This is my post for Craftingcon.com for Star Wars month. I made my son this jacket he obsessively requested since he made his first inquiry about 3 minutes after the Force Awakens ended when we saw it in December. He adores Finn (Who Doesn’t?) and has been fashioning his own “Finn outfit” by folding in a collar of a flannel shirt and dressing all in black underneath. Points for Creativity. He really does love his new jacket, this is just his “serious Finn face.” He’s been running around the house yelling, “I’m in charge, Phasma! I’m in Charge!”
I’m Jen, a life-long nerd, crafter and sometimes-blogger at just-joshin.com where I share my quilting and sewing hobbies. I participated in Craftin Con Avengers and Ghibli. I love fandom and geeky inspired sewing, especially for my kids.
My family is Star Wars obsessed, so it’s no surprise that we saw The Force Awakens opening weekend, and then again a couple more times that month. As we walked to the car after the first showing, my son requested that I make Finn’s jacket. He’s asked about a thousand times since December, “Is my Finn jacket done yet?” But the honest truth about my craftiness, if I don’t have a hard deadline, it probably won’t get done. So when Crafting Con Star Wars month showed up in my feed, I knew I could finally get Finn’s jacket made for my son. Only five months after his first of thousands of requests.
Finn is such a great character, he’s funny and charming and loyal. It’s no wonder my son adores him. (Plus, John Boyega is so adorably likable and a huge Star Wars nerd like us. If you haven’t watched the Force Awakens extra features, you should, it’s great. My favorite thing was watching John Boyega geek out about seeing the Millennium Falcon the first time on set, like a kid in a candy store.)
I used the Ollie Bomber Jacket pattern from Sew a Little Seam as my starting point, though I admit to straying from the pattern almost entirely. I bumped the size up to 10, even though my kiddo is in about a 6-7, since the pattern is designed for fabric with stretch, which mine didn’t have, and because I don’t want to make this again in 6 months when he has another growth spurt! I sort of winged it on the construction so it doesn’t follow the pattern at all. I skipped the collar entirely and replaced the ribbed cuffs and waistband with plain cuffs.
I found faux gold leather on fabric.com that was pretty close to the color/texture of Finn’s jacket in the movie. I am usually a pretty straight-forward cotton woven and jersey knit girl, so I didn’t know what to expect, but this sewed up pretty well with a leather needle in my machine. I couldn’t find a good red accent online so I went to my local fabric store and found some home-dec microsuede. It was a little too fuzzy and not really worn/weathered like it needed to be for this project. (And believe me, my son had very specific criteria for how this jacket should look.) I ended up trying something a little crazy but it worked. I spread regular old Elmer’s school glue onto the microsuede in a thin layer, and then ironed it to dry and set the glue. I used a teflon sheet over the glue and it worked perfectly. I didn’t anticipate ever washing this jacket so I am not that worried about the glue washing away, though I suspect it would wash right out.
Most of the work was in the details. It was very important to my son that it not zip or button and didn’t have a collar. The shoulder and sleeve trim was the most intensive, essentially I cut long strips of the leather and created pleats manually while feeding it through the machine, first one edge then the other. Then I made some narrow piping and attached it to the edges so it could be easily turned under and top stitched.
The final little detail was in the buckles. They are just plastic belt buckles from the fabric store but they look similar enough to the original they passed the test of my 6-year-old’s discerning eye for detail.
Needless to say he was ecstatic he finally got his Finn jacket. He wants to wear it to school and to bed and every day forever. When we dropped by Jakku (why does everyone want to go there!?!?) for an after-school photo shoot-slash-battle with a Storm Trooper, he requested I also take photos at Maz’s place, inside the Millennium Falcon (I assume I will have to build it, I’ll add that to my to-do list…) with BB-8, Kylo Ren’s ship and of course Starkiller Base. It’s a Star Wars themed Give a Mouse a Cookie thing here.
(I didn’t make the Storm Trooper costume, as modeled by my other son, and yes, I know it’s the wrong-era trooper, but we do what we can here on planet earth to keep the peace in the brotherhood.)