Padme Amidala's Pastel Rainbow Retreat Gown
Star Wars Episode II - AOTC
By default, I think this dress is pretty much everyone’s favorite Padme garment. It encompasses everything we love about Padme and Anakin. It is sooo incredibly romantic, perfect to set the mood for their first kiss. Light and Flow-y, this dress is art with movement.
The original gown is silk chiffon cut on the bias and sand washed silk satin. It is ombre dyed yellow, pinks, lilacs and a smoky hem.
I am going to attempt to explain how I make this dress. Keep in mind, what works for me, may not work for you. I have made over a dozen of these gowns so far, and still find things I can change or tweek.
Let’s start… A, B, C… 1, 2, 3…
Pattern - The best pattern I have used is Vogue 8242
The dress is perfect with a bit of altering at the neckline.
Notions- For the dress(es) you will need 3 sets of “hook and eye”, 7 in white or off white zipper, 6 yards white satin rat tail cord, white thread, 5 packages of white blanket binding and one yard gold metallic covered elastic cord.
Dye – You can go one of two ways, Rit – great staple dye try to buy it on sale or get Joan’s coupons. If you use RIT GET THE LIQUID! The powder tends to blob on the fabric and you will spend HOURS trying to scrub it out. Salt, large pot, gloves and tongs.
Jewelry – For the time being, I will list the supplies for the necklace and arm bands made from sheet metal. Eventually I will experiment with styrene and post the results. I use brass sheet metal found in hobby shops. For this you will defiantly need sheet metal sheers, sand paper and metal file. Chain, findings, lobster claw, painters tape, acrylic paint, spong paint brush and metallic tape.
PLEASE be careful. The metal is SUPER sharp. I have sliced my finger open more than once. Heed my warning!
This is the conclusion of the long list of stuff you will need!
Construction of the Dress and Overlay
Follow the instructions on the pattern with the exception of the neckline. You will not need the shoulder piece.
How to achieve the ombre effect – For dying, make sure your fabric is clean and preferably washed. You should probably do a test swatch of the fabric and dye first to make sure the color holds and how long to keep it in to get the shade you want. Also, make SURE all of the dye is dissolved and no chunks or blobs are sticking to the sides of the pot.
Figure out how much of the dress will be a certain color… top is yellow slightly past the hips, then rose, about to the knees almost to the ankle will be purple and the tips of the hem, will be blue.
The dye bath should be hot. Use gloves and a good pair of tongs. I also suggest having a bunch of old crummy towels to soak up the spilt dye, you will spill the dye! If you can, do it very close to the sink.
First, follow the directions of the bottle, don’t skimp on salt. Wet the gown in hot tap water, as hot as the fabric can take.
Determine the area to be dyed. Place that part of the dress into the pot. Use your tongs to swirl that part of the dress for the pre-determined amount of time. If at all possible, keep the ends you are not dying elevated. (If you ever did the food dye and carnation experiment when you were young, it is just like that.) You will have streaks following up your dress. It is not pleasant and will send you into panic mode. I use my free arm and shoulder, lol. P.S. wear a shirt that you don’t care about.
After the dye is the right color, let the excess dye drip into the pot, wait patiently to let it cool slightly. With a gloved hand and tongs, squeeze gently. Make sure there are no blobs or streaks on the dress. If there are, this is the time to scrub them out. I take a scrubby sponge damp with a tiny bit of detergent on it, then GENTLY scrub the spot.