Gold/yellow throneroom handmaiden gown

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4492
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Gold/yellow throneroom handmaiden gown

Post by 4492 »

So I have started a very big project, and if I go through with it I'm probably going to be a legion first with this. I'm planning on entering this costume at the costume competition at Celebration Anaheim, so for that reason I'm not going to be posting too much on my personal blog or over at the main RL forum, it's a sad thing but I've heard a bit too much about designs and ideas being stolen, but since I've been asked about my work I'm going to keep a WIP thread going here.

For those of you that are wondering which costume it is it's this one:

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The costume consists of four parts. The pleated undergown, the obi, the robe and the hood. I'm pretty sure that the hood is a separate piece. Today I have started with the undergown. I'm going to construct a fitted lining, then I'm going to pleat the outer fabric directly on to the lining. To make it simpler to pleat I'm going to keep the sleeves, the bodice and the skirt separate until the pleating is done, and then I'm combining them to make a full gown.

Today I have draped the pattern for the bodice and made a mockup of the skirt.

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The bodice started out as two large rectangles of fabric, then I folded and created darts until I had a semifitted bodice. It's not going to be very tight, but I want it to have some shape.

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This shows the progress of the draping.

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This is the finished pattern for the bodice. Now when making this pattern I realized that I'm definitely more at home with historical patterns than modern ones, and this pattern is basically a 19th century bodice.

The skirt is a basic pencil skirt that I lengthened to go all the way to the feet. I've added a full circle of fabric around it. Since the seams won't be visible under the pleated fabrice I'm going to do that construction on the lining as well.

One thing where I will have to differ a bit from the original is that I will have to be able to move in it, and it has to be sturdier than the original to stand up for packing and travelling. The original is a bit tighter around the feet, but I prefer to be able to walk. There is probably a reason why you only see this gown on people sitting or standing still in the films.

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Re: Gold/yellow throneroom handmaiden gown

Post by 4492 »

So today I started to test different dyes for the gold handmaiden. At the semi-local craft shop, meaning it's in the Yellow/Sunflower handdye and one Orange/Goldfish hand dye. I was pretty sure that the yellow would be too yellow and the orange too red, but I hoped that a mix of them would give me a warm gold colour. I made three quite large swatches of the fabric that I'm going to use for the undergown, it's a cotton voile. I also considered this quite a learning experience, so I made sure to follow the instructions. The only thing I did was to halve the amounts of dye/salt/water.
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Here are the three swatches. The yellow is actually darker and warmer than I thought it would be, it's not very far off the colour I'm after. The orange, to the right, I could see immediately that it was going to be red. For the middle swatch I mixed 25 grams of yellow with only 5 grams of the orange, but as you can see the orange was way too dominant.

If I was making the handmaiden flame gown, then I would be really happy with the results, but for the gold handmaiden I need to experiment more. I have ordered iDye in gold ochre, hoping that it will work without any mixing, but I've also seen people who have commented on that it's a lot more yellow than it should be. I have also ordered more of Dylon yellow and Terracotta/Brown, to see if I can find a mix that is just a bit darker than the Yellow on its own.

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Re: Gold/yellow throneroom handmaiden gown

Post by 0518 »

interesting... i may pick your brain privately when it comes to the dyeing of fabrics later for another project.

ex. how long does it take for the dye to take hold? in case you want a lighter colour than on the package.
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Re: Gold/yellow throneroom handmaiden gown

Post by 13421 »

Here is a photo I took when I visited the star wars exhibition back in 2001. You seem to have photos of the same display. Not too good reference but maybe my picture can be useful for you. Unfortunately this is the only photo I have of that particular display.

Good luck with your project!
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Re: Gold/yellow throneroom handmaiden gown

Post by 11327 »

Johanna has been talking about this costume for a long long time. :) It was displayed in Örnsköldsvik in 2008, and she took dozens of detailed pictures of the dress then, including the one in the first post: Click the picture to get to the album.

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Re: Gold/yellow throneroom handmaiden gown

Post by 4492 »

Yes, even if I only had a point and shoot camera I have taken photos of details that I don't think anyone has noticed.

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Re: Gold/yellow throneroom handmaiden gown

Post by 4492 »

The lining is done, as far as I can make it without the pleated outer fabric. The circle around the feet is a bit too large, but I rather begin there so that I can cut it down to a better size, than starting with a too small circle.

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This picture with flash shows that there is a bit of sheen to lining, I hope that will shine through the outer fabric a bit.

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Now on to calculate how much fabric I need for the pleating, and of course start draping/patterning the robe and the hood.

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Re: Gold/yellow throneroom handmaiden gown

Post by 4492 »

Today I had planned to order the outer fabric, I've been pretty sure now for the last few months on what fabric I should use, and it's that fabric that I've done the dye tests on. This is a good reason to have a dressform. Since the lining has been on my dressform I've seen how the fabric of the lining hangs and reflects light. After taking another look at the reference photos I was more and more convinced that I had done the wrong choice. The fabric of the original has a bit of sheen to it and my fabric was too dull. Thankfully I have quite a lot of different fabrics in my stash, including a yard of a fabric that I bought in the spring to see if it would be possible to use for this gown. I did a quick mockup of pleats and pinned them to the lining, and yes it has the look that I'm after.

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The quick pleating also gave me some more insights. Firs of all it's going to be a nightmare to pleat the whole gown, but I'm prepared for that, these few pleats also gave me an idea on how I can use a few tools to make them smaller and more even. I need to come down to around half the size of the pleats on this test swatch. It's also clear that the pleating swallows light, and the pleated part of the fabric looks darker than the unpleated part.

Of course this other fabric is about $10 more expensive per yard compared to the fabric I had planned to use. It will also be harder to dye than the cotton. Now it's time to be very careful with the calculations on how much fabric I will need, I can't really afford to buy some extra meters just for testing and to be on the safe side.

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Re: Gold/yellow throneroom handmaiden gown

Post by 4492 »

Now I need some help.

I'm working on the mockup for the robe, so that I know how much fabric I should order. While looking at my reference pics it's clear that something strange is going on with the original.

First I tried to just follow all the seams that I could find on one of the photos

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My first instinct was that there is too much fabric, too many folds, even more confusing since nothing like this was visible on the other side. Also the robe is lined, but the only lining I could see was just around the wrists.

Then I looked at this screen cap from the film

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and there are two points that are visible on the arm rests.

Those points, and the extra fabric got me to think that it's the sleeves that are not constructed as just a regular pair of wide sleeves. I started to mock up different kind of wide sleeves, and this is where I am at the moment. I think I have gotten both the extra fold of fabric, and the points, but I would love to hear if you agree with me. Also the sleeves are too short, I didn't have enough scrap fabric left to make them as long as they should be.

Image

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Re: Gold/yellow throneroom handmaiden gown

Post by 4492 »

I have managed to dye my first piece of fabric into the colour I'm after. It was 1,5 meters of off white silk charmeuse that I started like this

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and ended up like this

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The dye used was Jaquard iDye Gold Ochre for natural fibres.

This fabric will be used for the sash around the waist, I'm still waiting for the main fabrics for the gown and robe to arrive. It will be a big challenge to achieve the same colour in the different varieties of fabrics that are used for the rest of the costume, and all the meters of those fabrics. This was after all just a tiny scrap compared to what's ahead.

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