Star Wars: The Force Awakens Rey Cosplay – Construction Notes 2

Rey_0001As a new leaf has turned over this year, I think it’s high time for an update on my Rey costume. Alas, I am nowhere as far along as I would like (perfectionism has it’s drawbacks sometimes). But as this is also a how-to-guide for anyone who stumbles across it, I feel duty-bound to update. So here goes!

To start, one of the lovely members on the RPF fixed my artwork to match Rey’s costume (as I originally drew the artwork before we knew what the back of her costume looked like). So here’s the updated version for those of you who have been using my turnaround for reference. 🙂

Since I’m a linear thinker, I’ll be starting from the top in updating both my progress and observations for Rey. (If any of you reading this have any questions for your Rey cosplay feel free to leave a comment and I’ll help out where I can!)

I’m still trying to figure out how to do her hairstyle, to be perfectly honest. I am an absolute dunce when it comes to hair (I can barely braid!). There’s a wonderful tutorial on Youtube that I’ve been trying…

Though, I realized that longer hair doesn’t work as well with this hairstyle. It may just be me and my clumsiness, but my hair kept getting horribly tangled in trying to put up the buns. So since I needed to chop off my unhealthy hair anyways….12522966_1042449212474347_8986082793727217186_nMajor thing to note on Rey’s hair that I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere. Upon viewing The Force Awakens for a second time, I realized that the top of Rey’s hair is actually braided (or pulled back into a mini tail). I’m not sure if it extends farther than the top piece. But it’s certainly something to note.tumblr_nyqz5sK86T1srtfabo1_500

I bought the Hemp Jersey cotton fabric from Dharma Trading. Still need to wash it before sewing. The length comes down to brush her hips. One interesting thing to note is that the sleeves of the undershirt are two different styles.Star Wars: The Force Awakens Rey (Daisy Ridley) Ph: David James ©Lucasfilm 2015

Alas, I do not know enough about sewing to know what the different techniques are called to achieve the effect (I’ve heard the term “lettuce hem” thrown around a few times).

Wrap dress
I’m still debating the right fabric for this as the bottom of the wrap shows a thatching sort of weave. But the top is much thicker and gathered, where that thatching is not as apparent. I’m going by the listing from Star Wars Celebration that the wrap dress is viscose. The only one I’ve been able to find that seems close is the viscose silk blend from Dharma Trading.
Arm wraps
I’m currently in the experimenting phase of trying to find the right material for the arm wraps. The general consensus is that the arm wraps of medical gauze. The trick is finding the right one. I’ve got differing styles from Ace, Band-Aid, Walmart generic, etc. ranging from self-adhering to fabric. Next is to tea dye them, distress them up a bit, and see which one looks best. Though one major thing to note, in the film costume they used a sleeve underneath to attach the wraps too. (You can see it in the first scene Rey shows up in where she drinks from her cantina. There’s a gap in the wraps where you can see the undersleeve. It appears to be a similar colour as the wraps.) You can actually see it poking out of the top of the left arm wrap in the picture I posted above in the wrap dress section.

I bought a wonderful looking cuff from the folks at Leather Clad Legends. A beautiful, reasonably priced piece.

Rey Leather Cuff
I haven’t started on this piece yet. So I’ll save that  for another update.

I made the mistake of buying the raw silk from Dharma Trading thinking it was the right fabric. But then I got my hands on a hi-res picture of Rey’s pants and realized they’re not nubby. They’re smooth and have a sort of crepe feel to them. Alas, I haven’t been able to find a suitable alternative yet. And since I have 3 yards of raw silk, I’m going to use it. However, the team I’m working with to make this costume found that the back side of the raw silk was smoother and less nubby. So we’re going to try making the pants out of the wrong-side raw silk and see how it looks.

Rey pants
I got the screen accurate boots from Po-Zu (courtesy of a kind boyfriend taking pity on me for having to use the money I had saved up for the boots on medical bills). They are marvelous! No exaggeration, they are the comfiest shoes I have ever worn in my life. The inside is plush almost like memory foam so it gives the feeling of a slipper more than a boot. But the rugged outside made out of all natural materials (seriously! The soles feel like rubber but are actually made out of beeswax and cork. I wish more companies that), keep it a boot.

The Force Awakens Rey boots1
I haven’t started on this piece yet. So I’ll save that  for another update.

I haven’t started on this piece yet. So I’ll save that  for another update.


  1. Batoucat says

    Hi Ladynerd ! Thank you so much for this helpful post ! Your sketches are on point, and sooooo helpful, omg *-* I’m currently in the process of making Rey’s costume as well, and I was already aware about pretty much everything you are experiencing (but not for the raw silk, I was about to make the same mistake as you, so, lucky me I guess ? ^^)
    I wanted to ask you about the wrap dress, and especially about the picture you posted. Is it a close-up of the original costume ? ‘Cause I’m currently looking for the perfect fabric (I want it to be as accurate as it can be), and I was unable to find a proper picture for the wrap dress… I’m looking for viscose fabric obviously, but there is so many different types of viscose, it’s driving me mad ! If it is a close-up from the original costume, it would be very helpful !

    Anyway, keep up the good work, can’t wait to see your final outfit, and thank you for your attention and for sharing everything 🙂

    • The Lady Nerd says

      Oh I feel you…I’m having the same problem now (and yes, the picture I posted is a hi-res closeup of her wrap dress from the film (both from the movie promos and a couple from the original exhibition. I’m being more careful now because the newer exhibitions feature cosplayer reproductions, not actual screen-used Rey costumes. While that’s fantastic for the costumer that made, they’re not actually the legitimate costumes from the film for us to glean reference from). I’ll update on the fabric I find for the wrap dress when I can find the right one. In the meantime, best of luck with your Rey costume. 🙂

  2. says

    I am having a hard time deciding if the colors of her various pieces are tan/brownish or more grayish. I only have four weeks to make this costume for my adult daughter. Any advice you can offer is very much appreciated.

    • The Lady Nerd says

      It’s a hard thing to tell as the colours can change based on the lighting (and how distressed her costume is). I personally err to the tan/brownish side as her outfit appears to be made to blend in with her surroundings. Jakku is a desert planet, so it would make sense for more of a brown scheme (and in scenes where she’s against sand, she blends in more as opposed to standing out a bit lighter against grey, metallic backgrounds). Best of luck!

  3. Brittany says

    I so admire that you’re going for screen accuracy here because I’m the same way! And I LOVE the illustrations you did for her costume. Your blog has already helped me out immensely. But oh my word I’m having the exact same trouble with the wrap dress part. I know it says viscose on the official card and I ordered all the viscose swatches from Dharma too but they’re still not right. The stitches look too tight and man made and uniform if you know what I mean compared to that close up pic of the looser weave and frayed stitches. When I fray the viscose the threads look too straight and clean. So after hours of researching different viscose fabrics, I’m beginning to wonder if it’s not viscose at all or maybe a small amount of viscose in a blend. I want to know who wrote that fabric card. Because I decided to look in my wardrobe of old world costumes I’ve collected and I found a skirt that looks IDENTICAL to her wrap. It’s dyed a light blue but everything else about it is perfect. It even has the same narrow crinkles/pleats (idk what to call them). The tag says 100% cotton though but it’s way closer to the pictures than the viscose from dharma. So I’m so confused. Can I send you a picture of the skirt I have so you can tell me what you think?

    • The Lady Nerd says

      My thoughts EXACTLY! I’m beginning to think that her wrap dress is not viscose. It just doesn’t make sense. It looks more like a cotton crepe with the little wrinkles (although that can be achieved through a particular type of pleating as well). But even then I’m not sure because her wrap dress lays a bit heavier. I wish someone from Disney would tell us and put us poor cosplayers out of our misery! 😛 But you may absolutely shoot me over a picture. I’ll get my Maz goggles on and check it out.

      • Brittany says

        Yes! A cotton crepe or some sort of pleated lightweight cotton. I sent you the photos of my skirt at least I hope it sent cause I sent it from my phone. If not I’ll send it again. But one of us desperate cosplayers needs to figure out a way to contact the costume designer or head of wardrobe and put an end to this madness XD

          • Becka says

            Fantastic page, this and RPF have been invaluable for my Rey build!
            I second the idea that it may not be pure viscose, however I used a cotton crepe for mine and it seems a little too stiff. Silks and viscose seem to have a weight that the cotton doesn’t. It is most apparent on the original costume at the back, where it hangs slightly over her belt when her shoulders are relaxed. It’s driving me mad to say the least!
            Don’t get me wrong, the cotton looks good and I’m in no hurry to replace it unless the right fabric comes my way, and I am expecting it to soften up with wear. I think you can buy a loose weave cotton crepe, which may work better, but again I doubt it would have that weight.
            I’m also not sure that the wrap is a crinkle crepe type at all, and is probably done with pleats and manual wrinkling, as it seems quite smooth below the belt…
            Unfortunately I’ve had to source fabric from other places, as Dharma’s shipping to the UK costs more than the items themselves :/ but to any Brits looking for the hemp/cotton jersey, Draper’s organic sells the right thing, with great customer service.
            If anybody strikes gold with the ‘viscose’, please count me in too!
            Becka xxx

          • The Lady Nerd says

            I’m so glad to hear it’s been helpful! I’ve heard similar reports from other cosplayers/costumers about the viscose vs. cotton crepe debate. I’m still undecided myself on what fabric would be the best (it is driving me CRAZY!). I’ll eventually just have to pick something soon, so for the sake of brevity I may just go with a cotton crepe to start. Best of luck!

  4. says

    Hi Lady Nerd,
    My 11-year-old daughter and I put together a Rey costume for her, using mostly things we picked up at the Salvation Army (or Fretex, as it’s called up here in Norway, where we live) and modified (tea-dyed, cut, sewed, distressed, turned inside-out, etc.) It came out wonderfully. We refered frequently to your two excellent posts on the subject and that was a big help! I wish I could upload one or two photos here (I took lots, front, back and sides). You can check out pictures of her in the costume on the post called “Costume Party” at my daughter’s blog: . Cheers.

    • The Lady Nerd says

      Oh how lovely! You did a wonderful job from found materials at thrifts stores. Well done, indeed. (Also your daughter is a beautiful. She is going to be stunning as she grows older!) Thank you for sharing this with me. 🙂

    • The Lady Nerd says

      Oh, I didn’t realize there were wool wraps. I’m going to have to look for that when I see the film again Wednesday. I currently have shorter hair (like Daisy’s, though I’m still trying to figure out how to do the darn hairstyle! It is not easy, despite what people say. But that could just be me. I’m horrible with hair.)

      Oh my, don’t wait too long! I haven’t gotten a whole lot done on mine due to finances.

      • Robyn says

        In the same promo photo, the one where the different sleeve was pointed out on, you can see the wraps around the top bun. Those lines are too perfect to be hair lol.
        I figured the hairstyle out watching the video that you mentioned above, after watching it a couple times and trying it on my own hair myself. Finally, after using sooo many bobby pins to put stray hairs down and not getting the correct bun size, I decided to make a bun without wrapping hair around.. and sure enough I ended up with a bun size I liked. Then I google searched to see if it was mentioned anywhere what was actually wrapped around the buns and stumbled upon the allure article.
        All of this was sealed for me when I watched the movie a second time and saw hair sticking out under a bun as well as the wraps around the buns. (should I say bun one more time? haha)
        I wish I had a way with words or wasn’t camera shy otherwise I would try and help. But, I think this video may explain it a tiny bit better (or shows… idk) that the other one
        I meant to say I’m waiting for you to choose what material to use for the wrap dress. That’s the trickiest bit, I think. I’ll be getting cheap fabric soon to figure out how much I’ll need to order for the actual fabrics. And hopefully get the boots too.
        One more thing, did you see someone mention the boots cotton crepe bandages on rpf? it looks pretty good to me this other lovely rey cosplayer has a photo of them far back and weathered

        • The Lady Nerd says

          Hmm…I can see that. I just went to see the movie again and tried to pay close attention to her hair, but I couldn’t see close enough if it was a wrap or not. Though a wrap does make sense. I’m just such a dunce when it comes to doing my own hair (I can do a ponytail and pin the sides back sloppily and that’s about it).

          Heh, I’m waiting on some other costumers I know to see their wrap dresses. So far the consensus seems to be that the cotton crepe has the right look up top, but not on the bottom. The viscose silk blend from Dharma has the right weight, but not the right look. So the hunt continues….(eventually I’m just going to have to choose something and go with it).

          I did see the Boots Cotton Crepe Bandages! I’m really super curious about ordering some from the UK myself. (Aww, that cosplayer is Ida! We’ve talked alot back and forth about the costume. She also went with a cotton crepe for her wrap dress as well. Maybe I’ll get lucky.)

  5. says

    Hello Ladynerd,
    Firstly a huge huge thank you for your fabulous references.

    I am also making this costume for my daughter and I recognise the fabric used for the wrap dress as Cotton Cheesecloth. It looks like it’s been quite distressed though I should imagine there may have been more than one created…?

    The pants/trousers look like a lightweight silk linen possibly?? Anyway, do hope that helps and keep up the good work.
    Best wishes, Carmela..

    • The Lady Nerd says

      You’re so very welcome! Another person I talked to wondered about cotton cheesecloth for Rey’s wrap dress. I’ve been going with viscose because that’s what was written out on the materials list on the official Rey costume at Star Wars Celebration 2014. Trying to figure out the right viscose fabric is still vexing me…..As for the pants, they’re definitely a silk of some kind. Still trying to figure out which kind exactly. (I have a whole bunch of silk swatches on my desk that I’m sorting through at the moment). Anyways, all the best with your daughter’s costume!

  6. Ruthie says

    How much should I order of the cotton for the shirt? like would two yards be enough? I’m a small… haha sorry I dont know much about this stuff! your blog is helping me so much!

  7. says

    Thank you so much for putting this all together online, it’s been supremely useful for me putting together a costume for my 10 year old daughter. My first thought when I saw the wrap dress was that it was baby muslin (aka cheesecloth) and I ended up going with it. It came off the roll doubled and about the right width. I ended up with a slightly coarser weave than I was hoping for, but I’m using it doubled and it’s not too bad, possibly a little floaty. I think a finer weave would Hang a bit better. A warning though, it absorbs dye like nothing else, my first attempt ended up about 3x darker than the cotton knit I did at the same time.

  8. Emily says

    This is so amazingly helpful and I’ve been using it for my own cosplay. I’m lazy though so I got most of my materials from the thrift store and got lucky at Jo Ann’s and bought something that looks a lot like the wrap dress part.
    My question is about the distressing bit. I don’t want everything I’m wearing to look as new as it actually is, so I’m wondering what you might recommend to get as close to “i’m actually a scavenger from Jakku” without actually being a scavenger from Jakku.

    • The Lady Nerd says

      Hi Emily! Glad this has been helpful for you. 🙂 (I haven’t even finished my costume yet…) As for distressing, from what I’ve gleaned from other costumers, it varies. Some are using dye, others are tea-dying, some are using airbrush. It varies from person to person.

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