Padmé Costume: Skirt Construction

This will be a reasonably short post, since my skirt wasn’t really that complicated. It should have been, because it should have been a circle skirt and circle skirts are complicated. But, like I already said, circle skirts waste a lot of fabric and usually require patterns, and I didn’t have a ton of money so yeah.

For a while, I tried to do some math and try to make a circle skirt possible with my 3 yards I had allotted. But, this isn’t mathematically possible, even though I’m short. So, I made it easier on myself and just cut my 3 yards into 3 rectangles. (My legs are, really conveniently, almost exactly 36″ from my hips to the floor! Being short does save you money in sewing.) I did as much embroidery as I could for a little while. I made myself stop at one point because I wanted the costume done by September, and I really needed to start the corset! With that deadline, I never actually finished the embroidery on the skirt.

About the embroidery, I tried to sew these larger flowers in my pattern- according to Padawan’s Guide’s research photos, there were these big 5-petal flowers embroidered in.

I hadn’t done those on the blouse, but I decided to try it on the skirt. My method was pretty helpful… I cut out a little paper shape and chain stitched around it.

Technically, I should have filled those flowers in with some yellowish thread, but never ended up doing that! >.< Eventually, I stopped doing the big flowers altogether. They took a really long time.

Here’s a picture of one of my skirt panels with the embroidery started. As you can tell, I wasn’t using very many of the sequins. I had no idea how many I really had, so I was sparse with them.

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You can read on Padawan’s Guide about the skirt yoke (a tight part on the upper skirt that fits around your waist and hips and holds the skirt up). I drafted mine, as always. (Meaning I didn’t use a pattern.) I made it out of some of my modal scrap, and after lots of trial and error, lined it with polyester satin left over from another project. The modal was stretchy, so it didn’t exactly hold up the heavy skirt very well! I stitched all my skirt panels together and then used basting stitches to gather them and then I attached it all to the yoke.

And, guess what. I didn’t use a zipper. Why? I hate zippers! I put one in the back of a medieval fantasy dress I made a few years ago and it was a pain in the neck. So, I cut some button holes and tied the skirt together with a strip of modal. Like historical lacing. Tee hee, it looks really messy. But, I don’t care, because that part is under the corset! And the skirt stays up, and it’s a pretty color and has some pretty gathers and has some pretty embroidery. That’s all I really care.

I didn’t take any pictures of the final skirt, but you’ll be able to see them just fine in the Final Pictures post.

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