Friday, December 18, 2015

DIY Rey Costume On a Budget (Spoiler-Free)

I feel so pregnant in this picture :)
Not only was the movie awesome,
but it was Baby's first time going
to the movies! 
Doesn't she look cool? Not pictured
are the brown boots that also she wears.
 (image from
Happy Friday, everyone!!! As many of you are probably aware, Star Wars: The Force Awakens premiered in the U.S.A. last night! My husband was super awesome and snagged us tickets to the 7 p.m. showing in IMAX (first showing in our area!), so yesterday, I bounced around the entire day in excitement and anticipation. Months ago, I knew that I wanted to dress in costume. After all, I had never really dressed in costume for a movie premiere before, and I figured that Star Wars would be a good place to start! I realized, though, that I had few options for a costume. If you haven't noticed, the female lead characters in Star Wars are few and far between, and some of the costumes are ridiculously complicated. I knew that I wanted a costume that would be like many of my normal clothes (so I could wear it around town whenever I felt like it), and that I didn't want to spend money. Initially, I planned to dress in Padme's Tatooine peasant outfit from Episode I, because it looked doable. And then I saw Rey in a Star Wars trailer. A scavenger on a desert planet, she not only looked like a very interesting character, but her outfit was awesome. I knew that I had to dress like her for the premiere. 

Naturally, I began my costume by perusing thrift stores for tan-ish colored pants and fabrics. Some Rey costumes I've seen go a more tan route, and the movie photos seemed to be more sandy colored, but I figured that tan would probably be easier to pull together. I discovered that, although tan and off-white capris and long pants abound in thrift stores, none of them would work. They were either skin-tight or big balloons. Nope. So, I thought, Hey, I can sew. I'll just buy a huge t-shirt and make pants out of it! 
And wouldn't you know, right after I made this decision, I spotted a sandy-colored Men's XL t-shirt. 

  I also found a tan-colored bed sheet. 
And I happened to own a white v-neck t-shirt that, due to some staining from excessive wear, was just waiting to be cut up. 
Plus, my generous, detail-oriented husband offered his brown sock as tribute for the wristband. 
I couldn't find a big enough belt to make Rey's special belt, so I decided to wear a brown scarf as a belt, since I could wrap it around myself a couple of times.  
I used this tutorial for the hair!
I snipped the sleeves partially off the white t-shirt, cut a slit in the v-neck, and voila! Easy shirt. I sliced the sheet in half lengthwise, took one of the halves, and sliced that in half, and voila! Random fabric strips to criss-cross over myself! As for the pants...I had thought I would freehand a pattern out (it'd been years since I sewed pants, but I could remember the gist of it), but it turns out, things are even easier than that! Tutorials abound on the internet for making pants from t-shirts with minimal sewing required. Since I don't own a sewing machine, that sounded like music to my ears. 

The drawstring pants probably took me about 4-5 hours total, since I was sewing by hand and had to re-stitch the main seams a couple times to get the fit right. Other than that, this costume was a cinch to pull together (I used this tutorial for the pants). A friend of mine threw a party last  Saturday night, and I decided to do a trial-run of my costume there. It worked out great-except for my lack of boots. Rey wears boots. I owned two pairs of dress shoes/heels and a couple pairs of sandals. Period. No boots. But, this was a budget costume, so there was no way that I wanted to spent tons of money on boots.

So, yesterday morning, I took the matter to God. 
"Okay, God, so Star Wars is tonight! And, as you know, I have this makeshift costume that I've pulled together. But the only shoes I own are some pairs of heels and sandals, and for this costume, I need boots. But I don't want to spend much money on boots. So please send me a pair of brown boots by way of the thrift store. Thanks!"
I briefly ran into one thrift store and didn't see any boots. But, I visited this store a couple days ago, and they didn't have any, so I wasn't that surprised. I walked into another thrift store, and as I rounded the corner of the shoe section, I saw them: Brown boots, standing on the bottom shelf. And, of course, they fit perfectly-and were about $6. Proof that God answers prayers? I think so :) 

Total money spent on this costume? 
XL t-shirt for pants: $1.49
White v-neck shirt: $0.00
Brown sock: $0.00
Brown Scarf for belt: $0.00
Tan sheet: $1.98
Boots: $5.98
Grand Total: $9.45

Star Wars: The Force Awakens was pretty much incredible. I had tried my hardest to stay away from spoilers before seeing it, and I'm so glad I did. I was completely immersed in the story, and I really, really enjoyed it a lot. I know some fans have had gripes about certain aspects of the movie, but I think it was done quite splendidly, pulling in Star Wars nostalgia and themes while giving us new elements to munch on. The movie felt like a visit with an old friend who is embarking on new adventures. I'm very very happy with it! If you haven't seen the movie yet, I recommend that you see it (and stay far, far away from spoilers beforehand. This is why there are no spoilers in this post. Star Wars spoilers are bad)! The story was great, the characters were wonderful, and Rey was fantastic. I'm super glad that I dressed up as her, because not only is her costume super cute and fun to wear (and I'm definitely wearing it again sometime! I'm actually wearing the pants right now. T-shirt pants are awesome and super comfy!), but her character is really, really awesome. 

I hope that you all have a spectacular day! May the Force be with you! 


  1. !!!!!

    You looked awesome!!

    Seriously, the costume came out great! Were many other people dressed up? I'm so glad you liked the movie - I'm seeing it in four hours :) I've managed to avoid spoilers so far, and I probably won't spend much time browsing around online until after the movie, just in case something pops up.

    I've never heard of making pants from a t shirt before but it looks so comfy!

    Hopefully I'll be able to respond to your email sometime tonight or tomorrow. But definitely after the movie, so we can share our thoughts :).

    1. Thanks!!! Yes, there were! The movie theater we went to had a really long list of costume restrictions (which I thought was mostly lame-like, they didn't allow lightsabers!), but even with that discouragement, there was a fair number of Jedi, Han Solos, some Leias, rebel pilots, and I even saw a Padme from Episode II! And there were tons of Reys, which I figured there would be-and it was cool because we all looked like Rey, but we all made our costumes differently, and it was pretty neat. Yes, you have a good idea-stay off the internet till you see the movie!!!! I got on the internet only a couple times yesterday, and once it hit early afternoon, I didn't touch my computer at all.

      So, I really don't wear pants much at all (I'm very much a skirts & dresses kind of person most of the time), but I love these pants!!!! I now want to make more t-shirt pants to wear, because-since they are made from t-shirts-they are SO comfy, and you can cut/sew it to your particular body type and preferences (ie: tapered or wider, tighter or looser, etc.). I highly recommend it. Haha yes, after you see the movie, we must/need to freak out together about everything!!!!! I hope you enjoy it!!

  2. Your costume looks great! I am intrigued about the pants out of a t shirt. I am glad you had fun!

    1. Thank you so much, Ann-Marie! Seriously, the pants out of a t-shirt was one of the easiest things ever, and I'm so glad I know how to do it now!

  3. I am not against store bought costumes; they have actually improved quite a bit, aladdin halloween costume