Princess Leia Leia's Ceremonial gown from ANH

Discussion in 'Costuming and Props' started by Amidala_wannabe, Apr 5, 2002.

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  1. kay_dee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    Well, I know why the obi-wan academy isn't working for me. Many ad blocking prgrams will not display images with the word 'banner' in them (I learned this the frustrating way on a project for school!). All the navigation has the word 'banner' in the image name or file it's getting the images from - so my browsers show zero! I though if I turned off McAffee's add blocking it would show - but that's not working. I don't know what other crud my husband has installed in this computer that's blocking the 'banner' images from showing (grrrr).

    So, I'm having to literally go in, view the code, fish out the url's from the code - and manually type it in!

    (Lesson to all web page makers - please don't label anything 'banner(s)' or you will frustrate people who have ad blocking software)

    OK on to my questions

    The top photos on this page are confusing me a little

    Sleeve Diagrams

    Are all 3 top images the same design? Is the back view supposed to be showing that it is a false cape with a slit in the center back? When the arms stretch out (as in photos 2 & 3) the fabric pivots at the neckline making that empty triangle shape? And what are the curved dashed lines indicating in the back view image #1??? Is it a seam (the sleeve is compsed of multiple panels?) Is it stitched down to the back?

    Sorry, I've never felt so lost on a pattern in my life! Any insight would be greatly appreciated :)

    -kay dee

  2. Jedi_Dajuan Admin: FanForce and Games

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Dec 30, 2002
    star 6
    Are all 3 top images the same design?
    *Yes, all three are the same design.

    Is the back view supposed to be showing that it is a false cape with a slit in the center back?

    *Yes again. All the fan costumes I have seen have made it this way (as have I).

    Is it stitched down to the back?
    *No, it doesn't show that it is stiched down the back.

    When the arms stretch out (as in photos 2 & 3) the fabric pivots at the neckline making that empty triangle shape?
    *For pictures 2 and 3, the sleeves are opened in the back and the dotted line just shows "through" the gown how the sleeves are laying at the back.

    And what are the curved dashed lines indicating in the back view image #1??? Is it a seam (the sleeve is compsed of multiple panels?)
    *Picture 1's dotted lines show how the sleeves lay in the front. The sleeves are one panel each.

    Hope that helps. I wish I was at home so I could get mine out with pictures. I can promise to do that Sunday when I get back if you want me to.
  3. kay_dee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    Thanks Jedi Dajuan. So - let me ask one more thing about the back of the sleeves for clarification. In the 'back' drawing #1 it looks like the two panels meet along the center back, going straight down to the ground. Yet, in drawing #2 & #3 there is a big gap between the panels in the back. Is that only because they will gap as you stretch your arms out? But if your arms are straight down at your side the two back panels meet at the center back???

    I know, I'm not great at describing this. But if what I'm saying sounds correct let me know :)

    I'm off to Jo-Ann's. I wonder if I will get lucky and find the poly crepe and opaque fabric I need there? Are there any other good sources for this fabric (even online)? At first I considered making it in silk, but the silk at Thai Silks is more of an off-white.

    -kay dee
  4. LeiaYT1300 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2002
    star 3
    Kay_Dee, how you explained draping the sleeves is pretty much how I did it, save for one difference. I decided, after watching how the sleeves move (key is when Leia places the medal over Han's neck--that's where that gap people include in the center back), that it could not be a full cape in back with just a split in the center. So my sleeves don't attach around the entire neckline in back. In fact, they stop at the shoulder seams.

    First, I made a finished muslin of the sleeveless sheath. Using 2-3 yards of 45" muslin (since the crepe I had is 45"), I found my centerpoint for the bust, and pinned the short edge of the yardage to it, the long edge ending no more than an inch below the bustline's lowest point at the side seam. I then traced the bustline and the neckline onto the muslin, adding 5/8" seam allowance to each tracing. Then I began pinning and rearranging it around.

    Hit the link in my sig for my photoalbum. There you will find an album devoted entirely to pics I collected for this costume, with arrows pointing out details, and a couple of drawings I scanned. One drawing in particular demonstrates how I approached the sleeves in the back. And my long post on page 5 explains that sketch.

    When I finished draping that one sleeve, I simply placed the bust center front on the fold of a length of crepe folded lengthwise so that both sleeves are attached together and that little diagonal bust seam that joins the sleeve panels in front in the Academy drawings is eliminated (which was my intent, since I can't see such a seam on the original, and that leads me to believe that the two sleeves are both from one long piece of fabric).

    Hope that explanation helps somewhat. :)
  5. StormtrooperPrincess Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2002
    star 3
    Beret and I pretty much think alike on how the sleeves are done. :) When I played with sleeve muslins last year, I did the same thing she did.



    ...that little diagonal bust seam that joins the sleeve panels in front in the Academy drawings is eliminated (which was my intent, since I can't see such a seam on the original, and that leads me to believe that the two sleeves are both from one long piece of fabric).

    I've never noticed that little diagonal bust seam the JA shows, either. Not even after playing with images in Paint Shop Pro.
  6. JainaMSolo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2001
    star 3
    LeiaYT, every single time I see your photos I think, "Hey, when did I make a Leia ceremonial dress and who took a picture of me!?" It's kind of freaky. But, you know, in a good way. :)

    As soon as all the comic-con hoopla is over I'm starting in on this dress for GenCon, so thanks v v much to you and STP for your tips. And also thanks to kay dee for asking great questions. :)

    Caitlin
  7. kay_dee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    Thanks so much for the explaination Leia ;D. I did read and view your photos from the previous page, I just wasn't sure how you went about draping it. I had been thinking about it all afternoon, and pretty much what you said (pinning the short edge to the center front of the bust, long edge beneath the bustline seam) is what I was thinking I'd try next! Yeah! I almost wish I were not leaving town tonight, I'm all fired up to make my muslin now.

    It will have to wait until next week :)

    JoAnn's had some 44" crepe georgette that I'm going to keep in mind. I'm gonna check some other stores in SF to see if they have a wider variety, or maybe even something with a slight stretch that I can use for the over-layer and wings. What fabric did you use for the under layer? A stretch poly, a heavy crepe - I guess I can't decide how thick to go. I want it to be fluid, but not too see-through.

    Thanks for all the advise everyone!

    -Kay Dee
  8. LeiaYT1300 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2002
    star 3
    Jaina, I'm glad I could help. Best of luck to you when you start your gown as well. :)

    Kay_Dee, good to hear my explanation made sense. I have a bad habit of rambling when explaining things, and I'm always afraid it'll confuse more than help.

    As for fabric, aside from the 45" crepe for the overlay of the main gown and the sleeves, I used a white poly matte knit jersey for underneath. It was a knit that I found at the Vogue fabrics in Evanston, IL when I was looking for fabric for the classic Leia ANH gown, and I realized when I got it home that it would be perfect for the Ceremonial gown's underlay as it draped and flowed beautifully beneath the crepe. It really has that 70's poly look you can see on shots of the classic gown people have taken of the original at the MoM exhibition, but it's not slinky or "disco"-like. If I recall correctly, it was about $8 and I walked out with about 12 yards--not a cheap day, but worth it. And it's a joy to sew with!

    A fantastic place to get knit fabrics online is a place called Baer Fabrics:

    http://www.baerfabrics.com/

    I discovered them while planning for a commissioned EU costume for a friend I need to make from a good matte 4-way stretch knit. I was really impressed with the selection and quality, as well as the great color selection. Plus you can order swatches online and they shipped fairly quickly. So you can try them if you can't find anything similar locally (which for me is often the case, as Milwaukee is the black hole for just about everything [face_frustrated] ).

    Again, good luck to both of you ladies! :)
  9. kay_dee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    Well, I'm on my way to getting my costume supplies :) I picked up a 1" plastic square container for those necklace cut-outs, and my fabric. I chose a nice smooth poly georgette for the top layer and sleeves, and white poly crepe de chine for the under layer.

    I did have a question for Leia - did you end up using a total of 4 yards for your seelves, or was it closer to 5? (the way I'm draping it it seems that each sleeve uses just under 2 yards of fabric).

    Thanks,

    Kay Dee

  10. LeiaYT1300 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2002
    star 3
    Kay_Dee, five would be too much. Four yards is more than enough. That's what I used when all was said and done (even though I had 10 yards at my disposal; I have an awful [and sometimes expensive] habit of overbuying so I can work out any unforseen surprise snags, and to compensate for my height [I'm 5'9" in my stocking feet]). :)
  11. surlygirlie Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2000
    star 4
    I'm just glad I'm not the only one with that bad, bad overbuying habit.
    ;)



  12. Obi-Dawn Kenobi Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 4
    Don't worry. I suffer from it too. ;)
  13. StormtrooperPrincess Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2002
    star 3
    Ditto. I get paranoid about not having enough for my final version, which is why I have enough fabric left over from my senatorial robes to make a completely different costume with plenty to spare. ;)
  14. LeiaYT1300 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2002
    star 3
    We should have a thread where everyone can post on what they do with all their leftover fabric. Could prove quite interesting! :)
  15. kay_dee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    Thanks for the yardage info Leia! I ALSO over-buy fabric! I was starting to panic because I calculated I'd need about 4 yards for the sleeves, but I only added on .5 yards extra to my total purchase.

    I'd rather have a yard or two left over when all is said and done than to get in a pinch because I didn't buy enough for the project. It's actually saved me on occasion, sometimes crap just happens and you have to redo a piece.

    I'm starting to look at shoes, and I have to check the shoe repair shops to see what silver dye on dyables satin fabric turns out like. I don't want the shoes to look like they were dyed gray, I want them to look sliver :) Otherwise I found these dyeables that come in sliver satin:

    silver shoe

    I know that ebay sometimes has shoes, but so far I'm not seeing size 8, and even though I'm usually an 8 I sometimes need an 8.5 - don't want to be stuck with shoes too small :p

    I also have a question about making the necklace from sculpey. I've never used sculpy before, and the instructions at Jedi academy say you should make the hole in your clay after you take it out of the oven. (if you do it before hand it will deform your shape). Does this mean that the clay is still somewhat soft when you take it out of the oven, and it hardens after it sits out? I just don't see how you could push a cake tester stick through a hard piece of clay, and drilling a hole after the clay is hard sounds like a tricky prospect.

    I'm thinking of playing with covering the pieces with silver leaf after I spray paint them silver. Well, I'll test a piece and see how it looks.

    -Kay Dee
  16. surlygirlie Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2000
    star 4
    The silver leaf idea sounds WONDERFUL, though I would be careful not to get it on the backs of the pieces -- I originally gold-leafed my little forehead necklacey piece on my black travel gown, and it left a lurid discoloration on my skin after I had worn it for a few hours. Blech!
    The silver may not do that, or I could just be a mutant, but I'd opt to err on the side of caution. :)

    Also, I have some satin dyeables that were dyed gray, and they look very silvery, so you will probably be able to find something that suits you.

  17. StormtrooperPrincess Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2002
    star 3
    Does this mean that the clay is still somewhat soft when you take it out of the oven, and it hardens after it sits out?

    Yes, it's still somewhat soft. Kind of rubbery, IMO. It's not like salt clay or something like that that does harden while in the oven.
  18. kay_dee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    Thanks for the tip on discoloration Surly I have read that it's a good idea to seal a piece after it's been leafed (they make some clear sealers that can be used). I'm thinking I'll try that and see how it looks :)

    It's good to know the clay is still rubbery when it comes out of the oven. It sounds like I will be doing some test pieces first. If the holes go bad, they will be the ones I play with paint and leafing on :)

    - Kay Dee
  19. kay_dee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    As I play with the sleeves/wings and look at pictures I'm getting another crazy idea. Feel free to chime in and tell me "it can't work that way" if someone else has tried this:

    You know the photo that Leia has in her album of the back shoulders - where there is a diagonal line running from the inside shoulder seam out to the back of the arm cycle. Is it possible this is not just a tack point, but the actual edge of the fabric, and that it then is sewn in to the back of the arm cycle? Probably not all the way down to the side seam of the arm cycle... but just enough to secure it and allow it to drape straight down?

    [image=http://www.kay-dee.net/costumes/leia_cermonial/back_sleeve.jpg]


    I may have to buy more 'muslin' to really play with this idea.

    -Kay Dee
  20. LeiaYT1300 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2002
    star 3
    Actually, I did try that exact idea at first: treating the diagonal lines as the fabric's edge and then attaching it to the armscye's edge down to the side seam, curling the sleeve inward to fit, but it kept on pulling funny and I did not like the way it was working out. However, tacking it down to the armscye only part of the way did not make things much better, either. Having it drape straight and free for the most part from the armscye left the backs of my arms too exposed when I moved, and I do not believe her arms were that exposed in back with the original (at least, that's what my logic and conclusions have left me with).

    Considering all of that, I felt that the diagonal seam might not be the actual edge of the fabric, but only a tacking line to keep it from flipping back or fluttering around too much. Changing my approach to reflect this produced a much nicer effect for me, and it moves and settles beautifully, as well as providing ample coverage from behind.

    But that doesn't mean it's correct--one day we might finally get a shot of the back from Lucas, and my first approach may well turn out to be the correct one. And I will admit to having toyed with notion of trying the first idea out again and seeing if I can work it out, but that's for the future.

    In short, give both versions a try, and decide which one works out best for you. Let us know which one you choose and how it all went, Kay_Dee! :)

    Edit: Oh, and just to add to the reasons why I used the second approach, one of my big concerns was that it moved correctly when "placing the medal", so to speak--trying to replicate that space of air we see when she has her arms up and out to place the medal on Han's neck. The first approach did not replicate that like the second one did.

    But again, it's all up to personal interpretation and what works for you. :)
  21. FERDALUMP Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2002
    star 3
    Kay_dee You might want to start looking for other options for painting the sculpy other than spray paint--I found a wonderful Krylon silver metallic paint that made the pieces quite gorgeous--Problem the paint never really dries on the clay. I don't know exactly why--something about the clay and paint reacting to eachother. I tried many times--sealed it first (with spray sealer, AND with the paint on sculpy sealer) Without sealer, tiny coats in multiple layers with HUGE intrevals in between the coats--and everytime I would handle the pieces (even super gently) they would "mush" and leave my finger prints and such. Ugh!

    The Sculpy site recommends water based aryllics and their brand of glaze for sheen for painting pieces. Folk art paints makes a paint called "silver anniversary" and it paints and dries nicely--but doesn't have that perfect sheen and metallic quality that you may want. I did not try this but it just may work--Try some "Rub & Buff" (brush it on after the acryllic paint has dried--let it dry and then buff it to a sheen).

    I would be careful doing the holes in the clay right after you take it out of the oven--First--it will be VERY hot, and with it being a *wee bit* pliable you could deform the pieces. I made my holes BEFORE I baked my pieces--Just forming the pieces over a cheap plastic paintbrush--Once the piece was perfect I slid the brush out and baked the piece. If you do bake the pieces with ready made holes just make them a little bigger than you need them because the hole will shrink a little in the baking process :)

    You can also drill the holes afterward.

    ~Ferd [face_monkey]

  22. kay_dee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    Thanks Ferd - gosh, it's too bad the paint you used did not take well to the sculpy. I just read the info at the web site and they said they did not recommend spray paint, however - if you put on 3 thin coats of their sealer first they say you can use any paint - even oil based on it. I wish I had picked up some of that sealer today! I will also experiment with putting on the sealer, and then the silver leaf, and sealing that :)

    It sounds like I'm also going to have to experiment with the hole issue. Perhaps a pin vise drill will work, it would just take forever! (I'm afraid a huge regular drill would be too clumsey).

    Leia Thanks for letting me know you had tried tacking the sleeve to the arm cycle. I may still experiment with that - and if your second way works better that will be good too. I'll make sure to test the 'reach to put on the medal' move :)

    -Kay Dee
  23. lavagrrrl Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2002
    star 4
    Did anyone have problems painting the vinyl for the belt? I have the belt in white for my senatorial gown, and it has plexi painted silver instead of metal. Basically, a friend made it and he had plexi around. Anyway, the silver paint rubs off, and now I'm wondering if I'll have similar issues when I make a silver version of the same belt (with metal this time).

    Sorry for going a bit off topic, I'm just about to embark on belting adventures.

    Thanks :D
  24. JainaMSolo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2001
    star 3
    I advise just finding silver vinyl. I got some for a different costume last summer and I'm using the leftovers for my ceremonial Leia belt.
  25. FERDALUMP Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2002
    star 3
    I also found silver vinyl :) Shouldn't be too hard to find--I'm pretty sure I found mine at Joann's.

    ~Jen
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