Sunday, September 2, 2012

Padmé’s Lavender Nightgown

Here is another costume for which I have never written a post (there are actually quite a few still): Padmé’s Lavender Nightgown. This one I made back in June 2006, when the now deceased Star Wars costuming group known as L’Alliance Impériale was invited to attend (and promote and be a part of the pre-concert entertainment by posing for pictures in our costumes) the Orchestre à Vents de Musiques de Films de Montréal's Star Wars Prequel Concert. I’ve been meaning to write a post for quite some time now; I even had a quick photo shoot about 2 1/2 years ago for that purpose, but I’m an expert procrastinator

I had two Star Wars costume at the time: my Picnic Dress and my Twi’Lek. But as I wanted something more comfortable, with less layers than the Picnic dress and no make-up like the Twi’Lek to attend the concert (and I love an excuse to make a new costume), AND since I had the pattern for it, I decided to make Padmé’s nightgown from Episode 3. After all, what can be more comfortable than a nightgown, right? HA! Who ever thought that pearl shoulder strands, a brooch and a tiara were comfy sleep wear is seriously twisted! But as an evening gown, it was very nice.

Outside the Hall, OVMF Concert, June 17 2006

This dress is also known as the Steel Blue Silk Nightgown, for that is its actual colour, but the fabric I found was more lavender, and anyways, that’s the colour it looks like on screen after calibration, so there.

With Marie-Ange-The-Celt as Barriss Offee, OVMF Concert, June 17 2006

I had all the material to make the gown about three weeks before the event. It is a fairly simple dress to make, my evenings were free at the time and I even pushed myself to cut the fabric the Monday before. So at what time do you think I finish my dress? 4:30 pm, the day of the concert, and we were supposed to report at the hall between 3 pm and 4 pm. Will I ever learn? Well actually, I’m better now; I often finish the night before now, sometimes a whole 12 hours in advance.

McCall's 4995

I used lavender satin (100% polyester) with a bit of stretch that I had found on sale (satin always goes on sale when Prom season approaches). The pattern is McCall’s 4995. Instead of making the cape into two separate pieces, I made it into one big piece; the cape is draped using the waterfall technique, and the falls are held together in the centre back with 2 large clear tassels (which had received a very grievous comment which I will not repeat). My other deviation from the pattern’s instructions was with the pearl strands: I attached them to the base of the 3 shoulder straps instead of on top of them, in the back.

Back Pose

The pearl strands are made with round, clear, 8mm Crackle beads. For some reason, when shopping for my materials, I was unable to find light plastic faux pearls as I would have preferred. These were the next best thing I found.

Front Pose

On my first attempt at the decorative shoulder falls, I decided to eyeball it (it was getting late and I had to leave for the event soon); big mistake. I ended up with one side short and tight and on way too long (and this is how I wore them to the concert, with shame). I fixed them the following week, but this time, I counted the beads so both sides would be equal. 

Oh, Ani!

I had meant to make my own brooch, tiara and jappor snippet necklace out of polymer clay, but I was afraid they wouldn’t look nice so I never got around to making them and I ended up buying replacements at the mall. I got a bun size tiara (which I wore again for Irish Dancing), a lovely faux-diamond and pearls brooch, and a faux wood Celtic necklace, all for less than 30$. Good enough! 

Since we were spending quite some time outside, I couldn’t walk around bare feet so I wore my beautiful silver sequined heals.

I miss you my love

Hair wise, on the day of the concert, I just did my hair in a Pollyanna hairstyle (I wear it like that often), but now I own curly wigs for Irish Dance, so I can wear my bun wig.

Of course being a plus size lady, I have never bothered with making and wearing a fake pregnant belly; I figure I have the right waistline for that costume. But between the time I made the dress (June 2006) and the time of my photo shoot (February 2010), I lost weight, enough so that dress is now too big for me. One of these days, I will have to take it in. Or sell it. We’ll see!

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