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Padme Amidala Episode 1 Kimono Pre-Senate Dress

Discussion in 'Costuming and Props' started by SenatorChristina, Oct 14, 2002.

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  1. QueenAmidalaEP1

    QueenAmidalaEP1 Jedi Youngling star 2

    Sep 15, 2005
    See my FIDM link (below) for photos.

    3 months plotting how to make the costume
    6 months to drive my self nuts not finding any of the fabric
    1 day to madly shop for all the fabric and settle for 'in the spirt of' fabric
    1 day to make pattern for foam for under hair on head fan
    1 day to go to foam store and have foam cut
    1 day to shop for white make- up*
    3 weeks (every night all weekend) to make the head piece
    2 weeks (every night all weekend) to make the robe/dress

    Finished less than 12 hours before getting on a plane to a con. (Hence the mad 5 weeks to make the costume, nothing like a deadline to get my butt in gear).

    *since have changed the make up and white powder I use 3 times.
  2. QueenAmidalaEP1

    QueenAmidalaEP1 Jedi Youngling star 2

    Sep 15, 2005
    I applaud you for doing all the bead strands!

    As I have said before, I didn't have the time and just used fused tiny AB pearl strings, mixed with a few novelty shaped fused pearl stings. Then what ever bead strings were already on the vintage beaded work (that I used at the crown).

    And even if I had the time, I don't think I would bead the strands; the fused pearls stand up to the wear and tear I have put the costume through since making it 5 years ago. I did a fill in and re-twist of the pearls as part of the spiff up to the costume pre-FIDM gala. At the Gala I was able to chat with Trisha Biggar. Oh so cool, but eeep! I was just inches away and she could see every detail (and flaw) of the costume.
  3. kreleia

    kreleia Jedi Knight star 5

    Dec 14, 2000
    Still, that's AWESOME!!! Oh, to have the chance to corner that woman and pick her brain! ...for several hours, that is. Maybe days. :D I would've been completely self-conscious too, though. Oooooo, I hope she doesn't see the wierd stitches... I hope my neckline isn't slipping... I hope the dress looks okay to her... and so on. [face_blush] [face_laugh]

    Mary Alice, what kind of white makeup do you use? I've started practicing again with my Ben Nye "Ivory Cream" Aquacake, and I'm hating it. I've never gotten good at handling this makeup, and my skin is naturally VERY oily... so I need something with serious staying power. I've honestly considered geisha makeup, but I also think it would be too white. So, any suggestions would be helpful! :)
  4. QueenAmidalaEP1

    QueenAmidalaEP1 Jedi Youngling star 2

    Sep 15, 2005
    I have been thru 3 makeups:

    1) Ben Nye cake white makeup (that you apply with damp sponge)+ Baby Powder to set
    -I didn't like how the make up looked after a while, and when you apply it, you can't fix mistakes.
    -I do still use Ben Nye cake for my lower lip, it stays on the best for lip.

    2) Some generic white cream makeup + Baby Powder to set
    -I didn't cover evenly, went in trash

    3) White cream Makeup from Sephora + Sephora White Powder to set
    -This has been working the best, I can spread the cream makeup on with my hands, then with a barely damp sponge blot it back to a thin layer. I then set it with the white powder.
    -Sephora doesn't seem to carry this makeup any more (I'm alreay 2/3 thru my powder).

    Before doing makeup, wash face and apply a small amount of moisturizer. Then 5 minutes later blot the skin. I have very oily t-zone, but some skin has dry patches. So if I don't do the moisturizer, any flaky dry bit shows up when the makeup goes on.

    For the lips and dots I use a liquid color stay lipstick (have to check the brand).
  5. Linnea

    Linnea Jedi Youngling

    Jun 7, 2005
    Oh good, that means I'm only have a couple of months left.. I tell you, sometimes I'm afraid to loose all my hair..

    Anyway, I've startede to draw the pattern, while searching for the fabric.. Hope I wont molest some poor salesman in the process ;)
    Its all looking quite nice now, just hoping I'll get it done in time..

    About the headpiece - how on earth did you get it to stay on you head?? I just can't figure it out!!
  6. QueenAmidalaEP1

    QueenAmidalaEP1 Jedi Youngling star 2

    Sep 15, 2005
    Take a Millinery Certificate program at F.I.T, and you to will know how to do it ;)
    You could try to find this book Classic Millinery Techniques: A Complete Guide to Making & Designing Today's Hats by Ann Albrizio my F.I.T professor.

    I used traditional Millinery construction. Blocked a felt base on my head block that is 22" (my head size -it's like a wool felt skull cap as base.)
    This became the base to glue loose brading hair on to. And to sew the hair fan and beaded front to.
    I since have learned that you need to sew the braiding hair to strips of felt with some paper covering the felt, (that you tear away). This makes wefts of hair to glue down.

    The headpiece is really heavy, but it's balanced side to side, front to back. Once it's on it stays in place unless there is a strong gust of wind. Then it does this "Flying Nun" thing 'cuz of the big hair fan. I have to put my hand on the front when the wind blows.
  7. kreleia

    kreleia Jedi Knight star 5

    Dec 14, 2000
    Got some more fabric swatches in the mail today - all from

    I'm using my "Dressing A Galaxy" book box (yes, the limited edition - WOO!) to compare, since that seems to be a very close color match to the outer kimono fabric. (And damn that gold-n-white diamond sash! It mocks me and my efforts to find a suitable obi fabric... even though I like the fabric I'm planning to use. **sigh**)

    Anyway, I picked up four different swatches of dupioni silk. They all looked reasonably close on the computer monitor, but in person - WHOA!! Completely different!! Glad I got swatches to see. The colors are these (copy and paste the links - they're too long to actually link here):

    Iridescent Aqua
    It looks greenish in the picture, but not THAT green! It's REALLY green. The threads are gold cross-woven with medium-blue. Very pretty, but not at all suitable.

    Iridescent Lavender
    Actually the closest in color to the book box, although a little too purple. The threads are indigo cross-woven with cream. Really nice sheen. Now if I can only find a light to medium blue woven with cream or peach...

    Sterling Silver
    Very gray. Too gray. Simply black cross-woven with white. It would work, but it would be altogether too bland, color-wise. Very pretty though, and might work for the Episode 2 "Packing" dress.

    Iridescent Lavender Blue
    Too blue. But the crossweave is a wonderful light blue. Unfortunately, the lavender threads make it too blue. Gimme these blue threads and with a cream or peach color!!

    P.S. - Could someone please tell me what color "celedon" is? :confused:
  8. Obi-Dawn Kenobi

    Obi-Dawn Kenobi Manager Emeritus star 4 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jan 27, 2000
    Hi kreleia :)

    Celadon is a type of green that can have a grayish or yellowish tint. It's often used in reference to a type of ceramic glaze. Here are a few examples of celadon colored ceramic pieces:

    [link=]Celadon vase[/link]
    [link=]Korean vessels[/link]
  9. kreleia

    kreleia Jedi Knight star 5

    Dec 14, 2000
    Aaaaaah, okay. Thanks much Obi-Dawn, I really appreciate the references. For the life of me, I could not tell what shade the celadon silks were over at This helps a LOT! :)
  10. Jauhzmynn

    Jauhzmynn Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 16, 2002
    It IS difficult to find fabric. You two were only looking foo six months, I'd been searching tirlessly for 7 years. akk I absolutly refuse to give up. :-D

    The rose-ish coloured silk under dress seems simple, but that bottom portion, looks ike there's another blue fabric mixed with the rose. Some shots it looks like an accordian folded broomstick skirt. If so, no problem, I can do that. In other shots, it looks like it's NOT folded. So I s'pose I'll have to make two separate skirts and see how they look. <big shrug> I can't gripe cuz either way I'll get a cool skirt to wear.
    Headdress; I haven't tackled that yet. I see the logic of counter balancing it espcially with the monster storms I get in Florida.

    If I can find the website I'd gotten beads from, I'lll post it. it has some beautiful pearly seed and tear drop beads. VERY affordable.

    Over dress Kimono- that lavendar, grey silk fabricis a PAIN to find.:confused:
    I'm hoping to find it in silks for the breathability factor down here because of the sometimes oppressive heat. I think I'll need to sew hidden compartments in the dress to stash cooling packs.
  11. Jedi_Jaina09

    Jedi_Jaina09 Jedi Youngling

    May 31, 2005
    I was in Mood fabric today (where they film Project Runway) and I found a very good possibility for obi fabric! It's a white brocade with gold accents. I'd probably use the reverse side.


    The pattern is a little large (at least twice as big as the original fabric) but besides that, it's almost perfect! It's 40 dollars a yard, and is (I think) 60 inches across.

    edit: fixed link
  12. Jauhzmynn

    Jauhzmynn Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 16, 2002
    WHoa, that IS a very nice fabric. Pretty.
  13. QueenAmidalaEP1

    QueenAmidalaEP1 Jedi Youngling star 2

    Sep 15, 2005
    The Obi is really dull metallic silver with hints of gold in the weave, but it shows up white/off white when photographed.
    Note to all: The Obi on the book is not a match for the costume Obi. See for more details.

    I also have added a link, in RL thread, for Taffeta - Lilac that looks like it might just work for the Kimono.

    The LTD book clamshell is a good color match but the fabic is not a shiney as the actual costume.
  14. MasterCenedra

    MasterCenedra Jedi Youngling star 1

    Apr 3, 2005
    I dont know where else to post this...

    On one of the new Queen Apailana pictures over at, I have seen that she has some kind of cuff-links...

  15. Nacchi

    Nacchi Jedi Youngling

    May 3, 2005
    Hi everyone! I haven't checked this thread in a while - it keeps getting buried from all the other topics on the forum ^^; Anyway, ever since I got my Dressing a Galaxy book (and handling it carefully ;) ) I really want to "upgrade" my costume! I am definitely not going to redo the headdress though - I'd cry if I had to redo the beading LOL. But maybe I'll add those gold cone-shaped beads to the long strands if I have time. It'll probably be a really slow process in general anyway since I'm getting so picky now that there's so many high-res pictures and everything ;)

    The fabric for the outer grey kimono looks really interesting - I saw that close up scan from where you can see the fibers of the fabric ^^! I was pretty sure from the start that it wasn't taffeta but I settled for using it because it had the right body and color but I'll definitely be on the look out for something better if I can find anything.

    Jedi_Jaina09 - those plastic egg things and your work looks awesome so far! ^^ I definitely want to use the plastic eggs for my redo.

    kreleia - doh! I'm sad I missed out on seeing your progress pictures (the links from the old post are dead now) but I'm sure your costume is coming out great! Was it you that posted that diamond fabric? That was an awesome find! Did they ever have it in gold? (I'm guessing probably not but hey here's to hoping! ;))

    I just noticed from some of the fashion pics and exhibit pictures that the beads look different somehow on the headdress? In some pictures they look very ivory/white and in some others more gold colored. Maybe it's how the light is reflecting off of it?
  16. QueenAmidalaEP1

    QueenAmidalaEP1 Jedi Youngling star 2

    Sep 15, 2005
    The lighting in that room was on the yellowish side, so the non flash photos tend to skew to yellow/gold tones. I feel that the Dressing the Galaxy book close ups are more true to color.
  17. QueenAmidalaEP1

    QueenAmidalaEP1 Jedi Youngling star 2

    Sep 15, 2005
    has some new in progress photos from 'scarlet'
  18. Lelundrial

    Lelundrial Jedi Youngling star 1

    Mar 23, 2004
    I am still waiting for that book. I bought that book to go alone with online photos for references. I can't wait to see your finished dress. This is by far my favorite one that she wore as queen. I want to try it myself. But I think I should take up some sewing classes before I do.
  19. a-tastic

    a-tastic Jedi Youngling star 1

    Oct 7, 2005
    i'm finally done with it...
    although i've learned some things from looking at my pictures. from now on i need to remember to readjust the inner collar, and keep the kimono pulled forward so the embroidery and pearls on the sleeves will show. and, no matter how much i think it makes me deaf, i need to keep the headpiece over my ears, so my ears won't show.
    it's a shame i don't have a shot of the back. the 35 inch long hair extension styled very nicely, and i really liked how the secondary beaded piece that fit on the top of the braided hairpiece looked.

    i do not like how the obi turned out, though, and i hate the inaccuracy of the fabric. that's easily remade, though. next time around i'll use fosshape rather than going insane with the interfacing and heat n' bond.

    i will also eventually cast the 'metal' parts of the headdress in resin, and possibly increase the width of the hair's arc.

    i also ran out of time to pleat the underdress's two chiffon layers before the con. that's also on the to-do list.

    but, hey, that's a long way down the road...
    i'm just amazed i was able to not only finish popping the nearly 4,000 beads and pearls on in time, but also that i only spent a whopping $63 on the entire project.

    that's the beauty of being a can always find the perfect thing if you look hard enough in your pile of junk.

    i look completely silly and bloated in all of these pictures. please pardon me.


  20. HardwareStoreJedi

    HardwareStoreJedi Jedi Youngling star 2

    Mar 10, 2006
    No pardon look MAAAVELOUS. Seriously, really nice.
  21. Queen-of-Naboo

    Queen-of-Naboo Jedi Master star 1

    Jul 21, 2006
    Hey Atatstic! I met you in the SW costume contest (the red-headed lake dress) and your dress in real life looks amazing! great job!!!

  22. a-tastic

    a-tastic Jedi Youngling star 1

    Oct 7, 2005
    thank you, guys! i appreciate it..

    i remember you, Tally!

    i loved your Lake Dress-- you looked beautiful-- and you did a super job!
    see you next year? :D
    yay, DragonCon!
  23. Yeesha

    Yeesha Jedi Youngling

    Apr 23, 2006
    Hi everyone! (I hope this goes to right place) :)
    This is the first time I write here but I have been checking these forums for ages now. :)
    I'm planning to try this gown. Do you think that the headpiece would work with black hair or should it be brown?
  24. QueenAmidalaEP1

    QueenAmidalaEP1 Jedi Youngling star 2

    Sep 15, 2005
    I use dark brown braiding hair plus my own hair for the front that shows under the beadwork. I think dark brown looks more accurate then black.
    That's unless you really have hip lenght black hair.

    Anyone else will have to add hair pieces anyway, so why not go brown.
  25. a-tastic

    a-tastic Jedi Youngling star 1

    Oct 7, 2005
    i used a dark brown, color #4, on the hair fan.
    however, it seems a bit too dark for me, but it was all i could find at the time.
    my braided ponytail-like extension in the back was a medium brown, #6, which is a more accurate shade, especially since Natalie's hair, even in the faux hair pieces, has a bit of a chestnut glow to it.

    if you're looking for some fantastic loose synthetic hair in brown shades, or in general, is a great place to start looking (under extension hair, braiding). the silky Kanekalon is fantastic.
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