Padme Amidala Amidala's Gowns (part 2)

Discussion in 'Costuming and Props' started by kreleia, Sep 21, 2001.

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  1. kreleia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 5
    The old thread on this subject is now locked, so I decided to start it up again, since there are still people out there trying to do these (like me). :)

    Surlygirlie, KvanB, and anyone else!! I hope you're still interested in discussing this! BTW, the black travel gowns (both surlygirlie's *and* Quincy's) turned out FANTASTIC!! Loved the DragonCon pics (posted recently on one of the other threads here).

    And surlygirlie, I need to pick your brain some more about the pre-senate headpiece, if you're willing.

    Hope you two are still around!

    kreleia :)

    S_S edit: just unlocking :)

    ophelia edit: unlock #2!
  2. surlygirlie Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2000
    star 4
    I'm still here! Just not posting all that often... (too busy sewing!)

    Thanks for the compliment on the travel gown... I had a great time at DragonCon running around staging mock catfights with Queen Quincy -- which my husband refers to as "Duel of the Fakes"

    Feel completely free to keep picking my brain on the pre-senate headpiece. I actually did some sprucing up work on mine not too long ago and it looks better -- I managed to solve some problems I was having with the brush of hair at the top. Woooohoooo!

    -sg
  3. kreleia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 5
    **laugh** Cool!! That's exactly what I was going to ask you about, actually. :) How on earth did you do it!? I think I read somewhere (on someone's page) that you used a wig - and now is the perfect time of year to find one. My big question is, how did you get it to stand up (and stay up)?

    Also, how do you keep the headpiece on? My last attempt utilized a standard plastic headband, and man did that hurt. So I've been trying to think how else it would stay on without using an entire card of bobby pins. I've thought about a bridal veil form (one of those round cap ones), or even an elastic band that somehow wraps underneath my hair... but it seems too complicated. Blah. Please share!! :D

    Thanks much!!
    kreleia
  4. kreleia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 5
    I finally got pics up of my still-not-quite-finished White Parade Gown. You can see them on this page down towards the bottom. Click on the thumbnails. ^.^

    kreleia
  5. surlygirlie Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2000
    star 4
    Great pics of your costume! It looks wonderful!

    Here comes a looooooong post:

    Okay, on the pre-senate headpiece, from the base of the brush up to the top edge of the tope silver arc the hair is all backed with black cardboard. Basically, I made a box the right shape to slide into the arc assembly, and then formed the hair around it, and then slid the whole thing together. It's all kept in place with sequin pins that run from the inside of the hair-backing box into the arcs themselves at various angles so they all cross-brace each other. (I reinforced the sequin pins a bit by putting dabs of jewel glue over the heads once it was all put together.) Does that make sense?

    The hair that continues past the top arc to make the brush got a treatment with a combination of hair gel and fabric stiffener, mixed together and then combed into the hair. This worked great in terms of making it stand up straight, but not so good in terms of texture -- the hair starts to look very broom bristly in a hurry. This got fixed on a refurb session I did a couple of months ago. I took 2 pieces on black posterboard cut the same shape as the top silver arcs, and just a bit smaller so they could slip into the arcs, sewed a fringe of hair to each of them, and then, over several days, stiffened the hair using multiple light applications of hair spray. Once they were stiff enough, I added these pieces just inside the arcs so they conceal the less appealing hair, and did a little bit of hand stitching with monofilament thread to get things spaced and reinforced properly and voila! Infinitely better.

    The headpiece is held on by a) its own infrastructure and b) luck and balance. The golden egg shaped earpieces are held on with velcro, so I put the headpiece on with one of them detached, and then set it into place once I have things balanced on my head.


    So there you have it -- please let me know if this is unclear (which is entirely likely...)

    -sg
  6. kreleia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 5
    Actually, it *does* make sense. When I read through it the first time (at regular reading speed), I went "whaaaaat?" Then I read it again, slower, and tried to picture what you'd done in my head. And it worked! **laugh** Good job!! ^.^ Actually, that kinda sounds like what I originally had in mind two years ago, and ended up scrapping because I could never figure out how to get the hair to stay in place without gluing it to my fingers at the same time. I really like the sequin pin idea. I'm going to need to invest some serious brain power into this project - thank heavens I'm not shooting for Halloween this time. I'm going for the Ep II premier. ^.^

    Surlygirlie, you're a god-send!! Thank you so much for all of your advice thus far! And, trust me, I'm not done. **grin**

    Thanks for the compliments on the parade gown, too. :) That was more work than I thought I would be, but it was definitely worth it. Now I just need to finish the parasol piece - which shouldn't be to hard since I've been thinking about it for almost a year now.

    Which reminds me - what's your latest project? Are you working on another Amidala gown? Or has sg-Amidala retired? (I hope not - I'd love to see what you come up with next)

    Thanks again!
    kreleia
  7. surlygirlie Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2000
    star 4
    kreleia, I'm really delighted to help, and you can feel free to keep the questions coming!

    As for what I'm working on these days... I spent most of the summer working on the embroidery for my Bespin Leia costume (which is thankfully done) and now I'm concurrently working on my husband's biker scout, a redo of my pre-senate kimono (never was 100% happy with it), and some Moulin Rouge costumes for myself and my husband.

    And I'm just waiting for Ep. II to see what new yummy costumes I'll want...
    sigh.

    -sg
  8. kreleia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 5
    The Bespin Leia costume, huh? You're definitely one for punishment. **grin** I had a friend do that one for the Special Edition ESB, and she ended up using... **wracks brain** I believe it was puff paint. **laugh** But I remember her saying that she just couldn't bring herself to hand-embroider all of it. Then I saw the original at the Smithsonian, and... O.O Hers didn't even compare! It's amazing how much detail there actually is in all of these costumes! I'm excited to see yours - I hope you'll post pictures!!

    Ah!! One more question about the headpiece (and you thought I was done with it ^.~): Once you have the bead strands twisted and wrapped around the earpieces, what do you do/use to hold them in place?

    Oh, and do you remember me saying a while back that I'd probably go with shantung for the kimono? Well, I was looking at some tonight, and I was rather disappointed. Maybe it's because it wasn't silk, but it definitely didn't have the right body for the gown (IMO). So I started checking out the taffeta **shiver** and realized that's probably the only thing that's going to satisfy me. My big problem is living in Arizona. Do you really want to be wearing three layers, topped with taffeta, in the desert, at the end of May, when temps are usually already starting to hit 100's? Er, no. **sigh** I'm willing to face the heat, but I don't want to kill myself. I remember that old taffeta high-school choir dress all too well. o_O; Maybe I'll stick with the shantung after all. Opinions? Suggestions?

    kreleia ^.^
  9. ladyelwing Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2001
    Well, I'm currently constructing Sabe's
    battle gown..that isn't too warm to wear.

    I finished the headpiece and wig,
    and I'm working on the underskirt
    right now. I used an old choir robe
    for the red part and just sewed the
    black drape thingy and the sleeves.
    It is actually nearly finished!

  10. surlygirlie Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2000
    star 4
    LAYERS? We don't need no stinking layers!

    I'm a big cheater, and I didn't want three layers, so the 2 "underlayers" are actually just collars and sleeves sewn to a t-shirt. Totally washable!
    The underskirt is also one layer, a straight skirt with the pleated segment stitched on the bottom, and then an apron like item sewn on at the waistband to make the faux middle layer.

    I am remaking my kimono, and lo and behold, I ended up with some irridescent gray taffeta. I'm waiting until the Ep. I DVD comes out before I start, so I can do a really hi res comparison.

    ladyelwing, do we get pictures?

    EDIT: YES I am glutton for punishment... I just decided that I really really wanted a BespinLeia costume, and I wanted it to look right. And I think there's a pic of it on KvanB's DragonCon photopoint page...

    -sg
  11. ladyelwing Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2001
    The Collar on the White Petal Gown

    It is really very simple. Just buy
    some white tule (preferably stretchy)

    Construct a wire frame for the collar

    Sew the fabric to the frame by going
    along the edge and cutting as you go.

    Use glitter glue or something to add
    some sparkle if you want.

    Then look around for beads or peg things
    to put along the edges where the wire
    ends like Amidala has. You can paint
    them silver. And there you go!
  12. kreleia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 5
    Oh NO!! I didn't mean that I was actually going to do three separate gown layers!! **passes out just thinking about it** ACK!!! :D No, no, no! I meant the t-shirt (I got that one from you too... way back when... o_O; Do you remember this page?), the stuff sewn to it, and the kimono itself. That's enough layering to just about kill you here during summer. **laugh** Sorry - didn't mean to cause any panic. ^.^

    As for the iridescent gray taffeta - that's exactly where my thoughts are heading as well. All of my reference pics seem to point dead-on to that, and looking at the other iridescent taffetas pretty much convinced me. Now if only I could find it at the remnant store. **sigh** I'll shell out for it if I must, though.

    I'll go check out KvanB's pics - and I think I have a pic of the original Bespin costume somewhere too. I *know* I took one... it's just a matter of where that stack of pics is buried. If I find it, I'll scan it. :)

    As for the parasol piece on the white gown - that's almost exactly what I'm doing, ladyelwing. ^.^ Of course, that's pretty much what I've tried before too, but I seem to have a much better start on the frame this time. The other times, I guess I just wasn't thinking right. Too much stress, and I was barely 6 weeks pregnant - no wonder I got sick sewing the petals onto the cape. **laugh** Thanks for the suggestions!!

    Oh, and ladyelwing, how did you do the headpiece for Amidala/Sabe's battle gown?

    kreleia ^.^
  13. surlygirlie Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2000
    star 4
    Whew! I was really worried about you there for a minute; I envisioned you passing out with heat stroke in that giant costume!

    I just realized I neglected to answer you question re: bead strands and earpieces.
    I put a teeny tiny pin sized hole in each earpiece, and ran a quick stitch with monofilament around each twisted rope of bead strands. The stitching is held in place inside the earpiece by passing through a medium sized bead. I also dabbed some jewel glue on the stitching on the inside for a little extra strength.

    I managed to get my iridescent taffeta for fairly cheap at JoAnn's, of all places -- if you register for their mailer via the web page (www.JoAnn.com) they'll send you a coupon for 40% off any one item. So I got it for almost half price. Wheeeeee!


    -sg
  14. ladyelwing Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2001
    Well I had an old wig of mine I've
    had for years (bought it for doing
    Nutcracker party scene of all things)

    I took some foam and cut it into the
    correct shape, then used several
    cans of hairspray plus annoyed
    noises and frustration and got it
    to go over nicely. I also sewed it a bit.
    Then I got some of this weird red
    suff at a crafts store I have NO idea
    what it was but I cut out the
    things that go over the hair
    (ovals) and sewed them on.
    I then took my Amidala doll and
    studied the design on them and
    used some red fabric paint to copy
    it. As for the crown piece in front:

    I took some cardboard and moisened
    it slightly (left it in the garage overnight)
    and then cut it to a shape I liked.
    Then I glued more of the red stuff
    to the back of it, and sewed some
    elastic to it (I tried a headband but
    it just didn't seem to work, I might
    add a comb to it though)
    Anyways, I bought lots and lots of
    gold glitter glue and red fabric paint.
    I started with the gold and sat doing
    these lines for half an hour :) when
    they dried I filled in the red lines.

    Hope that helped ...
  15. kreleia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 5
    ladyelwing, that sounds great!! Little bit of ingenuity goes a long way. ^.^ I hope you'll post pics of the complete costume once you have them. I'd *love* to see it - I don't think I've ever seen anyone do the one you're doing. (not to say that no one's done it - just that I, personally, have never seen it)

    Hey, surlygirlie, I've got a question for you. (no, not about the headpiece this time ^.^) You make dresses/costumes/wearables for other people, right? (or, you have) - how do you charge for this? by the hour, amount of work, difficulty... ??? The reason I ask is because a neighbor just asked me to do a costume for her daughter, and a friend just asked me to sew together a costume for her son. ACK!!! I've never sewed for other people before! Not that I don't want to - and I'm extremely flattered that they would ask. But, I need to know how on earth I would go about charging them. They, obviously, are supplying the material and patterns, I'm just doing the work. Help!

    kreleia ^.^

    P.S. I decided to do Padme's Ep. 1 Tatooine outfit for Halloween. SO easy! YAY!!! I'm still working on the parasol piece for the white gown too, and it's coming along nicely (finally!). I think I've figured out how to do the little silver accents on the ends of the spokes too. I'll let y'all know if/when they're successful.
  16. surlygirlie Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2000
    star 4
    kreleia, I just sent you a PM.
  17. kreleia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 5
    Got it. Thanks for the advice, sg. It's a big help. ^.^

    I've finally gotten the frame finished for the parasol piece of the white gown. I'm so excited!! It's taken me most of the week because I've let each of the "spokes" dry for at least 12 hours before adding more (I did them in groups of 4 - there are 16 spokes total). I also experimented a bit with the silver spoke tips, but they ended up being ever-so-fragile, so I'll probably attempt it one more time (not so thin). If still no success, then I'll go the way of KvanB and just use silver beads and paint. I really don't want to give myself an ulcer over this. **grin**

    I also found some great wigs tonight for the pre-senate headpiece. I didn't have the cash with me, but the place should still have them in a couple of days. :) Ya gotta love it when you finally start having some success.

    kreleia ^.^
  18. kreleia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 5
    Hey SG!! Are you still around? I was just wondering how your new kimono is coming along for the pre-senate dress. :) You're probably swamped for Halloween, though, too. Hope you're coming up for air, occassionally!

    kreleia ^.^
  19. surlygirlie Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2000
    star 4
    I am still around, although the kimono is kind of back burnered for the moment -- as you guessed, the Halloween rush is on. Since that's really just a little side project, I just wedge in time for it where I can. I'm hoping that after Halloween, I can futz around with that and all the little ideas in my project book and go on a bit of a hiatus until January, costume wise.

    How about you? Tatooine Padme outfit ready for Halloween revelry?

    -sg
  20. kreleia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 5
    Not yet. ^^; Like you said, it's on the back burner at the moment. Of course, it's an easy costume too. All I have to do is the shirt and vest. I have the belt buckle made, and a pair of pants that will work. I'm working on my neighbor's daughter's genie costume, and having a blast with it. :D I'll get pics of that (along with Padme) when it's finished.

    Glad to see you're still alive!

    kreleia ^.^
  21. Amidala_wannabe Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2001
    star 4
    Ladyelwing, Do you have any pictures of your costume???? That is my next costume, and I would like to see how you have done it.

    Shaden
  22. kreleia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 5
    **bump** :D

    Okay!! To anyone and everyone who has done or wants to do these gowns - pull out your Episode 1 DVD Disk 2, go to "Featurettes, Web Documentaries" -> "Featurettes" -> "Costumes" (if you haven't already, that is).

    There are some EXCELLENT shots of most of Amidala's gowns - back, front, design stages, etc. Trisha Biggar talks quite a bit about what kinds of fabrics and work went into them. Fantastic resource!!! I'll be using my pause button a lot to get some really good looks at the pre-senate gown, now. WOOHOO!!

    kreleia ^.^

    P.S. Padme is still in the works, but getting close to being finished.
  23. kreleia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 5
    (I seem to be the only person replying to this topic anymore **laugh**)

    Surlygirlie, I just had to tell you that I saw a pic of your Bespin Leia outfit on the Rebel Legion boards. WOW!!! The embroidery on it is *beautiful*! Not to mention that the rest of it (what I could see in the pic) looks fabulous too! Please tell me that you won something for it at DragonCon. :)

    BTW, have you recovered from Halloween yet?

    And, LadyElwing, are you still with us? I really wanted to see how the Sabé/Queen battle dress turned out.

    kreleia ^.^
  24. surlygirlie Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2000
    star 4
    kreleia, thank you so much for the kind words! I'm more or less happy with the Bespin Leia costume, which is a rare occurrence. Even if I weren't happy with it, I doubt I'd have the heart to do the whole thing over! No contests won with it, at DragonCon or elsewhere, but the praise of fellow costumers means more to me anyway. :)

    I'm fairly well recovered from Halloween, and now I'm on quasi-hiatus. Only a little sewing for the next couple of months, while I try to catch up on my reading. Come January, I'll be back in high gear, I imagine.

    Just to keep this thread sort of on track -- has everyone seen the "Mystery" trailer?!? Padme's gray and black gown with the medieval look to it may be on the future project list! Woohoo! Another beading and embroidery adventure! That's really the first of her Episode II costumes which has really piqued my interest.

    AND thanks to my delightful spouse, we now have the rudimentary seed of our costume site online: http://members.aol.com/afpi/costumes/
    It will most likely move to new digs before long, but this is the beta, and we have a million things to add to it...

    so now, kreleia, there's officially TWO of us still responding to this thread!

    -sg
  25. Darth_Eagle Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 2001
    star 4
    Nice website concept there, Surlygirlie! :) I especially like the feeling down Naboo pilot picture there. Very fashion magazine and "moody" feelings/pictures in some of the pictures.

    But just to let you know, some of the photos didn't pop up when click.

    Hey, I'm the 3rd person to reply back! :p

    Heehee, trying to get busy with my costumes projects too but I'm really in a dilema now on wherther to buy a local fan's Darth Maul costume when I need the money to buy more materials and am 20cm shorter than him!
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