If you want a truly unique, high-quality, and affordable costume version of Darth Vader's iconic black mechanical suit, you may need to get out your sewing machine. With a few materials, a good pattern, and some purchased accessories, you can make your own Star Wars costume.
Unfortunately, all official Star Wars costume patterns are currently out of print. This means that in order to make your own Darth Vader costume, you'll need to get a pattern on eBay or use an existing pattern that isn't officially for a Darth Vader Costume.
Even though the official sewing pattern for a Darth Vader costume is no longer being produced, you may have luck finding one if you know the pattern brands and numbers.
- McCall's pattern number 7772 is a Star Wars costume pattern for kids' sizes. The pattern was made in 1981, but it is still available on online auction sites. There are designs for several Star Wars characters, including Darth Vader.
- Butterick's pattern number 5186 is an official Star Wars pattern that was created in 1997. The pattern is for adult sizes, but there is a child-sized counterpart. Since this is a very popular out-of-print pattern, it's wise to start search for it early.
- Simplicity pattern number 4426 is also discontinued, but you'll find many online. The pattern was printed in 2005 and has instructions for making a variety of kids' Star Wars costumes.
Modifying an Existing Pattern
If you're having trouble finding the discontinued Star Wars patterns, you can also modify an existing pattern to make a Darth Vader costume. One of the best options is Simplicity pattern number 5840, which is a great cape pattern. This pattern is for adult sizes, and you'll need to include proper accessories to give the costume an authentic appearance. The pattern retails for just under $10.
Don't Forget the Accessories
When you make your own Darth Vader costume, you can really only create part of the outfit yourself. Due to the mechanical nature of the costume, you will have to purchase some of the components. At minimum, a complete Darth Vader outfit includes a mask, gloves, and a lightsaber. Even if you decide not to sew your own costume and choose instead to wear a purchased black cape, boots, and pants, these accessories will take your look to the next level.
Consider the following accessories:
- The Star Wars Ultimate FX Lightsaber from Toys R Us looks extremely realistic. It even lights up and makes whooshing noises. The 43-inch-long lightsaber retails for about $35.
- The Darth Vader Mask, sold on Amazon.com, is based on the version used in the movies. It is made up of two pieces to create the mask and helmet, and it fits most adults. This mask retails for about $42.
- Don't forget to add the Darth Vader Sound Effects Device to get that distinctive mechanical breathing noise. It retails for about four dollars on Amazon.com.
- You can use any black gloves for your costume, but the Darth Vader Gloves from Star Wars Costumes add a bit of extra authenticity to your look. The faux leather gloves fit adults and retail for about $14.
A Big Project
Deciding to make your own Darth Vader outfit is a big commitment. Ask yourself the following questions before you undertake this project:
- How much time do you have? It can take several days to make a costume from scratch. If you need your costume for an event the next night, sewing a cape may not be an option for you. On the other hand, if you have some time, you might be better off making your own costume.
- What is your budget? Making your own costume is a great way to save money. You'll have to pay for materials, but homemade costumes are almost always more affordable than purchased outfits.
- How important is quality? When you buy a Darth Vader costume, you have to pay a lot for quality. In general, the costumes are made of lightweight polyester and plastic and may not have the weight and drama of Darth Vader's flowing cape. When you make your own costume, you can user high quality materials.
A Personal and Creative Costume
Sewing your own Darth Vader costume is a great way to express both personality and creativity at your next costume party or movie event. Have fun, and may the force be with you!