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Yet another Senatorial Leia WIP!

 
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RacheLeia (Rachel Folmar)



Joined: 17 Sep 2017
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Location: Oklahoma
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 5:50 am    Post subject: Yet another Senatorial Leia WIP! Reply with quote

Hi everyone!

I'm taking the plunge into the most classic Leia costume there ever was! Because I'm crazy, I'm going to try and have it presentable by the Solo premiere. Sometime after that, after I've had time to work out any remaining kinks, I want to start the submission process and (hopefully) join RL!

So far I've been using P & S Costume Creations' tutorial as my main guide (http://chucrew.com/Leia/leia.html), with some help from other stuff I've found on this forum, Padawan's Guide, the Bun Squad group on FB, and more. Since I ended up (mildly tragic story to come) making the dress in two parts, I'm also referring to Angel Monkey Studio's tutorial here: http://costumesandartwork.blogspot.com/2010/10/anh-leia-senatorial-gown.html. I bought 8 yards of Jet Set from Joann, some veg tan leather for the belt, Tarrego white leather dye, and the Dritz half ball buttons everyone uses (size 45 - 1 1/8 in). My husband's going to try and machine the aluminum plates. I already have some plain white leather boots that should do the trick (I'll post an image of them here later).

A few days ago I successfully got my fabric wrangled and folded properly despite my smallish workspace, and promptly began the process of making the pattern and cutting out the fabric. Unfortunately, I stubbornly continued working into the night despite being too exhausted to think clearly, and naturally I had a major mishap. I'm not sure what possessed me to go ahead and attempt to cut the keyhole but the results were suitably disastrous as I cut right through the front of the dress as well!

After curling up in a fetal position for half an hour or so, I reached out to the lovely ladies on the Ladies of the Legions and Bun Squad FB groups and received not only kindness and sympathy but also the brilliant suggestion, like a ray of light straight from heaven itself, to save the bottom half, only buy enough fabric for the top, and sew a waist seam (I had not thought of this, being, as I demonstrated earlier, too tired to think).

Feeling full of a new hope (get it? hahaha*), I went out and bought 3 1/2 more yards of Jet Set, thankfully still on sale. Today I successfully folded and cut it properly!

*oh my gosh I'm so sorry everyone... it appears that my current state of exhaustion, though not as bad as that first unfortunate day, has sunk me straight into Pun Hades

Following my celebratory dance, I sewed along the sides and the bottoms of the the sleeves of the top pieces. Then, I cut the keyhole (solely on the back this time!), and after some experimentation I got the two layers turned inside at the edges and was able to sew together the keyhole and the sleeves (this is a hard-to-describe process, but see the links above).

And then I promptly stopped this evening before my mind decided to give me the finger and skip off.

So all in all, a good day!

I have a few pictures to share (not great ones tbh, and also sorry for my face, but they're what I've got), and a few questions to ask. How does this look so far? I'm worried that it's actually a little too baggy in the front, as there are a lot more wrinkles than I see in pictures of Leia. I know one of the problems likely contributing to this is that the neckhole I cut ended up being too small. It's 1.5 x 1 in. (dimensions refer to the size of the cut when the fabric was folded in quarters) — the first tutorial had said 6 x 4 cm was a little too large, so I was trying to scale it down some. The ends of the neckhole (where I cut the keyhole) currently don't meet in the back when I'm wearing it, so the whole bodice lays a little funny. Tomorrow I'm going to cut the neckhole larger and see if that helps. Any thoughts? Do I also need to consider bringing in the sides or the sleeves a little, or do you think it will be fine once I adjust the neckhole? (For reference, I'm 5'3" and somewhat petite, and this feels like a crapton of fabric.)

Does the length of the sleeves look okay (if you can tell from the admittedly limited perspective of these late night bathroom selfies)?

(note that this costume has not yet been attacked, however gently, by an iron)






Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for the feedback!
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RacheLeia (Rachel Folmar)



Joined: 17 Sep 2017
Posts: 29
Location: Oklahoma
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay I'm back with a few more pictures after adjusting the neckhole for my apparently gigantic neck, lol. I'm much more happy with how it lays now! Any thoughts? Does the arm length look okay too?

I'm including a picture of the back this time. I'm not sure why the area around the keyhole is a little wrinkly at the bottom. I initially tried resewing it a couple times and that only made it marginally better than it was at first. Is this a problem, and if so, how do I fix it? I'd like to get feedback on that before I add the collar soon so as to avoid more seam-ripping than I have to.







UPDATE:
After getting feedback on the Bun Squad FB group, I realized I had forgotten to make clips in the seam allowance! I did that and it helped immensely, though it still looks a little weird to me (see following picture). Any more suggestions or is it alright as is? I may play around with it a little more and see what happens.



Thanks!
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Lora Skywalker ()
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you have done some great work on this. Smile A bit of light pressing should help with the keyhole/slit. Don't make your sleeves any shorter; they have a great length now.
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RacheLeia (Rachel Folmar)



Joined: 17 Sep 2017
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Location: Oklahoma
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Lora! I ended up reworking the keyhole a little more and it looks a lot better now. It still could use an iron though so I'll do that soon! In the meantime, here's my latest update:

After a lot of trial and error, I finally figured out the collar. Also, I put together the skirt part and attached that to the top part where I think the waist seam should be (also with a lot of trial and error). I think I've got it right, now, but I'd appreciate any feedback on the pictures below re: whether there's enough blousing. Note that I haven't sewn the waistband elastic on yet and consequently it kept slipping down in the back despite my best efforts, so the blousing is admittedly pretty uneven and messy from the back, but just let me know if it's approximately right. Also note that I've left quite a bit of fabric in the waist seam allowance as I want to make sure the waistline's in the right place before I cut it down, hence the fact that it looks like I'm wearing a very short slip.

Here's a picture from the back (pictures from the front are down at the bottom of this post with my comments about the belt):



This one has a good look at the (yet-to-be-ironed) keyhole:


I haven't sewn on the collar yet (waiting to sew it on with the hood) or put the hook & eyes on it, and I've got a bobby pin contraption holding the two ends of it together on the back of my neck, lol, so that's why it's not closed right.

I got the hood cut out and hemmed it with a rolled hem, which I sewed by hand with a blind stitch (as in the original costume). No matter what I did the stitches weren't hidden completely on the front as they made the fabric pucker a tiny bit. I ironed it to try to get it to look smoother but this was the best I could get it. Does this look okay? Honestly it's not that noticeable unless you look really closely, and the photos of the original costume look fairly similar to my eyes, but because I'm probably overthinking this way too much I just wanted to check.



And now for the belt! Husband is likely going to finish machining the metal plates tonight. Today I've been working on nailing down the shape of the belt. To start with, I printed off the bottom left belt pattern on the Princess Leia Belt Guide printables by Song of Amazon, Kaydee, and Jordan West here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4WKMo8ZZCG2Ym1tMl9wQzg0c2s/view. Then I adjusted the shape and the size until it was both proportional to me and seemed to matche the reference images I found of the real belt. This involved making the whole belt slightly thinner and curving the bottom point. Here's what I ended up with:




Here's some pictures of me wearing the paper belt — the first with the dress blousing over the front and the second showing more clearly the way the belt looks on me (though this was before a few more last minute modifications to the bottom curve, so see the pictures above for the exact shape it is currently):




How does all this look?

Next step is to cut out the leather and paint it, sew in the elastic waistband, and attach the hood and collar.

Thanks!
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RacheLeia (Rachel Folmar)



Joined: 17 Sep 2017
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alright, so I managed to meet my goal of getting this presentable in time for the Solo premiere! Next step: touch-ups then submit for Legion approval. My husband's going to take some good, detailed pictures of me in costume next weekend (which I'm hoping to use to submit as well as post on here), but for now here's a few pictures from a premiere event I did. I would really appreciate any feedback you have for me!

Note that I didn't quite finish my belt yet — I didn't get the button blanks glued on, so in these pictures they're held on with scotch tape as it was the only thing I could find in a pinch that remotely worked Razz They held on for the whole night, thankfully, but they did shift around a bit. The plates underneath, even though they were curved, kept wanting to rotate as well (as you can clearly see in the pictures). I'm hoping gluing the button blanks on will sufficiently attach the plates to the rivets so that they won't rotate anymore, but if not, do you have any suggestions? Perhaps heavy-duty double-sided tape of some sort?

I cut the belt out of 5-6 oz veg tan leather and dyed it white using 5 coats (at least, it might have been 6, I can't remember) of Tarrago white leather dye. I'm really happy with how the color turned out. It turned out to be a harder task than anticipated to machine the plates, so my husband cut them out of steel sheeting instead and bent them so they'd curve around my waist (I'm really happy with how they turned out, too). Next we drilled holes in the middle, then I punched corresponding holes in the leather and attached the plates to the leather with rapid rivets. I also attached four snaps to the back, which are hidden underneath the back plate. Finally, I finished the edges of the leather so they'd look more professional and so they wouldn't catch on my dress.

It's hard to see in the pictures (both due to the rotating plates and some poor picture quality), but none of the plates when they're in their proper position meet the edge of the belt, as per standards. You can see in my earlier post the modified pattern I used. The finished thing has some extremely slight variation but that's basically it. I really tried to make it look as close to pictures of the actual costume as I could.





Here's one more picture that I took after I'd sewn on the hood and collar, so that you can get an idea of what it looks like from the back:



Thoughts? How do my buns look? After I touch up the belt, is there anything else I need to do to be ready to submit?

Thanks!
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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You look fantastic! Your buns are especially smooth looking. I really like the sizing and spacing for your buns.
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RacheLeia (Rachel Folmar)



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much, Jenna! Smile I followed the Padawan's Guide recommendation by Kay_Dee. I used 5 packs of Kanekalon Silky Straight hair (color: golden brown, in case anyone else wants to know). I read a number of tutorials, but I found it easiest for me to put my hair in two flat buns, attach the Kanekalon hair on top and then wrap that hair around to make the large buns. I noticed in a lot of pictures the center of Leia's buns are quite large, with the coil of hair getting smaller as it goes outward. I found doing it this way (as opposed to putting my hair in ponytails and twisting it into the Kanekalon) allowed me to get the right shape.

Some more details of the bun wrapping in case anyone happens to be reading this looking for suggestions:

- I got a pack of large bobby pins with one end of each of them curled like a corkscrew for a stronger hold. These were AMAZING (and I have really fine, slippery hair, so I don't say that lightly). I wish I'd had them when I was a dancer, because holy crap. I also found a pack of bobby pins with a "soft touch" and three different sizes, which I liked because they also gripped my hair extremely well (they were sometimes actually hard to pull out!) and they were matte instead of shiny, which makes them SO much easier to hide! I also used an assortment of regular and large bobby pins from my dancing days. SO MANY BOBBY PINS. But it worked!

- I pinned the elasticked end of the Kanekalon hair to the top of the bun of my own hair with a corkscrew bobby pin (held it in place extremely well) and used some other regular ones to tame the ends. In doing so I made sure to fan out the Kanekalon hair so it covered my own bun (or at least most of it), then I started twisting it to wrap it around and cover the elastic and the Kanekalon ends. This all worked really well and seemed to be a big part of getting the look I wanted.


Anyway, I got the buttons glued onto the belt earlier this week. Tonight my husband took some pictures of me in costume and once he's edited them I'll submit! I'll probably also post a few of them here as my (hopefully) last update. I'm so excited!
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Leia (Vera Campbell)
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This looks amazing, Racheleia!! Great job! Leia Buns
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! You looks great!
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

looks really good but I would say the hood is too long in the back, it should hit no further than mid-bum and preferably closer to the top of your bum past your belt

well done!
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have done a good job with this. Smile Very nice work.
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RacheLeia (Rachel Folmar)



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone!

Update: Welp, my plans were foiled to submit in June — the pictures look great but I realized after I had taken them that, despite thinking I had succeeded in tacking down my belt plates, they were still trying to rotate. I've now glued them firmly down, but we'll have to do another photo shoot, and we've been so busy with traveling and other things that we haven't had the time to do so yet!

Moreover, my Kanekalon extensions had lost a lot of hair/volume after wearing them numerous times over the past few months, so I need to get more — only problem is, they've been out of stock in my color (#10 Golden Brown) for a few months. Finally, I contacted Doctored Locks, and they said that my color has been discontinued! Shocked Crying or Very sad However they suggested getting a similar color in KK Smooth Seal instead and doing a hot water dip to straighten them. I just messaged them for more information on that and to see which color would match best.

So anyway, all that to say, I have a bit farther to go now until I'll be ready to submit. Hopefully I can get the hair thing straightened out (literally haha) soon.

Daughter of Alderaan — thanks for your comment and advice! I will say I don't think the pictures I've posted do a very good job of showing where it hits (in one I'm bending over so you can't really see and another I'm up against our counter, which if you don't know how tall I am it might be hard to tell where it hits). In reality what you described is exactly where the hood hits, thankfully! I will be sure to submit full-body photos of me from the back standing straight (and hopefully post them here too) so you can see.

Thanks again everyone!
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RacheLeia (Rachel Folmar)



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update! I'm still working towards getting this one submitted, I've just had a busy summer and keep finding new things to nitpick about it.

Here is one of the pictures we took in June, the one I was planning to send in as my action shot. I absolutely loved it and didn't want it to go to waste, so my husband went ahead and photoshopped it for me:



Since then, I've done the following:

- glued down the belt plates so they don't rotate

- added a light interfacing to the collar so it's less wrinkly (but not too stiff, since Carrie's was a little wrinkly)

- ordered more Kanekalon hair extensions

- bought new boots. My original ones were not in the best shape (scuff marks, a few small tears in the canvas) and had zippers up the back, which I realized may not be approvable. Regardless of approvability, I wanted some better ones, so I got these on Amazon which I saw that numerous people who've been approved also got:



The last thing I'm going to do before we take more photos to submit is add an extra hook and eye or two to the back of my collar. I've currently only got two on there and it gaps in the middle.

Let me know if there's any other last minute things I need to change! Hopefully I'll be submitting soon!
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are looking good and it sounds like you've got it all in order. Smile
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