Padme Amidala Padme Purple Dress - Loyalist Committee

Discussion in 'Costuming and Props' started by Mrs_MayimNaar, Feb 26, 2002.

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  1. Mrs_MayimNaar Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Feb 14, 2002
    star 4
    There may be another topic posted on this, but I didn't see one when I initially looked for it...

    I have been studying the purple dress Padme is wearing when she meets Anakin and Obi Wan again for the first time. Does anyone have any thoughts on this dress? I have managed to find views of all sides of this dress, but I am at a loss for how to go about making it.
    [link=http://www.starwars.com/eu/news/2002/02/news20020212b_3.html] front[/link]
    [link=http://www.padawansguide.com/padme/purple/padme_purple_side2.jpg] side[/link]
    [link=http://www.padawansguide.com/padme/purple/padme_purple_back2.jpg] back[/link]
    [link=http://starwars.com/eu/news/2002/02/news20020222_5.html] front[/link]

    I was able to fina a pattern to use as a starting point. I thought Simplicity [link=http://simplicity.com/designFrame.cfm?designId=5882&design=9533] #9533[/link] could be modified. It has many lines that are similar to the ones in the dress and coat, but many fabric panels will have to be added and the sleeves need to be adjusted.

    The main problems I am trying to think through are how to get the fabric to look right. The dress looks like it is made out of velvet or something heavy like that, and it would be way too difficult and time-consuming to embroider all the details on it. Any ideas?
  2. Azeem TFN Staff, Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 12, 1999
    star 4
    The wonders of velvet...

  3. GentleBant Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 1999
    star 5
    Would a brocade work? (Is that even the right fabric?)

    Or a textured velvet....and stamping might work for smaller areas.
  4. Réka Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 1999
    star 4
    Brocades tend to be too shiny. Unless you can find an upholstery-type brocade with the right pattern...

    From what I can tell, the fabric of the outer dress (the part you can see from the back) is a 'burnout velvet', a.k.a. cut velvet, i.e. a fabric where the velvet parts occur in a pattern instead of all-over. The inner dress may or may not be a velvet, the drawings are no help there and I haven't seen a photo that shows the front closely enough. In any case, the dress shouldn't be too difficult in the embroidery category (what there is, can be faked with appliques or different fabric choices).

    The difficulty arises in finding a velvet with the appropriate pattern, and then sewing it with piped seams throughout. (What is it with Trisha Biggar and piped seams?) If you are feeling particularly adventurous (and fat in the pocketbook), you could buy silk velvet and [link=http://www.dharmatrading.com/info/devore.html]do the burnout pattern yourself[/link].
  5. Mrs_MayimNaar Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Feb 14, 2002
    star 4
    This picture just barely shows the top of her inner dress.... anyone have any thoughts on this? My computer doesn't show very well.

    [image=http://www.padawansguide.com/padme/purple/padme_purple_front3.jpg]
  6. Kelbee Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Hi all...

    I will be making Padme's senatorial outfit as well. Maybe together we can learn the best way to make this beautiful costume and help each other out!

    The jacket part of the costume does look Elizabethan-era inspired (think Ren Faire nobles), but the large sleeves pinned in the back look very Medieval or perhaps even Feudal-period Japan to me. I have to browse through our pattern "library" at home for some ideas on how to approach this. I'll definitely post here if I come up with anything useful.

    As for the fabric, it definitely looks like cut velvet on the jacket to me. Some fabric stores carry a decent variety of cut velvet, but it's usually in floral patterns, and nothing like the pattern on Padme's jacket. Doing it yourself, as Reka suggested, is an idea, but it is very time-consuming and expensive! The velvet must be silk-backed, with a cotton pile, in order for the "Fiber Etch" to work. Silk-backed velvet is a little too rich for my blood.

    Another alternative to cut velvet is stamped velvet. This is similar to ironing...you use heat to crush down the pile of the velvet in specific areas to make your pattern. More than likely, this is what I will do, unless I find something better.

    At one of the local fabric stores here, I saw a stamped velvet that I thought was close. The pattern was a little too symmetrical, but it was the right shade of purple. Even better, it was only $7 a yard! Unfortunately, it was one of those stretch velveteen knits. In order to use a stretchy fabric, you would have to stabilize it with a stiffer fabric...stitch the stretch fabric to the stiff fabric and treat it as one piece when you sew it all together. The stretch fabric would be tough to work with, and I'm sure it would be difficult to make it "sit" right. Ugh. I'm going to shop around a little more to see if I can find something better first.

    Well, that's all I have for now. Anyone else have any ideas or suggestions to offer?

    All good things,
    Kelly
  7. Kelbee Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2002
    I just found this quote in the press kit production notes for AOTC that I thought might be useful for anyone making the purple senator costume:

    "An early scene set in Palpatine's office points to one of Biggar's more formal,
    "Senatorial" designs. Padmé wears a multi-layered outfit, with a coat made of a deep
    purple velvet over an Elizabethan-style underdress with long flowing sleeves, and a
    heavily textured purple dress. A large antique jewel at the back holds the sleeves, and a petticoat brings additional formality to the imposing costume."

    It answers a few of the lingering construction questions we had, anyway! :)

    All good things,
    Kelly
  8. Mrs_MayimNaar Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Feb 14, 2002
    star 4
    New pic of this dress:

    [image=http://www.episode-x.com/episode2/gallery/img/oswfc25/oswm5.jpg]
  9. kreleia Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 5
    It looks as though Ms. Biggars an co. had a heyday with burn-out velvet for this movie. :)
  10. Mrs_MayimNaar Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Feb 14, 2002
    star 4
    [image=http://padawansguide.com/padme/purple/padme_purple_promo1.jpg] [image=http://padawansguide.com/padme/purple/padme_purple_promo2.jpg]

  11. Obi-Dawn Kenobi Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 4
    Here are my observations from seeing this dress up close at the Celebration archive:

    ~It looks like it is composed of a skirt, separate bodice and overcoat.
    ~The sleeves look triple. Close fitting sleeve with a looser one over it and then the super long ones which are attached in the back of the dress with a decorative clasp/brooch thing.
    ~The front of the bodice is heavily adorned with sequins. It really glitters. :)
    ~From the front of the skirt I could make out three panels of fabric.
    ~The burned out velvet is beautiful.
    ~The choker and head piece looked to be very light weight.
    ~The whole thing is so small! Natalie is tiny!

    I did take a lot of pictures and I'm still working on getting my scanner to work. Once it does I promise to post pics. :)
  12. Mrs_MayimNaar Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Feb 14, 2002
    star 4
    I really really want to make this dress. I wish I could have seen it at C II (I wish I could have seen everything at CII!).

    What did you think of the headress?

    EDIT: Here's some more newer pics...

    [image=http://img.stopklatka.pl/galeria/rysunki/00000/00030/g-12.jpg] [image=http://img.stopklatka.pl/galeria/rysunki/00000/00030/g-27.jpg]
  13. Amidala-Leia Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2002
    star 4
    I really want to make this dress as well. Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated :)
  14. amaunet Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2002
    star 3
    I saw this dress at C2 and took tons of pictures of it....If someone is serious about making it, pm me and i will email some of the better pictures.
  15. Mrs_MayimNaar Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Feb 14, 2002
    star 4
    This dress is gorgeous. I am definatly going to make it, but I want to do it right, and that is going to cost some serious dough! So I've been trying to pick up little pieces here and there, as I find them on sale. Here are my thoughts:

    I mentioned in the very first post using Simplicity pattern [link=http://simplicity.com/designFrame.cfm?designId=5882&design=9533]#9533[/link], and I think view C would be a good starting point(modifications definatly required!). The "cap sleeves" look like the ones at the top of Padme's cloak. The other sleeves would then have to be made from scratch, rather than with a pattern.

    As for the under dress, I think a simple corset and Skirt would work. I already purchased a similar dress/corset combo to use for the Picnic Dress, so I may use them.

    For the sleeves: Obi-Dawn[/i] mantioned above that she saw three sleeve layers; a big long sleeve that is split up the front and wraps around the back, a shorter "bell" sleeve, and then tighter sleeves underneath. For the tight sleeves, I think you could use gloves with the fingers cut off, such as the ones in the Black Corset costume.

    Any thoughts on the hat and necklace?
  16. Amidala-Leia Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2002
    star 4
    Okay, time for another color debate ladies :) In most pics and what not this dress looks very much like it is purple. But at certain points in the film, this dress looks like a deep blue to me. Could it be somewhere in between purple and blue or was I just imagining things?
  17. Obi-Dawn Kenobi Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 4
    Saw it in real life up-close and personal. It's purple. :)

    edit: Another thought about the head piece. When I saw this costume at the Celebration archive I noticed that the brown 'hair' inside the head piece looked an awful like really fine yarn. It didn't look like fake hair to me. When I watch the film it appears to be the same stuff that I saw. Did anyone else notice this?
  18. Amidala-Leia Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2002
    star 4
    Thanks Obi-Dawn :) Yes, I did notice the fact that it doesn't really look like fake hair. I didn't guess yarn, but now that you mention it that's exactly what it looks like.
  19. Kelbee Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2002
    I'm very happy to see this topic brought back to life! :)

    I'm hoping to make this costume for WorldCon this year. Unfortunately, it has to wait for three other (non-SW) costume projects ahead of it, but I have been keeping my eyes open for fabric.

    One of my friends took a nice high- resolution digital pic of the dress at Celebration II. Send me a private message if you want me to e-mail it to you.

    Obi-Dawn: Thanks for sharing your observations on the costume! I had thought that it was beading on the front of the bodice, and never even considered sequins!

    As for the headdress/choker, I was going to start off by looking at baskets. If you find a suitable basket, you can take apart the strips and steam them into the shape you want. The important thing on the headdress is going to be keeping it lightweight. I think it's going to be a lot of trial-and-error. We'll just have to make sure to share our progress so nobody repeats mistakes someone else has already made! :)

    All good things,
    Kelly
  20. StormtrooperPrincess Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2002
    star 3
    From the Padawan's Guide:

    "This beautiful costume represents the less Queen-like and more Senatorial garb Padme wears in Ep. II. According to Trisha Biggar, it is influenced by Elizabethan styles, though the headdress is African in design. This gorgeous gown was actually at Celebration II and I got a good look and it, as well as pictures, which are being developed. The underdress is purple beaded satin, the outer robe is a purple velvet with a leafy pattern. The inner sleeves are beaded with a swirly pattern, and the outer sleeve forms a pocket. These pockets are attached together in the back with a beaded brooch."

    ([link=http://www.padawansguide.com/plum.shtml]The Purple Dress[/link])

    On that page there's also a really good shot of the side & back of the headdress, and the back of her shoulders.



    That Simplicity pattern for the Italian Renn coat looks to me like it would make a good base for the outer robe. :)
  21. afaeryschild Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2002
    star 1
    Just looking for fabric on the web
    and found [link=http://silkconnection.com/buysilk/silkpages/velvet.htm]this[/link]
    The second pattern (white flames)
    looks identical to me.
    All you would have to do is dye it.
  22. Calixte Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2002
    star 4
    I found that fabric too and didn't have a chance to post. Neat, isn't it?

  23. Obi-Dawn Kenobi Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 4
  24. Amidala-Leia Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2002
    star 4
    The dress definitely is purple. I saw AOTC again last night. Something else I noticed was that the headpiece doesn't totally come together in the back near her neck. It is a very small separation. Also after seeing it again I would still say that the basket part of the headpiece looks like a fine brown yarn, but the front near her forehead looks like it could be her hair or some sort of fake hair. Any thoughts?

    That fabric does look wonderful. How much fabric do you guys think this dress would take? I'm thinking that it would be quite a bit.
  25. Mrs_MayimNaar Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Feb 14, 2002
    star 4
    That fabric is perfect! But ouch! $10.95/yd! I knew this dress was going to be expensive... Can you really dye that fabric well?

    As far as the headress, I don't think it's yarn. Watching the movie Thursday night and seeing the way the light caught it as she moved and etc, It looked like hair to me, but it looked like it was either braided very finely or "dreaded" very finely. The key would be in getting the braids or twists very very very thin. But I think it definatly has more of a hair texture than a yarn texture. I don't know, maybe it's a very glossy embroidery floss or something...

    The color definatly looked purple to me. The sequins on her bodice, however, look like a bluish purple rather than a reddish purple. They almost look blue in some lighting, as she moves. See here:
    [image=http://padawansguide.com/padme/purple/padme_purple_stoplatka1.jpg]
    (if it looks too dark, adjust the brightness on the image to get the true color)
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