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Cosplayer LadyAmaryllis > Costume of Padme Amidala from Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones

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Series
Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones
Character
Padme Amidala
Special Variation:
Packing Gown
Year Completed:
N/A
Construction Difficulty:
Difficult
Awards
2nd Place Glorious Gowns Division at Celebration IV
Costume worn at:
Anime Expo 2007
Star Wars Celebration 2007
Permanent Link:

About this Costume
Construction Details:
I began work on this dress in October 2006 when I heard that Celebration IV was coming to Los Angeles. I bought some silk tussah from silkconnection.com for the skirt. I had to dye the skirt about four times to get the color right. The pattern was really easy - I just pleated all ten yards straight into a waistband. All I had to do was cut the bottom and hem it. I made a petticoat out of cheap gray nylon to puff out the skirt a little bit. I should have made it a bit larger, though. I was excited to see the Rose Parade pictures from January 2007, because they showed that the sleeves were attached to an undercorset. I made the undercorset out of blue coutil and steel boning. It laces in the back. The sleeves are a strange fabric I found in the LA Fashion District, gray chiffon or habotai or something like that. The fabric has the lines throughout just like the original, yay! I used two layers of the grey silk and a third layer of cranberry colored fabric in an attempt to create the subtle cranberry sheen that Padme's sometimes has. It took me four attempts to get the right balance, layers, and drape for the sleeves. I'm quite sick of them. The cuffs raise in to a reverse V in the front and close with cover buttons on the outer edge. I had a lot of trouble with the fabric for the vest. After a few botched fabric purchases, I finally bought dark charcoal silk velvet from Hyena and dyed it a little darker. Whee! The right color at last. The vest is lined with black coutil and also reinforced with steel boning. The embroidery and beading on the front was by far the hardest part of this costume. I started working on it eight months before the convention, because I knew it would take forever. If I had to estimate, I probably spent about 100 hours on the gray embroidery alone. I watched the Lord of the Rings and Star Wars trilogies more times than I can count while I embroidered. I watched Mary Poppins, Gigi, and a Jane Eyre miniseries. I toured the Lake District in northern England. Man, I don't even know what else...I did a LOT. I have so many pictures of me during my study abroad trip with blue and gray embroidery in hand. :D The armbands are the most ghetto part of the costume and my least favorite part. I found some scrapbooking trim (baroque by making memories) and folded the edges in. I antiqued them with black and added little dots of turquoise paint. I had a VERY difficult time getting them to stay together and in place on my arm. Mounting tape was the answer, but I didn't figure this out until my third time wearing it. I felt pretty confident about the wig, but it was a lot harder than I expected. I sculpted stryofoam into the shape I wanted and then covered it with hair extensions by generous use of clear adhesive caulk. Unfortunately, the caulk caused it to turn shiny and plasticy. That was all right on something like Windy, where it was a light color anyway, but on Padme, it just looked weird and the camera flash caused it to sort of turn white. =/ I epoxed bobby pins on to my finished pieces and just stuck them straight in to my hair. I pulled my own hair back in to a bun, just like Padme does. To make the hair jewelry, I cut disks out of thin steel using tinsnips and sanded the edges to make them smooth. I molded the little embellishments out of paperclay and painted them with acrylics. Then I epoxyed the embellishments on to the disks, and chains to connect the disks, and then epoxyed bobby pins on to the back, and stuck them straight in. Perhaps obviously, I discovered epoxy with this costume. I'm really, really happy with the way this costume turned out. The armbands and the wig bother me a little bit, but overall, I think it looks pretty good and it is super fun to wear. Yay!
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