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Chancellor Palpatine ROTS, Chancellor's Office WIP
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EeanLedgor ()
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 1:14 am    Post subject: Chancellor Palpatine ROTS, Chancellor's Office WIP Reply with quote

Greetings!

I've made a TON of Jedi...and have a Rebel Pilot and Tusken (two of which I don't troop much)...AND, I thought it was time to do something completely different. So...

I'm making a costume from the Old Republic Royalty & Senatorial group. My choice? I'm doing the Chancellor Palpatine (Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Chancellor's Office). This is the costume that Palpatine wears in his office when he is approached by Anakin and where he reveals himself as a Sith. He wears this costume during the fight with Windu. The costume standards are a bit vague, probably only because no one (to my knowledge) has made this costume before.

This WIP will document my development of this costume. Hopefully, some of you can give me some feedback about the costume and any questions I have.

First up, here's a picture of the costume on a mannequin from one of the Star Wars prop exhibits:


There are three main fabrics used for this costume:
-For the main tunic and pants = a burgundy or cranberry plain fabric.
-For the tabards and sleeves = a dark red/burgundy and black ruched fabric.
-For the sleeveless robe = a shinny red fabric with a geometric design.
There is also some piping around the tabards and along the outer seams on the sleeves.

Since I don't know how to ruche a fabric, I have found a fabric that I think will suffice for the tabards and sleeves. I'll show more on fabric choices later. For now, here's a boucle wool fabric that is burgundy and black (that I bought). Here's a quick pic (along side the picture of this costume in Dressing a Galaxy):


More on fabric later!

For now, I've started my mock ups using flannel sheets of tan and red, to give the parts some contrast.
First up, is the tunic with attached sleeves and tabards:


What you're seeing (including some needed changes and considerations for these parts):

1. The tabards are not fastened down. In order to have the opening like the film, there's no way to pass my head through between the collar of the tunic and the tabards, so...the tabards will need to be snapped into place (I know some like Velcro...I don't). This will make it easy to get dressed too. The connection between the tabards and tunic will be covered by the sleeveless robe.
-The bottom portion of the tabards where they split at the chest will be moved "up".

2. The length of the seam between the tunic and the sleeves (across the shoulder) will be shortened by 1.5". As it is, the seam might show from under the upcoming sleeveless robe...and I don't want that.

3. So, for the most part, the sleeves look right to me. They are "leg-o-mutton" type sleeves. I've researched LOM sleeve construction, and the vast majority are gathered at the shoulder. The sleeves for this costume are definitely NOT gathered. So, I simply extended the sleeves from the side. Looking at the sleeves from the front, it looks pretty good. But from the side, it tends to flatten...which I don't like. I did walk around with this on for about an hour and the sleeved stayed "puffy", but...I'm wondering if I should used something (perhaps a "pillow" with cotton batting) to reinforce the outer seam to help make it stand "open" (if that made sense)? I'm sure the boucle wool and the piping will help, but....I'd like anyone's opinion.

Other than this sleeve issue, I think I'm good.

Next up will be the sleeveless robe. Once I get that done (and it looks right), I'll be making the actual costume.

Comments? Opinions? Suggestions?
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a challenging costume to tackle, I'll be looking forward to your progress.
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I can't wait to see this progress.
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 9:50 am    Post subject: Re: Chancellor Palpatine ROTS, Chancellor's Office WIP Reply with quote

Yay! You finally started on this! Smile
You asked for it, so here are my suggestions. Let's keep this:



And this:



in mind.

First, fabric looks great!

Second, if you compare the original costume to your mockup, you'll notice that your tabards have a center distance of approximately 2 inches all the way down. If you compare that to the original costume, you'll see that on the original, the tabards ARE split at that distance - but just to approximately the hip, where they get much closer together (almost touching); and then, at the very bottom, they separate again.
This is done by not just making an inverted 'U' cut to split them, but let the 'U' come back together at the hips and then - at approximately knee level - let the cut run out in an A-shape towards the bottom.
I hope that instruction wasn't too complicated; I can draw it if you want me to.

Third, I always thought that the undertunic (which we see as the "collar" and in between the tabards over the sash) was one garment, and the sleeves / tabard portion was a different garment - a floor-length coat to be precise.
Here's some proof for that idea:

If you look at the picture of the original costume above, you'll notice some 'shiny' fabric on the right side, between the (picture-wise) right tabard and the sleeveless overcoat at approximately knee level.
If you compare the length of that 'shiny' fabric to what you can see between the tabards at the bottom, towards the legs... that is much shorter.
Also, look at this picture. You can see the sash around the waist at the center, between the tabards... but you can not see that sash "towards the left", next to the tabard.

This is why I always thought that the tabard and sleeves are actually another overcoat, floor-length, made of (with exception of the sleeves and the tabard) the same fabric as the undertunic.
That overcoat would have to have some kind of closure at the center back neck to be able to get the head through the neckline opening; but said closure would be hidden by the sleeveless undercoat.

At any rate, I would extend the tabard towards the back. It will be heavy and - no matter if you construct the tabard as a 'snap-on' to the undertunic or as a stand-alone overcoat, as described above - would start to try and pull the respective garment forward. So you need some weight on the backside to balance that out.

Quote:
3. So, for the most part, the sleeves look right to me. They are "leg-o-mutton" type sleeves. I've researched LOM sleeve construction, and the vast majority are gathered at the shoulder. The sleeves for this costume are definitely NOT gathered. So, I simply extended the sleeves from the side. Looking at the sleeves from the front, it looks pretty good.


That's actually a good solution; and to construct the sleeve as two pattern pieces is how it was done on the original costume as well.
If you look at this picture, you can see the separating piped seam between those two pattern pieces running down from the center top of the sleeve's shoulder.
(Also? In that photo look at the picture-wise right tabard again, and follow it to the floor while also following what showed up as 'shiny' fabric in the other photo - another indication that the tabard is actually not a stand-alone tabard but the front of a floor-length coat!)

Quote:
But from the side, it tends to flatten...which I don't like. I did walk around with this on for about an hour and the sleeved stayed "puffy", but...I'm wondering if I should used something (perhaps a "pillow" with cotton batting) to reinforce the outer seam to help make it stand "open" (if that made sense)?


I already told you this via PM when you asked me for it, but just for the sake of this maybe helping others who are looking for a solution, I'll also post it to this thread:

If you look at the photo of the original costume which you posted and observe the upper sleeves (from approximately underarm height to the elbow) carefully, it almost looks as if some kind of "large kitchen paper roll" (for the lack of better terms...) has been stuffed into it.
I presume that this is some kind of extremely stiff iron-on stabilizer which has been ironed into that portion of the sleeve.
So...
that's how to do it. Cut your sleeve pieces, then iron on very stiff iron-on stabilizer to that portion of the sleeve. After that, sew the sleeves together.
Of course you could also use thin plastic boning (alternatively: plastic cable ties! Wink ), spiralling (or built like a cage; see Breha Organa's sleeves for "cage layout details" Wink) inside the sleeve from shoulder to elbow. That, too, would result in the sleeve being "held out".
Said plastic boning however would have to be sewn into tunnels in the LINING of the sleeve.

Believe me, you don't want to use the Elizabethan method of stuffing the sleeve (aka your more modern "pillow in sleeve").
First, stuffing shifts (yes, even in a pillow!); so over time, the sleeve might look very weird. Second and most important, that sleeve would be HOT to wear. Imagine draping huge pillows around your arms, then running around with them.
Seriously, you don't want that.
Better use the stabilizer- or, even better, the 'spiralling / cage boning' method. That way you keep the sleeve AWAY from your arm, and that makes sure that the air ventilation inside the sleeve is MUCH better Wink

Hope that helps Smile
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I understand that split idea between the tabards. The thing is, when Mr. McDiramid walks this separates a LOT. I think the reference pictures, being static, makes them appear closer together. In addition, I've got some static (posed) pictures of Mr. McDiramid (in this costume), and this split, while noticeable, is much wider apart than in the ref pics of the costume exhibit. I am going to try to make the split a little less...but this is of a minor concern to me.

Regarding the pieces of the "upper" costume: I see what you're talking about where you can't see the shinny obi to the left side past the left side tabards (it would be the mannequin's right side). The thing is, whatever it is, it is not the ruched fabric from which the sleeves and tabards are made from. I see this is as (possibly) an artifact of some sort. The reason I say to is two-fold:

1. I bought the "doll" clothes from the 12" action figure of this costume and, I'm patterning the logistics of the costume after its design. Yes, I know action figure clothes aren't the best reference to use when designing a costume. But, why use it at all? Well, it's bitching hot in Alabama and the more layers, the hotter it gets. The construction I'm developing will be cooler and will not look, appreciably, any different than in the film. While I've altered my patterns from how the action figure clothes were made, it's a good design and it is practical.

2. And I've watch the scenes of Mr. McDiramid over and over and over and...well, you get the point Wink I've tried to see if the sleeve/tabards part went to the floor (even before this was mentioned in this thread) or if there was any indication of an inner robe, and I simply can't see it. I've got the blue-ray DVDs and have advanced frame per frame. The giveaway that the sleeve/tabard complex doesn't got to the floor is in the fight scenes with Windu, where the costume is flowing about. You can only see the tabards and the outer sleeveless robe. So, what is covering the obi to the left in that pic? I don't know.

Plus, extending the tabards around the back isn't possible, to be as near screen accurate as possible. When viewing the films, it's clear the tabards are no more than 5 inches (roughly) wide, and they flow separately and independently from the rest of the costume. And, to me, even in the picture that was linked, it's clear this ruched fabric is not visible from the front. I am putting a layer of this boucle fabric around the shoulders and under the arms so that you don't see the tunic fabric through the arm holes (if that makes sense). And this will give somebody or support under the outer robe. At the same time, by not having this fabric extend below the obi, I'll have the same flow and appearance as it is in the films (especially during the fight scenes).

I supposed I could add a "skirt", of sorts, but I disagree with the sleeve/tabard portion extending below the obi. However, the more I think about it, (at the least) I might add a skirt, but it will be a future upgrade to the costume. The outer robe will be made from the spoonflower fabric you so graciously designed. Eventually, I'm going to embroider my own fabric (...and I know this is going to take some time), but I need to finish the first draft of this costume in the next two weeks. I'm mentioning this because this possible inner robe or skirt looks similar to the base fabric used for the outer robe, only without the geometric pattern. So...in the end, I might choose to add this. But, honestly, I don't think this component is necessary for developing this costume (especially with me trying to keep it as cool as possible). I'm sick of wearing Vader with the multitude of layers...and I've just about stopped wearing my Jedi robed in the summer! lol

AND...in looking at the other picture that is linked, I'm thinking the fabric (near the bottom) and between the tabard and outer robe could be the pants. At the very least, it would be a standalone inner robe, because (as I stated earlier) the tabards flow separately during movement in the film and this other "inner robe" isn't readily visible. I've never seen it outside these linked pics. Of course, I will go review the film...again! lol

Thanks for the suggestions and comments. I'm still working!!! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have very little to add only that you are off to an amazing start. Love the costume choice!! The Senate needs more guys in costume!
Smile
Love love love that fabric that you found for the sleeves. What a find!
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking awesome so far! I love the fabric you've found to approximate the rouching. Clearly you have done your research too. I can't wait to see this progress.
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the pretty pretty side of the Force! Razz I'm excited to see your progress here.
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I need opinions....and would like to hear from some of the Royalty/Senatorial LCJs:

The piping down the sleeve, around the tabards and...around the end of the sleeve cuff (which, incidentally isn't in the standards) is to be "with burgundy leather or leather-like cord trim".

Which of these do you like better....and would either of these be approved "formally"?



and here it is from a different angle:


The reason I ask is...I've spend a few hours experimenting with various techniques and materials...and the right side of the pic is the winner. It's easy and looks amazing and has the right "height" or "presence" against the adjacent material. So, this is what I'm going to use. I will tell you the lighting in that pic makes both of them look weird. The piping on both samples are darker to the eye and, from a distance of even a couple of feet look very similar. The left side is more "shinny".

Here's the thing: the left piping is pleather (note that it's uneven and sticks too far away from the surrounding material. This is, in part, because you can't pin these together. The piping and boucle fabric are very nearly too thick to even go through my sewing machine). The right side is a printed fabric. I chose it specifically because, it looks like leather at a glance. Obviously feeling it, it is fabric. Sadly, this is a bit of a deal breaker for me...if I'm told that this costume won't be approved with this fabric piping.

So...please consider the overall look of the samples I've provided. But...be honest and pull no punches. I need to know Wink

Thanks for your comments.
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Last edited by EeanLedgor () on Wed May 08, 2013 1:42 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking forward to seeing the end result Laughing
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that the piping on the right looks much better. There may be some techinque that can be used for the pleather on the left to keep it in place so it comes out more evenly.
I would like to hear from our costume judges their thoughts on this.
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I'm super interested to hear their thoughts, too, because the right side looks FAR better. Honestly, the left side doesn't even make me think, "oooh, leather," it makes me think "oh hai there vinyl, you were causing someone else misery to sew, weren't you?"

I'm just going to come out and say this is an instance where I think our standards are, in fact, way too specific. I think the question "does it look right?" is way more important than "is this made out of a certain type of material?" Especially for something like piping. Piping. Honest to goodness, we allow embroidered silk dresses to be made from printed cotton sateen because it looks right.

But those are just my two cents. Razz
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JediDWH wrote:
…I'm just going to come out and say this is an instance where I think our standards are, in fact, way too specific. I think the question "does it look right?" is way more important than "is this made out of a certain type of material?" Especially for something like piping. Piping…Honest to goodness, we allow embroidered silk dresses to be made from printed cotton sateen because it looks right.


I agree with your assessment. But I wouldn’t necessarily say that our costumes standards are too specific (although, some certainly are). Most, in my opinion aren’t specific enough. I think the trouble comes in when we focus or obsess over a minor issue (and even deny costumes because of these obsessions) when large discrepancies are overlooked (and approved...or slapped with the "informal" status). I guess my biggest beef with our costume standards are the ones that are too vague (especially with our face characters). If we’re going to hold our face characters to a higher set of standards, the costume standards needs to reflect this…otherwise, we’re forcing our LCJs to form an opinion to judge a costume. Granted, these opinions by our experts are needed, but at the same time, we need to be more consistent with our judgings. As the new Assistant LMO, I am charged with this problem…and am working on it!

Using this WIP as an example: I mentioned earlier that the costume standards doesn’t mention that there is piping at the end of the sleeve, yet it specifically says “leather or leather-like” trim. I agree that, as long as it looks right (screen accurate) it should be okay…rather than forcing a costumer to adhere to a specific material or technique in construction (prop accurate). I think the concept of screen accuracy is the way to go. THEREFORE, I think this standard needs updating (and I will do that, or at least start that process) and, among other things, it should be a bit more specific, yet be written to allow for a greater selection of materials (within reason…and as long as it is “screen” accurate).

Which…brings me to the fabric!!! (So, Lisa…thanks for the segue Wink )

I almost didn’t want to post the pic because lighting really plays a serious role in how fabrics appear (which is one of the major problems the LCJs have in judging costumes). But, I promised…and I want to share the fabrics too! Following the pic are my comments on these fabrics..



1. Piping. 100% cotton printed Kona. The back of the fabric is also colored. Some prints are white on the back. The pattern of the print makes this look like leather (especially in the form of piping). I was really impressed with how this fabric looked in the piping.

2. Sleeves/tabards. 100% wool. A boucle fabric. It is probably the best approximation of the ruched fabric I could find. The above pictures in the piping example shows the color more accurately. So, you can see the difference in how fabrics looks under different lighting conditions.

3. Sleeve (and possibly tunic/pants) liner. 100% cotton broadcloth. This is a thin material. This will be used to help contain the “cage” that will be created with cable ties in the sleeves to make them stand out (a great idea by Naergi…thanks Wink )

4. Tunic and pants. 100% cotton Kona. This is thicker than the broadcloth. I’m not sure if I’ll use a liner…but, if I do, then I’ll use the black (#2) or go back to the store and get a similar color in the broadcloth.

5. Sleeveless outer robe. 100% cotton Sateen. I asked around to see if anyone knew of a suitable substitute for the outer robe fabric (since you simply can’t find it). Naergi turned me onto the printed fabrics through Spoonflower. She was gracious enough to do the design for this fabric. While it does look good from a distance, the geometric design isn’t 100% and the fabric (by design of how it’s made) isn’t nearly bright and shinny enough). However, since such fabrics are approved by the Royalty/Senatorial LCJs AND (more importantly…I really need this costume finished in less than two weeks)…I’m going with it. In the VERY near future, I will be upgrading the sleeveless outer robe with a more appropriate fabric where I embroider the design myself. I know this will take some weeks to embroider this amount of fabric (hence my need to use the printed fabric at this time). Still…when all else fails, this is a good solution, if you know how to design and use a company like Spoonflower. Again, thanks Naergi!

6. Sleeveless outer robe liner. 100% cotton broadcloth.

For the cummerbund, which I’ve not mentioned yet? I’ve got several samples of red fabric (most of it “shinny”), and will be piecing that together to make the cummerbund. These samples are large swatches measuring the width of the material (most often 50+ inches wide) by 10”. I’m not going to show these, because, it’s really not necessary. When I upgrade the sleeveless outer robe, I’ll use the same material for the cummerbund (without the embroidered geometric design).

As for boots, I nearly forgot about them. Since the costume standards say “black or dark brown tailored knee-high boots or shoes”...and sorry, but I have to laugh here…boots OR shoes? This is another part of this standard that needs clarified! Honestly, ankle high boots should be preferred. Since the pants cover the leg down to the boots, what’s the point of having knee-high boots if they’re not going to be seen? As for “shoes”, well…shoes could probably be too short, depending on the style. So…I’ve elected to go with an ankle-high black boot. It should be perfect!
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great start Roger!!!! im excited to see the progress on this costume!

Regarding the piping i agree the one on the right looks better!

Good luck on this project Roger! Ben
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roger, I agree about the standards- you'll note I said this was an instance, not an epidemic. Laughing I find it happens more with the pretty pretty costumes than many other types, though, so I'm glad you'll be on the case. Mr. Green

I like the fabric selections! Though, as you said, it will look much better once you can have some fabric embroidered for the overcoat. Seeing the "leather" cotton is nice- I love the print and look of it. I'm a big fan of kona cotton, it's sturdy and great to work with, and definitely looks nicer than your average broadcloth.

Looking forward to seeing it all come together!
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