Introduction: Star Wars Season Seven Ahsoka Tano Costume
I used to have no interest in the Star Wars Franchise— until I saw Ahsoka Tano in action for the first time. She was clever, spunky, brave... and best of all, a kid. Naturally, I wanted to be her for Halloween. There are plenty of Ahsoka costumes for sale online, but none of them were quite right, and I prefer to make my costumes whenever possible. For me, it is a lot more fun to walk around in something you planned and handmade than to just have a bought costume. But I wanted my costume to be unique. I decided to do Ahsoka at the age where (spoiler alert!) she had just left the Jedi order. Working off a few internet pictures and the Ahsoka book cover, I came up with a version that I liked. This costume would be easy to adapt for any age of Ahsoka from the time she left the temple until she becomes Fulcrum, so I could wear it for more than just one year if I wanted to. I got to work about two months before Halloween. This is a time-consuming costume, so it is best to start early.
Step 1: Jacket
You will need:
Black fake leather
Metallic gold paint
Pins(regular, safety, or both)
A sewing machine(or a LOT of spare time!)
Chalk, or alternative tracing medium
Ruler and protractor(optional, but recommended)
For the pattern of the jacket, I took an old shirt and cut it along the seams. I then pinned it back together and put it on. You can use either safety pins or regular pins for this. Safety pins take a lot longer, but they are also MUCH less prickly!
Next, use the pins to shape the fabric. Cut off the extra material. The collar on the shirt I was using as my pattern wasn’t quite the right shape, so I made an extension using some scrap fabric.
After you have a shape you like, take the shirt off, unpin it, and trace it onto your fabric. I usually use chalk when I am tracing patterns because it is easy to clean off once you have finished. It is important to leave yourself at least a quarter inch of extra material on all sides for ease of sewing, and so that your finished product remains roughly the same size as your pattern. Pin the halves of your pattern together and sow them together, inside out.
Flip the jacket right side out and try it on. You will most likely have to cut your zipper slit down the front before you put it on, as it is supposed to be relatively snug. Double check that you showed the correct seams and the shape is right. If you want to try to redo a seam, now is the time.
Next, it is time to attach the zipper. Your zipper will most likely not be long enough to reach the bottom edge of the jacket, and that is perfect. Where the zipper stops is where you will cut the top edge of the notch down the front of the jacket later. Pin your zipper into place and sew it on.
It is time to cut the notch! Trace along the lines you will be cutting using chalk. I suggest using a ruler and a protractor in order to have a uniform final result. Cut out the notch using sharp scissors.
Put the jacket on. You may have to cut a slit in the back in order to have it be loose enough for free movement, like I did. You should now have a plain black jacket just like the one on the Ahsoka book cover: https://www.google.com/search?q=ahsoka+book+cover&...
Now, it is time to decorate! Take your metallic gold paint, painter’s tape, and a paintbrush, and get going! Take the jacket off and tape along the edge of the strip you want to paint in order to keep your lines neat. I did my gold edging one centimeter wide. It will take a few coats before the black fully disappears, bet the final result is definitely worth it. Fill in the places that were too cramped to paint with a detail brush, and you’re done! Great job!
Step 2: Belt
I made the belt out of the same fabric as the jacket. I sewed it in on itself to make it look nicer, and also to create a tube to thread the elastic into. I wanted the belt to have a lot of stretch, but I didn't want much elastic showing. I solved this by inserting the elastic into the tube I created by hemming and pushing it a good way in before sewing it on farther up. This allowed me to pull the belt on over my head, eliminating the need to mess around with buttons and fasteners. For the buckle, I painted a piece of coroplast(corrugated plastic. You can substitute wood, cardboard, or something similar) light gold and then did the detail work in dark gold. I Velcroed it on the front of the belt. It is important to center the buckle over the jacket's zipper, so I suggest putting on both the jacket and belt for this step.
Next, we need to make a way to wear our lightsabers. I took two stick-on wall hooks, cut slits for the hooked part, and left the white plastic part inside the belt. I did one on either side. The other things on the belt you see in the image are a walkie-talkie in a walkie-talkie case, and a pair of binoculars, both of which are covered in facepaint and accessories later on.
Step 3: Gloves and Arm Tech
For the base of the gloves, I just used a cheap pair of fleece touchscreen gloves I found at Walmart. They were too short to be used as is, but if you manage to find longer ones you can skip this next step.
In order to lengthen the gloves, I took some leftover fabric from the jacket and cut it into a rectangle. The size of the rectangle needed will change based on the maker’s arm length. Using either tape or pins, secure the extension to the cuff of the existing glove and sow it on. Use Velcro to fasten it shut. For the righthand glove, print out a picture of The Great Wave by Hokusai. Glue it to your extension using the strongest glue you can find. I used Gorilla Glue. The glue may leak through and mark up your print a little bit, but Ahsoka worked as a mechanic after 66, so we’ll just call it oil stains for authenticity ;) . After the glue dries, you’re done with the gloves!
For the arm tech, I used both tape and Gorilla Glue to fasten some more of that black fake leather to a piece of coroplast. You can substitute cardboard or any other stiff material if coroplast is not an option.
For the buttons, I painted tape rectangles and stuck them on. To get everything to stay on my arm, I sewed black elastic directly onto it, right through the coroplast. I may have also broken a needle...
Step 4: Montrols and Lekku
The mistake most people make with the montrals and lekku is that they do the ten-year-old size on an older person and it just looks odd. I made myself a graph based on the percentage Ahsoka’s lekku and montrals were of her overall height at age ten and age twenty. I then plugged in my own hight in inches to determine how long I needed to make my own headpiece. For example, say you are a ten year old and you are 100 inches tall. The formula is hight in inches * age/hight percentage = hight, so in this case 100 inches * 30% = 30 inches. Here are roughly the age/length percentages I came up with:
For the actual building process, I used the method from Red5ive's awesome tutorial. The link is right here: https://www.instructables.com/id/Ahsoka-Tano-from-... Aside from changing the sizing, the other adaptation I made, besides doing an older version of her markings, was to give it a few coats of white Plasti Dip that I found at Walmart. It not only filled in all of those pesky cracks that all of the extra model magic and sanding in the world would not, but it also made it more durable and gave it a fun, skin-like texture.
Here are links for the reference pictures I used while painting this. For a slightly better shot of the back of her head, watch the new clone wars trailer here
The one problem I ran into when painting this is that the Plasti Dip did not allow me to wipe off the chalk lines I had sketched, so that left me with a hot-pink mess to paint over.
This is the most time consuming and expensive part of this whole costume, so I suggest giving yourself a lot of time for this part. I started on the headpiece two months out.
Note: if you follow the sizing chart given in this tutorial, you will most likely need twice the amount of Model Magic you would otherwise. I know this sounds scary, but it is a lot better to have some left over than to not have enough.
Step 5: Headset
For the headset, I took leftover fabric from the jacket and painted it metallic silver. I used elastic to get it to fit snugly around my head and cut it to shape using these reference pictures: https://www.google.com/search?q=ahsoka+season+7&sa...https://www.google.com/search?q=ahsoka+season+7&sa...
I painted on the buttons with metallic gold paint, and did the details on the front with a dark grey sharpie.
Step 6: Leg Guards
The leg guards are one of the most difficult items I made. I traced one of my leg guards from Karate onto the same fabric I used for the jacket, leaving a quarter inch on each side for easy hemming. I hemmed them. The easy part was done. Now, how could I make it so I could bend my knees? I took black elastic and some dark grey fabric, cut the fabric into eight two inch or so strips, and hemmed one (long) edge of each of them for a neater end result I sewed each one to the elastic individually, so that none of the panels were sown to any of the other panels, with a one-centimeter overlap between each. The end result was two sets of armor like stretchable panels. I cut a rectangle for my knee out of each leg guard and sewed elastic coming off the end of each panel to the leg guard so that it covered the kneehole. To cover the extra elastic and stitching, I sewed two more pieces of the dark grey fabric into hemmed rectangles. I cut an oval out of each and sewed it to the leg guard so that it covered the elastic and stitching. I did find it necessary to sew down the edge of each panel so that the plates, cover panel, and base of the leg guard, were fastened together. This is done to prevent the "armor plates" from bubbling up and stubbornly refusing to stay put when you are walking. Finally, attach elastic to hold the leg guards onto your leg. You can see in the second picture where I did mine. I suggest also putting on a strip to go around your foot so that the leg guards do not creep up your boots all night. Since it will be in your boot, you can use any color of elastic for this one. I used white because I was low on black!
Step 7: Arm Bands
For the armbands, I took brown fake leather and sowed it in on itself, kind of like you would make a tunnel to put elastic through. I measured it around my arm, cut it to the correct length, and sewed black elastic on so that it would be quite a snug fit. Ahsoka has two of these on each arm, so you will need to make four in all.
Step 8: Pants, Shirt, and Boots
These I bought. I was lucky enough to find some pants that screamed "Ahsoka" at our local Walmart, along with a nice, long-sleeve orange shirt. I recommend using a shirt to achieve the orange coloring of the arms, both to save facepaint and for warmth. I found a suitable, if not a perfect, pair of black boots at a local shoe store, and while I was not allowed to paint the designs on for practical reasons, Ahsoka does have white designs on her boots.
Step 9: Face Paint and Accessories
Using a mirror, it is possible to put the base layer of face paint on by yourself, but I recommend bringing in another person for touch up work. Commercial face paint can contain heavy metals, such as lead, or other toxic components. Researching safe face paint is well worth the extra ten minutes. Here are the links for the reference pictures I used when doing my face paint: https://www.google.com/search?q=ahsoka+season+7&sa...https://www.google.com/search?q=ahsoka+season+7&sa... Star Wars characters don't seem to have any bags or pockets, but they always seem to be carrying a multitude of items. To solve this problem, I made myself a case for my walkie-talkie that could clip right onto my belt. I was literally getting ready to go to a Halloween party when I was making it, so it was very spontaneous and I only have very basic instructions on how to make one.
Take whatever color of fabric you want. Measure your walkie talkie's front and sides, and cut out two panels of each measurement, adding half an inch or so for the sewing room. Stich the panels together, alternating front and side panels. Close up the bottom. Cut a piece of fabric to use as your lid flap and sew it to the back of your case. place your walkie talkie into the case. You can either use a button or velcro to hold it shut. Make sure you either leave room or cut a notch so that the walkie talkie's antenna sticks out the top. You're done!
I went a little bit overboard and made a pouch of fake credits to hide in on one of my boots. To make the credits, I took little pieces of wood and painted them to look like the ones in this reference picture: https://www.google.com/search?q=star+wars+credits&...
I also made a fake dagger to hide in my other boot by painting a piece of wood with leftover metallic gold paint and then wrapping the handle in black electrical tape.
I debated whether I even wanted a lightsaber, and on what color Ahsoka would have at my age if she had them at all. I eventually decided to have two green ones. These are the one part of my costume that is a major component, besides the boots, that were bought and used "as is". Despite being, although not advertised as such, Rubie's brand, these have held up well. My only issue with them is that the clip to hold the lightsaber closed is so flimsy it may as well not even be there. On the other hand, it is an excellent way to attach the lightsaber to your belt... provided it does not snap off when you jump off a trampoline. I replaced it with a binder ring and I had no issues with the other clip. The sabers, despite reviews, have even held up to a few gentle battles. The link to the website I bought one of my sabers from is right here: https://blockbustercostumes.com/products/star-wars... My other saber I found on eBay for a much lower price, but it is the same brand and distributor. If you have time, there are lots of easy DIY lightsabers you can make using fishtank tubing and LEDs, but I was so deep into the rest of my costume I didn't have time to start anything new.
Another thing I added to the costume was a small set of binoculars. I safety pinned the case right to my belt, and it stayed put the whole night. The odds of needing them are very small, but they are a lot of fun to have, just in case.
Step 10: Extras!
The core of any good costume is an understanding of the character you are portraying. I highly recommend E. K. Johnston's novel Ahsoka to bridge the gap between where the Clone Wars episodes end, and where Rebels starts. If you don't have time to read the whole novel by Halloween, here are a few Ahsoka facts to get you into character:
Home Planet: Shili
Other names: Ahsoka's nickname from her Jedi master, Anakin Skywalker, is Snips because of her sarcastic quips. When she is on the run after 66, she goes by Ashla. Ahsoka's undercover operative codename is Fulcrum.
Occupations: Padawan, mechanic, pilot, head of Rebel intelligence.
Lightsaber color: Green as a padawan, no lightsabers after faking death after 66 until she (spoiler alert!) obtains new crystals after defeating an inquisitor. Her new sabers are white.
Participated in the
Halloween Contest 2018