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Clone Wars Cartoon Purple Senate Padme
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RavenApprentice (Angel Martinez)
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful work Jenna!!! Ben
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cannot wait to see this in person, exquisite work!!
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JediDWH (Lisa Curtis Saunders)
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Per usual, beautiful work. Very Happy Can't wait to see the next step!
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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may have been quiet for a while, but that was mostly working on the corset to go underneath it all. Then I realized I have two weeks left until when I want to troop with this, so giving some time for approvals, I have about a week to get this all done.

The corset, or rather, stay, was a really good choice. It's heavily boned to flatten me out, synch the waist in, and flare my hips a bit more so I can look like cartoon Padme more.


Look at all those boning channels!

And finished up:


The boning I got was too long for some of the shortest channels and the tools I had were no match for cutting steel boning, so I went to the hardware store to see if I could find something I could substitute for those short ones. My solution: zip ties. Works surprisingly well and easier to cut. Haha.

So then, after a day of sewing I have something real to show for it:



I still need to hem the bottom and tack down the lining inside, but it is coming together nicely. I am very pleased.

By the way, shoes:



I was going to get some basic purple flats, but then I happened across these on sale, and I could not leave them at the store. This costume needs more sparkle, clearly. They're just about the color of what I hope to be the coat.

Remaining is the belt, the coat, and the headpiece. I've got a lot of work ahead of me in the next week between my two jobs, but if I pace myself (and sleep less :p) I should be able to make it.

I got my gold cording in the mail today that I was hoping to use on the necklace and it is tragically way too skinny.



So, I go hunting for more cording and hope it gets here in time.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lookin good!
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to seeing it completely done. Looks like you're very close to that Smile
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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And, finally got up the courage to dye my velvet. Now, both the velvet and my fingers are significantly more purple. Mr. Green



It will come out lighter when it dries, plus it will be backed with dark purple satin lining, so that will make the backing look less black.

Nothing to show there, but I finalized my jacket pattern tonight as well and I just calculated how much piping I'm going to need... I hope I have enough lining fabric for that. *fingers crossed*
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really, really pretty work so far!

One advice on the choker - I made mine by having my embroidery machine and metallic thread do the work (and oh dear, I still need to post a photo of the result!) - but in the end I realized that I could have as well used metallic soutache.
So what you maybe want to look for is metallic golden soutache, 4-5 mm wide, for the horizontal 'chains' and a tad wider metallic ribbon (use that double layered and stitch the horizontal soutache between it) for the vertical strips of the choker. That should work pretty well.

What I do notice is that you made the sequin insert U-shaped opposed to V-shaped. Why is that so? Just asking; no harm intended Wink
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I ordered some 6mm gold cording last night but if that fails me too, soutache it is! The sequin insert is rounded as that's the shape the cartoon madde it; just one of the changes from the original.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jenna, this is coming along great! Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JediDWH wrote:
Yep, Kathy pointed me in the right direction for the fabric, and since it was so dirt cheap, I just picked up a crap ton and I'm going to will it into the right color. Razz



I also have the purple and blue iDye poly dyes, so I'll do some dye tests on it to see how it all works. Should be exciting!


Awesome! I'm glad you got it while they had it in Los Angeles. I have not seen it since.
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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We went back to the same store, and they're stocking it in both gray and white now. I hope they keep doing that, because then we have a continuous source of this. Lisa plays a very nice velvet-hunting point person. Mr. Green

So, there was a huge storm in my area today and so work sent me home at noon. I was going to have to go to class tonight too. Instead, I made the frame for my headdress. Starting with a rough sketch with eyeballed measurements:



This version has twelve rungs around it, which is more than the original move one. However, the circle pieces are simpler and it does not have the spiral piece. But, that comes later when I pull out the worbla.

I started with four wire rings for size reference. These would be placed around the chicken wire at choke points. This way, I was able to keep better track of the circumference. It is also way easier to make sure the gold hoops were staying circular than eyeballing the chicken wire frame.



The headdress process was a lot of trial and error, twisting, bending and wrapping it together, but a couple hours later, I came out with this:



For size reference:



Then I added a sort of cup in the top with more chicken wire so that the hair can taper back in. It's hard to see, but here's a shot of that:



Next up, I'll be wrapping that in felt close to my hair color, start wefting my extensions, and attaching them to the frame. Then there's the gold basket out of worbla.

My extensions came in yesterday. I decided to get five colors to blend together to get a closer match to my color, making it look more natural.



My extensions source is Doctored Locks, and I highly recommend them for their fast delivery time and wide variety of colors that are actually in stock.

The rest of the supplies used today, I got from my local hardware store. And the lady working there did laugh at me when I asked for chicken wire. Haha.

I've still got a little bit before my bed time, so time to make some piping!
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking forward to seeing it come along. Looking good so far.
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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the encouragement! I'm going to need it if I want to finish it in the next three days! >.< Somewhere in here I'll actually sleep. Silly work, getting in the way of my hobbies.

So, I made a lot of progress this weekend, but I was too busy sewing to post photos about until now. Although, not much of the progress is actually wearable, so here's a bunch of photos of costume pieces lying around.

Most of my time this weekend was spent on that blasted headpiece. I will go ahead and say this: braids would be way easier. I could at least sew those down.

The first task with the headpiece was to cover it in felt. It was a lot of whip-stitching, piecing, making tucks and darts, and stitching it all down. Since felt stretches a bit, I generally only stitched it to the frame at the top and bottom. I used the tension of the felt on itself to hold its shape and stretch into that nice double-cone. This would have been easier with a knit, but I still would have done it with a really heavy fabric to hide the ridges of the chicken wire, and I do like the texture of the felt for when it comes to working with wig fibers.







Next up was to create the worbla basket around the outside. Now, because this isn't a flat surface, the "rings" are not actually flat hoops on the cone. In order to pattern my pieces, I used a technique Kamui Cosplay mentioned using to pattern armor pieces. That is, wrap yourself, or in this case, the headpiece frame, in saran wrap and paper tape, draw on our shapes, then cut it out and use them as patterns. So, here's some photos of that process.









After I had my patterns and measured the lengths of the spokes, I sketched them out of the Worbla. Worbla is a heat, moldable plastic that bends and stretches when warm. (I got mine here.) I was a bit nervous to use it at first, but then I quickly saw how easy it was. With a borrowed hair-dryer from one of my housemates, I was able to do all of the shaping and molding.

But, I'm getting ahead of myself. I halved my tape patterns and traced them out onto paper (thus making sure they were symmetrical and the lines were nice and even). The hoops are about 1cm wide while the rungs are 3/8" wide. Then I cut them out with a standard pair of scissors. Then came the heating. One by one, I shaped each of the pieces to the headpiece. You can see some of my markings on the felt so I knew where each of them went. Once I had them all individually shaped, I started to put them together around the hairpiece, starting with the smallest ring and working my way out. The nice thing about worbla is that it sticks to itself when hot, so you don't need extra adhesive. After that was done, I let it cool for a good long while before I took it off.

Some photos of the process:








Next up was to weft the wig fibers together. This is using a sewn weft technique that I learned through this excellent tutorial. As seen in an earlier post, I got five colors of wig fibers to blend together, but upon consulting with a helpful housemate, I decided to use only the four lightest color to match to my hair. A while back, one of the Chewbacca costumers here suggested a hackle for blending fiber colors, so I made myself a bootleg hackle out of nails and the tagboard backing that the fibers came in. This was a HUGE help in getting the fiber colors blended evenly. I gently separated out each pack along the length of the hackle. I used only a little bit of the lightest and darkest color while using all of the two medium colors. Then I sewed the tulle strip (as in the tutorial) right down the middle and folded the weft in half and stitched it across a few more times.









The next step was to stitch the weft to the inside of the hairpiece. Once that was done, I have been playing around a bit with the best ways to get the wig fibers to lie flat against the hairpiece. This was when I remembered why I hate doing wigging so much. Haha. As a foundation, I painted on some clear-drying caulk onto the felt and then pasted the wig fibers to the caulk. The thing I underestimated is that the caulk was only on there thick enough to hold the bottom layer of hair in places. This is great for ensuring full coverage so we don't see any felt, but not so useful in keeping the hair where I want it to be. So, here's where we're at right now (and the gold painted hair basket hanging out there too).









So, the plan is now to use that caulking on the flare of the headpiece, working on that tonight, and then tomorrow empty a whole can of hair spray on it. That aught to keep it where I want it to be.

In between frustrating hairpiece steps, I worked on bits and other pieces of the costume. I made a belt and the belt "buckle". I'm not a huge fan of the belt color, but all of the satin I tried to order was wrong, so this is the closest I could get, and will be probably something I upgrade when I find the *perfect* color later on. The buckle is two layers of worbla for sturdiness. To make the belt loop portion, I just formed it right around the belt. The great thing is that the worbla pretty much only sticks to the other worbla, and not my satin.





I also made some piping, gave my velvet its fourth dye bath, and cut out the jacket pieces. More lining and my necklace cording are still on order. Fingers crossed that it all makes it on time. I am thinking I may do a broadcloth layer between the two layers of jacket lining to give it more shape and sturdiness, as it's pretty flimsy right now.



Dying the velvet has been an adventure in stupid. The first dye bath, which I showed photos of, only managed to dye the backing, which was polyester and not the rayon pile. When I got up in the morning to find the dry velvet in my shower, the back was indigo blue and the pile was sivlery white. Fortunately, I had some purple natural dye on hand, so I did another dye bath that next night. It looked great, I hung it out to dry, got up the next morning and found that the pile had become MAGENTA. So, I freaked out and ordered more blue and purple rit. That arrived on Saturday, so I did a mostly blue with a hint of purple dye bath, and it came out better, but still way too purple, probably left over from the magenta bath. So again, I did a second dye bath of just blue, and that's better. It's passable now but not perfect. However, I am out of blue dye again and running out of time. I think something I will do later this summer is dunk the whole finished jacket in blue dye again (after actually doing dye tests this time... I learned my lesson). That goes on the list of things to fix later...
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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seriously not getting much sleep this week. Oy. Two jobs and one costume...

But, I digress. Tonight I finished the headpiece caulking. The thing with caulking is that it really needs to dry over night. I slathered caulk all over the inner cup, then little by little folded and pulled locks of the hair through the hole in the top, arranging them and smoothing them down to the caulk. The I took a rubber band and ponytailed it all from the inside and trimmed off the extra hair. For extra measure, I caulked the end of that ponytail. Some photos:











Then came the jacket. Because the lining is slippery and so is the velvet, I flat-lined all the pieces. While I did that, I figured the most efficient, sturdy way to handle the piping was to stitch it on with the flat lining, then I sewed the pieces together from the bottom up.









I didn't get the front and back together yet, or the sleeves on yet. That will have to wait for tomorrow. I'm going to have to make a little more piping to go around the outside edge, but I already have the bias tape cut out. My extra lining should also arrive tomorrow. Tomorrow will also be using hair spray to get the headpiece to behave once and for all. I think I'm on track to finish Thursday!
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