Non Star Wars OT: Atonement Green Dress

Discussion in 'Costuming and Props' started by jedilucass, Mar 2, 2008.

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  1. jedilucass Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 1, 2002
    star 2
    What I'm doing about the bra issue is rather interesting. Layne Bryant has this bra called "bra 6", also known to the rest of the world as "bra from hell" because it's horrible to get on. Why spend 42 bucks on it? Clear back and straps. That sucker holds up without straps too, but I'm currently having a problem with the flat piece of clear plastic stuff staying completley molded to my back so it's barely noticable. So I'm doing bra surgery to it to make sure it stays flat and hugs where it's suppose to.

    Please let me know if you find a bracelet possibilty. More and more though, I'm leaning towards just making it. Or having one for the formal where no one will notice I don't have the exact bracelet, then at the next con I go to, have the more accurate one.
  2. Atonement Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Hello all. I've taken an obsession with the green dress from Atonement, and really want to make it. Only problem is, I've never made a costume before, and I'm not very skilled at sewing. I'm taking classes and just looked at sewing machines earlier today. I've got a few questions before I go butchering up fabric!

    1. What patterns are there for this dress?
    2.The laser done holes at the top are amazing, has anyone brainstormed a way to recreate them?
    3.I'm aware this is going to be hard, but do you think it would be alright for a first costume?


    I looked up the Dunn Edwards colour thing online, and its a store in California. I thought it was a book of colours and their relationships to another, etc. (or maybe it is and im just missing something?) But I'm pretty particular on the colour, because its so rich and the dress isn't the same if it's not THAT colour green.

    Any help is appreciated.

    Jess
  3. Obi-Dawn Kenobi Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 4
    I finally saw this film over the weekend. Loved it. The dress is gorgeous in motion.

    Welcome Jess. :)
    I haven't studied this dress at all, but I just wanted to say that it sounds as if you are on the right track by taking sewing classes. The best advice for a beginner is to practice with cheap fabric, like muslin, and just persevere. Others here who have a clue about how this dress is made can help you far more than I, but good luck!
  4. Atonement Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Thanks so much. I hope this is the right place to be asking this!

  5. jedilucass Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 1, 2002
    star 2
    I don't know if I'd personally tackle this sucker as a first costume- for me, it's turning out to be one of the most difficult things I've ever done, and I'm working with a skilled seamstress on figuring out the hard parts. It's currently driving me up a wall in a good way. The problems with this (I still consider myself a not that great of a seamstress) is the freakin' skirt to flow right and fit, so there's no unexpected wardrobe malfunctions.

    As far as the laser cutting goes, so far I haven't found anything that is that or would get the look. I know someone's doing an experiment with punchinghtem out then using fray-check to seal the fabric and keep it from fraying.

    Pattern wise, there are a few out there, but each require at least some form of alteration. I'd name the ones I'm using, but they've been altered so much that it's completely pointless to start with them :)

    I might want to tackle this with the help of someone experienced, and having a sewing class is an awesome place to get those questions out. All known info is on this page at costumer's guide.

    But if you feel up for the challenge, I say go for it! The best way to learn sometimes is to pick the costume that you're willing to put blood, sweat, and tears into to get it right, and it's the best way you learn.

    Keep us updated!

    And I agree with Obi-Dawn. Cheap fabric is a girl's best friend.

    ~Laura
  6. Obi-Dawn Kenobi Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 4
    Cheap fabric and diamonds. :p
  7. jedilucass Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 1, 2002
    star 2
    For this costume... cheap fabrics and rhinestones! Totally forgot about the bracelet that can't be found and the do it yourself stars in her hair...

    LOL![face_laugh]

    ~Laura
  8. Atonement Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Thank you all so much! I didn't expect such a quick and friendly reply!

    Sewing classes for me start in about two weeks, and are through the end of April, if I'm not mistaken. This is definitely a dress I'll stick with, because I'm so in love with it. Also, (never really noticed this until I studied the dress) I've got a very similar body type to Keira's, so hopefully that will help. I've got long legs, I'm considered underweight for my age group, and a small chest.

    Oh and I've printed out basically the whole page at costumersguide. I've got about 30 pictures, and I printed out all the descriptive reviews on it. I also own the book, and I wrote down how the dress is described in the book. I swear I've researched and probably know more about this dress than I ever did anything in school.

    What do you all plan on doing about the hair? To me, her hair makes the dress. On costumers guide it says you'd be crazy to try it without salon help. Well, I'm stubborn and printed out pictures and tried to recreate it. What do you think? Opinions? I just used octopus clips, because I couldn't find a star one. http://s245.photobucket.com/albums/gg72/ssrdvc/?action=view&current=0317082115-1.jpg

    Sadly it will be a while before I can start, but I'll be checking in here quite often for updates.
  9. Jedi-Siri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2004
    star 1
    In the movie Keira is actually wearing a wig. Back then women would curl their hair to the point of breakage so a wig was specially permed for this movie and that is what she wore. I'm probably going to just curl my hair and use bobby pins to get it into the proper hairstyle.

    Atonement, Don't worry about the amount of time you spend on this dress. It's better to take your time and get everything just right then rush through it and be unhappy with the way it turned out. I know this from experience. You're already on the right track doing so much research so I'm sure it will turn out fantastic! :)

    Oh, I didn't get a chance to test the design with the fray check over the weekend. I will give it a try this weekend, or at least I hope to.
  10. jedilucass Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 1, 2002
    star 2
    Don't worry about a time frame. It's much better to spend time researching so you understand what skills you need to learn before getting into making the dress. As far as I've seen, both at local stores and online, the fabric will have to be dyed to match. Another note is that from what my experience is with my concept number one, it would be easier to get the silk satin at 60" wide, but I'm working on that problem, because Dharma trading doesn't offer their lightest silk satin in 60". The dress is uber on yardage, though it's rather decieving due to the bodice, but it has a wide hemline.

    With the hair, I wouldn't worry too much about that just yet. Back in the day (1930's) women permed their hair to almost breaking point to get the waves that Keira has. She's wearing a wig, so it doesn't matter what you put the hair through. I would, when the time comes, go for a wig- when I wear this dress as a costume (which is 2009) I will have a wig. In the meantime, you might want to talk to your stylist about finger waves. Same basic effect, only not as damaging. Think the waves Satine has in Moulin Rouge, with the red dress.

    For the star clips in her hair, I'm having an internal debate. When looking at a paused image of Briony holding the clip that fell out of Cecelia's hair, it's tiny diamonds on a silver mounting, which looks nothing like the image on Costumersguide. I think there might be two different types of star clips in her hair. Any thoughts from anyone else?

    This costume makes me want to chop off my hair... too bad I need my hair for Mustafar Padme and Corset Gown Padme for convention in April. :(

    Since sewing won't happen for a few weeks,Atonement, I would start on the accesories (star clips, that damnable bracelet that I can't find, shoes, etc.), so when the time comes, you've done work and you're ready to go. Good luck!

    ~Laura

    (who rambles on a lot.)

  11. Atonement Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Thanks again all.


    Bracelet wise, I'm having a hard time as well finding ANYTHING even REMOTELY close to it.

    I found this on qvc (haha) http://www.qvc.com/qic/qvcapp.aspx/view.2/app.detail

    And maybe something like this could be found cheaper, and you could attach rhinestones in the pattern it is on the actual bracelet?

    EDIT: OH wow I didn't even realize the bracelet wasn't solid. Eek, this makes it 10x harder.
  12. jedilucass Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 1, 2002
    star 2
    Yeap, that's what makes that sucker hard- I've been checking e-bay every other day for almost a month and have gotten nothing...I'm about down to ordering silver clay from firemountain gems and having my dad sculpt the main part of the bracelet, then tacking on the rhinestones and adding a clasp. Firemountaingems is a good source for all of the materials I just mentioned, and they have crystal star components that somewhat match up to the images we already have. Not of the screencapped starclip that fell to the floor in the movie, however....

    Back to the bracelet. If anyone could put a era on it, searching for it would be a bit helpful. My dad can't say if it's art deco or anything. Just "costume jewelry".

    Oh! Another place to look would be estate sales and antique malls.... I think the kentucky state fair is coming soon.. they always have a good selection of costume jewelry.

    ~Laura


  13. Atonement Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2008
    I'll definitely be checking antique places for SOMETHING similar to that darn bracelet! Although you know it is Chanel, and I'm sure they'd be happy to sell you one for only 35,000. :rolleyes: ;)

    Last night I made a 'rough draft' dress, and its about complete. I took super cheap cotton-y fabric and cut out a possible pattern. I've got the front of the dress down, it's just that darn back that is driving me mad. I didn't sew it very well, just hand sewn large crappy stiches, because I just wanted to see if a pattern I found would work, if it was altered. I'm thinking about making the slit not as low, and the back a bit higher, to make it more wearable when I make the actual dress.
  14. Jedi-Siri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2004
    star 1
    I'm making the back higher as well, but mostly because I don't want the tie to sit on my hips as that is the largest part of me. I want it to sit like right above so basically everything is getting pushed up.

  15. Atonement Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2008
    I asked my grandmother how expensive it was to dye fabric, and she said she can teach me how to do it for very cheap. Now to play around and find that right colour...


    Oh, got a new sewing machine today! It's got 70 different stiches (hearts, leaves, flowers, and even sews buttons on. [face_hypnotized] Boy am I behind the times)

    On the rough dress, rather than cutting out wholes, I sewed fake pearls on, even according to size (place where larger wholes were I sewed larger pearls) and it looks quite nice. Not sure I want that done to the real dress, but it's a back-up I suppose.
  16. jedilucass Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 1, 2002
    star 2
    Atonement, congrats on the new sewing machine! I wish mine could do that many stiches.... oh well. :) And dyeing fabric is so much fun. Frustrating, but fun. I'd go straight for the dyes that Dharma Trading has. (www.dharmatrading.com) because with RIT dyes (which are available at grocery stores and the like) doesn't havea green anywhere close. Dharma has a few. Several posts back kay_dee posted a pantone color match, and there's another match mentioned somewhere....

    For the back... hmms. What I see from the exhibit pics is that it's almost like they "forgot" to put a back piece in. The top is fitted to the sides, and then the thin strap goes from the top of the shoulders down to the waistline. I'd work on fitting the bodice either with a back piece then cutting the back out or just working on fitting that front bodice, and having those two straps serve as your back.

    Totally understand about the sash hitting the hips. I'm putting it there because I have no hips at all.

    ~Laura
  17. Atonement Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2008
    I looked, and the "Avacodo" colour under the dye reccomended for cotton fabric looks very close, except the dress isn't cotton. :p Of course, because that would be too easy! -sigh-
  18. Jedi-Siri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2004
    star 1


    This is just another reason I want to get a Pantone book. I've looked into having the Pantone colors printed for me at a place like office depot. There are only certain colors for certain costumes that I need and I really don't have $300 to spend on the book. :(

    I would dye the dress but I really like the color of the fabric I found. It's not perfect but it's close enough to the real dress.
  19. jedilucass Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 1, 2002
    star 2
    I feel your pain about the pantone book. Mine is my dad's from long long ago, and it didn't have kay_dee's match in it. So I used my old one from way back when to color match her's on my screen, which does pretty good about color, and that's how I got my match. Old school, yes, but I have a range that it fits in.

    I'm hoping with the costume class I'm taking this fall I can get student discounts on stuff like that, because I can't get out to LA and other places to see them in person, and exhibits rarely come around here. Closest was Indianapolis...

    ~Laura
  20. kay_dee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    The thing with Pantone guides is that there are dozens of different ones. So, it's not a universal problem solver. I tend to use the Fashion one a lot, and I have another one with more colors in it (4 color process) that I use as a back-up when the fashion guide doesn't have a close color. But the color swatches are so tiny in that, it bugs my eyes out trying to use it.

    As for getting a print shop to print the pantone colors... I'm not sure if that would work. It depends on how well calibrated their printers are, and even something like the type of card stock it's printed on has a big effect on how dark or light the color may look.

    Freya's color matches might be better. She took much more time to match with her book than I did.
  21. Atonement Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Hmm.. I think I"m just going to look for some silk/polyester type material in some form of dark/emerald green. Hopefully I can find something cheap enough, but I've been talked out of dying the fabric.

    And, I wonder, if I started this next week sometime, do you think it could be finished by mid June? There's a dance I want to wear it for, but I also want to take my time and make it really well. I don't know how long these costumes take to make because I've never made one. I really want it to turn out good. Hmm...
  22. jedilucass Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 1, 2002
    star 2
    Atonement, I think it all depends on your luck on finding fabrics, and pattern alteration. My wear date is May 10th, for a fraternity formal. It was, at one point, April 19, but that changed because of problems that I ran into. I would go for taking your time rather than rushing it to meet a wear date. Taking your time will give you an end product that you're going to be happier with, will look better. Also, I learned with my first costume (the gods of costumes told me to make the pastel lake gown) asking questions about EVERYTHING also makes your end product better, no matter how small the question, or how simple. I applaud you for asking questions.

    And I just found the most USEFUL THING EVER for people (me) who first could never understand bias cutting, and then found it entirely too complicated (because my hairdresser, who, thank the stars, is into sewing and loves planning my hair for events that I wear costumes to) explained it to me while doing my hair and I just never got it. Until now, when working on this dress the woman who is assisting me with the hard parts has a cutting board, and it has THE BIAS LINE MARKED ON IT!(yea, I'm a dope). You just line the edge of your fabric on the line, tape it down or weigh it down, and then use the straight lines to line up the grainline on your pattern piece, and presto! cutting on the bias. Why is this handy? From reports and info, the entire skirt is cut on the bias. And just seeing the difference it makes the skirt hang in that way that made us all fall in love with this dress. I got my little board thingy at wal-mart for ten bucks. Mainly so I can use my handy dandy rotary cutter on it. I think this is an awesome tool for beginers. And me, because the math in sewing sometimes makes me scream.

    And I wish you all the luck in the world finding a good fabric! I'm probally causing myself way to many headaches by dyeing my own, but I just haven't been able to find a color of the right weight of fabric to make me not dye my own. Looking on padawansguide's personal costuming site, she recommended the ebay seller oregonsilver (I think, I'm not looking at the site right now) as an ebay seller that is good and has a lot of silks in an array of colors. I haven't tried looking there, but that might be a start.

    One last thing cause it's on my mind. I'm a shoe person. I want as close as possible shoe for my costumes, and I get upset if I can't find it.( I think I spent three months and every shoe store in the Louisville area to find my pastel lake gown shoes. The boots of my new and improved mustafar padme I found at a church thrift store. I looked for YEARS.... some people it's hair, others it's shoes:) ) What got me to actually do this costume was finding the perfect shoe. It's from Target, from Mossino, style called Hadley. It's not an exact match, but has the feel and the right color. It's not overly gold, and the heel isn't as thick as the originals, which I don't have the money to buy. Here's a pic of them:

    [image=http://s5.photobucket.com/albums/y181/gunslingerpadme/?action=view&current=atonmentshoe3.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y181/gunslingerpadme/atonmentshoe3.jpg]

    side view. Shows the color best.

    [image=http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y181/gunslingerpadme/atonmentshoe1.jpg]
    top view. Color is off to bring out the detail on the top.

    Not a 100% match, but it had the feel of the orginals that it screamed "buy me".

    the dpci number (whatever that is) is : 096-05-1030

    I bought them a while back, so they might be on sale or off the racks... don't know. But I think they are a good match, and pretty, and they are comfy.

    ~Laura

    (whose post is really long.)
  23. Atonement Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Thanks. Yes, I ask (sometimes some really stupid..) a lot of questions.

    As for the shoes, I adore those. I almost bought a pair at Target just like that, but decided to keep looking. As of right now I have a pair of gold 'caged' flats which I like, but I REALLY wanted heels for this costume.
  24. jedilucass Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 1, 2002
    star 2
    Just a random note... before I got convinced by my dad to make this dress instead of buying, I found this website, which has their "version" of this dress for three hundred something. It doesn't have the front laser burn outs, though, and they only have one picture of their version. The rest are promo pics. And don't bother asking for more pics of their version- they just sent me a promo pic of the back. I have no idea how reliable the company is, but it's a decent looking replica. Here's the website:

    And hey, they have other knock off dresses too!

    ~Laura

  25. Atonement Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Hmm... I'm not too sure about that colour. I really have my heart set on the darker green, and the laser cut-outs. Thanks for the link though!
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