After a lengthy search, I was able to find some basic pants to use for my Rey Resistance costume from Star Wars The Force Awakens. Read on to find out how I easily added knee pads and modified these pants to look just like Rey’s!
Even though Rey’s alternate outfit at the end of The Force Awakens is only shown for a few minutes, it is an iconic and timeless look leading into her future Jedi training! Rey’s Resistance outfit pants have built in kneepads and are capri-style, mid-calf length pants with a split opening on the outside seam of each leg. They appear to be an olive gray drab color, but in some images they look brown.
I started with these stretch twill pants from my local Ross Store. They are Angel Kiss brand style #7917-DM405 and made of 62% cotton, 36% rayon, 2% spandex. The color is a faded olive green, but as you can see from the photos they can also look brown or even gray depending on the light. To construct the Rey resistance pants, I purchased two pairs, one in the size I needed and one in the largest size they had. The first pair is cut just above the knees and the second pair is used for material to create the kneepads and lower leg sections. Although these pants have rips at the knees, since those areas can be cut around, the rips are not an issue.
First I created a pattern to make the kneepads. Rey’s kneepads have 5 distinct pad sections with a slight separation between each pad area and are rounded at the top and bottom.
Using the material below the knees on the larger pair of pants, I cut 4 pattern pieces total, using 2 pieces to make each kneepad. The 2 pieces are stitched together 1/4″ from the outside edge and then the pad is pulled inside out through the opening at the top to create a finished edge around the pad. Next I filled the pads with some pillow type batting being careful not to overstuff the pads.
Then I marked the pad sections on one side of each kneepad with a pen, using a ruler to keep my lines straight and even. This marked side will be the back of the kneepad so it will not be visible. I tucked the opening flaps into the kneepads and then using the lines as a guide, I stitched around all 5 of the kneepad sections on both kneepads.
With both kneepads constructed the next step is make the lower leg sections that the knee pads attach to. To do this, I cut out the thigh section fabric between the pocket and the ripped knee area on the larger pair of pants, being careful to cut out as large of a section of the fabric as possible. Next I opened the seam on the outside edge of the fabric, so the pad could be easily attached. Opening the outside seam saves some sewing, as the lower few inches are left open anyway. To help find the proper location for the pad, I lined up the inside seam on the fabric piece with the inside seam on the pants. Then I pinned the kneepad to the fabric, leaving about 1 1/2 inches at the top and 3/4 inch at the bottom, and sewed it around the edge.
With the kneepad attached to the lower section, the piece needs to be attached to the pants. The seam between the 2 sections appears to be about an inch above the kneepad on Rey’s pants. Using chalk I marked the location for the seam on both the pants and the kneepad sections, cut the pants about 1 inch below my mark and stitched both pieces together. Then I marked and stitched the hem below the kneepad. The kneepad stops just above the hem, so there is not much material exposed at the bottom of the pants leg below the kneepad.
Finally, I stitched down the side seam that was previously opened. The outside seam is left open approximately 5 inches, spanning from the hem to around the center of the middle kneepad section. I folded the material over and stitched each side of this opening to make the edges finished. With the kneepads on both legs attached, the constuction of the pants is complete.
To weather the pants to look like Rey’s in The Force Awakens, I mixed some fabric medium with watered down acrylic paint in a light gray color and applied it to legs and kneepads with a sponge to simulate dirt and wear. You can see in the photo above that the weathered pant leg on the right is more gray while the original is more olive.
Materials and Tools:
(2) Pairs of twill type pants
Thread the same color as the pants
Small amount of batting
Chaulk (for marking fabric)
Light Gray Acrylic Paint