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These instructions are for intermediate skill, involving some pattern manipulation and the knowledge of how to piece together pants.


The pants Leia wears during the briefing and her time on Endor (save her time at the Ewok Village) are fitted, waist-high and slim-legged. It would have a thinner waistband that will be concealed by the belt, and the end of the legs should have stirrups so they fit properly within knee-high boots. The fabric can be either a denim or a twill bottomweight; there are no high enough resolution images to prove or disprove whether the pants are twill or denim, but so long as the color is correct (a sort of gray blue) it will do. There are no pockets or darts. I highly suggest you find a fabric with stretch to it, as these pants are very fitted. For mine, I used stretch denim. For the stripe, I thought a material that was a similar weight to the pants would look best as opposed to quilter's cotton. The color is what I can best describe as a 'dirty yellow', an ochre or goldenrod (no, not C3P0!). I found a great color in the home dec section of the fabric store I went to.

To further elaborate on the color, the fabric on Leia's pants are one of those fabrics that seems to be a very different color in different lighting situations. Under sunlight and the bright lights of the Rebel Briefing Room, they appear almost a baby blue. Under shaded lighting (outdoors) the blue appears to be a bit richer, and the Visual Dictionary scan that's been floating around looks periwinkle (on the purple side of blue). I think that a denim on the more gray side of blue, of a solid color (some denims have a lot of visible white variations to it) would work fine, and if chosing a twill or other fabric, be sure it isn't too bright/baby of a blue. Click the color study for full view, and I'd suggest printing it on a reliable printer to take with you to the fabric store. Sometimes color prints and even what appears on the monitor varies.

Leia Pants Color Study, click for full view

These are the flats I drew of what the pattern pieces are shaped like... this is not a to-scale sketch, just a guide. There aren't seam allowances drawn on here, so don't forget to keep seam allowance into account when patterning.

Pants Pattern Flats

For drafting these pants, I recommend finding either a pattern for waist-high pants (best for those not comfortable with a high-degree of pattern manipulation) or a pair of pants that fits you really well. I did the former, taking a pair of jeans (made of stretch denim) that fit really well. You can even go to a used clothing store to find a pair you don't mind ripping up. If you can rip them apart to make the pattern, wonderful, if not, you have to be careful you get the dimensions right; the front leg of the pants are slimmer than the back.

If using a pattern, try and find one with close to the feature's of Leia's. Pockets can always be omitted. One I found that will work would be Simplicity Pattern 2860 which is about waist-high, has a similar fly front, but the legs would probably have to be taken in. Your pattern will need to be altered to look similar to mine. It will have to fit well in the posterior (taking care you still have enough room to sit). Leia's pants have no darts, but if your figure requires darts to get the correct fit, you can add them in. Make sure you know where your knees are, as the angle of the pant leg will change at that point. The legs will start to taper out a bit at the ankles and end in tabs in which a piece of wide elastic will attach for your stirrups. The only other pieces you will need will be the waistband (which you can cut in a straight strip folded over, or contoured like mine. Keep in mind it should be between an inch and an inch and a half so the belt can cover it. I used 1 1/4th wide before seam allowances) and a 4" wide strip of pants material to back the fly front. The stripe on the side should be 1" wide, and I'd recommend cutting a 2" wide strip and folding a half inch on each side.

Start by making a mock-up of your pants. Only focus on the legs, you don't need to worry about the fly front or waistband, you are just checking for fit. Things to keep in mind when shaping these are to make them comfortably slim, but not skin-tight. Also since they need to be slim in the lower legs, make sure it's not too tight around the knees. For the stirrups, you will want to use an inch-wide elastic, so the stirrup-end of the pants will be 1/2 inch on each side. Try on your mock-ups, safety-pin some elastic to the stirrups and put on your boots. This way you can see if there's too much bulk in the legs. Be sure to sit down to test the fit in the back and if there's any pull on your stirrups so you know to adjust the elastic length.

When you have your pattern corrected and you begin your final pants, start by sewing the outer seams of the legs only. This way you can attach your stripe before you sew the pant legs together fully. I highly recommend serging the raw edges. If you don't have a serger, there's many other ways to finish the edges. You can flat-fell the seam if you want to (top-stitch the seam down). Mark 1/2 inch from the seam on the outside on whichever side is easiest, I recommend the right. Pin your stripe down against this line, covering the seam and top-stitch in a matching color to the pants. Now you can contruct your pants like normal. To finish the stirrups, I only put a 1/4 seam allowance on that edge. I serged it, folded it under and stitched once, and simply stitched the elastic to the legs.

Attaching a fly-front instructions should be included on your pattern if you are using one, but I can post some quick-and-dirty instructions if anyone requests one.


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