of any kind; it is smoothed back into the style,

Bespin Leia hair 11
(TESB: Bespin Leia Hair: No Part)

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.

Bespin Leia hair 1
(TESB: Bespin Leia Hair: Bun Wrapped Pattern)
Bespin Leia hair 2
(TESB: Bespin Leia Hair: Follow 1-5)

The bottom edge of her bun is roughly in line with just above Leia’s eyebrow however, this sill chance from Leia to Leia.

Bespin Leia hair 7
(TESB: Bespin Leia Hair: Bottom of Bun in Line With Eyebrow)

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.

Bespin Leia hair 4
(TESB: Bespin Leia Hair: Bun Top in Line With Top of 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.)

bespin leia 18
(TESB: Bespin Leia Hair: Bun Width)

Braids:

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.

Bespin Leia hair 13
(TESB: Bespin Leia Hair: Braids Come Out From Under the Bun)
Bespin Leia 17
(TESB: Bespin Leia Hair: Several Inches Between Braids, Braids Come Out From the Sides)

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.)

Bespin Leia hair 3
(TESB: Bespin Leia Hair: Bottom of Braids Comes Down to Shoulders)
Bespin Leia hair 6
(TESB: Bespin Leia Hair: Bottom Of Braids Comes Down to Shoulders)

Curls:

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.

Bespin Leia hair 14
(TESB: Bespin Leia Hair: Curl in Front of Ear)

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 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:

Wigs:

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:

Hair Pieces:

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.)

Things You’ll Need:

Links To Other Methods:

Classic Princess Leia: Belt Medallion Materials

(Medallion Body)

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.

Flashing

(Medallion Center)

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.

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