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Padme Ep III Veranda Gown

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Wolfie ()
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:12 pm    Post subject: Padme Ep III Veranda Gown Reply with quote

Hayley's Padme Veranda Gown Tutorial. Uses McCalls 4995 pattern:


I love this costume of Padme's, it's so pretty and feminine, although it's not something I'd ever imagine wearing to bed (can you honestly imagine trying to sleep in a nightgown with strings of 6mm beads, a cape, brooch, a long necklace and tiara?!)

(A thank you to Padawan's Guide for all their invaluable information and research for this costume )

This was my cosplay entry for the Auckland Armageddon event, October 2008.

Below is the creation process for this outfit:

Jappor Snippet

There was a McCalls pattern (#4995) briefly made for this costume that I was lucky enough to be gifted with, but wow did it need some major modifications to make the dress screen-accurate!

The Simplicity pattern is the same basic shape as the screen-used costume, that's about it!

Straight off, I knew I'd have to not only pattern in the 6 front panels, but add in the top-front gathering and work the shoulder straps differently.

The first thing I did was take the front-piece of the pattern and trace half of it out on newspaper. 5 equally-spaced straight lines were drawn radiating from the top-centre of the piece down to the hemline (My hemline is about 5 inches shorter than the pattern gives, since the pattern is too long for me!) these were each cut out of the newspaper. The top 20cm of each panel was traced onto a new piece of newspaper and made about 2cm wider to account for the gathering I would do later, then each panel was cut out in fabric leaving allowances for stitching and the "faggoting". The fabric I used was a grey/purple crepe-back satin.

The panels of fabric were put aside, and I started on the faggoting stitching that joins each of them. This stitching is a pale blue X pattern that runs the length of each panel connecting it to the next one.

I had a bit of trouble finding a place that sold appropriate trim! I finally found it in a local haberdashery store. They only had it in white, but that was easily fixed.

I cut the lace into strips of 150cm, prewashed them, and dipped them into a bowl of dye I made up (Using Pebeo Setacolor Opaque: Royal Blue 20). After it had been dipped and had the excess dabbed off with paper towels, I hung the strips up to dry. They came out a very nice pale blue colour, and since I'd used the 'opaque' rather than the 'transparent' fabric paint (which is recommended for dyeing), they became a little stiffer once dry (which made them easier to sew with later). Exhibition images of the costume show the dress on a white mannequin with flesh-coloured fabric showing through beneath, an indication that the dress has a skin tone lining (making it more modest!) I purchased a length of fabric that was a close match to my skin tone, cut it into narrow strips the length of the lace, and stitched them to the back of the lace

I stitched the lace between each of the 4 centre-front panels, to join them. This was awkward and involved a lot of unpicking, as the only way to stitch the panels together while keeping the outer edges of the lace trim hidden (so only the centre X pattern is visible between the panels) was to have a small light shining up through the fabric when it was at the sewing machine, so I could see where the trim was while it was sandwiched between the fabrics. I ended up with all 4 inner panels stitched to the top, and with the outer two panels stitched to a point about 2 inches from the top. The inner panels were gathered them at their top, and I secured the gathers in place with very fine handstitching. This gathering made the top centre of the dress very bulky, and it would be impossible to smoothly attach the dress's inner 'support'. Seeing as the top centre of the dress will be hidden by the brooch, I fixed this problem by removing the top inch of the gathered panels and replacing it with a single piece of dress fabric with lace running through the centre (The very top of the dress is visible through the brooch). This new piece of fabric had the ends of the two outer panels attached to it, to completely close up the front of the dress.

With the front part of the dress completed, I started on the back. I used the McCalls pattern to cut out the back pieces of the dress, since at least that was semi-accurate (the back only has 1 centre-back seam with a zip). The side-seams of the dress are supposed to be slightly further back than the actual sides, so after trying on the dress I narrowed the back, bringing the side-seams back a couple of centimetres in the process.

I then started on the dress's inner support. I used the McCalls pattern pieces which provided pieces for a small, boned inner-bodice. This was easily made (the only part of the pattern that wasn't modified at all!), and was attached to the inside of the dress. To help the top of the dress lay flat, the seam allowances around the very top of the dress were stitched to this inner support.

At this point I started putting in the invisible zip. Even though it wouldn't be seen, I preferred the idea of having a zip that was completely hidden even though it would be extra work. I'd never put in an invisible zip properly before, so I pulled out some dresses I owned which had some in, and worked out how to put them in. It was a lot of work and a LOT of unpicking, (had to completely replace the zip when I realised it was too short!), but I managed to get both the outer dress and the inner support attached to the same zip.

I then hemmed the dress using a blind hem stitch, so no stitching is visible from the outside.

When this part of the dress was complete, I got to work on the shoulder straps. I was very lucky to find a thin pale grey ribbon that was an almost perfect match to the dress fabric, on my last scout for ribbon (I'd bought a darker coloured ribbon which was reasonably close in case nothing better could be found).

I put the dress on, and pinned the ribbon to the top of the dress so I could work out how long each length should be. Photos showing the front of the dress give the impression 3 straps form a halter at the back of the neck. This is only partially correct, and the back is far more complicated

I found a diagram, illustrating the back of the dress without the cape in the way.

This diagram proved incredibly useful for helping me figure out the back of my own dress. It shows that only the centre and middle straps are connected to each other - they join onto a sort of halter-neck which in turn do up with hooks at the back of the neck. The outer straps of the dress cross over the back diagonally and do up on opposite sides of the zip. I have these diagonal straps doing up with hidden hooks-and-eyes.

Along my halter are 4 eyes and 6 snaps (half on each side). There are eyes at the outer and inner ends to support the cape, and the snaps help support the cape on the hooks preventing it from slipping off. There are 2 pairs at the centre back, and 4 pairs on the outer ends of the halter.

I made the halter by patterning two semi-circles from the dress fabric. These shapes were cut out 4 times, and two pieces were interfaced to help strengthen the halter.

These pieces were stitched together in pairs along its sides, but the ends were left open. I threaded the inside and centre ribbon ends inside each piece and handstitched them in place at the 'shoulder' end of the halter pieces. The shoulder end was then sewn completely shut, and turned out the right way. The opposite ends were folded over a few times to adjust them to the right length, and then 2 pairs of hooks and eyes were sewn on so the halter could be done up. I handstitched in two vertical ribbons that had one end supporting the halter, and the other end beside the zip.

The beads are attached to these two vertical pieces of ribbon. To do this, I stitched eyes to the ribbons at the point where I wanted the beads to hang from, and stitched the ends of the beads to a tab of fabric with two hooks attached. Both ends of the beads are secured to this 'tab' with the hooks.

The beads are from almost 5 packets worth of 6mm cream coloured beads. There are approximately 80 on the highest straps, 85 on the middle straps, and 90 on the bottom straps.

I threaded the beads on to strands of clear nylon thread, and wove all the ends together using a knotting technique. The two ends that would sit on the very back of the dress were stitched to the fabric tab that hangs off the vertical back straps. The front ends were woven in a shape that would allow the brooch to comfortably fit right between them. When the front ends were positioned how I liked, they were handstitched to the dress to hold them in place.


The McCalls pattern splits the cape in two, with a separate capelet hanging from each shoulder. I followed these directions and cut out two pieces of fabric, and attached hooks and snaps to the top of each so they could hang from the shoulders and go part-way around the back. I was never happy with the way they hung, then I discovered that the real dress had just one cape in the back!

I unpicked all the hooks and snaps, stitched the two pieces together, and made a back facing that matched the shape of the halter exactly, so the cape would lay smoothly on the back of my neck. The outer 15cm of the cape ends are attached to this facing, to help them hang from the shoulders nicely, and to prevent the rolled-hem from being seen at the shoulder.

It was about this point when I bought a dress-form to help with my sewing, since it was a nuisance having to keep putting on the dress and seeing what modifications needed making. The dress form made it much easier for me to see how the cape hung, and I discovered I had to make the hem narrower because there was far too much volume in the hem, preventing it from hanging properly. I stitched the outer edges of the cape together at two points - 1 just under the half-way point of the cape, and the other midway between the first point and the hem. The bead-drops hang from these two points.

Bead drops:

The shape of the base of the screen-used beads looks an awful lot like a clip-on earring backing, so I purchased some gold blank clip-on earring backings. I also bought some gold posts, which the beads could hang from. I found some large white beads in a box of antique beads, and put aside 2 for the bottom-hang, and 1 that could be split in half to sit on the earring backing.

I found some slightly-smaller beads that could be used for the central white bead, and some small gold beads that would sit above the hanging beads.

To make the bottom part, I threaded a large white bead onto the gold post, and put a gold bead on after it. The post was then snipped to length, and carefully bent with pliers to form a loop. I took another post, bent one end to loop inside the lower loop, and threaded a pearly glass bugle bead onto it (the correctly sized ones I bought were too narrow for the post, so I filed an inch-long bead in half with a metal file. This dulled the file, but worked!). This bead was topped with another small gold bead, and the end was snipped and bent into another loop, which joined the drop to the earring base.

I cut out two small circles in plasticard, and painted them gold. When the paint was dry, I glued them to the earring backing to create the round circular base. I then took another large white bead, and filed it in half right down the middle. Each half was glued to each of the 2 bases, to complete the drops. The drops were positioned on the cape at the appropriate spots, and I did a little handstitching to help hold them in place.


This was time-consuming but fun to make, and I used techniques I've never used before!

First of all I printed off an accurately-sized image of the brooch, and cut this out. I then took a piece of plasti-card (an ice-cream container lid), and placing the printout over the plastic, cut out the outline. Then it got tricky when I had to hold the printout over the plastic and use a craft knife to make precise cuts where each gap in the central part of the brooch was. I got a lot of little cuts and sore fingers from this, but it was well-worth the effort. When all the pieces had been cut out, I removed the printout and filed the brooch's edges to smooth out the plastic.

I then took a tube of dimensional fabric paint and carefully painted on the detailing, being sure to match the real brooch's detailing as much as possible. It took 3 sessions, with waiting for paint to dry before a line that overlapped another could be painted on (if all lines were painted at the same time they would just merge into a single line).

After the final layer was dry, I sprayed the brooch with 3 coats of silver paint.

I then started on the brooch's fabric backing. Looking at high-detail shots, I could see that the fabric does not cover the entire underside of the brooch, and appears to be the wrong-side of the dress-fabric rather than the outer-side. The outer left and right corners (immediately before the beads) and the top centre of the brooch had the dress visible underneath. Keeping this in mind, I cut out a piece of dress fabric that matched the shape of the brooch minus the 'empty' corners. Since the fabric had a tendency to fray, I went over the edges with a coat of clear nail-polish to prevent fraying.

The wrong side of the 'brooch' and the right side of the fabric were sprayed with a layer of spray-on adhesive, and the two were pressed and held together until they were secure. Any fabric that could be seen sticking outside of the brooch's edge was trimmed away.

Beads. What can I say... not at all fun to do, but worth the result! I took a number of the dress beads, and tried sawing them in half with a craft-file. Too much kept getting filed off and the file kept going crooked, so that way wasn't going to work. I then tried filing to the centre of the beads, coming in from the outside. That way was more successful. Yep, I filed away just over half of each bead! Seeing as they were so small they were difficult to hold on to and kept flying away. My fingers got filed in the process, but I was very happy once they were done! I attached each of the 5 beads to the brooch with craft glue and let it sit to dry.

I then had to find a way to secure the brooch to the dress! I wanted something so it could be removed easily but held secure and curved to the shape of the dress when worn. I figured snaps would be the best way, so I glued a snap to the left and right corner of the brooch (beneath the left and right beads). The other half of the snaps were hand-sewn onto the dress in the corresponding spot.

Voila! The brooch was done!


Following the success of using plasti-card and dimensional paint with the brooch, I printed of an accurately-sized image of the tiara (about 7cm wide). I traced and cut out this shape onto the side of an ice-cream container.

I shaped it slightly using a hairdryer on high-heat and low speed (because I have no heatgun!)

I had problems figuring out how to colour the tiara, since the pearly white paint I had bought was sheer. I had intended to wash over the plastic with the paint to make it pearly. I experimented around with a few different methods on scrap plastic, and the most successful method was drawing the raised pattern on the plastic, spraypainting it silver (same paint as the brooch), and then doing a few layers of the pearly paint wash over the top. The wash tones down the metallic silver, and actually does make the tiara more pearly.

With the success here, I then went on to make the real tiara.

Seeing as the container was transparent plastic, I was able to place the printout behind the plastic and trace the pattern exactly, using the pearly dimensional fabric paint. I improvised on the outer edges (which are hidden in Padme's hair), putting in my own knotwork-style pattern.

I sprayed the front and back with just one layer of silver paint, then washed over it with 3 layers of pearly paint.

I needed a way to secure the tiara in my hair, so I bought a cheap stretchy circular hair-comb, cut off about 5 teeth for each side, and securely glued these to the ends of the

Jappor Snippet:

This is the pendant that Anakin gives Padme in Episode 1.

I'm not sure what it's supposed to be made from, but I suspect bone.

To make this, I took some polymer clay, and made a small rectangle. I pressed it against the inside corner of an ice-cream container to make it slightly rounded, then took it out and cut the back so it had a flat back while the front remained rounded. I trimmed off the ends, and used a fine screwdriver to carefully indent the markings into the clay. This was put in the oven for the recommended cooking time, and was still slightly soft when it came out, so I was able to use the screwdriver to make a hole for a necklace chain in the top. I left it overnight, and the next day it had set extremely hard. I bought a cheap necklace from Equip which had an extremely long chain. I took the chain and completely sealed off the end, removing the lobster-closure and using pliers to join one end of the chain to the other. I put the necklace on, to determine the length I wanted for the necklace. I cut off some length, and joined the two ends with a small silver split-ring. I went through my jewellery-making bits-and-pieces and found a large silver split-ring. This was carefully pushed through the hole in the snippet, and was closed off creating a ring.

I then began painting the snippet. I used a combination of white and gold paint, with a hint of sienna. It took a while to get the shade I wanted, since I wanted a light colour that would look like bone. I think I ended up making it a little too light!

I then did a diluted sienna wash over the snippet, to help the indentations stand out. This did in fact help them stand out, and also toned down the light-coloured paint to just the right colour.

Once the paint was dry I sprayed the snippet with clear varnish, and linked the snippet onto the necklace chain's split-ring.


There aren't many clear shots of the slippers, but one promotional image shows them as being a greyish-purplish suede. I was very lucky to find a pair of pale grey suede shoes on sale at Number 1 shoe! The funniest thing was their name - they were actually named 'Jedi Ballet' Having that name and being a great match to the screen-used shoes meant I just had to buy them!

They did have some rather strange grey-green bows in the front, but I removed those (which left some unfortunate stitching) Not wanting big ugly holes in the slippers, I improvised, and covered them with little beaded flowers.

I made the beaded flowers using a combination of different sized beads, knotted together using the nylon thread. There are 6 petals made of tiny white beads surrounding a centre of slightly larger beads (the same ones I used for the shoulder straps), with a large white bead in the very middle.

Each flower was then sewn onto the front of a shoe, to cover those holes.


My hair is straight.

I can never get it to hold curls for more than a few hours, so I needed to find something that would help them stay in!

I had a look around my local mall, and found a shop that sold clip-in hair extensions. Not only did I find some in a close match to my hair's colour, but I found some that were curly! I bought all 4 curly clip-ins (though I only use 3)

In preparation for doing my hair for this costume, I have had the hair on top of my head pulled back in a small hairtie for about a week, to train it to grow this way. My hair has a natural part in the centre, and this makes it difficult to create a 'puff' in the front if the hair wants to split to each side of my face.

To do my hair, I pull together and tie up the hair around the sides of my face and on the crown of my head.

The rest of my hair is pulled up in a bun on the crown of my head, directly behind the first hairtie, and then braided and twisted into a tall bun.

The first two extensions are then clipped in directly around the bun, overlapping each other at the centre back. Once secure, I clip in the third extension, which sits completely over the top of the bun. Since the bun has some height to it, it makes this extension stand up more on top giving it the look of more volume. This extension completely covers the bun, and the tops of the other two extensions.

The tiara is then put in, and it sits right up against the edge of the third extension. Some of the hair is pulled up over the front of the tiara to loop around it and it the hair is clipped down to secure the tiara in place.

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Mieal Deneb (Rachel Orange)
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a link to my Veranda Gown:
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