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Princess Leia
Return of the Jedi
Based on: The slave girl outfit Princess Leia wears when she
is captured by Jabba the Hutt
Date made: 2001
Worn at: Vegas Fetish and Fantasy Ball 2002, DragonCon 2006,
2007, ComicCon 2007, everywhere…
Seen in: Empire Magazine, on E! TV, on Spike TV, Fanboys

About this costume:
The first time I made this outfit, it took me 4 months to figure it out. Now I’ve got it down to three days. I
made a few improvements since my first Slave Leia, which makes the costume easier and more
comfortable to wear. I kept tweaking it until I had something that could be worn again and again and for
long periods of time at conventions. I would consider this one my most successful costumes, since it
has gotten me published in magazines,
on TV several times and was worn by Kristen Bell in the movie
Fanboys. I have made and worn the costume in many different colors and fabrics and styles, but when
I talk about making it here I am referring to the one that I wear most often.

How I made the costume:

The skirt is made from 3 inch wide elastic and wine micro velvet. The micro velvet is really expensive
(around $22 a yard) but is really soft and flows nicely. I serge the edges of each piece and sew that to
the waist band, leaving the sides open. To do the waist band, I cut the elastic with two front panels and
the side ovals. Then I use a 3-D paint to cover the side ovals and give them a hammered metal
texture. Gold metallic paint is applied over that to make the side ovals look like metal pieces, but they
still curve nicely to your body. Then I sew a strip of Velcro to the front and back panels for the gold
plate to attach to.
The gold plates are all cut from styrene, which is a thin, flexible plastic often used in model building.
The design is hand painted on with 3-D paint for a relief effect, then painted over with metallic gold. A
strip of Velcro is added to the back, and then the plates can come off the skirt if needed. I had the
plates attached when I first made the costume and it made it difficult to ride in a car (the plate got
squashed) or wash the skirt.
The top starts with a regular bra. The back and sides are cut down and the top straps are removed. I
attach black leather string for the neck tie and secure it to the top with gold beads. Next the bra cups
are covered with a suede-like material. After that, the gold cording goes on.
The cord starts as welting, which is used in upholstery. The side strips are cut off to leave just the main
cord part. Then I thread a thin wire through it, which will later help keep the shape of the top and form
it to the wearer’s body. The cord is molded into shape and glued to the top. The final touch is to paint
that gold and to add the second layer of raised gold detailing.

The shoes are made the same way as the top. I start with regular boots, but the V-shape into the front
and then cover them with suede and the gold cord.

The wrist and hair combs are made from sheets of Foamies. I find that it is nice and flexible, holds the
Velcro and glue well and develops a nice metallic look when painted. The wings are glued to plastic
hair combs so they slide in. The snake arm band is made with the welting cord threaded with wire,
glued together and painted. The collar is a strip of Velcro with a chain link attached to it with wire. The
claws are fake nails that are filed into points and glued on top of where the chain attaches. The collar
velcros shut in the back. The braid accessory is made from a sheet of brass that is cut and stapled,
then glued together and painted with gold details.

Hair & Make-up:
The first time I did this costume, I used temporary dye to do my hair brown. Now I usually just wear it
blond.  I do a braided bun on top, then add a braid extension to that. The braid extension has a rubber
band at the end of it, so it just loops right over the bun.
Reference Photos:
Costume Photos:
My First Leia Costume
Slave Leia shoot DragonCon 2006. Images from this shoot are now on E! TV's 25
Most Memorable Swimsuit Moments, which gets replayed every summer.
Group Leia shoot at ComicCon 2007 with Jabba by Gentle Giant
I keep seeing this re-touched image everywhere! Somebody took my photo (without my
permission) and photoshopped on Carrie Fisher's head. You can see the original pic above.