May 4th: Star Wars Day

Star Wars Day lego

As I idly flipped the calendar over for May, my eyes wandered to May 4th: Star Wars Day.  I’d never heard of it.

Was it a day to remember Ronnie Reagan’s “Star Wars” strategic defense initiative, that had me designing nuclear fallout shelters in the covers of my school books back in the 1980’s?  Or the movies?  It’s the latter, confirmed by good ol’ Google.

Star Wars Day is a fairly recent thing; the first one was in 2011.  You’re supposed to say “May the Fourth be with you”.


I guess you’re wondering how Star Wars Day found its way onto a blog about sewing?


Apparently when George Lucas was designing his overall “look” for Star Wars, he stipulated that the costumes should have no visible zips or buttons.  Take a look next time you watch the movie.

This is an interesting design brief, which I read about in this great (library) book about the costumes of the original three movies:


Book: Star Wars Costumes


It seems the costume makers used lots of velcro’d panels, wrap arounds, tie-fronts, belts (buckles appear to be ok), over-the-head tunics and tabards, stretch fabrics, and open fronted shirts, jacket and cloaks.

They also concealed zips and buttons with fly fronts, plackets, and by putting other costume parts over the top.


Do you deliberately choose sewing projects that don’t include zips or buttonholes? (or other things?)  Maybe your machine does unreliable buttonholes, or you just can’t master zips?

We tend to choose our projects around our skill level, sewing machine(s), eyesight/dexterity/patience, or bad past experiences!

Often it’s these limitations that bring out the best in our creativity; they stretch us.  Our constraints beget creativity.  You’ve probably devised many an ingenious solution to get around things you’re unable or unwilling to do.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this; fashion workrooms spend much of their time doing it, and it can be one of the most interesting and enjoyable parts of sewing.


Have a great Star Wars Day!



  1. Val F on May 2, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    How interesting. Like you I had not heard of Star Wars Day, and I found the info on costumes fascinating. Must admit I have gone out of my way to avoid buttonholes – maybe a machine upgrade would fix that? And I avoid zips in pants wherever possible (they add bulk to my tum). Thanks Liz

    • lizhaywood on May 3, 2016 at 8:47 am

      Hi Val, I find costume “logistics” fascinating too, and I think George Lucas picked just the right things to omit from his costumes!

  2. Sarah on June 16, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    It is very interesting that I’m reading this today (16th June). I’m in the middle of sewing a Princess Leia costume for my fancy dress party. There will be many obvious seams. It’s a good thing her dress is basically a robe with a hood and a belt to hold it all in since I’m not using a pattern. Once I’ve done my hair in buns every one will know who I’m supposed to be!

  3. lizhaywood on June 19, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    Hi Sarah, sounds like a fun costume -and thanks to the “no zips” rule it should be fairly straightforward. Don’t forget that glossy red lipstick!
    Hope it was a great party.

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