Padme Amidala Sabe Decoy Black Travel Gown Feather Headdress

Discussion in 'Costuming and Props' started by grynmoors, Mar 12, 2004.

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  1. grynmoors Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2004
    Greetings.

    I am looking for information about the black travel gown worn by the hand maiden Sabe when posing as the Royal Decoy. The black gown, with the large black feather headdress, also known as the "Escape from Naboo" gown from Episode I.

    There are pictures of it on the 'net and I've got the DVD but there's not a single good shot of the back, and not a single good shot of the pointy details on the bodice and part of the skirt. Anybody have any idea what that is and what it's made of? Is it scales as the action figure suggests? The doll they have out with this dress on it, doesn't show any kind of "pointy" stuff on the bodice and skirt at all so that is no help.

    I've been searching the 'net for several days with no luck. I've even gone to book stores looking for pictures, but to no avail.

    The only production notes I could find at the Star Wars site says:

    "The Queen's first travel dress was completely handmade and utilizes a spider-web type of fabric that took one person, working five days a week for ten hours each day, over a month to make. The dress started out being stitched onto a special, very thin fabric backing. This fabric was then placed in water, causing the backing to completely melt, leaving the stitching that had been placed on top. Each panel of the dress was stitched onto another panel without any seams. The result: an intricate and delicate addition to the fashion universe of Episode I."

    Ummm yeah, ok. Panels? What does that mean?! What about the headdress? What kind of feathers are they? What's the pointy stuff on the bodice and gown? What kind of material is it?

    Any info on this dress other than the teaser from the Star Wars site would be greately appreciated!!
  2. surlygirlie Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2000
    star 4
    For reference pics of this dress, the best place to go is Padawan's Guide.

    Also, there's a good bit of discussion on this gown in this thread, which will hopefully be helpful.

    By "panels" I think they just mean each section of the fabric that makes up the dress, since some areas are pleated and some are flat. Since the edges of the pleated/folded sections of the velvet make kooky little triangle shapes, it would really be a pain in the rear to try to seam it together, and also insanely bulky.

    Let me know if any of the info needs clarifying!


    -sg
  3. grynmoors1 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Wow, thanks! I searched this board for a thread, but must not have used the right search keywords or something because it didn't come up.

    Anywho...

    The pictures at the padawanguide (oh, believe me, I think I've seen every star wars site in existence LOL) has no pictures of the back of the gown! The only reference I have right now is the doll that my grand-daughter has and I've got to drive 2 hours to her house to take a peek at it thru the window of the box.

    Someone mentioned the 3 3/4 inch action figure, I assume they mean the plastic one, which suggests that the dress has "scales" on it, rather than pleating. That's why I thought I could tackle this project, the scales would be relatively easy (but time consuming).

    I saw the action figure on ebay and at numerous star wars sites...no shots of the back (either the action figure or the doll)!

    OK, the pleating...

    I just want to make sure I understand that. Pleats are made, horizontally in the pattern that is suggested in the other thread... how big are the pleats and do you then go down thru each row with a vertical stitch (smashing right through each horizontal row) to form a 4 sided cone kinda triangle effect? Is that right?

    Sleeves: in some shots of the dress that I've seen on the 'net, I see what looks like satin above the elbow of the straight sleeve (billowed out in a mutton-chop kind of sleeve reminiscent of the early 20th century) and the wide outter bell sleeve is lined in gold satin,or the same fabric that makes up the under-dress. Am I seeing this right?

    Material for the the under-dress: is it shantun, crepe-back satin, silk or gold lame? Someone said they used gold lame...(Please don't tell me it's gold lame).

    Your advise is GREATELY appreciated!!!!
  4. Sister_Sola Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2002
    star 4
    Re: the doll -

    You can buy that doll on eBay for about $15-$20. Just do a search on "Amidala+Portrait Edition" and it should bring up lots. I always buy two of dolls so I can open one and leave one in the box! :)
  5. grynmoors1 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Did I have the idea about the pleats correct?

    I squeek when I walk I'm trying to avoid having to actually buy the doll. My grand-daughter has it but she lives 2 hours away from here and her mother said none of the digital pictures that she's taking are turning out (I suggested putting a lot of light on it, but so far she has yet to send me a single picture).

    I just want to see the back of the gown, especially the skirt part. Just one picture...(sigh). Anyone? Anyone? Anyone?
  6. Sister_Sola Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2002
    star 4
    I can take a picture of the back of this doll for you (out of the box) tonight, and post it tomorrow if you like.

    The Portrait Edition dolls are fairly accurate to the movie costumes I think, so hopefully it will give you a good idea.
  7. surlygirlie Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2000
    star 4
    I didn't do a vertical stitching on the pleats -- only the horizonatal.

    The interior lining of the upper sleeve is, I think, the same gold color as the underdress, and yes, believe it or not, I did use a lamé -- BUT it's a lamé with a high metal content -- it's got lots of prismatics to it, and doesn't really look like lamé at all, I promise (I, too, hate lamé with a blue passion).

    EDIT: Whoa... almost forgot. Re: the back. I think the doll is a bit more accurate than the action figure. I ended up still stepping through that scene about one million times, looking at as much as I could, and basing my decisions for the back treatment on that.
  8. grynmoors1 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Yes, a picture of the back, if you would be ever so kind, that would be a huge help! Thankies!!

    OK, yeah, I tried my idea on the pleats on some scraps and that's definately not working. So, it's all just pleated vertically....ok. Now, is there any gathering involved at all? Cause when I make the pleats on a scrap of test fabric, they just lay there. They're not "flouncing" which appears to be the case on any pictures that I'v seen. The only thing I can think of is to gather the verical stitches as I go.

    Sorry to be such a bother but the pleats is the part that has me totally stumped!

    I loathe tissue lame so, I'm gonna be cheap and use probably shantung or satin.

    You guys rock! Thankies thankies thankies
  9. Sister_Sola Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2002
    star 4
    Okay here's lots of pictures of every angle of the doll! :p

    Hope it helps!

    Black Invasion
  10. grynmoors1 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Flipping AWESOME!!!!!

    I can't thank you (and everyone else) enough!
  11. Nostradamus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2000
    star 4
    I posted this somewhere on 4/28/2001:

    ( & again on 3/17/2003.....)


    I finally got started on this one after gathering materials for over a year!


    I finished the head-piece in January 2001.

    What did I do?

    I started with a shaped bridal head-piece form. I bought it in the bridal department at Vogue Fabrics (in Evanston, IL). It looks like an oval white yamahke (sp) made of starched canvas with a wire going around the edges to keep it's form. It was about $5. I sprayed it down with a clear acrylic sealer to give it some more support. Then I sewed on two black elastic 'belts' to keep it secured in place on the head. I decided to make 'belts' since the Queen complained loudly that the other head piece got tight on her head after she wore it for a while. One elastic belt goes around the center and is a chin-strap. The other is a loop at the back to go around the pony-tail. This stays on my head perfectly and the Queen was testing it out with no problems.
    Then I strung the beads for the front. I found a "V"-shaped art-nouveau charm at PEARL art supply that I inverted and cut off the loop so it would be more like the center piece of the jewelry. I epoxied a tear-drop shaped ruby rhinestone to the center. Then I strung the other assorted gold and red beads for about 6 or 7 inched on tigertail and secured that to the head-piece form.
    Then I cut out the rough fan-shape of the feather support out of black plastic mesh. The black plastic mesh comes in sheets for about $0.25 at the local craft store. I cut out the fabric, black lycra swimming suit-type material in a large hood shape. I sewed the face opening then the center seam to the back. I put in a draw-string hem around the neck and inserted black elastic cord. I think this will be the easiest and fastest way to put it on and take it off and adjust it on the squirmy Queen. I then cut a slit in the top center of the hood where the feather support will go, and hemmed it. I then put the hood on the head-piece and wired the feather support on to the head-piece. I used a fairly heavy weight black floral wire and left the ends stick through the plastic mesh for about an inch and a half. This allowed me to shape the plastic mesh a little more. I then hand sewed the hood material around the mesh and into the head-piece form and tacked down the hood to the front and sides of the form.
    Then I got out my low-temp mini glue-gun and started gluing feathers to the back of the mesh. I used several bags of smaller, cheaper maribo feathers for this. After the back looked like Big Bird, I started on the front, putting down a layer of more of the smaller feathers to hide the mesh. Then I glued on 7-12" Black ostrich feathers on the front of the feather-covered front, arranged in a fan-shape.
    I picked-up these feathers at Joanne Fabrics for about $2.00 a piece. Then I glued about 16 medium-sized red rhinestones to the top of the hood in various places.
    The ear-pieces are made of an oversized Easter egg that opens vertically. I primed them first with spray primer and then painted them red with acrylic craft paint. I drilled holes at the top and bottom that I will sew on to the hood and head-piece form after they are thoroughly dried. I sealed the red with acrylic clear gloss and then painted the gold filigree on with gold acrylic paint using a screw-on cap that allowed me to make the filigree more textured. This paint is very thick. I sprayed about 5 or 6 coats of clear gloss on the eggs. After the eggs dried they were sewed on to the head-piece. One more feather in the center of the feather support and an other little black feather embellishment I found to finish off the center, and it is totally finished!

    I finished the inner 'blouse' & 'skirt' in January 2001 as well. I decided the most practical way to do this costume, and still have it "adjustable" to some extent, was to do it like this. The little Queen will be able to grow several inches and still be able to wear this when EP II is released.
    The material I used is strange, to say the least!
    I
  12. PadawansGuide Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2002
    star 3
    A really nice girl named Laura just sent me this image that shows the back!

    I have to run so I'm just going to put the URL and you'll have to cut and paste:

    Back of gown

    :)
    Maggie


    edited for linkability.
    :)
  13. Sister_Sola Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2002
    star 4
    Excellent!

    I thought the symbols were embroidered or else embossed on the back, but it looks like they're actually appliqués.

    Thanks Maggie!
  14. surlygirlie Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2000
    star 4
    Actually, Sola, if I remember correctly, the symbols on the gown were made using the discharge method, which is a very controlled bleaching process, using a resist product similar to the stuff used in silk painting to make the edges of the design and contain the spread of the bleach.
    I was waaaaaay too reticent to use bleach on my velvet, which is why I ended up stenciling them on.


  15. PadawansGuide Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2002
    star 3
    Thanks for making the pic linkable. I had to run to meet someone for dinner and I was running late, but I wanted to post the image! :)

    Hopefully Laura will send some more images my way! :)

    Maggie
  16. surlygirlie Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2000
    star 4
    Thank YOU, Maggie for posting that pic!
  17. Darth_Eagle Fanforce CR Singapore

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 2001
    star 4
    Okay, I think I'll be ready finally to try making this Gown. ;)

    Anyhow I'm a little stumped over the Overcoat Fabric. To cut cost further and make my job easier, I'm most likely gonna use this thick "Taffeta-like" Velvet (that is Heat glued to the plastic backing) for the Triangular Panels on the overcoat. But I'm not sure what to use as the base cloth to attach the panels to and see no point in using regular velvet as it gonna get covered by the panels anyway. Any recommandations?

    Gonna base the design on the Action Figure and after nearly surviving sewing & glueing on Scales onto my Elven Archer Scales Skirt and Neck Guard, the Triangular Panels/Scales on this gown Overcoat should be a lot easier to do as it's a lot bigger. ;)
  18. PadawansGuide Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2002
    star 3
    I look forward to seeing how your costume turns out, Darth Eagle - it's one of my favorites!
  19. Darth_Eagle Fanforce CR Singapore

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 2001
    star 4
    Thanks, Maggie! :) This gown is long overdue and with my cloths pile getting taller and taller, I better settle it once and for all. :p It's also my favourite the moment I saw it back in 1999 and even did an extremely Ghetto version of it back then for a simple contest (well, I only got 1 nite to cook up a costume for that 7-days SW Costume Contest). [face_blush]

    Once I settle most of my "simple" SW Costumes, will dig out the Spiderweb Lace, Black Feathers & Cardboard Egg I gotten previous for it, and get the materials needed.

    So far, I think I'll go cheap and use Cotton Drill lined with maybe Polyester Lining for the Overcoat base. Cotton Drill may give it a little stiffness. Expose parts may get covered by Black Panne Velvet (since I got lots left from my Arwen Narsil Reforge Cloak :p )

    The velvet I'm using for the panels is Tricot Velvet which is similar to Flock Taffeta Velvet with its very short coat and plastic backing but thicker.

    For the Underdress, under the Spiderweb Lace will be Golden-Orange Silky Satin, something I had decide since I first dedicated myself to do a good version of this dress. Again, the other reason is because it's cheap and is relatively thick. I had even used it (but Maroon) for my IRG Undertunic. :p I'm also considering Lacing (Closed with Press Studs probably!) for the tight lower sleeves. It's also a question of Princess Seam/Cut or Side Fitting or Drop Waist for the Dress and I most favor the last.

    The headdress will probably be Black Panne Velvet since I already got it at hand. Or if I want to risk it, that Japanese(?) Silk Velvet (yub! Found a new source of Silk Velvet in Singapore but only in 4-5 colors and only 2, Black & Maroon are what I needed). And I'll need to put several layers of Finisher/Laqurer on the Cardboard Easter Egg Shell I found from IKEA years ago (finally found one that open correctly). The forehead piece will a crystals necklace I had customed made by a shop sometime ago with this dress in mind. Ya, it isn't accurate but it'll do the job.

    Under the skirt will be my White Bridal CanCan Skirt I gotten recently from the shop near my house. I'll do the job till I do a Black short one like seen on the action figure.

    Hai....guess now it's a matter of pushing myself to actually do it. It's also a question of wherther to let the Underdress be done by yours truly or tailored out as I still yet to do a Gown all by myself, especially with this disproportion body I have (my chest is 38" but my waist is 34" and dropping further I hope, while hip still &^@%*! 42-43" :_| ) and short height (~5'?).

    Yes, I MUST DO IT THIS TIME! [face_hypnotized]
  20. Sister_Sola Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2002
    star 4
  21. kay_dee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    Dartheagle wants to know if the outer coat has those triangular pieces almost individually sewn to the base or not?

    I took a look at this detail at FIDM and the triangular shapes are actually part of the 3 dimensional weave of the fabric. It looked like a knit and the points were easily over an inch long (maybe about 1.5 - 2 inches? Not sure.) They just shot out of the fabric.

    I hope that answers your question. :)

    - Kay Dee
  22. Darth_Manos Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2005
    star 1
    Here is a small version of a photo I took. I've upped the levels and contrast. So the colour
    is NOT accurate. Like you couldn't tell. But it does bring out some of the details of the points including a some of the stitching details.

    http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b5d701b3127cce947f6e54ec6100000016108AZtm7Nm5Ytj
  23. kay_dee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    I love my new camera, but digitals just don't capture details well in dark colors and shadows.

    I really went extreme and lightned up this photo just so you can see the pointed texture to the knit.

    [image=http://kay-dee.net/fidm/sabe_knit.jpg]

    - Kay Dee
  24. Darth_Manos Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2005
    star 1
    I'll add another, really tweaked. Its a close up of the other shot.

    http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b5d701b3127cce9478a578cc6500000016108AZtm7Nm5Ytj
  25. PadawansGuide Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2002
    star 3
    So it's a knit fabric and not a velvet? Very interesting! This costume is one of my favorites. :)
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