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Padme Episode II travel/refugee gown
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Naergi ()
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to thank everyone for the nice comments!

One thing you should know about the fabric design on my dress is that I squished it down a bit, or rather: Make it proportionally wider, but not as wide as I made it high. This is why, in direct comparison with the original dress, the designs on my dress seem 'squished' down a bit.
That's because, uhm, well, I'm not just much taller than Nathalie Portman, but also (proportionally to my height) *wider* than her - as someone else said elsewhere: "Not everyone is a stick like Nathalie".
So in order to keep the design number (width-wise) close to the original costume, I had to distort the pattern a bit.
To be precise, if the original pattern is 100% in width and 100% in height, mine, compared to that, is 120,72% w x 87,95% high (plus overall made larger).
Note that the distorted version is not what I have on Spoonflower, that's just the 'regular', non-squished version. In case anyone should need a proportionally resized / squished version, I can help to set that up.

Also, and totally unrelated to this costume - today I got the message that someone I made a dress for (a reproduction of the Jump dress from Titanic) in 1998 will wear that precise Jump dress for the Inaugural Ball in Washington on Tuesday.
SO excited; and stuff like that really keeps me going. Seeing others wear dresses I create more than a decade after I made them is really something and makes me believe that there's a possibility of some of my creations being passed on as heirlooms.
Maybe she'll get to snap a pic of herself dancing with the President; which I will most happily add to my collection of pictures of others wearing dresses I made Mr. Green
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Naergi ()
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More progress!

After sewing the dress up, I started working on the cape.

First I ironed the lower seam. Then I basically created three rows of tight zigzag stitching (stitch length: 0.3mm) - one, 7mm wide, at the 'center', then two 5mm each of which the center would run over the precise edges of the first 7mm row. After that was done, I added a decorative 'diamond' stitch over the center of all three.
Here's what it looked like when finished - the thing on the bottom left side of the image is my thumb; just so you know how small this really is:



That trim at the bottom of the cape DOES have a purpose - the dense stitches stiffen the hem immensely. It's almost as if rigilene boning has been sewn into it after the zigzag rows have been added.

I've added the same kind of 'zigzag trim' to the hem of the skirt - two rows of trims, to be precise; both bordering the 'cross' trim at the bottom of the skirt.
Those stiffen the skirt's hem the same way they do on the cape.
By the way; it took over 700 yards of thread to create these decorative zigzag trims on cape and skirt hem. And yes, I underestimated that and had to buy two additional spools of thread (in addition to the two I already had). And yes, it took hours to create all those zigzagged rows Sad

Also, I added the loops for the buttons to the cape front. Maybe I'll write a tutorial for a very simple method to do so later.



First picture shows how I've hand-sewn the facing of the cape sides to the lining of the cape; second picture shows the not-yet-sewn facing (so basically those pictures are in the wrong order) but it shows the loops very well.

Here's what the dress looks like now after I've sewn it together and added the 'zigzag trim' to the skirt hem. The cape front is just pinned to the dress. You can probably see very well how much that zigzag 'trim' stiffens its bottom hem - the sides of the cape, even if there are no shoulders on my dress mannequin, now "stand" all by themselves.
Compare that to the first picture of the 'just pinned' dress (where the sides of the cape just kind of 'flop down') and you'll instantly see the difference.


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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's so exciting about the dress at the ball! I hope she sends you photos.

For that cape stitching, I just have a standard 70's Singer machine with 12 stitches. Is that diamond pattern something that a machine like mine can pull off? I assume the diamond is there to keep the zig-zags from catching on things, right?
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Naergi ()
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SongofAmazon wrote:
For that cape stitching, I just have a standard 70's Singer machine with 12 stitches. Is that diamond pattern something that a machine like mine can pull off?


I'm pretty positive that your machine can do tight zigzag stitching. As for the diamond pattern, I don't know - just stitch samples of all the stitches you have to a small piece of fabric, then see what could work.

Quote:
I assume the diamond is there to keep the zig-zags from catching on things, right?


No; that's something I didn't have in mind. The zigzag stitching is so small and dense, it wouldn't catch on anything.
Compare what I did to the original cape (click to enlarge):


Left: My zigzagged trim; right: original trim

As you can see, there's something similar on the original cape trim - upper and lower part of the trim are definitely zigzagged; but there's something else in between (and I can't precisely tell what kind of stitching that is. It almost looks like dots, but sewn from 'top to bottom' opposed to 'left to right', picture-wise.).
My imitation of that doesn't exactly look like the original, but after experimenting with approximately a dozen decorative stitches, that 'diamond pattern' seemed closest from what I could produce with build-in machine stitches.

You have to keep in mind how small this is. It just looks large in photos.
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Naergi ()
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In between sewing cape and sleeves, I started making the fabric-covered buttons for the cape. For that I bought coverable shank buttons.
Here's how the button-covering works (click to enlarge):



The biggest problem is that they're so tiny. I can barely handle them when making them. But the proportional method "told" me that the buttons for my cape / sleeves must be just under 1/2 inch (1.25mm) large; and these are 11mm; so the small size is correct.
You will probably notice that my fingers seem really large compared to the buttons.
That's actually not the button's fault; it's just that my hands are unusually large compared to the rest of my body. I'm one of the few people who can cover the entire face using just ONE hand. So much for that.

I would have bought the 12 missing buttons for the sleeve cuffs too (plus some additional ones as spares).
But the shop where I bought them just had those 5 blister packs with 6 buttons each; that's just enough for the cape. Will have to wait until they get new buttons Sad

And now, if you'll excuse me... must make 16 more buttons. After that, I need to sew them all on. Grrr.
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RebelSenator (Raychel Enck)
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is coming along so beautifully. Worth all the hours of stitching!
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Naergi ()
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RebelSenator wrote:
Worth all the hours of stitching!


Of course Smile

One day of work later....:



...I've finished ALL THE 30 BUTTONS, sewn them on, and finished the cape as far as I could without adding snaps.
Also, cape definitely needs to have shoulder pads - that's something that just dawned me during the construction.
By the way, those pictures were taken by the window in daylight without a flash - so THAT is what the colors look like.
Sorry, but we're having like one foot of snow outside; and as much as I love taking daylight pictures outside because they do show colors so much better than any flash photo... NOT going to happen until the snow melts.
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JediDWH (Lisa Curtis)
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful! The buttons turned out fantastically. Mr. Green
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RebelSenator (Raychel Enck)
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's really lovely. I've enjoyed seeing come to life.
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GentleBant ()
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely gorgeous. Smile
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Princess Cryvo (Crystal von Oy)
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

so amazing!

I can't wait until I have the funds to be able to make this gown! It's on my "list". Wink
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GentleBant ()
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And am sorely tempted by these boots (thinking they'd be sort of close to those Naergi posted back on page 5...)
http://www.zulily.com/invite/jbrowne912/p/brown-jammy-boot-women-29473-2323715.html?tid=social_email_ref_shareviaicon_na_modal_829a1f269aeae41bead512eae77c531b&pid=2323715

or if that link doesn't work

http://www.zulily.com/p/brown-jammy-boot-women-29473-2323715.html

Also, anyone have an opinion on this for the sleeves?
http://www.nipponcraft.com/goods_en_jpy_31.html
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RebelSenator (Raychel Enck)
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice find on the boots. I have a similiar pair that I found at hot topic a few years ago.
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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ooh. That looks really nice Joslynn. The original didn't quite have the circular arrangement, but I think that's the best you've found so far.

From all of these Japanese fabric finds you are coming up with, I am totally going shopping for the Galactic Senate Detachment next fall in Japan to see what I can find for Padme fabrics.
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Naergi ()
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually the original dress sleeves DO have that circular pattern. If you look at the *counts* sixth picture on the reference images page (that's the one of Padmé from side/back), you'll see them if you look for them.

In other words, the fabric looks good. I'm just not sure about the 'structure' which you're so looking for is there; it COULD also be almost an illusion print (like my sleeve fabric is).

Speaking of sleeves - I've set both sleeves into the dress, and have attached one of the two cuffs so far.
Here's what that looks like:



What do I have left to do?

- buy and attach buttons to sleeve cuffs;
- attach snaps to both cuffs and cape;
- sew facing into neckline of underdress;
- properly finish the skirt hem;
- make the cowl / veil thingie,
- spray Scotchguard over entire dress so the printed design will hold up for much longer without any fading even IF dry cleaned (that's something I learned in the Spoonflower Flickr group!)
- make handbag / purse from dress and cape fabric scraps,
- make cloak (oh dear, almost forgot that - and that's SO important since it's worn with the metal headdress; and since I have NO intention to make the lace headdress, I MUST have the cloak!)
- wait for snow to melt to take photos and apply for formal status :-)

So... still quite a bit of work... but I guess the majority of work is done. BTW I MUST remember to take and share a photo of the invisible zipper that I've sewn into the back of the dress. It's really brilliant; you can't tell it's there - the pattern in the fabric looks completely unbroken by that zipper.
I chose the zipper over the original hook and eye (or maybe those are snaps?) construction because seriously, that original construction looks shoddy from the back / side - see that sixth picture of back/side of the costume which I described at the beginning of this posting; you can clearly SEE those hooks / eyes (or snaps?) on the backside.
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