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Padme AOTC Rainbow Lake Gown

 
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Padme of Hidden Lake ()
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:01 am    Post subject: Padme AOTC Rainbow Lake Gown Reply with quote

I used silk satin (the thicker material) for the under-dress and china silk (the thinner material) for the over-dress. You can get either at a high end fabric store – I got mine from a little family owned store in Albany, NY – Alfred’s Fabric Center, just make sure it is 100% silk or the dye won’t take as well. I bought both in an ivory shade – very pale so all the dye color would show.

Construction:
I sewed the under-dress and the over dress before I dyed them but kept them separate from each other as the two fabrics needed slightly different dying times and I wanted the color pattern to be exact. I lined the under-dress with a pale yellow apparel lining close to the color I wanted the top to be in the end to cut down on the transparency of the dress and to cover all the seams so they wouldn’t rub my skin in the wrong way – most formal gown patterns will have you do this anyway, but the polyester in the lining doesn’t dye well so try to find the right yellow before you buy. I use the McCalls 3933 view B pattern (it is discontinued but I found it at a tiny store that still had a couple of old patterns left they were trying to get rid of – so check the smaller places or ebay) for the under-dress and altered Caitlin’s design for the overdress (http://queenc.com/rainbow/construction.html). Which can best be explained with pictures:
Step 1:

Step 2 through final assembly


I left the gathers at the arms and neckline for after dying and would recommend leaving the blanket binding off as well as I had to completely redo that part because of problems with the dye on the polyester.

To Dye:
Once I had the whole thing put together (as in I could have put on the under-dress and gotten married in it that day) I dyed each layer. I started with the yellow and moved through to the purple while keeping the pieces damp so the colors would blend on the edges. I used RIT Dye Powder in Golden Yellow, Rose Pink, and Purple. I used a 4-gallon stockpot to dye in, so I only needed half the dye packets. But since powdered dye does not save well and the pot was very crowded I would recommend a plastic tub twice that size. Follow the mixing directions on the back of the package – boil water and measure carefully to make the concentrated dye – then fill the bucket halfway with hot water from the tap (I mixed mine with the pot in my bathtub). I then added about a tablespoon of laundry detergent to improve the colorfastness in the silk. I used the Tide Simple Pleasures, which had the bonus effect of negating the smell of the dye. Then finish filling the tub with water making sure to leave enough room for the fabric.
Slightly dampen the material, then dip just the part you want yellow in the yellow dye. Mine took to the right color in about 10 seconds for the under-dress and about 5 seconds for the overdress using the hot water in a bucket method. If you let it cool a bit it will take a tiny bit longer but silk colors very easily. I rinsed it in cool (not cold) water immediately until the water ran clear which sealed the color in, then put just a tiny bit of the yellow dye on the edge where it needed to blend into the pink letting this bit stay hot and saturated (if you only have one dye bucket save a bit of the yellow in a small dish and carefully paint it on right before putting on the pink dye or it will get too dark). The pink goes on next the same way. Make sure to over lap the yellow by an inch or two (more if you want more of an orange color in yours). Again it only took a few seconds to get to the color I wanted and I rinsed immediately putting on just a small blending line right before adding the purple. The purple took the longest in the dye bath for me – but it was also the coldest and still took less than 20 seconds all together. Watch your fabric as you are dying it – it will look a little darker wet than dry and some of the color does come out when you rinse so let it get a little darker than you want in the dye (but only a little!). Once I rinsed out the excess purple I put the whole dress in the dryer for 10 minutes on low to set it.

Putting it together:
Sew together the two layers of gown, add your blanket binding (buy it in the colors you want or gently paint on the color with a fabric marker – not fabric paint that makes it way too stiff) and put in your gathers so it feels right on you. A pair of nude toned trouser socks with the toes cut off (and any cuffs) works well for holding the arm gathers in place and even without being seen.
For the bustle in the back I sewed snaps in a v around the edge of the open part of the overdress and along the top edge very close together. 2 on each side and one in the center (putting the top connection to that just to the side of the zipper). I snap them up from the top down moving in towards the center so that the folds lay correctly. I used snaps so that if someone steps on the train they just pop apart and the gown doesn't rip!
I covered the elastic used to gather the front of the over dress with scrap blanket binding and put clear snaps on it and the dress to make sure it stays where it belongs. Walmart had flower shaped shell pendant beads that worked nicely for the brooch over the bustle and on the front gathered piece. Joann’s has pre-strung pearls and crystal beads for the strands that hang in from both shell pieces, I used three slightly different strands for each folded in half and sewn in the middle of the fold. Gluing stiff fabric to the back brooch will let you put it on with hooks and eyes and sew the beads to it.
My arm bands are brass sheeting cut to shape with scissors (I got the very thin sheet so I could) then carefully bent and soldered together on the inside so the seam barely shows. I then painted on the white bands with Folk Arts Acrylic in White Pearl Metallics. Other people have used thin PVC plastic sheeting like what they use for signs boiling it into the bend and painting on the gold stripes instead.
My necklace is made from sculpy clay, each layer made as a separate piece held together with knotted jewelry thread (the knots keep the pieces properly spaced). Remember with the clay that you must curve it to your neck and put all the holes in before you bake it or it will break, the jewelry chain can be attached after using jump rings to hold it just check to make sure your rings are big enough to not put too much pressure on the clay.
For the hair I took three headbands and a chunky bracelet from Claire’s and a napkin ring from the Dollar Store and covered them in purple lining fabric then glued on pearls. I took art wire mesh from AC Moores and bent then stitched it into the conch shell shape with an opening in the front big enough to fit comfortably on my head. I covered it with hair from Sally’s Beauty that closely matched my own and sewed and glued the napkin ring, bracelet and two headbands in place. The third headband I put over the edge of the wig when I put it on twisting the front of my own hair over all the ends and pinning it underneath to hide the fact that it is a wig. A little hair mascara helps it blend seamlessly together. (I have since started working on a replacement wig using stiff hatmakers fabric - buckram - the kind I found has a glue of sorts in it so once it is shaped and sewn into the shape I want I can wet it down so that it holds the shape more permanently. This will allow me to keep a stiff wig - the rest of the pieces will be reattached in the same manner they were on the first - while having it not weigh close to 15 pounds the way the wire does. ) Both wigs have hair combs sewn in to the inside near the front edge and an elastic to go around the bun I put my own hair in to hold them in place. Bobby pins around the lower edge and the hair I wrap around also help keep them on.
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RebelSenator (Raychel Enck)
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice tutorial. Thank you so much for posting it. Should be a huge help to anyone making this costume.
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 11:32 pm    Post subject: Wire Mesh Reply with quote

I agree, this tutorial is great. I just have a question about the wire mesh that you used for your hair, what kind did you use? Was it similar to this?
http://www.createforless.com/Artistic+Wire+Mesh+18mm+Copper+1M/pid197579.aspx?utm_source=googlebase&utm_medium=cse&cagpspn=pla&CAWELAID=1439892683&catargetid=1552975942&gclid=CPOty7r2tLcCFWZk7AodTAYA5g
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Padme of Hidden Lake ()
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm so sorry I dont know how I missed this question for so long!

I used this: http://www.createforless.com/Activa-Active-Wire-1/8-x-1/16-in.-Mesh-12-x-24-in/pid19.aspx

But it is REALLY heavy with everything on so I'm experimenting with the buckram still to figure out how to get it to stay in shape properly. I do have a permanent injury to my neck and upper spine (horse riding accident) so the weight of the wire may not be a problem for you - it could very well be my limitations.
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