My youngest daughter (Maddie) was born on Star Wars Day (May 4th) 4 years ago. Her middle name is even Rae (inspired by Rey from Star Wars). This year for her golden birthday, she will be getting the best Star Wars party in the galaxy! Naturally, we have to dress her as Rey for the party.
I decided after scouring the internet for Rey costumes that making one might be the best plan. I got grayish pants and a plain long-sleeved shirt from Old Navy as the base of the costume. Joann’s has awesome fabric for the faux leather pieces and the grayish wrap that Rey wears. Luckily, I also found an old belt and shoes that were the right size and color too.
The white long-sleeved shirt from Old Navy was too white. Too clean looking. It looked like a regular shirt and needed to be adapted to look more like Rey’s. I did this by cutting it into a short sleeved shirt and turned the long sleeves into gauntlets/arm wraps. See below for how to cut down the t-shirt.
I began with cutting off the collar and sleeves. Then, I notched the collar and cut thumb-holes in the sleeve arm wraps. At this point, it was ready to be tea-dyed.
The shirt I bought at Old Navy was white. If you can find ivory, that would be better. I thought bright white didn’t make sense as Rey lives on a sandy, dusty planet (Jakku) and therefore her clothes are far from pristine. Tea-dyeing the shirt seemed like the best (and cheapest) solution. Surprisingly, tea-dyeing is pretty easy to do.
- I used a large pot + a tea kettle to boil water and 3 bags of tea.
- First, brew hot water in kettle and pour into large pot.
- Next, let the tea bags steep for 15 minutes.
- While tea bags steep, rinse the shirt in the sink in cool water, thoroughly soaking it.
- Wring water out of shirt.
- When tea bags are done steeping, remove from tea water and throw out.
- Place wet, clean, new shirt into tea bath and allow it to steep for at least 1 hour or until darker color is achieved.
- I had to use a lid to submerge shirt under tea for even dyeing.
- When dyeing is complete, remove from tea bath and wring.
- Run shirt through a cold cycle in the washing machine to remove that tea smell and excess color.
- Dry in dryer.
- See below for process.
The gray fabric I found at Joann’s for around Maddie’s neck was perfect because it already had texture to it. I had to cut it to a thinner width and sew it into a longer length. (Standard fabric is 54″ wide and for the draping it only needs to be 12-18″ wide). I cut it down and sewed it into a longer strip of fabric for draping on her shoulders.
Figuring out how to wrap it around her like Rey was a whole other ordeal. The draping loops on one side and hangs down the other in the front and back. It has to be tucked behind the belt to stay. I think adding safety pins would help secure it to itself and the pants/shirt so it doesn’t slip down.
I also made some faux leather accessories– a gauntlet for her wrist and a satchel for her belt. The gauntlet/bracelet piece I added Velcro to so it can be put on easily. The satchel has a built-in opening to slide right onto the belt.
Maddie looks AWESOME in this costume! It will be warn not only for her birthday but also for Halloween this year!