I started work on this project at the end of March and completed it mid-May. It took over 60 hours to complete, and because it was such a delicate, detailed piece, I didn't delegate any of it to my assistants. Considering that my former title holder for 'most hours invested in a project' was just over 30 hours, this was arguably double the work of anything I've made before.
It was awesome.
I've done beadwork before, although not on this scale. Here you can see the beginnings of the circle design radiating out from the top of the crown.
We went online and found a vintage chantilly lace veil which I then beaded to match the film version as closely as possible. More photos of the veil in Part 2...
For the dress, I didn't want to start from scratch. Turns out Simplicity 1909 was reasonably close to the lines of Padme's dress. 1909 is of course a replica of Princess Kate's wedding gown... hmmm, Kate, are you a Star Wars fan?
Padme's gown is a full princess seam, so I taped the bodice pieces to the skirt pieces.
This required a bit of finegaling, as there were more bodice pieces than skirt pieces!
We ordered the satin for the underdress from Dharma Trading Company. It was a gorgeously soft silk/rayon weave, but notoriously slippery to work with!
I had ordered 7 yards... we used less than 6.
The outershell of the underdress, not ironed or fine-tuned.
Prior to beginning work, I had padded out one of my dress forms to match my client's measurements exactly. This isn't a perfect method when sleeves are involved, but for sleeveless dresses it works beautifully. I was able to so perfectly adjust the dress on the form, that my client told me it could not have fitted her perfectly if she'd been present for alterations.
I basted down the adjusted seams with colored thread while still on the dress form to ensure perfect fit. I then removed the fabric and sewed the seams properly on the machine. From there it was a simple matter to pull out the colored basting thread, and the alterations were perfect!
I then laid down the pattern pieces over the altered seams and made note of the changes. After adjusting the pattern pieces to match, I used them to cut out the lining.
Outer shell of underdress, complete!