Some fandoms have dedicated costuming groups, and that means plenty of reference material and tutorials are online for costumes. Star Wars is a perfect example. It seems like every outfit from the saga has been carefully documented at The Padawan’s Guide. They provide images, links to tutorials and resources, and so much more. I focused on Hoth Leia since that’s my favorite costume of the self-rescuing princess and ended up at Audrey’s blog. She documented everything from making the jumpsuit to the vest to the accessories and props. Here’s what she did to dye the jumpsuit to make it more closely match the white we see on screen in The Empire Strikes Back:
We spent hours dyeing trial swatches of the cotton blend suit and silk vest in taupe and tan dye. We started with a half-teaspoon of RIT powder dye in a large washer load of water, and were down to a quarter-teaspoon by the time we quit yesterday. I had no idea the stuff was so concentrated! Scott suggested we try the liquid dye to get more consistent color, since we were using such small amounts that there was no way to know if the color grains were evenly distributed. Today we started with half as much of the liquid dye, thinking it was twice as strong as the powder, but it turned out to be only half as strong. So we went back to a half-teaspoon. The color was a lot more even and less pink than with the powder, especially on the silk.
In the final load, we upped the amount of dye another “dash” (eighth-teaspoon; Pandora’s measuring spoons are actually labeled this way!) since there would be a lot more fabric in the load. It didn’t look like dyeing; it looked like washing clothes in well-water, tinted yellow from too much iron. Still, we ran an extra rinse (I think the “dash” may have been a “pinch” too much!) before drying the jumpsuit.
Read more about making a Hoth Leia costume at The Padawan’s Guide.