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Ceremonial Leia build-blog

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Rebel Legion Forum Index -> Costume and Prop Making -> Royalty/Senatorial -> Leia
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Leia (Vera Campbell)
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:50 am    Post subject: Ceremonial Leia build-blog Reply with quote



Progress:
-Gown: Constructing- Almost done
-Shoes: Aquired
-Belt: Belt Made. Cutting Plates.
-Necklace: Casting
-Bracelet:
-Hair: Base wig built.
-Medal: Aquired.
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Costumer of the Year - 2010
Current Build Threads: Meadow Gown: http://www.forum.rebellegion.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=100662
Ceremonial Leia: http://www.forum.rebellegion.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=986837#986837


Last edited by Leia (Vera Campbell) on Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Leia (Vera Campbell)
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello, all!

I've started this build as I've been fortunate enough to see it in person at Celebration 8 and was inspired by how simply gorgeous it is. I also need a change from the standard Senatorial gown that I normally troop in.

Hopefully this info is helpful, but I do get a bit technical. I prefer to make as much as possible myself, and I like to study and come to my own conclusions on the patterning.

I've already made a wig to use for all my Leia and Jyn costumes, and I'll post more on that later. First is the patterning. After studying the gown in person, as well as other's exhibit pictures and my own experiments with draping, I've come to the following pattern shapes.



The sign displayed with the dress at Celebration (which is now owned by PropStore in the UK who graciously have brought the dress on tour and shared detailed pictures and information) that the garment is silk, is satin-lined, and made of silk jersey. I have started trying to source silk jersey, however my samples so far seem too heavy and opaque to match what I've seen in person, so for my first version of the dress, I am using a higher-quality polyester fabric. Since I know what the drape of both fabrics feel like, I picked the closest I could find. JoAnn Fabrics in the States has a new line called "Casa Sanded Satin", which has the feel of a silk charmeuse, and a Brushed Knit.

The way this dress is constructed is almost two separate elements, the skirt has two layers, and the bodice has two layers. The skirts are almost the same shape, with the underskirt (the satin) being hemmed evenly around just above the ankle, and the outer skirt is almost the same shape but a few inches longer in the front, with a train in the back. The bodice is fitted in the satin layer, and the sleeve drape gathers into the top layer of the front bodice.

I started by drafting a basic fitted bodice. Since I had to whip up a quick ballgown for an event (like ya do) and didn't feel like spending too much time, I just used my bodice pattern to give it a test run. It's really the best way to see if a pattern will work if you have to wear it for awhile. Since it's so low cut, my obvious concern is, well, keeping everything in place. I had to take care to alter the shape of the strap and add more room to move in the armscye to prevent the bodice opening from gaping.

Here's my ballgown test run. I have a bunch of patterning/construction pics to edit to add next!


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Costumer of the Year - 2010
Current Build Threads: Meadow Gown: http://www.forum.rebellegion.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=100662
Ceremonial Leia: http://www.forum.rebellegion.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=986837#986837
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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This looks great! Thank's for all of your detailed notes and sketches. Your ballgown test looks fantastic too.
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In planning and progress:
Riyo Chuchi, Queen Apailana, Nomi Sunrider, Havoc Trooper, Amilyn Holdo

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Lora Skywalker ()
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your beginning is great looking (and nice ball gown). Thanks for sharing and I look forward to seeing the finished result.

I certainly remember that low, wide cut U neck and making sure everything was lying nice and flat while making sure I got a good curve. I hope your gown will be less frustrating a project than mine. Razz
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Leia (Vera Campbell)
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I won't talk too much on the underdress, it's pretty much as it is in my diagram. The skirt is simply a bit A-line, you want enough room to be able to move in. The bodice will, of course, be fit to everyone's individual shape, but it's important to fit it for the right support, and as low as it is, it needs to not gape open when you place a medal on anyone! I found when making drafts that it's the shape of the armscye that makes it gape when you reach forward, so if you have that fitting issue, take some fabric out of the armhole where it starts to curve.

Here is an example of how I draped my wings. I used a cream fabric so it's easier to see.

[url=http://rebelshaven.com/images/costumes/leia/ceremonial/progress/sleevedrape001.jpg]
[/url]

The letters correspond to my diagram on the first post. It's basically pretty square as a start, the straight selvage edge running down the backside of the arm, the 45 degree angle is running down the side of the arm, where the wing is the longest. It comes to a bit of a sloping point.

This picture shows the shape of the point.



The angle of the front at E is a little arbitrary at this point, I might take a little more off of mine. The points A and C end up being at/just below the knee, and there is a very gentle slope between those and the longest point on the wings. The bodice I kind of pinned in place and marked along the line where the bodice meets the skirt. I didn't bother with the neck edge yet, as this is a bit more of a drapey thing than a patterning thing and it's important to leave some extra fabric for adjustments.

And here's my pattern draping results. Just needs a little tweaking here and there, but the general shape is pretty solid.


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Costumer of the Year - 2010
Current Build Threads: Meadow Gown: http://www.forum.rebellegion.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=100662
Ceremonial Leia: http://www.forum.rebellegion.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=986837#986837
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Lora Skywalker ()
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice comparisons. Smile Draping is definitely an issue with this gown. I can say my sleeves didn't become quite like how I wanted them, and looking back there were things I should have done differently. But we learn and grow.

Will you be using the cream fabric as a pattern when done with the draping and marking?
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Leia (Vera Campbell)
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I transferred it to paper so I could true it up Smile
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Costumer of the Year - 2010
Current Build Threads: Meadow Gown: http://www.forum.rebellegion.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=100662
Ceremonial Leia: http://www.forum.rebellegion.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=986837#986837
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Leia (Vera Campbell)
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Joined: 07 Jan 2003
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Gold Star (Amount: 1)

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone who knows me knows I project-hop a lot. When I couldn't get this costume done for an event, it went on the back burner and I've been low-key fiddling with the necklace on the side. I also have the dress mostly put together.

At first I tried to sculpt the necklace out of clay, but it was too malleable. So after a bit of research, I switched to jewelers wax. There's 3 different kinds, I went with the hardest kind that holds sharp details. I've never carved before, but I'm pretty proud of how this came out.


Now I have to carve out the back and hope I don't break it in the process. I'm going to make it a bit thicker than the original since my first one will be in cold-cast resin, but I'd like to eventually build a forge and make it in aluminum or pewter. Maybe real silver a piece at a time, if it comes out identical enough. My molding experience is very very new, though, so I'm not entirely sure how I want to build the silicone mold.
_________________

Costumer of the Year - 2010
Current Build Threads: Meadow Gown: http://www.forum.rebellegion.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=100662
Ceremonial Leia: http://www.forum.rebellegion.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=986837#986837
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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Casting is something I'd like to try out some day, so I'll be watching your process with interest here.
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Riyo Chuchi, Queen Apailana, Nomi Sunrider, Havoc Trooper, Amilyn Holdo

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Lora Skywalker ()
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think your piece looks very good and has the potential to get you an awesome necklace. Smile

(And project-hopping? Know nothing of it, nope, nothing at all. *whistles*)
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Leia (Vera Campbell)
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've done a lot of trial and error with this... a lot of error, but I'm getting a decent result now. I had one semi-failed, and my second was much better, so here's my explanation of what I did, from a complete novice's point of view.

For this piece I had to do a two-part silicone mold, so I got some Smooth-On Oomoo-30, because that's what my local Dick Blick Art supply carries. There needs to be at least half an inch of silicone on all sides of the piece to be cast. You can build a mold box out of a lot of things, some people use Legos. I have access to a laser cutter at work and scrap acrylic, so I cut a mold box out of acrylic an hot glued it together. I learned that the high-temp hot glue sticks a little too well, so I went with the low temp. I hot-glued together 4 sides and a bottom.

The next step is to fill half of the mold box with clay (sulfer-free clay so it won't stick to the silicone) and press my piece into it. I started with the piece face-up because the second side of the mold will have the pour-hole that I'll have to sand off. There is a very thin edge to the shape so I had to carefully build up the clay so the seam runs along the side. I'm still looking to see if I took a picture of this step, but can't find one. I put a few nuts and beads into the clay around the piece to make 'keys' for the second half to lock into.

Next, I poured the silicone into the mold, slowly, so it didn't create any air bubbles around the piece. After it cured overnight, I removed the bottom, flipped it over (I glued the bottom to the other side after) and carefully removed the clay from around the positive. For side 2, I made a small spout out of clay at one of the high-points on the piece for the pour hole. I glued on a couple skinny straws to the "rolled" part at the top to act as air vents, since these high points might trap air and it needs to escape from somewhere.



The next step is very important, spraying a mold release spray (Ease Release 200) before pouring the next layer of silicone. I did this, but my pieces fused anyway so I'm not sure yet what I did wrong. I was able to cut it open without screwing up my seam line too badly.



I removed only one side of my mold box so I can open up the top half. Next step is pouring the resin. I decided to try cold casting, but only just now realizing I misread the overly-lengthy description of the metal powder I bought. The idea with cold casting is having real metal powder in the resin, you can polish it like metal. What I have is a Zinc alloy. It's very pretty and shiny, but I'd like to get some real aluminum and try that.

First I brushed the inside of my mold with the metal powder. With mixing my resin with powder, I've been playing with ratios. The resin I am using about 7.5 grams, and am adding 1.5 grams of metal powder. The earlier tests have much less powder and I might just spray paint those. Here's my results. This weekend I'm going to try and dremel out the loops in the back and ring up a couple, hopefully they don't break. This stuff takes 24 hours to cure so I can only pour one a day. I might make a second mold.


First pull, not much powder.


One on right has mix of steel powder, one on left has the 1.5 g of zinc powder
_________________

Costumer of the Year - 2010
Current Build Threads: Meadow Gown: http://www.forum.rebellegion.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=100662
Ceremonial Leia: http://www.forum.rebellegion.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=986837#986837
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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a gorgeous metallic look. I wouldn't have thought of adding metal powder to the resin.
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In planning and progress:
Riyo Chuchi, Queen Apailana, Nomi Sunrider, Havoc Trooper, Amilyn Holdo

Galactic Senate DCO | RLGS FaceBook | RLGS Web Site
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Leia (Vera Campbell)
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Joined: 07 Jan 2003
Posts: 1378

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Gold Star (Amount: 1)

PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quick update, still searching for Celebration pictures, but got Leia wearable enough for Celebration. I just need to make the bracelet then I can submit.

One problem I had wearing the dress is the neckline where the wings are attached likes to roll back with the weight of the wings, so I am going to try putting some collar stays in to see if that will keep them from rolling open.

The necklace turned out better than I expected for a first attempt! Definitely passes the 10 foot rule, I just have to put another coat of XTC (used for finishing 3D prints) over top to smooth them out and bring a bit of a shine in. I topcoated with XTC and the silver powder but it's not as smooth or shiny as I'd like. I'm going to also try putting some silver metal clay in my mold to see if I can make real silver pieces.


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Costumer of the Year - 2010
Current Build Threads: Meadow Gown: http://www.forum.rebellegion.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=100662
Ceremonial Leia: http://www.forum.rebellegion.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=986837#986837
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Lora Skywalker ()
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It turned out very well. Very Happy
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