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Padme Episode II travel/refugee gown
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Naergi ()
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, everyone! Smile

SongofAmazon wrote:
That does look pretty incredible so far! The technique you're using is not something I would have ever thought of. Have you made other costume pieces in this way before?


Nope, never. But I'll tell you how I came to make it like this:

The original headdress is made from piano wire; that's at least what all official sources tell us.
For my taste, that results in a way too heavy headdress. We're not talking about movie making (where they have breaks and can take the goddamn thing off!), but about troops and convention where, if unlucky, you'll wear this thing 8-10 hours straight without any possibility to take it off.
Won't work for me, I thought; have to come up with something else.

My next possibility was aluminum wire. Lightweight; and I really tried - but it's the hell to work with since you have to bend the 'weft wires' around the 'warp wires'. Which often results in them bending in very wrong places... which results in lots of ugly.
Again, not my solution; had to come up with something else.

THEN I found those paper-wrapped wires. Florists apparently love them bunches to decorate arrangements. Those paper-wrapped wires were perfect - they're easy to bend (and bend back into 'straight' shape' but they were a) too easily bendable to work without any support; and b) like the aluminum wires too difficult to bend as 'weft' threads.

So I decided that while the paper-wrapped wire was great as warp threads, it wouldn't work as a weft thread; and also that I would need something to stabilize the headdress.

Since I had worked with epoxy resin before (on the Red Invasion, Jamillia and Apailana headdresses, for example), I got the idea that I could use considerably absorbent, smooth thread as weft threads. Like (as I did) smooth cotton threads, or (as I could also have used, on second thought; but at that time I was already pretty far into the weave and didn't want to start again) - rayon rattail cord.
Those absorbent threads serve as 'stabilizers' for the headdress; once they're drenched with epoxy resin they basically become a *very* durable, stable, yet lightweight and ultra smooth woven headdress.

Weaving is simple, everyone of us, I guess, learned it at school (I know I did!). And since the actual weave is so easily recognizable on the reference photos, it's also very easily reproduceable even for a not-so-skilled weaver.

My advice however is to initially (as long as you're not finished with the entire weave) NOT use much epoxy resin (like, maybe, distribute four drops of resin per square inch); otherwise it becomes impossible to (re-)bend the headdress into shape while you're working on it - and believe me, you'll do that 're-bending' A LOT.
Also, use a slow hardener (I use 24 hours hardener - with which you can usually work approximately 45 minutes, then it takes 3-4 hours to cure and 24 hours to harden) and a low viscosity epoxy resin. That will make sure that the cotton threads are really able to absorb it, since it's basically like water.
After you've applied the resin, wait an hour or so until it starts to harden. That's when you can really bend the headdress into shape (and be sure that it REMAINS that way!). That is also the perfect time to push unwilling threads into place - the (by now very sticky) resin will *force* them to stay where you want them, not where *they* want to be Wink


The most difficult part is to do the initial arrangement of the warp threads. Pinning them to the styorfoam board was unnerving in the beginning. Once you start weaving however it becomes easier.

The 'base cap' is best constructed over a lifecast of your own head. If you wrap that in cellophane (like I did), then use wallpaper paste / newspapers to build a thin layer where the 'base cap' will be and let that dry, you can construct the woven part right over that, and later drench *everything* with epoxy again so they basically become one piece.

When I get to the part of painting it, I'll post step-by-step instructions how to fake the metallic look pretty successfully. That, too, is simple; you just need to know in which order to do it and what to use Wink

Hope that helps to understand why I made the headdress the way I'm making it. Never be afraid to try unusual combinations when faking items ;-)
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Naergi ()
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way; weaving progress - by now I've "arrived" at the backside of the halo:



I need to do about four more rows with the 'thin' thread, then start weaving in the pattern with the thicker thread... then I can epoxy... and then.. painting time! Smile
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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome! That's super helpful! This costume is definitely on my 'Someday' list, but it's that gorgeous headdress that really confused and intimidated me. I'm really enjoying watching this process come together.
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JediDWH (Lisa Curtis)
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is definitely one of the most innovative things I've seen on these boards in a while. It's looking amazing!
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Naergi ()
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again, you two!

JediDWH wrote:
This is definitely one of the most innovative things I've seen on these boards in a while.


Innovative? Wait until I get to Breha Organa's sleeves using a technique that you've previously only seen on underwire bras! Mr. Green
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Miana (Rachel Williams)
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh god Breha's sleeves. Laughing
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LaV317 (LaVonne)
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Miana wrote:
Oh god Breha's sleeves. Laughing


This one is next on my list after Hoth Leia. Yikes.
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Naergi ()
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Breha is FUN!
The sleeves are vaguely historical - the basic layout was copied from Isabel de Valois' sleeves:



so I really, really like that dress a lot Very Happy
My one problem with that dress is the fabric, but I may have a solution using one of my self-made, Spoonflower printed designs in combination with fabric glitter. Still have to test how that works, though; the basic design already doesn't look bad without the glitter.
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Princess Leah ()
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might also consider metallic embroidery thread in place of glitter. It won't get everywhere the way glitter does and you won't have to worry about the glue giving out after cleanings.

Downside is that it will take longer.
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Naergi ()
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought about maybe making the glitter 'melt' onto the fabric (by ironing the fabric with the glitter on it between layers of baking paper). Have to test different glitters to find one with a considerably low melting point, though.

Disadvantage of embroidery thread would be that it would take an insane amount of thread and an insane amount of time to do that.
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JediDWH (Lisa Curtis)
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good grief, that fabric! That's insane. That said, if I ever come across anything like it in the LA fashion district, I will feel obligated to make that costume. Laughing
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Obi Anne (Johanna Nybelius)
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Count me in as one of those with Breha as a dream costume, but I've more or less given up on finding the right fabric for it.
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Naergi ()
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just before this thread turns from Travel dress to Breha's dress...

...update on the headdress weaving.

I've finished weaving of the backside...



...and, after epoxying this, have started on the overlay decorations. Now it's really starting to look like the travel headdress Very Happy



Still need to push some of the overlay threads in place, but I think it's looking better and better. Or, as my son said today, "it's not looking like Medusa's headdress any more!" Mr. Green
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RebelSenator (Raychel Enck)
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naergi wrote:
Or, as my son said today, "it's not looking like Medusa's headdress any more!" Mr. Green


No, it sure isn't! Looks fantastic. You are uber talented!!
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Sothis ()
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naergi, that is so epic! You are so creative and talented. I imagine how great it will be when finished!
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