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Flamegown WIP
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Lora Skywalker ()
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:08 pm    Post subject: Flamegown WIP Reply with quote

So, I've made a flamegown (two, actually) back in 2011, and I've long wanted to upgrade to a proper silk velvet gown with better sleeves.
The current one was basically a trial version that was approved and have been fun, but also with its own problems.

Now, I'll say it right away: I hate the sleeves and the asymmetrical pattern for them. They are simply evil.
So that is why this is what I have started with. If I can get a good sleeve pattern made then the rest won't be too difficult (except maybe the dyeing); I can reuse some parts of my old pattern, in particular the pattern for the hooded tabard.

So, as things get done/tried out I'll be updating this thread.

I'm also doing this together with my sister as she really wants a flamegown, too, and I know a couple of other people in my country/base have expressed as interest as well. Hopefully, this thread will end up with good patterns for others to use. Smile


Okay, on to the trial and error process.

First up we tried making a dress top for my sis. The fabric is way too stiff, but it will do for now.
IMG_3571

IMG_3572

Then was the making of the pattern for the sleeves. I'll admit right away that in the span of a couple of days I already got to version 2 and 3, as I realized my mistake in first trying to make a symmetrical pattern.

The symmetrical pattern:
IMG_2715

Then I went unto version 2 and started going asymmetrical. This is based mainly on photos taken by GentleBant of a real movie flamegown and partially by some catwalk photos taken by Kris.

References of front:






This lead me to this:
IMG_3578

IMG_3581

IMG_3583

Btw. having a tailor ruler is worth its weight in gold for all these curves. I'm fairly good at freehanding things, but there's a lot of curves that needs to match here.

Then, of course, came the back. Here I also got into a couple of different patterns as I looked at the references.

References for the back:








So I started with matching up seam lines with front side seam:
IMG_3584

IMG_3586

IMG_3588
(Really long ruler needed)

First I made it like the above with a straight line down the back, then I decided it needed more volume and did this instead:
IMG_3590

Second back piece:
IMG_3591

IMG_3594

And first try at making the sleeves:
IMG_3595

I kinda forgot to tell my sis that the marks on the pattern paper were important (where the slit shall be), but we'll just rip it again. This fabric is too stiff, but just a quick first try to see if the overall shape and size of the pieces seems to be alright.
We ran out of time, so the back pieces didn't get made.

I count on making future trials in panne velvet as it's cheap and moves more like the silk velvet.

Let me know what you think of it and do post if you have any input on the sleeves or other parts of the costume. Smile
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Last edited by Lora Skywalker () on Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Lora Skywalker ()
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We did get a bit more work done back in April, but I couldn't find my camera, so I didn't get any pictures taken until last weekend when we did some more work on the mock up. Well, I did some more work. My sister was painting window sills. Razz

First off the sleeve in the too stiff fabric. (It's just pinned on with a needle to get a feel of it).
IMG_4597

I quickly moved on to getting the panne velvet pieces sewn together. They had partly been cut out already, but the sewing lines needed to be redrawn.
IMG_4598

This point will be a hassle to get nice:
IMG_4599

The front of the mock up sleeve. Not every seam line got out like I wanted to, but it's a mock up so I wasn't too concerned about it being exact.
IMG_4601

I quickly did a new top to sew the sleeve onto so I could have my sister try it on:
IMG_4604

You can see the fabric stretches, which won't be a problem with the real thing.

The leftover mock up fabric was used to create a short skirt to see how we felt about going with a full circle skirt. What do you think?
IMG_4605

IMG_4606

We didn't bother with the waist elastic or gathers, which is why it looks so unshapely.


Then I did my first test with my acid dyes! I mixed up a random color and dumped in three different kinds of silk to see the result.
The color looks very dark in the bucket, but is not that dark at all in reality.
IMG_4611

Drying:
IMG_4613

Dry and in daylight:
IMG_4616

As you can see only the silk backing takes color with the acid dye on the velvet swatch. The raw silk and charmeuse took the color beautifully.
I've ordered fiber reactive dye now and should get it tomorrow if all goes well and then the mixing commence!
I've also ordered a lot of habotai silk (china silk) to be used as lining and for the red parts. The silk/rayon velvet is pretty thin so the whole thing will be lined.

My sis still hopes we can be done for Celebration Europe III. I'm less sure, but we'll see how it goes.
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Last edited by Lora Skywalker () on Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for documenting all of this so carefully! That gives us a great idea of the patterning and the process.
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Obi Anne (Johanna Nybelius)
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a tip. Use an underlining for the velvet, I used organza for my gold handmaiden velvet robe, before adding a lining. The underlining helps a lot with the shape and behaviour of the velvet.

http://historicalsewing.com/linings-underlinings-do-you-really-need-both
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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just did a quick check here, and the standards say "No panne velvet." for this costume. The reference photos do make it look like it is a standard velvet too: http://www.padawansguide.com/fidm/kd61.jpg (copy and paste)
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Lora Skywalker ()
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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2016 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the tip, Johanna. Smile As we have already learned the silk velvet is hell to work with. The hardest part being just drawing the pattern on. Any suggestions on that? The fabric moves any change it gets. So far small, light weights seemed to work for keeping everything in place. Pinning didn't work well.

We are planning to line the dress with habotai silk, which it is also the plan to use for the red sleeves, sash and balaclava. It will have to be double layered, at least, but I'm thinking it might also need a backing of some kind. I'd be happy to have some input on this. Silk fabrics are new to me and I don't usually work with fabrics so thin, so it's different from what I'm used to.

Jenna, I'm hoping this will help others when making their own flamegowns, and I'll keep on updating this. Next update is whenever I get my newest photos sorted and uploaded. Wink
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Obi Anne (Johanna Nybelius)
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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2016 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interlining is tough, but once it's in place it makes it so much easier, especially if you are planning on usng habotai as lining. I would look for a soft and light cotton (lawn or voile possibly) so there is at least one layer that's not slippery.

One thing I've done, even if that was smaller pattern pieces, is that I added the interlining before cutting out the pattern pieces. So basically put the two layers of fabric on top of each other, baste the interlining in place first at the edges then following the pattern, and then cut. Takes a while, but helps with keeping the velvet from shifting.
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Lora Skywalker ()
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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We might try that. Smile I've also thought about that iron on, dissolve in water interfacing to keep the velvet from shifting. Might make things a lot easier if we could just cut out a piece of interfacing in the right shape and stick it on before cutting.

Btw. here is some of the stuff we have already done, which is where we learned what a pita it is to work with.

Floor work. It's large and gave us a lot of space.
IMG_4617

But it was very slippery and the table proven much better to keep the fabric from sliding too much around.

We washed and ironed 15 meters/16 yards of habotai silk.
IMG_4620

That 'only' took us about two hours of ironing with the last of the fabric mostly drying before we got around to iron it.

Here you can see some of our alignment trouble:
IMG_4621

The small weights, btw, were really great for keeping things in place. We only wish our mom had had more of them.
IMG_4622

But we got creative with other things that could be used in the same way:
IMG_4624

We did a zig-zag edge to prevent any fraying before putting the seams together and starting to create a sleeve:
IMG_4628

We ended up with two of these:
IMG_4629

The top of the sleeve has extra fabric to it and will be corrected later.
The back pieces:
IMG_4631

The front pieces:
IMG_4632


Pure dye dye tests:
IMG_4639

I did fire engine red, blazing orange and cayenne red (right side). I kinda really like the cayenne red, but it's a bit too orange for the red parts, so I'll probably have to mix it with the other red, which is a bit too purple in tone.
Dharma might have the perfect red, but I've decided that I'm not buying any more colors right now. These are all the acid dye, as I've yet to buy the two remaining ingredients for the fiber reactive dye.

IMG_4643

IMG_4636


So, still got to do a lot of test dyeing, buy ingredients, and figure out how best to fix the velvet problem. If we are lucky we will get done this summer.

Any and all advise all most welcome. Smile
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Last edited by Lora Skywalker () on Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:54 pm; edited 2 times in total
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-Gin (Valentina)
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am following you..Amazing job!
Mmmh..I know where do you buy the velvet?
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Lora Skywalker ()
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Gin. Smile

I bought the silk and colors from Dharma Trading. Still making dye tests; it's going slow, but it's fun playing around with colors. Bought picture sleeves to keep my dye swatches in order.

I've also just bought a half meter of silk organza to test as a sort of interfacing and see how that changes things.

I was also given this piece of advice: draw and cut all silk on a layer of cotton. You don't have to cut the cotton, just have it underneath to help keep the silk from moving around.

I foresee much testing yet to be done... Razz
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been eyeing this one too. I've also been looking at the lakeside gown. I'm fascinated with the bleed effect from one color to another (with a whole different color in between!). I'm inclined to think that a fine misting of fabric dye through a airbrush kit could potentially do what you're looking to do. I haven't tried it, and heaven knows I can't start another costume yet, but I am very intrigued to try this.

Lora, we are in the midst of moving from city to wide open country life (AHHHHHHHhhh Finally!!!). I'm not even working on Tanner's Kylo, or my daughter's Leia gown. And the latter needs only be taken in to fit her better. I'm surrounded by stuff until paperwork is complete.. then I'll be surrounded by box. Lots and lots of boxes.....
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Lora Skywalker ()
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Always great to have more handmaidens, silvermitt. Smile But yes, it is quite a bit of work. This is my second flamegown; the first was dyed through spray paint! Not doing that again. Trying to get it right this time around. Wink

And given that I'm moving in, um, just over two weeks (and just before CEIII), don't expect much from me here at this time. I still haven't packed anything...

I might also take a look at cotton muslin (bomuld musselin, Danish) as an interlining/underlining fabric. Oh, all the choices to be made!
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Lora Skywalker ()
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aaannnnd the summer came and was gone. This has been at a complete stand still over the summer as I had a way too busy month of summer followed by starting on a folk high school, which has kept me quite busy!

But! I've finally got the first couple of test swatches done with the fiber reactive dye on my silk/rayon velvet. Very Happy

So a few pictures (with incomplete notes, because exact amount notes are at the school and I'm not).
During the process of dyeing:
IMG_5780

I did a lot of stirring the fabric to get an even dye and it got quite boring. Razz

Deep Yellow, wet:
IMG_5783 r

Soft Orange, wet:
IMG_5787

Mixed lighting: natural and yellow artificial:
IMG_5789

All natural and dry:
IMG_5790

IMG_5792


Personally, I'd just call the Deep Yellow for light orange, but y'know, product names. Rolling Eyes
I've done nothing to re-soften the fabric on these swatches, just got the excess dye out and then let it dry. I've got another five colors to make test swatches off and then the real fun begins; mixing and learning ombré dye methods. Smile

I can tell you that I spend an entire cosplay lesson figuring out amounts depending on weight on my swatches, water, dye, salt and soda ash, and getting it all translated into metric. Imperial is really impossible to work with, because nothing is easily translated into anything else! (If you use Imperial measurements this step will probably be easier for you).
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Last edited by Lora Skywalker () on Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those colors are starting to look great. Do you have a color that works for the more golden yellow at the bottom. That "dark yellow" really does look super orange. So much for color labeling.
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Lora Skywalker ()
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I have a lighter yellow, but I haven't made any test swatches of it yet. These were just the two first I grabbed. Smile
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