Sunday, March 27, 2011

Padme Cut Senate Scene Gown - 02

I am (practically) done with all the Padme undergarments! I say 'practically' because the last three rows of ruffles are pinned onto the hoopskirt.

Even though the dress is all along Elizabethan lines, I made the hoopskirt something closer to mid-Victorian, about 1870's, because I felt the front had to be flatter and there's a small bit of bustling in the back. Elizabethan hoop skirts have more conical hoops and bumrolls. I made it all from plain muslin. I quilted the front so it would be as smooth as possible, and I threw in a Naboo symbol for funsies. I put ruffles on the rest to soften the hoop lines and it will hopefully be cooler temperature wise than if I quilted the whole thing. The inside has ties on the bustle cage so I can adjust how big the bustle is.

Here's my progress on the bodice so far.

Now that I have the hoopskirt done I can start on the yellow skirt, and that's what I was waiting for before I can move forward on the bodice. The coat is going to hook onto the front panel by eyelets, I have to find the right hooks before I can sew those in.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Steampunk Costume - 01

The second costume I hope to have by Dragon*Con this year is a Steampunk costume.

I actually designed this in '09 and am just now getting to it. The idea with this costume is I wanted to do something Archaeology based, so I designed it based on men's safari gear. The beauty with this costume is it's the kind of thing I can just keep adding to at my leisure. With the Padme build I'm not sure I can do this completely, but as long as I have the skirt, boots, white shirt and an accessory or two done, it's complete enough to wear. The skirt will have a panel under the jacket that's sort of underbust-corset shaped, and will be coulottes instead of a skirt, with a bit of a bustle on it. I am still contemplating what kind of accessories will go with the Archaeology profession, but I plan to throw in some Ancient Egyptian influences because I loves me some Ancient Egypt. Maybe even a choker with the Eye of Ra, maybe even a few little Stargate references thrown in.

I found some actual Victorian boots on eBay that are in exquisite condition except the soles need replacing. I have to test and see if they aren't too tight to wear all day though.

I'll either go with these, or these other shoes I have and make spats for them.

As of right now, all I have done is the corset. Like the Padme gown, I decided to make the corset historically accurate so I can re-use it for historical costuming purposes.

I used the pattern from page 71 of the book "Corsets" by Jill Saleen, and I used this PDF called The Corsetmaking Revolution which I cannot recommend enough. It uses math to alter a corset pattern from a book to a perfect fit and was a great learning experience. For this corset I have two layers of cotton coutil covered in an outer layer of cream silk dupioni from I used the flossing pattern from a corset on the next page in the book. It has 1/2 wide steel bones. Oh, and I made this portrait for funsies.

Padme Cut Senate Scene Gown - 01

I am making this gown to premiere at Dragon*Con 2011. This gown was worn by Padme in Star Wars: Episode II; Attack of the Clones. It's technically the 2nd costume of the movie, but that scene was cut from the movie and can be found on the special features.

The gown was based on Tudor/Elizabethan lines, and I have designed the foundation garments accordingly. To achieve this shape, a corset and hoopskirt is needed, and I also designed a chemise so I had a launderable layer.

The first thing I made was this chemise.

The chemise is made out of cotton lawn fabric. I thought by pleating it, it would lay nice underneath the corset. I tried a technique new to me, I used shiny rayon embroidery floss and couched it on the front in a design mimicking some of the beading on the gown. The thread's not the easiest to work with, but I think it went ok for a first try. For the collar and the sleeves I did a very fine pleating and used a false blanket stitch from my sewing machine in a dark purple, and repeated that on the hem. The back was too loose so I did a simpler design on the back, chevrons like on the skirt front over white. And it's going to be completely covered up by 3 different layers! Crazy, right? ;)

Next up is the corset.

I wanted to keep it somewhat historical so I could re-use it for historical costume purposes. I designed it after the effigy corset in Norah Waugh's book "Corsets and Crinolines". I liked that the chest wasn't boned over, more comfy for me and a softer silhouette. I used cotton coutil to line it, and the outer fabric is a poly/cotton moire fabric, which is what I am using for the underdress. I put steel bones in the back and a steel busk in the center front, and the torso boning is all reed.

The last undergarment piece is the hoopskirt. At this moment, I actually have it nearly done, I just have to hand-sew on 3 rows of ruffles over the bustle cage.

I am hoping to have pictures tomorrow. I wanted the front as smooth as possible, so I quilted it, and put ruffles on the back to soften the lines of the hoopsteel. I included pockets but I'm not sure if they'll work yet. I'll post more info on the skirt as soon as I get pictures taken to post.

Before I had any hand-sewing to do, I managed to clock one stocking! I'll eventually get to the other. At the moment, I have the beading for the neckline started, and I have the bodice assembled and waiting for the skirt to be connected! Deadline August 31st 2011.

Vera's Costumes

The purpose of this new blog is to be a place for me to post about my past, present, and future costumes, and anything costume related that tickles my fancy. I post my finished pieces on my deviantArt account,, and I also have a website called I intend to use this blog as an interrim medium before I eventually get off my arse and re-do my costume pages over there. Feel free to enjoy my costumes and comment if you wish :)