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Battle Handmaiden Group Build

 
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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:29 pm    Post subject: Battle Handmaiden Group Build Reply with quote

Seven years after my last Battle Handmaiden build with Miana and DWH in Sunrider Base, I'm organizing another, bigger group build in the DC area, with ladies from Freedom Base and Terrapin Base. I am just redoing my pants (because the old ones have *erm* fit issues now), but we've currently got seven ladies on the first round of fabric orders and five more joining in for round 2 later this spring.

I thought I would document what we're doing this time in case others find what we're learning to be useful.

Patterns:

The jacket is still based off the pattern I made from the Butterick B4688 pattern, which is now out of print.

Pants: Regular Size & Plus Size (modified to have a 3.5" tall waistband)

Shirt: Regular Size & Plus Size (modified to hip length)


Materials: (We went all synthetic this time, instead of silk.)

Trim - This stuff looks pretty close to accurate to me, and has a lovely sheen.



Velvet - This is slightly on the purple side of burgundy, two-way stretch, and fairly easy to work with. It is cheaper in bulk.

Lining - This is bulk order only, in 25 yard increments. It is $4.25 per yard and has a nice sheen for polyester. We got "Venetian Red" but if I could do it again, I would have gotten "Cherry" to match our more purple burgundy a little better. If you've got a redder burgundy, the Venetian Red is probably perfect for you. They do require that you list your "company" with the order, and I told them about the Rebel Legion. So, if you order from them, you may need to point out that the Rebel Legion does not have a physical address, and that's why your address is different than mine.


Against my deep red carpet, they both photographed much pinker than they look in person.

Shirt - I am still exceedingly confused as to what the shirt fabric actually is, but this seemed to be "good enough."


Here we have Bria modeling one pant leg and my old jacket. In natural lighting, and without a flash, the color is a pretty good match.


Yardage:
(This assumes a large group with efficient pattern placing, so sewing for just one person may need a little more.)

Trim: 10 yd
Velvet: 7 yd
Lining: 5.5 yd
Shirt: 2 yd

We had our first mini build day on Sunday, and it took us about 6 hours to cut velvet and lining pieces for two costumes. Our next sewing party is in two weeks, so we can hopefully speed up that process.
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In planning and progress:
Riyo Chuchi, Queen Apailana, Nomi Sunrider, Havoc Trooper, Amilyn Holdo

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Last edited by SongofAmazon (Jenna) on Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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Joined: 09 Aug 2008
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Location: Silver Spring, MD
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a step-by-step order of operations of how to assemble the costume. This is as much for the folks in our group build to reference as it is to share with everyone the process.

A note here: I strongly recommend hand basting whenever it is mentioned below. The lining and the velvet really like to slip and pucker when you sew them together by machine, no matter how well you pin them. The same is true for sewing the trim to the velvet. It is easier to find and remove the basting stitches if you do them in a random, contrasting color thread.

Also, while you can iron satin, you can't iron velvet, unless you have a needle board. I got around that by pinching seams with my fingers, and then hovering a steaming iron over the seams to get them to relax or crease.

Pants:

1. If you have access to a serger, serge all of the edges of the pieces. Otherwise, use a wide zig-zag to finish the edges.

2. Assemble the pants according to the directions.

3. Hand baste a strip of trim to the outside seam on both sides of the pants. The trim should be centered over the seam. You will want to hand stitch down both edges of the trim.

4. Machine sew the trim to the pants, on both edges. Then, remove the basting thread.

5. Add stirrups and/or suspenders if desired.

Coat:

Lining

1. Sew the bottom back pieces together (my pattern as a center back and two side back pieces, with the seams hidden in a pleat).

2. Sew a line of trim straight across the back bottom, roughly 6" from the bottom edge of the piece (excluding seam allowance).

3. Pleat the bottom back pieces. Remember that these are inverted from the outside, so there is a center box pleat. Baste the pleats down along the top edge and iron them.

4. Attach the back bottom to the back top and press the seams open.

5. Sew the velvet facing to top center edge of the lining. I found it easier to baste along the edge by machine and then turn over the inside edge, sewing that down by hand.

6. Sew the front pieces together at the collar.

7. Sew the front and back together at the shoulder seams.

8. Clip the corner of the collar and sew the collar to the back neckline. (I'll upload a photo of these directions.)

9. Sew the side seams together. Leave a roughly 1" gap open at the waist seam for the belt to pass through.

10. Attach the sleeves to the arm holes. Start by pinning from the center of the flat side of the sleeve pieces to the shoulder seam, and then pin your way down both sides from there. There should be a few inches of sleeve hanging down below the edge of the arm hole. Let that hang free.

Velvet

1. Sew the bottom back pieces together.

2. Pleat the bottom back pieces. Two box pleats should meet at the center back, and then go out from there.

3. Attach the back bottom to the back top.

4. Sew the front pieces together at the collar.

5. Sew the front and back together at the shoulder seams.

6. Clip the corner of the collar and sew the collar to the back neckline.

7. Sew the side seams together. Leave a roughly 1" gap open at the waist seam for the belt to pass through.

8. Attach the sleeves to the arm holes. Start by pinning from the center of the flat side of the sleeve pieces to the shoulder seam, and then pin your way down both sides from there. There should be a few inches of sleeve hanging down below the edge of the arm hole. Let that hang free.

9. Hand baste the trim to the coat. Start at the bottom edge of the side seam, up and around the arm hole, and back down the side seam again. Along the side seam, the two sides of the trim should slightly overlap, so that you can sew them down at the same time. Around the arms, the trim should just cover the arm hole seam. Leave a roughly 1" gap where the back edge of the trim is not sewn down at the waist seam. This will allow the belt to pass through the coat, under the trim, and out around the back of the coat.

10. Sew the trim down by machine, then remove the basting stitches.

Putting it together

1. Matching right sides together, hand baste all of the edges of the coat and sleeves together. Leave yourself about 4"-6" open in the middle of the bottom edge to turn the coat through.

2. Sew the edges together by sewing machine. Still leave that gap on the bottom edge.

3. Turn the coat right-side out and gently press the seams back with your fingers.

4. Hand sew the gap on the bottom shut with a hidden stitch.

5. Hand sew the lining and velvet together at the belt holes along the side seam.

6. Hand sew hook and eye closures to the front edge of the jacket, above the waist. I needed about 6 to keep it closed neatly. Make sure to secure the ends so that the hooks and eyes remain hidden.

7. Fold back the center front like a fan at an angle and tack it in place by hand. Do this on both sides to create the draping around the hips.


Shirt:

1. Measure out and cut a rectangle of shirt that is wide enough for you to cut 2 sleeves (going the same direction on the fabric) and 1.5 times longer than your sleeve pattern (including seam allowance).

2. Draw lines on the fabric according to this pattern:



3. Pin the lines on the other side of the "pleat" rows together and sew them together by machine. Press the pleat down towards where the wrist will be. Keep doing this until you have sewn all of your pleats. You should have sets of three pleats with small gaps between them, separated by larger gaps.

4. Cut two sleeve patterns out of this.

5. Serge the edges of these pieces to secure the pleats. If you don't have a serger, you could use a zig-zag stitch, or finish the seams with bias tape or French seams.

6. Cut out a rectangle that is wide enough for your shirt front pattern piece and 1.5" longer. Just below where the neck line will go, trace out lines for three more pleats. Pin them together and sew them.

7. Cut the shirt front out of that piece of fabric and serge the edges.

8. Cut and serge the shirt back piece.

9. Assemble the shirt according to the pattern directions.

10. The bottom hem of the sleeves should be hidden beneath the last pleat. You could sew this by hand, or fold it over and sew it such that your hem lines up with one of the pleat seams.

11. The shirt does not have visible top stitching at the neckline. You could do a rolled hem using an invisible stitch, line the shirt, or use facing to finish the edge.


(I'll add pictures to this as we make more progress.)
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In planning and progress:
Riyo Chuchi, Queen Apailana, Nomi Sunrider, Havoc Trooper, Amilyn Holdo

Galactic Senate DCO | RLGS FaceBook | RLGS Web Site
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bekahsoka ()
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amazing writeup of everything so far! Thank you so much! Can't wait to see more and how your group looks together Amadalia
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Lora Skywalker ()
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great to see this started. Smile I look forward to getting pictures of it all.
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Kryamla (Emily Jackson)
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh this is great! Thank you for this detailed write up! I looking forward to seeing pictures of your group!
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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm pleased to report that folks have been making a lot of progress. Two handmaidens are almost done, except for a few tweaks and belt buckles, and another 10 are well on their way.



As Bria was finishing up, she found a really useful technique for the hooks and bars on the front closure. Using the wide, flat clasps, in black was much more efficient than the silver wire hooks I had used for mine. In addition, she sewed the bars on "backwards" such that they will hang under the opposite side, for a really close hold. I will definitely be redoing mine using these in the new future.




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In planning and progress:
Riyo Chuchi, Queen Apailana, Nomi Sunrider, Havoc Trooper, Amilyn Holdo

Galactic Senate DCO | RLGS FaceBook | RLGS Web Site
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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another trick we learned was suspenders and stirrups made of the salvage edge of the fabric are really helpful for keeping the pants in place:



My old pants used to constantly creep down, but these stayed exactly where they were supposed to when I wore them out last week.
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In planning and progress:
Riyo Chuchi, Queen Apailana, Nomi Sunrider, Havoc Trooper, Amilyn Holdo

Galactic Senate DCO | RLGS FaceBook | RLGS Web Site
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Baris_Alrisul ()
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I LOVE that fastening method. Going to try that on mine.
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Lora Skywalker ()
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ooh! Nice use of the selvage! I always throw that stuff out, but maybe it does have its uses. Wink
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