Padme Art + Recent Costume Stuff!

It's been almost a month since I last posted art! But then again with thanksgiving and two plays and everything it's been hard to squeeze it in.

All of my recent Padmes have been based on unused concept art!

This one was based on concept art of the battle dress from TPM. I liked the idea of giving it a more armored look.

This one was based on some ROTS concept art. It was a black and white piece, but it had a sort of green tint to it, so I made the dress a very deep moss green velvet. It's a much more simple looking dress than a lot of the other concept art, so in my head I imagined this as an alt-reality Padme who outlived Anakin, became head of the senate and lived to a good, old age.

This was some AOTC era concept art. This one was black and white so I had to pick colors for it - the gathered dress reminded me of an old Hollywood gold lame gathered dresses (Marilyn Monroe) - so I decided to give the main dress that look with "sunrise" tones for everything else. I kept calling it "Tequila Sunrise" towards the end.

And this one I kept calling "Squid Head." Based on a black and white TPM era concept piece. I decided to keep the colours in this one subdued - white, grey and deep, blue-ish grey. I imagined a crinkle sik for the grey skirt insets/sleeves, and a white and dark blue velvet for the main dress pieces.

Based on a ROTS era concept piece. This is one of the last few I have that had any colour to go off of. The style of it looks rather Daenerys-like, doesn't it? I imagined the whole thing in a really delicate chiffon. I liked the sort of stylized flames on the bottom hem of the original - sort of Mustafar-ian.

I think the concept piece I based this one on was AOTC era... but it's just so un-Padme it was kinda hard to translate. I still don't it's Padme-like, more Scarlet O'Hara, LOL.
The colours I picked for this were based off a gold/deep green dress from Ever After. I ended up going a little more teal with the green parts and a little paler with the gold. I do like the teal/yellow combo, but overall it's just too sweet looking. Maybe this is a very young, pre-queen Padme and not AOTC.

So a few little recent costume things!

I finished up Ursula! I think when I left off here I'd just finished the basic dress and tentacles. Next was figuring out how I wanted to embellish it.

I had this purple sparkly mesh and the black sparkle netting to play with. Pinned a bunch of things on to see what might work.

I had WANTED to do a big spray of the purple mesh around the shoulder straps to kind of act as a faux-collar. Every iteration of that idea I tried just looked like a bad 80s prom dress so I ditched that idea.

I ended up just doing a long, draped piece at the neckline, with the excess hanging down the back. She can either let them hang free or or tuck them into the tentacle belt.

For the skirt I loosely gathered some of the purple mesh on the sides and hand-sewed it into place, pulling it back and stitching it to the sides - and some of the black netting on top. It's a little punk looking, which I think works for Ursula.

Personally I liked the all black, with a hint of the dark purple vinyl, streamlined look before the embellishments - but for a middle school production onstage, it needed the addition of some brighter purple. It looks great on stage!

The finished product:

One thing I don't really have any pictures of was the difficulty I had with the tentacle belt. The tentacles were too big and thick to get through my sewing machine - I ended up having to pop open the side seam of each, take some of the batting out, and then machine sewing the newly flattened tops to the webbing belt. Once I had them secure, I re-stuffed them, hand-sewed the seam closed, and then did some extra handsewing at each connection point to the belt to hold them into place.

The belt closes in the front with a large hook-and-eye, which I hide with another flap of the purple vinyl and some velcro.

I'm pretty happy with her! The play is this weekend and I can't wait to see it.

After I finished Ursula, I swung over into helping mom with the mermaid costumes. 7 all together. Each actress is wearing a black leotard - we made a tail, top and "fins" for each. All pretty simple and quick.

The "tails" were all just a column of metallic spandex, with a slit in the back up the knee for movement. The waist is just an elastic waist. The fins on either side of the tail were 3 layers of matching netting that I just sewed on to the side of each with a zig-zag.

For the tops, we took what was left of each cut of spandex, wrapped it around the form and just tied it and stitched it into place. I added what was left of the netting, sewn at the center back and then draping down into a gathered ending with an elastic loop for them to wear on their wrists.

We did end up having to go back and add black straps to each top to help keep them in place!

So we thought we were done, Monday we did a few last minute tweaks and adjustments and realized they REALLY needed a better "Kiss the Girl" Ariel dress than what they had. So Costume Emergency Squad was on it. Mom and I met at Hobby Lobby after work Tuesday. We split up a pattern I already had cut and ready - she took the skirt, I took the blouse and bodice. It was just cotton, the quickest and easiest thing!

So Tuesday night I put the pedal to the metal and knocked out an entire blouse and 90% of a bodice between 4pm and 11pm - pausing to eat dinner and that's it.

We used Simplicity 8855 for this project - and I was moving so fast I didn't take a lot of photos.

Changed up the blouse a good bit.

The pattern's shirt front and back were very wide, intending to be gathered at the shoulder. We didn't need that, so I just folded the pattern vertically down the center to remove all the excess, so it wouldn't need gathered. I also made it MUCH shorter - we didn't want the added bulk of a blouse underneath it all.

(We also wanted to make the whole dress one piece, so it would be easy for her to get in and out of in her quick change backstage.)

I also shortened the sleeve a bit, and just put elastic in the hem to gather the edge. I also cut the back open for the zipper.

Next was the bodice which I knew would take the bulk of my time. Even though the dress would still be one piece, I still wanted the bodice to function and fit and flatter the actress, so I still built it as I would a bodice that would lace-up otherwise.

I used the vest pattern from 8855, but after getting the pieces cut, I removed the shoulder strap pieces. I cut 2 layers of the black cotton, and 1 of a black twill I had on hand for extra strength. I started with 1 layer of the black cotton, and started getting it worked down to fit her. Once I had it close (based on the measurements I had), I put it on the dressform inside out (again, set to her measurements), and took up each seam as needed. Then copied that onto the other two layers.

I got the twill layer and one of the cotton layers (acting as lining) sewn together, and put 4 boning channels in - two at the back, and two up the front at the bust. Once I had the boning in, I sewed the outer cotton layer to it, right-side to right-side along the top seam, then flipped it and top stitched it.

I had some issues with the V notch at the front and getting it turn cleanly. 

I was able to get it cleaned up a BIT but had one little place I just couldn't make look right, so I left it - I'll get to the fix momentarily.

I also decided I wanted to finish the bottom with bias tape - I thought I had some black in my stash but I did not! And by the time I realized that it was too late to do anything about it. Talking to Mom on Wednesday, she said she had some, so after work I took everything to her house to finish it.

Mom had made the skirt - she dropped a lot of the width of it and the waistband. So now it was just getting the two pieces finished up and sewn together, and the zipper in.

Well turns out mom's bias tape wasn't wide enough, but she did have a black grosgrain ribbon - so it was "make it work" time and we used that to finish the bottom hem. I did use the too-thin bias tape at the V-notch to cover up that one little ugly spot. I had some black cording we just stitched on at the notch to create a faux-laced-up look.

After that we got the vest sewn to the blouse, then the skirt attached, and then the zipper in and finished! We sent it off Wednesday night with fingers crossed... and got word today that it fits perfectly. WHEW! YAY!

Since it was such a rush I don't have pics of the finished thing - I hope to get some tomorrow at the show.

And in OTHER theater news... our church play that I made Cinderella for was last weekend and I finally got to wear it!

I last left off with having just reconstructed the front panel. Which was a pain in the butt, but it did look a LOT better and I'm glad I did it. It still looks a little frumpy, and I think that's because the waist is sitting a LITTLE high on me - but there wasn't much I could do about that at the point I realized it. It was REALLY fun to wear. There was lots of twirling.

Some crops of some cell phone pics a friend sent me -- here I am with the shawl.

And sitting onstage:

Our play went great and we had a fantastic turn out. It was a lot of fun -- though, I'm glad it's over, because between practices for that and finishing Little Mermaid stuff I haven't had time for much of anything else!

I did, however, find some time to make a pair of Minnie ears recently. Basically I realized all of mine were in storage, I didn't want to buy any, and I had a good idea for a custom pair... so I looked up tutorials and figured out how to make some.

I took the scraps of my Bespin Leia silk chiffon and transferred over a scaled down version of the large flowers from the Bespin embroidery. Then I had plenty of embroidery floss left over, so I embroidered them during play practice.

(It also helped to have something rather era-appropriate to being doing onstage for one scene, so I continued taking my embroidery hoop with me even after this was done and just embroidering random things.)

Once I had the embroidery finished, I cut out backing pieces from my leftover silk charmeuse and got them sewn together, and stuffed with 3 layers of craft foam:

I hand-sewed the bottom of each ear closed. I found this red velvet headband at the craft store, so I just used this instead of covering one I already had. I glued the ears in place, and went back and hand-sewed them also just so they'd be extra secure.

Luna approves!

Then I had to do one of my least favourite things to do in costuming - making a bow. I ended up cutting a square of batting the length I wanted the bow to be, and a little taller so I could squeeze down the middle - then I just covered it in my silk charmeuse, wrapped the center in a square of the charmeuse, and called it a day. It's not perfect, but it's ok.

Sewed it in place and it was done! Yay!

Next week I should hopefully have a bag to share... though I didn't take a lot of progress pics of it, so it may be a pretty text heavy update...


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