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The Making of Han Solo

November 3, 2010

Sometimes I scare myself, with the projects that I decide to undertake. I’m a classic bite-off-more-than-I-can-chew kind of girl.

Since Shane’s first Halloween, I’ve made his costumes.  For his first ever Halloween I made him an Elvis costume, because “Baby Elvis” was his nickname when I was pregnant (where that particular nickname came from is a slightly crazy story…but then again, one I should probably post sometime).  Last year he was Max, from Where the Wild Things Are. This summer we went to my parent’s camp for their “Halloween in July” celebration, where he and my niece Trick-or-Treated for the first time, dressed as Bam-Bam & Pebbles (but Shane insisted on keeping his shorts on under his “skirt”).

This autumn, I got it into my head that Shane had to be Han Solo for Halloween. He mispronounces his name as “Han” (or, at least, he did, up until a week or so ago), so it just seemed like the perfect costume for him right now. And it didn’t seem to hard, really. A white or off-white shirt, a black vest with pockets, dark pants with the red checks up the side seams, and the classic Han Solo blaster holster. I could manage that, right?


I’m sure it would have been easier, and much less stressful, if I had actually planned ahead. You know, figured out simple patterns, bought the material, that sort of thing.

But I didn’t. Blame it on exhaustion, blame it on pregnesia, blame it on pure and simple laziness…whatever you (or I) choose to blame it on, the end result doesn’t change. I found myself scrambling at seven o’clock on Saturday night — the night before Halloween — to somehow create a costume out of nothing.

I rummaged through a bag of old clothing that was set aside to be donated, I searched through a bin of hand-me-downs that Shane has yet to grow into, and I dug through the fabric and craft materials scattered throughout my apartment.

The shirt is a long-sleeved white shirt.  I turned it around so that the image on the front would be hidden by the back of the vest, trimmed off the neckline and the cuffs of the sleeves, and sewed a new seam up the back to make it a bit snugger.

The vest is a black turtleneck, in a size that he probably wouldn’t have grown into until spring.  I cut off the neck, sleeves, and hem, and used the scrap material to create all of the pockets.

The pants are size 5T, so I messed around with those until I eventually figured out how to make them fit.  I made the red checks up the side by mixing burgundy acrylic paint with bright pink fabric paint (and cut a small square stencil out of a scrap from a cereal box).

The holster is made from brown felt, cardboard scraps colored with a silver sharpie, and velcro.

The boots…well, the boots never happened.  I woke up around 2am Saturday night and laid there, contemplating whether it would be possible to create shoe covers that look like boots by chopping up an old black raincoat of mine…but then realized that if I did that, I’d be crossing the line into certifiably insane.  So I rolled over and went back to sleep.  This Han Solo could manage just fine without the calf-high Calvary boots!

Aside from the unnecessary stress that I brought on myself, I’m actually pretty pleased with what I was able to make in such a short amount of time.  And the unexpected bonus was that this costume didn’t cost us a dime — I was able to re-purpose things that were lying unused around the house — so I’m feeling rather thrifty and creative right about now!

And I’ve been finding myself eyeballing that bag of old clothing, wondering just what else I could do with it…

The finished costume.

It’s not easy to get photos of someone who’s just eager to get outside!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 3, 2010 10:26 am

    You are awesome! Each of these creations looks wonderful! We’re huge fans of Star Wars, so I especially love your Han Solo. I’m just lucky to have a step-mom who’s willing to lend a hand to make my boys’ costume ideas a reality.

    • November 6, 2010 11:03 am

      You are too sweet! Thank you! We’re big Star Wars fans here, too, and have gotten such a kick out of how he was mispronouncing his name as “Han” all this time! I just coulnd’t convince my husband to dress up as Chewbacca…which is probably a good thing, because there’s no way in the world that particular costume could have been whipped up on the night before Halloween! But, it would have been pretty funny…

      That’s wonderful that your step-mom helps create your son’s costumes! I love joint projects like that, they truly become a labor of love!

  2. November 3, 2010 11:49 am

    I’m so impressed!

  3. November 3, 2010 6:59 pm

    I would have never imagined that was a last minute project. I am so impressed with all the costumes.

    And you son is cutems for sure. I hope he had a great time.

    • November 6, 2010 11:01 am

      Oh, thank you! I think he’s pretty cute…but I’m admittedly biased! Trying to figure out how on earth I’d pull anything together with what I had around the house was a surprisingly fun challenge. I’ve only recently learned to use a sewing machine, and while it’s been intimidating, I’ve been enjoying it!

  4. November 6, 2010 6:19 pm

    So creative! And so cute! I admire your thriftiness, since I can never seem to achieve it. Even with my son’s ripped up zombie costume this year, my husband spent an arm and a leg on makeup.

    • November 9, 2010 8:56 am

      But the make-up is half the fun and totally makes the costume (especially at that age!). I remember loving any costume that allowed me to get the face-paint, too. We’re saving to buy our first home in a few years, so figuring out how to be thrifty has become the new way of life around here.

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