Princess Leia Organa is one of the central characters of the original Star Wars trilogy. The princess of Alderaan first appeared in "A New Hope" with her white dress and iconic bun hairstyle. The costume is very distinct but also is quite simple to make at home. The entire costume can be made with a little bit of sewing and some hair styling.
The dress is just a loosefitting, ankle-length white dress. Do not worry about the sleeves or neck; these will be altered to fit the look. See Resources for a guide for making a dress from scratch.
Cut off the sleeves on your white dress, if it has any. The new sleeves should be made from white fabric as similar to the dress as possible. The pattern shape for each sleeve is a trapezoid. Measure the length of the old sleeve's edge that connects to the shoulder. This will be the measurement for side A. Side B should be about 30 inches to make the wide sleeve. Length C is the measurement from the shoulder to the wrist. After the pattern is cut out, sew the long sides together to form a tube. Sew the smaller end to the shoulder of the dress. The seam of the sleeve should be at the bottom of the arm hole when attached.
The collar pattern is a rectangle. Edge A should be about 4 inches long. Edge B is 1 inch longer than the circumference of the neck opening of the dress. Fold the rectangle in half across the dotted line. Sew the edges opposite the fold together. Sew the two opposite ends together to form the collar. The collar is sewn to the neck opening.
Get a wide belt and cut it down as shown. Leave the area near the buckle alone. Use a grey paint marker to draw the buckles onto the belt surface. All of the belt plates are octagons, except for the one at the very front of the belt.
People without long hair should get a brown wig and style it as directed. People with long hair can simply do this with their own hair. Part your hair straight down the middle so you have all of your hair as two bundles on opposite sides of the head. Braid both sides of hair loosely, starting a little behind the ear. Wrap the braid in a coil over the ear going clockwise over the left ear and counterclockwise over the right ear. Use hair pins to attach the coil wraps to each other. Use a few hairpins to attach the entire coil to the side of your head. Repeat for the other side.
Hoth Leia Costume
The Hoth Leia costume is very easy to make. It can actually be convincingly done without any sewing. All it requires is the boots, trousers, shirt, jacket and gloves all be white. There is quite a bit of detail work in the padding, but it is so hard to see due to the colour that it isn't worth doing. Most people would not have noticed it in the movie, so they will not notice if it is missing from the costume.
Endor Leia Costume
The Endor Leia costume is also quite easy to put together. The trousers should be a light blue, blue grey or light grey. Leia has a green vest over a tan short-sleeved, collared shirt. The boots and belt are both black. A camouflage poncho can be worn over top of the costume or omitted.
Endor Leia Poncho
The camouflage poncho is essentially just a large circle with a head hole in the middle. The diameter of the circle is double the distance from your neck to halfway down your thigh. Five feet is a good rough estimate for the average adult. Most camouflage fabric does not stretch very well, so be sure the head hole is large enough to go over your head. The belt is worn over the poncho. The poncho goes under the belt only on the front and back of the costume. The sides over the arms should be loose enough to move your arms comfortably.