This post will be among the last ones about this costume… and it’s the Cape post that I’ve been talking about for a while!
Remember when I talked about how I found the sequins for the blouse and skirt by looking at Padawan’s Guide’s FB page? Well, it was on that post that I found the fabric for the shawl/cape! The infamous Wal-Mart curtain. It’s a sheer, white, netted panel with all this rose embroidery on it. According to Padawan’s Guide and the Jedi Council Forums, this curtain sold at Wal-Mart is pretty much exactly like the actual cape- the embroidery pattern is right and everything. Translation: if you get the Wal-Mart curtain, you save a TON of time because you don’t have to embroider it yourself!
You know what’s really weird? Like, creepy? They stopped making this Wal-Mart curtain for a really long time. Like, for 10 years. And then, the very summer I was working on the costume, THEY BROUGHT IT BACK! So I bought it and got to save a lot of time not only on the cape, but also on the corset because I was able to cut out rose clusters from it instead of embroidering them myself.
The trouble was, it was white. Really white. And I needed it to be gold. And it was polyester. Rit dye bottles claim that the dye doesn’t work on polyester. But, I was reading on the Jedi Council forums and they claimed that you CAN dye polyester with Rit dye… you just have to use enough! And add salt to the dye bath, and heat the water to a very high temperature. Polyester, unlike silk, is tough artificial stuff and you just need to be more aggressive with it. You can’t let it sit in lukewarm water for 5 minutes like you can with silk.
So, I did it… I think I used a whole cup of tan and half a cup of yellow dye, and I heated the water over the stove so it was almost boiling. And I added some salt… don’t remember how much though.
Here’s a pic of me in the kitchen dyeing my cape!
I thought I would need to let it sit in the dye bath for a really long time, but the hot temperature and vast amounts of dye really helped. It only needed to be in there for a few minutes. Thanks to the Jedi Council Forums, I did the impossible… I dyed polyester!
After letting the fabric dry, I just had to cut it into the right shape. Padawan’s Guide helped me figure this out. I didn’t take pictures because I was in a major hurry- September was fast approaching and I wanted to have my picture taken in it while it was still summer and before school started. In fact, I was so much in a hurry that I didn’t finish the edge of the cape or worry about the brooch that Padawan’s Guide had researched. I just pinned the cape in the front with a gold pin with a garnet stone. It matched the costume really well.
Only today did I take this picture of the cape! If you look on the bottom you can see that I finally started the finished edge. It’s gradient green.
There were a couple of last, random things I had to do as well. First of all, the corset has straps. While I dyed the cape, I sneaked in a couple of scraps of polyester chiffon left over from another project. Padawan’s Guide said that the corset straps are not crinkled like the blouse and skirt fabric, so that’s why I used the other chiffon. I sewed those into a tube, appliqued some of the cape roses on and attached them to the corset.
Also, I made that new headband out of some of the dark green ribbon I got in New York. But I didn’t like the color, so I sewed on it with dark green embroidery thread left over from the corset.
Finally, at this point, after a whole spring and summer devoted to the costume, it was DONE! I couldn’t believe that I had actually made it.
Well, it wasn’t REALLY done. There was still a lot more embroidery to do on the blouse and skirt- which I have been doing throughout the whole fall and winter. And I need to finish the edging on that cape. The corset still needs those gold swirls, but honestly I don’t know if I’ll actually do those! I don’t want to mess with it, and they sort of blend in with the corset fabric anyway.
My last post about this costume will have the final pictures. Yes, I’ll be in them modeling the costume. But, I’m only going to do that after I see human contact on this blog! Leave a like! Leave a comment! Hit the Follow button! If you have any questions, please ask… and I hope you enjoyed reading about this crazy costume. 🙂