This is a completed costume and I think very well done. May sound conceited but I can’t help but love how it turned out. I just wish people would get upset less when they see it. It’s not my fault that it kinda looks like a burka and just because someone wears a burka doesn’t mean you have the right to deny them the ability to go somewhere, like a charity event to help raise money.
But onto better things. There are several great things about making a Female Tusken Raider. The main one being – while there are standards there is still a lot of leeway on how to make the costume within the standards if you are trying to get into the 501st Legion or Rebel Legion. Each female tusken out there is unique to its maker and the materials they use. While we are one group – you can still be very much an individual within the crowd. Another plus – you can get into both organizations at the same time with same costume if you are looking to do so.
Since the Tusken Raiders are considered a fringe character they aren’t really good guys or bad guys. They are just guys… and gals! Requirements for both groups can be found at the Krayt Clan Website. While these may not end up being the same requirements as the Rebel Legion this is the safest bet to let guide you in the process of making your costume. The detachment is also a great source and guidance as well. I love it!
Below are the steps I took, with help, to make my version of the female tusken:
Original Costume from the Movie:
Close Up of Hands from Movie:
My Hands and Pouch:
Its nice though cause I can sit somewhat easily:
- Dress – McCall’s Pattern M4490. Fabric was a woven suede in a camel colour. No dyeing necessary. Its hot but its a similar texture to the dress fabric and has an awesome weight to it. With the pattern I did not finish off the top and did not add the sleeves. I did sew on $1 sheer fabric from Wal-Mart so that I had a consistent fabric up the arms. I found that when the wind blew it would move my head shawl on and show my upper arms. The sleeves were a secondary addition. I weathered the bottom of the dress by not finishing off the hem (another nice thing about the fabric I chose) and just pulled a bunch of thread off the hem and then dribbled some watered down leather dye of two colours onto the dress, then scrunched the fabric into my fist. From time to time rubbing larger sections together. For a nice look like this:
- Gloves – Poly/Cotton Usher Gloves, about $5 – 7 per pair. Tea Dyed. The poly-blend does interesting things with the colouring of the gloves
- Wrappings for Arms – Strips of $1 sheer fabric from Wal-Mart. I sewed a bunch of smaller strips for a length of about 10 – 12 feet long each arm. I wrap each time I wear the costume. While it takes longer, I really like the look of it and feel its closer to the actual look of the original costume
- Boots – rain boots from Payless. Strips of $1 sheer fabric from Wal-Mart. Hot glued into place. I knotted the fabric around its self in some places to look like wrappings. The boots were then weathered with the same watered down leather dye as the dress. Final Look:
- Pouch – a unique piece hand made by a friend of mine. The tusks are actual boar tusks that come from Moscow Hide & Fur. The leather came from the scrap bin at The Leather Factory. It came in a natural leather colour that was then dyed in a dark-reddish brown that I had wanted. A pattern was drawn out onto white paper for the back, the front and the edges of the pouch. Leather lacing was used for the knot to hold down the top flap and to sew the pieces together. The pouch was sewn together by hand using an awl and hole punch not a sewing machining. The edging doesn’t match perfectly but its as close as we could figure out at the time. Pouch is weathered with leather dye and constant working of the leather before sewing – including knuckle rubbing and rolling. The pouch is held on with a length of belt leather that snaps in the back that was picked up at The Leather Factory and then dyed. There is a waist wrap I wear underneath the belt made from the same fabric as the arm wraps.
- Mask – after we got the mask we cut each of the medallions out and put hot glue in them to give the plastic some weight. After the glue died, we then spray painted each individual piece with a hammered bronze spray paint on both sides of the medallions and the front of the actual face mask. A screen mesh* was then glued into the eye section and the medallions then screwed onto two strips of leather. Each section was then attached together and then weathered with black model paint. Two piece of elastic are on the back of the mask to hold it onto the face. The bone pieces of the mask were lined with an ezacto bland to give it a more natural look and then weathered with bone coloured paint:
- Shawl – unfortunately, I can’t give you any real information on how to make the shawl since it was beyond my limits of costume making. So, I went to a friend that knows how to sew and is a seamstress and she was able to fit me into her busy schedule. I can say the shawl is attached to three-piece of plastic by velcro that are glued onto the inside of the mask. Because I was having problems with the side of the shawl drooping and showing my face. We glue some snaps onto the side jaw of the masks *female side) and then sewed the male sides onto the shawl. You can see the placement on the picture below:
- Bracelets – my friend Lor once again came to the rescue on these (and about 90% of my costume) by sculpting them out of sculpy to look as close as possible to the original bracelets from the movie. They were then baked and painted with the same technique and paints as the mask. unfortunately, after many uses the bracelets broke one too many times. They are still in one piece but a friend of mine (Ev) was able to resin cast them. They are much lighter but haven’t broke in half yet. They were repainted with the exact paints one again.
*The window screen we used for the mask only comes in rolls that cost around $20-30 a roll. It is the tightest screen weave you can get but its perfect. You can’t see into your eyes even when you are close yet you have a great view looking out. And if you aren’t planning on re screening your house windows there is no reason to buy an entire roll.
I must say a very very special thank you to my friend Lor for all his help on this costume. It would never of happened without his knowledge and expertise.