Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Past Projects - Padmé Family Gown

The Family Gown - so named because Padmé wears it when she takes Anakin home to meet her parents.  
I originally did not plan to make this costume.  But when I found the perfect fabric for $0.99 a yard, I couldn't pass it up! I bought it at Mill End Textiles in Rochester, MN in early August of 2004.  That purchase really solidified in my mind that I was going to go to Star Wars Celebration III the following May, come hell or high water!  

More details and pics after the break...
Front view
The fabric is woven, most likely cotton, and is gathered into the crinkled look with myriad rows of elastic thread on the back side.  It was originally an off-white color, so I had to experiment with dyeing.  I was aiming for the color as I remembered it from the deleted scenes on the Attack of the Clones DVD.  

It's important to note that this is the very first costume I ever made for myself.  I hadn't dyed fabric on a large scale before, but I had learned the dyeing process at my work-study job in the costume shop at Coe College the previous year.  My incredible boss and mentor, Jean Newkirk, helped me so much with this costume.  In addition to the aforementioned dyeing process, she taught me how to draft patterns, and the importance of making a mock-up (or muslin) to perfect the pattern before cutting up my actual fabric.  

I used the hot water method for powdered RIT dye in Teal, and it came out the perfect color!  By “perfect,” of course, I mean that it looked the way I thought it should.  

The actual dress is not quite as brilliantly turquoise as mine is. 
Then it was time to start the cutting and sewing process.  I began by making a muslin using a turquoise knit that eventually became the lining for the bodice.  I really wish I had taken pictures of my progress, but alas, this was before I had access to a digital camera.  I remember I had to do some creative piecing on the skirt, since I only bought three yards of fabric when I really should have gotten four or five.  As I said, I was a novice at the time.  But if there's one thing I learned from my mother, it's the ability to make a sewing project work even when I don't have quite enough fabric to do it.  :p

The crazy back
I used two colors of turquoise bicone beads for the trim on the bodice.  I strung them alternately light and dark and hand-tacked the strands along the seams.  For the headband I cut up an old turquoise vinyl vest that had belonged to one of my younger sisters, and threw the thing together after I got to Indianapolis the first night of the convention!  The gorgeous curls on my head are fake, sadly.  I bought a hair clip on ebay and dyed my hair to match it.   

I still plan to re-do this headband at some point.
I used some remnants of silver velvet that I had found at Mill End for $4.99/yard to make the cape Padmé wears with this outfit.  There were two pieces of just over a yard each, and one three-yard piece.   I used the big piece as the base and the two smaller pieces for the sleeves, which were loosely based on Butterick BP319.  Then I had to piece the hood from leftover scraps, and lined it with silver satin so the seams wouldn't show on the inside. It turned out pretty well, although of course I still wished I had more fabric.  Story of my life.  :p  

Me in full costume at CIII
I wore the cape all day at the convention, and looking back, that was probably a mistake as it completely covers the rest of the costume.  Also, when I didn't feel like wearing it anymore I had to carry it around.  But I won't have to worry about that at Celebration CVI, as that cape no longer exists.  The fabric has found new life as a gorgeous Renaissance gown my cousin made.  Story and pictures will be coming in future posts.  :)  

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