We just bought a house, and it’s going to have a two-car garage, potential backyard space for a workshop shed and my sewing area will be doubled. We’ll finally have a room we can put all his grandparent’s antiques in and not leave them somewhere and hope they don’t get scratched. The house will be built to the design we want, and will be ready in a few months. Which means we have to move again.
Hubby’s working on a large vacuum former, which right now is taking up a lot of space in our rental place, but soon things will be changing. We’re one big step closer to renting out our original home after this weekend. In the mean time, we’re plotting up next DragonCon’s costume line up. I think the bug finally bit my husband and now he’s eager to put his workshop skills and tools to use on some fun projects.
This year, we went as our first ‘paired’ costume set, Rocket(te) and Groot. By DragonCon next year, we’ll likely again be Upgraded (fursuit)Rocket and (latex)Groot, some D&D characters from the cartoon back in the day, and a RIFTS duo. His costume, I think is secret for now, so I’ll just say I’m starting plans for making myself a Lay-line Walker and leaving it at that. My purple padme gown will make four costumes, and hopefully by then I’ll be in shape to wear Cursed Midna again, making that more or less my costume limit, allowing for one surprise outfit of some kind, maybe. I’m finding myself just not wanting to change all that often anymore. I’m having more fun wearing a well-made costume ‘all day’ rather than switching out to something I haven’t spent as much time on.
Poking around for Rocket Racoon reference images, I think this is my favorite thing that showed up. (artist and original comic book unknown)
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.
My best friend has been bugging me to make her a ‘badass’ photoshop ever since she saw the Jedi confronting the Balrog. So I spent five minutes on this and posted it to her facebook wall.
I’ll make her something nicer soon, but she and her husband (right) will get a kick out of it anyway.
My second take on this ‘stalking pose’ from the Star Wars informal photoshoot day on May 17th. I had played with it once, tweaked it, and then ultimately slapped myself on a free existing downloadable background.
I jacked up the lightsaber glow effects, fixed a few lighting issues and probably added an extra filter or two. Overall, I’m happy with it. I really wish the original photo hadn’t come out blurry, but I think it works alright for the ‘book cover’ type effect that I’m going for here.
I love wearing my Mara.
Original photo by Brandon Hurley
The PDF has complete instructions for making the cloak. Later versions will include the skirt and other items. Midna is my first true costume love, and I still haven’t really retired her, even if I haven’t worn her in over a year.
Purchasing the file also gets you the above pattern that can be printed out full size for someone who is between 5’5″ and 5’8″. Any more or less, and I’ll do an adjustment and save out a new file, otherwise it can be difficult to position and keep in proportion.
It probably would have been easier to just remake this damn thing. And I still might end up doing that.
I downloaded a free 3D print R2 and imported it into Lightwave. It was pretty good to begin with, but it was not 3D printer ready. I cut off one of the projector knob things and it had some free edges inside of it, which would not have printed. And I’m not talking about the part I cut off either. I filled into some spots, then realized the entire (now) pink area of polys were also free floating with no thickness, so I had to use the Thicken tool on it. Except it didn’t quite work because of all the funky triangles. It also had a free floating cylinder inside that didn’t intersect with anything for no apparent reason.
A couple of months ago, my husband got the bug to build his own R2 unit, specifically, Whistler, who is Corran Horn’s droid in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Whistler is green and grey but otherwise is built the same as Artoo, Luke’s famous companion with a bright shiny silver dome and catapults and whatnot. The biggest difficulty so far has been obtaining a proper dome – as an R2 dome isn’t quite a half sphere, but is slightly extended, almost egg-shaped. My hubby has managed to collect motors, wheels and has even programmed the R2 brain in a Raspberry pi. Whistler has a projector, sheets of styrene set aside for body and feel paneling and even piles of MDF that will be CNC cut out for the legs. The dome has been nearly impossible to find or have made – it is 300 mm high and 465 mm across, but 45 cm is acceptable, as are true half-spheres for the purpose of the approval of the many droid building communities – many of which share around free information and are happy to discuss building methods, parts and their own solutions to the myriad problems of re-inventing the sci-fi astromech that is so universally well loved.
Since we’re going to the trouble to build and modify 3D printable parts ourselves, I’m making it to those oblong proportions. The free model that I found has a true half-sphere dome and I can’t quite use it. So the plan is that I’m going to cut off or duplicate all the pieces on the dome, then stretch the dome, cut out the new panels and doors, then cut the dome up into printable pieces. That’s going to be a lot of chopping.
The 3D printer we’ll be using can only handle a 9 inch wide by 13 inch tall area, so the dome must be broken up into at least 8 pieces.
My biggest gripe with the free model (besides sizing) is that it isn’t smooth. If someone printed it as is, it would require a lot of smoothing, which would remove some of the outer shape, which might make pieces too small. But they couldn’t print it, because it has random floating cylinders in it. Gr.
3D printing requires some smoothing process as it is, so that’s not a huge issue. but the dome is very complicated, and having to remove too much could have serious consequences for the fitting back together stages.
3D printer is being built. This past weekend, I mostly morally assisted my husband while he worked on fitting the 3D printer parts. Most of the hardware parts are together, and the computer parts remain to be finished.
Can’t test print my item, YET, but hopefully very soon. In the mean time, I’m working on something that he requested for his project.
I’ve done some virtual sets for work, but I haven’t really attempted to make something from existing plans. The virtual sets tend to be 3-walled rather than four, and single room, or implied single room only. Final renders with lighting and textures were needed, of course, but the structure of the room itself wasn’t all that important. I also feel a little rusty since no one at work has wanted or requested a new virtual set in a while.
Here are one of the preview plans that my husband and I rejected for our future house building adventures. As you can see from the linked page, the plans are not complete. It seems to not be showing the light house like tower as a separate plan, but that shouldn’t be a problem. As an exercise, potentially for the plans we do settle on, I’m going to see if I can replicate the house in Lightwave. I’ll likely populate it with free table and other household objects, since plenty of those already exist online and there’s not much point in spending time on chairs and say, curtains.
If it all works out, there will be two final versions of the house project. One project will have furniture and lighting and be rendered. The other will be empty and suitable for 3D printing in blocks.
China recently made the news with 3D printing components of houses. This kind of put a little bug in my brain about possibly doing 3D printed mini-houses in a compartment manner so they can either be assembled or snapped together in boxes.
Tweak mesh: check
Reize mesh to 4 inches/101 mm: check
Added posts to help keep stable while printing: check
Subdivide for density: check
Make all triangles: check
Rotate so it builds flat: check
Exported in a printable format: check