I’m now sure that I can finish Padme’s Purple Senate gown.
Now I just have to find out what kind of dye to use.
Disclaimer: All photos of the dress are from Padawan’s guide. I haven’t made my own YET. But I’m working on it. The Padawan’s Guide photos are from here: http://www.padawansguide.com/purple.shtml – they are used only as references and to explain how the cord is laid out.
Use the photo below for how the cords should be finished – four rows of a single unbroken running bourdon cord (or two cords), as best described by Kay-Dee on her page here: http://kay-dee.net/costumes/purple/index.htm
The only thing her extremely helpful site did not have were the layout patterns for the cording; I am providing them here. I couldn’t have gotten this far without her pages and pages of tips and suggestions, so thank you Kay-Dee!!!
The reprinted images do not belong to me, but my traced pattern lines do. I you share them, please credit me back for the printable patterns.
Steps for using my patterns
- The images should all be printed out full size and taped together – they should all overlap by a few inches.
- Using wax-free tracing paper, put the colored paper face down on your fabric, the printout on top and trace the middle most inner line onto your fabric using the wheel. Pin the paper in place with regular straight pins so it stays straight up and down on your fabric. Your inner cord will fall along either side of this middle line, and then your outer cord will fall outside the inner cords. Use my printouts as a reference
The cording should end up looking nice and snug up against each other, in a flowing vine layout, done with a couching stitch and hoop. Use a silvery metallic thread if possible for shine.
The inner cord becomes the base for the outer cord. Snug the outer cord right up against the inner when you finish the full inner loop, which will run all the way around at the top, and then loop over your starting point. Add single loopys to the outer cord. Pay attention, some are single ‘tails’ and some are fully doubled, like the one on the inside that hooks off a bigger loopy
The cord will extend out past the top of the pattern I have here, but up until that point is all that is visible. I haven’t seen the dress in person so I don’t know if it extends further. Since the dress is always worn with the coat and the neckline under the coat is never seen, you could get away with just tying it off and not continuing the cord around the upper neckline and back of the neck.
I strongly suggest cutting my neck pattern down the middle and aligning the sides on your dress as needed for a wider or narrower “V” cording pattern. Unlike the front skirt panel and sleeves, there doesn’t appear to be any single loops using only the outer cord.
The sleeve cording pattern is ALMOST mirrored on each side of both sleeves, so you need four patterns total.
It doesn’t show the top of the arm, but we can infer from this and other shots that the sleeve pattern extends up and into the coat.
I like that these shots show the reflected purple glow from the velvet so you can really tell it’s not black.
Above is another shot from Padawan’s Guide – you can clearly see the cording extending all the way up to the sleeve cap/sleeve opening.
In this shot here (also from Padawan’s Guide, you can clearly see the waist seam, and you can kind of see a new curly pattern on the arm up at the top, which I’m including in my pattern. Anything above the mid-upper arm really is just guesswork on my part, so feel free to use the top sections as I have drawn them, or not.
It might be difficult to hoop the sleeves and neckline, but you can still do it by basting your cut sleeve pieces down on another piece of non-stretchy material at the edges, and then hooping. Cut the material off around the sleeves and you have an instant layer of interfacing. The sleeves seem pretty stiff in photos, so this might work out well in the long run. My sleeve pattern might have to be cut into a few pieces to get it lined up on your fabric correctly, depending on your pattern.
The reason I say the sleeve pattern is ALMOST mirrored is due to this infuriating shot here:
Granted, I find EVERY shot of this dress infuriating because the color seems to change EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. But what am I looking at specifically? I’ll tell you. (PS, there’s a great shot of the crinkle fabric coat lining here)
This. This right here.
You can clearly see some of the loopy’s at the seam pointed down against the outer ones pointed up. I’m not going to redraw the pattern just for these couple of differences, so I’ll either conveniently ignore them or do the outer sleeve panels first and decide if I want to give myself a migraine or not.
I don’t have any other good shots that I can reference of the inside of the sleeves, so I’m going to just have to assume these are the only differences, if only for my own sanity.
The neckline might be best done after the dress is complete; just make sure it’s very well interfaced. Saving it to the very end/post attachment means you can cord around the upper neck easily. If you aren’t sure if you have enough to go around the back, start at a shoulder seam and stitch in place while the dress is on a manikin or a patient friend.
And that’s it for my contribution for your own costume’s construction. For everything else, go check out Kay-Dee’s tutorial, or if a Rebel Legion member, there are lots of helpful people on the forums who have already constructed this dress or can help with specific techniques.
Photo by Ripptowne Photography
This is Liz Welsh, a member of Rebel Legion in our Blue Ridge Base of the North and South Carolinas division. I was base commander when her award came through and I was honored to present it to her in a special ceremony/gathering.
Congrats, Liz, and thanks for being a valued member of Rebel Legion!